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11:11 grows DR portfolio after Sungard buy

After seven acquisitions in two years, including parts of decades-old Sungard AS, 11:11 Systems aims to take on established managed services companies for Fortune 500 customers.

Managed infrastructure provider 11:11 Systems Inc. is adding to its disaster recovery portfolio after acquiring the staff and technology of Sungard Availability Services last year. It's the latest in a string of acquisitions 11:11 Systems has made in less than two years, building out a collection of security, connectivity and storage services.

Combined, these acquisitions have enabled 11:11 Systems to sell infrastructure, disaster recovery and cloud backup as-a-service offerings. The company enables users to access and operate services through a unified 11:11 Cloud Console. Beyond networking infrastructure and cloud object storage, the company sells backup and disaster recovery for Zerto and Veeam alongside a more general managed recovery service, with plans to expand further using the talent and tools acquired from Sungard AS.

Headquartered in Fairfield, N.J., 11:11 Systems has 1,200 employees and 66 data centers globally, according to executive leadership. Formerly disparate companies that are now part of 11:11 Systems include Iland, Unitas Global, Cleareon Fiber Networks, Static1 and Green Cloud Defense. Terms of these acquisitions were not disclosed.

11:11 Systems acquired Sungard's Recovery Services as well as its North American Cloud and Managed Services in November. After years of financial challenges, Sungard AS declared its second Chapter 11 bankruptcy in spring 2022. Its colocation and networking business was sold to 365 Data Centers of Norwalk, Conn.

In this Q&A, 11:11 Systems CEO Brett Diamond and CTO Justin Giardina, former CTO at Iland, talk about next steps for the company, how they see the 11:11 Systems platform evolving, and what companies they're looking to challenge in the backup and disaster recovery market.

You're integrating technology from several acquisitions to build a platform for customers. How do you see that platform evolving?

Brett Diamond, CEO, 11:11 SystemsBrett Diamond

Brett Diamond: We're vendor agnostic. ... For example, on the connectivity side, you want [the platform] to do SD-WAN [software-defined WAN], we can support you using Cisco, we support you using Juniper, we support you using Palo Alto. Same on the backup and disaster recovery side. Justin and his team have built an incredible front end for clients to log in to and see a lot of the data that's required across backup, disaster recovery and infrastructure today.

Our ultimate goal in integrating these companies is to provide a single solution [our customers] can procure, log in to and view their entire environment -- whether those environments are connectivity-related, security-related or cloud-related. ... Now, there are going to be instances where we can't have everything on one system, but having the ability for customers to go to one company that can support all those solution sets is what we're trying to provide.

Justin Giardina, CTO, 11:11 SystemsJustin Giardina

Justin Giardina: While [Iland] did some services, we were not a mature services organization. We did a lot of things around backup, disaster recovery. ... With the Sungard acquisition, we can now do things around management and sustainability of AWS and Azure, but also be able to broker in some of the things that we've been good at over the years for backup as a service, for disaster recovery as a service and security -- and not only apply those to public clouds like AWS and Azure, but also play well in a multi-cloud strategy with customers.

Who do you consider your market competitors?

Giardina: A couple of months ago, I would have said Sungard, but not so much anymore. ... I do see those [competitors] decreasing. I think that's a testament to what we've been able to achieve, not only with 11:11, but prior to 11:11 by the siloed companies.

How do you see cyber resiliency fitting into your overall backup and DR offerings?

Giardina: When you really think about what an enterprise needs from a cyber resiliency, backup security type of approach, we were good at a fraction of what an enterprise may need to cover that -- especially when you start thinking about things like cyber insurance and just the various pieces of what a modern cyber-resiliency program looks like.

What we're focused on now is combining all services and products we have across the acquisitions into what Brett termed the three pillars of the company. You'll see some things being released in the next couple of months that bring that best-of-breed type of approach to customers. You're going to also start to see us communicate more on public cloud services.

What's next for 11:11 Systems?

Giardina: The ability to onboard more services or more vendors around the security pillar is a main thing that we're doing, whether that means getting into managing two-factor authentication [and] looking at [single sign-on].

Diamond: We want to manage our clients' infrastructure across cloud, connectivity [and] security. Everything that we do should be wrapped in managed services. That's our core competency.

Editor's note: This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Tim McCarthy is a journalist living on the North Shore of Massachusetts. He covers cloud and data storage news.

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