More widely known as @Backup, the company recently changed its name to SkyDesk as part of a retrenching of its corporate strategy. Since then, SkyDesk has been looking for big-name customers to validate the need for online backup.
SkyDesk earlier this year cut online backup deals with Excite@Home and Internet service provider EarthLink and last year picked up Dell Computer, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard and Intuit as customers. Today's announcements extend the company's services, as SkyDesk prepares for a $75 million initial public offering filed in March.
Last month, the company secured $20 million in additional funding from Qualcomm and Japanese phone-service reseller Hikari Tsushin.
Big Blue will offer SkyDesk's @Backup service to desktop and mobile customers subscribing to the IBM Owner Privileges Program. A three-month trial--which offers from 50MB to 500MB of online backup--will come with new ThinkPad portables.
"SkyDesk understands that home and small-business customers have the same need as any large corporation does to protect their important data," John Yengo, vice president of marketing in IBM's Personal Systems Group, said in a statement. "Working with SkyDesk, we can provide them with a world-class, enterprise-level solution that also offers ease of use and cost-effectiveness."
The Compaq deal will make SkyDesk's service available to all Compaq.net customers buying new Presario PCs. Compaq will co-brand the backup service, which provides customers 20MB of storage for the duration of the Compaq.net subscription. But existing Presario owners are stuck with a free 30-day trial available at Compaq's Web site.
Besides showing increased interest in providing online backup to consumers, PC makers also are adding other Web-delivered services, such as help-desk assistance from Motive Communications.