Ipswitch's File Transfer division, better known as the developer of the popular FTP (file transfer protocol) software WS_FTP, has acquired Standard Networks in order to expand its reach in the enterprise space.

The deal adds Standard Networks' MoveIT family of secure file transfer and secure messaging software to Ipswitch’s existing FTP product portfolio. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, as both organisations are privately held.

It seems that the compliance capabilities of MoveIT, which allows organisations to achieve and demonstrate compliance with their corporate and regulatory requirements for the secure transfer, processing and storage of confidential data, was a big attraction for Ipswitch.

"The deal extends our product roadmap," said Gary Shottes, the president of Ipswitch's File Transfer division. "We were on a development roadmap that would have got us to compliance standards in 18 to 24 months. This deal got us there quicker."

However it seems there were other attractions as well. "Their (Standard Networks) level of security is just exceptional, and it really extends our security capabilities in our existing product offerings," Shottes told Techworld.

"Also, in light of federal regulatory requirements, their software came embedded with FIPS," (Federal Information Processing Standards). FIPS are publicly announced standards developed by the US Federal government for use by all non-military government agencies and by government contractors.

"We are working right now to combine the MoveIT and WS_FTP roadmaps," said Shottes.

But it wasn't just a good technological fit that interested Ipswitch, it was Standard Networks credentials in the enterprise space.

"Our market thrust has been targeted at the SOHO and SME markets over past couple of years," said Shottes. "However last year, we expanded into the enterprise and Standard Networks' blue chip customer base in that sector definitely complements our client base."

Standard Networks lists a large blue chip customer base including Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bank of America, Zurich Financial Services, BBC, and Hewlett Packard among others.

"Not only did we expand our customer base into large enterprise space but we also acquired the expertise to sell into the enterprise," said Shottes.

Ipswitch meanwhile claims to have 100 million customers, and says its software features in nearly every company in the Fortune 100 and over 80 percent of the Fortune 500.

The fifteen staff at Standard Networks has now joined Ipswitch and Shottes confirmed there are no redundancies.

Looking forward, Shottes sees plenty of room for expansion. "Only 10 percent of Standard Networks sales were international, and we see immediate opportunity to internationalise this market, especially in UK and Germany," he said.

A basic enterprise-level MoveIT licence costs between $7,500 to $10,000, whereas an enterprise licence for WS_FTP Server is around $1,000 to $2,000.