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Mozy has built a big business around online backups. But most people don’t realize that the company’s headquarters is located right here in Seattle. About 50 of Mozy’s 350 employees are housed along the waterfront in the World Trade Center building, with the remainder in Utah, China and Ireland. We chatted with Russ Stockdale, chief marketing officer and vice president of product management at Mozy, following yesterday’s announcement that it is combining forces with EMC-owned VMware. We also got Stockdale’s thoughts on the market for cloud-based backup services and his views on’s recent online music locker service, Cloud Drive. Continue reading for excerpts from the GeekWire interview:

Mozy and VMware have a common corporate parent in EMC. So, how are you classifying the deal: “I’d classify it as a transfer of talent. That’s really it. The Mozy business is retained and remains with EMC, and from that standpoint it is kind of a non-event from a customer standpoint. We provide the exact same service, the exact same data center, the exact same support. We will continue to invest in the same services. And from a business structural standpoint that business remains on the same EMC P&L. The Mozy business is on the EMC P&L. And the Mozy team — the employees — are now in fact VMware employees. I am one as we speak.”

So, why do this new structure? “It is to infuse IP and know-how — in other words you have the people who run a service closer to the VMware people who are building infrastructure for services. And it is that cross-pollination, so what VMware builds is more service-ready and can accelerate the kinds of products and services they want to deliver.”

Do expect any reduction in staffing as a result of the move to VMware: “Nope.”

On how VMware and Mozy are aligned: “We are West Coast. They are West Coast. We do software. They do software. So, we are very excited about it.”

How is the Mozy business doing as people store more digital content in the cloud? “Our business has been doing very well. We’ve been experiencing double digit quarter over quarter growth … and we are continuing to grow very robustly. More and more people are turning to cloud-based services, and we have been seeing that, for years, on the end-user consumer side and we are increasingly seeing that on the corporate side as well, so that is a significant growth area. We also believe that moves beyond backup, and there are a number of initiatives we have going on on that front.”

Like what new offerings? “One of those, just last week, we announced our mobile client so that we have support for iOS, both the iPhone and the iPad, as well as Android devices, which I am speaking to you on now. We also announced recently, a pre-announcement of work on a synchronization technology. So, we see a set of data management services that come together to help users access their data anytime, anywhere across devices…. That’s a space where there’s a ton of potential.”

Is Mozy competitive with Amazon’s Cloud Drive? “If you look at what Amazon did, it really looks more like iTunes for Android. It has a music player, and it is that kind of solution, primarily. They also say: ‘Hey, you can stick other stuff in there — documents, etc. — but there’s no automation around that, right? You have to manually put everything up in there. We provide more of an automation service around that.”

How does that automation work? “For instance, if you use us (for backups), you say: ‘OK, backup all of my content daily’ or whatever schedule you want. And that’s it. And from then on, we find the things that change and we move them into the cloud for you, and they are there for you. So, we work, the way you work. We are not asking you to do it manually…. We do all of that behind the scenes for you.”

Is that your secret sauce, the automation piece? “Can, I say the secret sauce? In other words, there are multiple elements here, it is not just one. You have to think about what the cloud does for you, and enable that for the end user. Part of that is making it easy to access your data at anytime or anywhere, but part of that is making it easy to share that across multiple devices. There are a number tenets that we hold, but one of those is making it easy to transition from your device-centric world today to a cloud-centric world.”

On mobile access of data: “What we enable today with the iPhone and Android clients that we ship is you can access that backup data for that device. For instance, I can go in and see everything I’ve backed up in my C drive or S drive. I can go into my documents. I can read those with the native reader on the device. If I have a photo, I get thumbnails, so I have the equivalent of a mobile photo album that I can share, rather than downloading all of the photos of my home machine on to my phone, I get these lower res thumbnails that I can display on my phone.”

What about music? “We are not in the streaming music side of things.”

Any plans to do that? “Not at this time.”

Previously on GeekWire: “With a common corporate parent, VMware takes over Seattle back-up service Mozy”

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