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SMB Nation has been serving the Bainbridge Island area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

4 ESSENTIALS MSPS FORGET WHEN DISASTER RECOVERY TESTING

Mary McCoy

 

By Mary McCoy, Content Marketing Manager of Continuum Managed Services

 

 

By now, most MSPs recognize that offering backup is table stakes. Your clients can receive this service from any number of your competitors. In order to stand out and increase monthly recurring revenue (MRR), focus on the disaster recovery (DR) aspect of backup and disaster recovery (BDR). Offer your clients DR testing!
To fully capitalize on the advantages of DR testing, keep the following four best practices in mind when adding this service to your IT portfolio. 


1. Test Everything
Technology alone won't save businesses paralyzed by an IT emergency. DR testing should also engage on the business level, considering continuity of operations and processes along with the validation of actual data availability. How robust is your client's DR plan? Being properly prepared can be as simple as knowing who to call and having an up-to-date contact list. Your DR plan should also avoid ambiguity and set expectations when it comes to designating team and individual roles and responsibilities. Do both you and your clients know what to hold each other accountable for or who to reach out to when something goes wrong?
Pro tip: Your DR plans are not one-size-fits-all, which means your testing should vary across your client base. Each business you serve has different needs. Many organizations have specific compliance and regulatory statutes that they're required to adhere to. You may back up and store some clients' data at a physical location offsite and others' in the cloud. No two clients are alike. When DR testing, processes and procedures should be optimized for each individual client.

2. Test Regularly
How often should you be conducting disaster recovery tests? There is no hard and fast rule, and it really depends on the client in question. That being said, you should run annual DR tests, at the very least. Your clients' disaster readiness depends on every employee's understanding of the current DR plan, which they can ultimately only achieve after familiarization with the DR testing process. And when factoring in employee turnover, testing every year helps acclimate any new hires to the proper procedures and protocol, thereby helping you fine-tune your clients' disaster response. Considering that a company's DR strategy is only as strong as its least prepared employee, you'd think more would advocate frequent DR testing to mitigate risk. According to the 2016 Disaster Recovery as a Service Attitude and Adoption Report, however, 22 percent of respondents test their DR plans less than once a year or in many cases, never test at all. Help them avoid this liability and package regular DR tests into your overall BDR offering.
Sure, testing backups every year should be the standard, but even this may be too conservative in certain circumstances. Let's examine a scenario in which you may want to test more frequently. Perhaps you serve a bank or any other financial services business bound by PCI DSS compliance. To comply with regulatory standards, you may need to test this client's DR plan every three months to ensure your BDR solution meets the necessary requirements. In contrast, a barber shop's DR plan may only need to be tested two to three times per year. Again, when formulating DR plans, always make sure you optimize procedures and processes at the client level.


3. Document Outcomes
Strong DR documentation starts with a client's disaster recovery plan, which should outline everything anyone would need to know in the event of an emergency. This includes contact information, a detailed outline of the steps and procedures that individuals need to follow in order to activate a disaster recovery, expected time frames for recovering data and more.
Only when your response policy is put to the test, can you adequately assess the effectiveness of a DR plan. Maybe certain directions are unclear and create friction across teams. Document any and all outcomes during and after testing. What worked? What didn’t? Where were the failure points? Why did those failures occur? How do you address these in your client's plan? Were any employees or team leads unavailable? In the event that you can't reach these people in the future, who are their backups? Little details like this can mean everything when the clock is ticking and your clients' business continuity is at stake. To help ensure a more seamless DR response, record all results that may be used to improve your clients’ disaster readiness. Then, conduct a post-mortem with all involved, to review lessons learned and areas for improvement.

4. Update DR Plans
Finally, update your clients' DR plans as necessary. This testing is all for naught if you don't do anything with the data you record. It's not enough to simply remember what to do next time around. Recall the conversation around client employee churn. If your client onboards a new hire after your DR test, this employee will only have the existing DR documentation to follow. Rather than repeat the same mistakes in your next round of DR testing, correct now to save your clients later. And remember, disaster readiness is ongoing. Continue to frequently revisit and strengthen your DR plans so that testing runs smoother going forward.

Deliver robust backup data protection services to your clients. Learn how to provide effective business continuity as a service. Download our BDR eBook here!

Meet Mary! Mary McCoy is a Content Marketing Manager at Continuum, where she's worked for over two years. Mary primarily manages the MSP Blog and has consulted with hundreds of partners, lending website, blog and social media support. Before that, she graduated from the University of Virginia (Wahoowa!) with a BA in Economics and served as digital marketing intern for Citi Performing Arts Center (Citi Center), spearheading the nonprofit’s #GivingTuesday social media campaign. Like her school’s founder, Thomas Jefferson, Mary believes learning never ends. She considers herself a passionate, lifelong student of content creation and inbound marketing.

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10 Discovery Questions to Ask When Selling BDR

Ben Austin, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Continuum Managed Services

 

Are you looking to capture additional monthly recurring revenue (MRR) by selling your backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution to more clients? If so, you have to understand the overall sales process and particularly, the Discovery phase, which is meant to help you identify the best Ben Austincandidates for your BDR solution.

To identify those small-and-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with the highest probability of adopting your solution, begin by getting to know them. Uncover their needs by asking the following 10 questions.

Gather Preliminary Information

This first set of questions helps you establish a baseline regarding data management needs. Before you can begin qualifying, you need to know what kind of IT environment you're working with. Are there any constraints? What's the SMB's attitude toward BDR solutions, and do they have a history of backing up data?
 
1. What type of customer records are you storing?
Examples: sales receipts/billing, contact information, private/confidential records

2. How are you currently storing that data?
Examples: physical copies, local laptop/desktop, local server, off-site storage

3. What regulations do you need to comply with?
Examples: HIPAA, PCI DSS, SOX, HITECH

4. What additional, non-customer related data are you storing on your machines?
Examples: proprietary information/documentation, marketing materials, primary research, competitive data, vendor contracts

Gauge Their Disaster Readiness

At this point in the sales conversation, you should begin asking questions to qualify the prospect. Getting the right answers is all about asking the right questions. What are the right answers? The ones that indicate whether or not the prospect is the right fit for your IT services. You want to weed out any unhealthy candidates that may stall your sales cycle or be "noisy," unprofitable clients down the line. To do this, evaluate their level of disaster preparedness by asking questions that identify whether the prospect needs a business continuity solution. Often, these questions are ones prospects haven't even thought to ask and trigger that "aha!" moment you're looking for in order to close them into clients later.

5. What problems have you faced in the past related to data loss or corruption?
Asking this question gives you historical context that can help you judge a prospect's disaster readiness. It introduces any problems you may be walking into if you sign the client, and helps you later cater your sales pitch or presentation toward real-life scenarios that the prospect can relate to.

6. What percentage of your standard business operations would be impacted if your records/data were temporarily unavailable or deleted?
Asking hypothetical questions like this is a useful MSP sales tactic! By asking this question, you should hope to have your prospect recognize the value of their data. At the same time, the answer they provide can help you judge whether the SMB has a need you can fill and is therefore worth pursuing.

7. How long could you keep your business running without access to your data?
Again, the benefit here is twofold. You get the qualifying answer in discovering if the SMB will benefit from your solution. And at the same time, you gain an opportunity to explain the typical, severe repercussions of prolonged downtime after a disaster.

8. What is your current plan for protecting the integrity and security of your data?
Like the previous sales discovery question, this one helps you position your value proposition as your clients' virtual CIO (vCIO). More often than not, the SMBs you talk to won't have any kind of business continuity plan or disaster response procedure in place. They don't have the time or in-house expertise to compile and manage such a framework. This is where you can really shine as their advisor. If the prospect has no business continuity plan, you can explain the reasons for developing one, walking them through the initial steps of creating and testing it. If the prospect has already implemented a disaster recovery (DR) plan, listen as they provide the details. Don't discount prospects that claim they already have a DR plan. They may be mistaken, it may not be in use or it may require significant improvement that you can provide as their vCIO.

9. What are your top priorities as far as data backup and disaster recovery is concerned?
This is a general catch-all to help you understand a prospect’s general mindset about the value of BDR and what they think you can provide. It's also a more direct question that can help you determine whether a prospect has benefited from having a BDR solution in the past. Perhaps in expressing their priorities, the prospect expresses dissatisfaction with a competitive service. This not only gives you a leg up, but helps you tailor your proposal and eventual onboarding process to best serve the SMB.
Steer The Conversation Back Toward Purchase Intent

The best way to do this is to first ask the prospect what their previous purchases were and what the return was. Notice the subtle difference between asking "Are you interested in buying from me?" and this last, better question:
 
10. What investments have you made in hardware/storage over the last four to five years?
If the prospect has made recent investments in hardware or physical storage, this should signal to you that they likely understand the value of data integrity/security and are willing to make investments (such as cloud storage) to ensure that their data is safe. If they have not made recent investments in this area, the SMB likely needs your BDR services. Now, while this is also a favorable outcome, understand that they may need more convincing to see the overall value of your business continuity services. As a result, your sales cycle may be extended.
 

When selling BDR, you have to get to know the prospect and their business needs first. Modern, client-centric sales involves talking with, NOT talking at, SMBs. The ten discovery questions shared in this post should help you start that dialogue, pinpoint worthwhile, high-close prospects and move them further along through the MSP sales journey. Once you know who to target your sales presentation and proposal to, you'll have all of the necessary information to personalize your offering to their individual needs.

Are you looking to boost your BDR sales efforts? Continuum's new Business Continuity Sales Success Kit provides ample resources that can be completely customized to best suit your business, as well as actionable, informative and educational content—such as scripts, talk tracks and more—to train new sales team members about the unique benefits and sales propositions inherent to backup and disaster recovery platforms. While it may be used with any BDR sales, this kit is designed to be used seamlessly with Continuity247™, Continuum’s fully-managed backup and disaster recovery platform. Download the Business Continuity Sales Success Kit here!


The preceding blog post was originally published on Continuum’s MSP Blog.

Ben Austin is the Sr. Product Marketing Manager for Continuum’s backup and disaster recovery products. He has experience in high-velocity content marketing and demand generation. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Emerson College and has spent his career researching and writing about the B2B tech industry.

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Reinventing StorageCraft with Analytics


So it turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks! StorageCraft, its balance sheet in great shape after an investment round, is starting to make acquisitions. The idea is simple. Reinvent itself by buying missing portfolio elements instead of relying solely on internal innovation. It’s a way to move “fast fast” as Ross Perot liked to say.

Last week StorageCraft announced it was acquiring the analytical intellectual property (IP) of Gillware Online Backup, a Madison, WI-based vendor. I spoke with StorageCraft executives and this acquisition has the effect of leapfrogging StorageCraft into the hottest part of IT right now – analytics.


The basic story is fairly pedestrian: using Gillware IP and applying analysis, the StorageCraft product will morph into helping you determine which data to prioritize in a backup scenario. It’s changing the model of incurring costs associated with inefficient backups.


“For far too long, the storage industry has promoted a one-dimensional approach of simply adding more capacity,” said Matt Medeiros, Chairman and CEO of StorageCraft. “Organizations are finally realizing that this model is obsolete since a significant portion of their costs is wasted backing up and storing irrelevant data.”


“Gillware and StorageCraft have been strong partners for years,” said Wes Gill, Founder and President of Gillware Data Recovery. “Through this partnership, we have successfully provided a combined suite of data analytics and access products, ensuring immediate recovery. Our team of data experts is excited to join the StorageCraft family and expand StorageCraft’s platform of products.”


“I’m really excited about the Gillware talent pool - world class technologists in data access and analytics,” said StorageCraft Chief Technology Officer Scott Barnes. “Gillware’s predictive capabilities enable our solution to determine which data is mission-critical: What do I need now? Not all data is equal.”


Effective immediately, existing Gillware and StorageCraft partners will have full access to the products via the Gillware portal. All products will be available globally via StorageCraft’s partner portal in November.


“Gillware will help fuel our expansion plans,” said Marvin Blough, Vice President of Worldwide Sales. “This one move adds thousands of customers in North America alone who are already familiar with the benefits of the combined Gillware-StorageCraft solution.”


Forward looking statements
StorageCraft’s acquisition of Gillware Online Backup is the latest in a series of moves that is rapidly enhancing the company’s suite of intelligent data protection solutions, increasing its global presence and strengthening its research and development team. In my conversation, it was noted that this is only the start of some early acquisitions and delving into the Big Data analytics area. For example, StorageCraft is accumulating heaps of information with its operations. This analytics engine could easily be enhanced to incorporate predictive elements like mean failure time for storage devices, etc. That would allow the MSP to proactively purchase replacement parts and keep clients fat and happy.


I’ll be monitoring StorageCraft’s efforts over the next months.

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The Benefits of Working with a BDR Provider That Owns Its Backup Technology

Headshot Ben AustinBen Austin, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Continuum Managed Services

Managed services providers (MSPs) are trusted advisors to their clients. By acting as virtual CIO (VCIO), safeguarding the health of IT environments and maximizing the ROI of their clients’ IT budgets, MSPs are responsible for increasing the business efficiency and profitability of the organizations they serve. This relationship is often started with the implied trust of a customer that their MSP will deliver as promised in the sales cycle. Then, as time rolls by, that trust becomes more tangible based on the actual experience with their MSP.

As this trust grows so does the responsibility of the MSP. One area that MSPs ultimately have significant influence over is the handling and protection of one of their client’s greatest business assets: their data. This trust is at its apex in the delivery of completely reliable and modern backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solutions.

For your end-clients, BDR solutions are similar to umpires in a baseball game. If you never find yourself talking about them then everything is probably going smoothly. It’s when data loss or excessive downtime occurs that clients lose faith in the credibility of your business continuity offering.

With so much at stake, it’s vital that MSPs minimize any concerns with their business continuity offering by investing in the right BDR platform. So how do you know which solution is right for you? One easily identifiable and often overlooked approach is to work with an IT management platform provider that owns its BDR technology and handles service delivery of the product from top to bottom. Let’s examine a few of the reasons why this particular service is one that MSPs want to be as close to the source as possible.

  1. The MSP can influence product changes – When a managed services provider works with a business partner that has complete ownership over its BDR technology, the MSP can request additional features and functionality that will make them more productive and strengthen their overall offering. If the BDR solution used by an MSP is several touches away from them, they likely won’t have much influence in changes that improve the BDR software’s performance. The MSP could even miss out on the chance to test new product developments before they are implemented. While some might think it risky to be the first to try something new in a product offering, it can actually serve as a competitive advantage. Working directly with the owner of the BDR technology is a great opportunity to bring something to end users before anyone else, thus possibly providing a first-mover advantage.
  2.  MSPs can have an elevated level of trust in their BDR partner – Having that level of involvement in influencing product roadmap and other important aspects of a BDR offering can create a real trust between the MSP and their provider. MSPs strive to earn the trust of their clients. Part of that comes from having trust in the technology partners and vendors that sit behind them as they go to market. Having some skin in the game with regard to impacting product development is a great opportunity for an MSP to deliver BDR solutions to their clients with the utmost confidence.Having some input in the product roadmap and maintaining business interests that align with those of your BDR partner certainly signal a relationship that’s built to last, but what directly impacts your business’ bottom line? How can working with a BDR provider that owns all of its backup technology help grow margins?
  3. Independent platform pricing protects the MSP’s margins– With no middle man markup, the MSP avoids price ceilings that can result when subject to third-party technology. In purchasing a BDR platform subscription from an independent provider, they can protect their margins by increasing gross profitability. Profit is inversely related to cost. The higher the expenditure, the lower your bottom line. Instead of having to pay extra for support once removed, work with a BDR partner that owns its solution, thereby allowing you to cut costs. By the same token, to further increase profitability, look for BDR software and service delivery that helps you maintain financial stability by maximizing revenue.
  4.  Having support closer to the end client raises customer satisfaction – Typically, the closer support is to the end-client, the more efficient the response and issue resolution. In the instance where a BDR platform provider owns and develops its entire BDR solution, any support calls that are taken are handled right then and there. Additionally, expect support staff to manage issues and answer questions in a timelier manner. These technicians will likely be more knowledgeable of the BDR product (and therefore understand its intricacies) if the solution is owned in-house. Increased familiarity with the backup technology and all its ins and outs ensures a higher degree of service delivery because the MSP (and end client, by extension) doesn’t have to wait for a third-party vendor to deduce why the BDR software may be acting in a certain way. The less turnaround time to fulfill a client request, the better the client experience overall.

These latter two points help MSPs create loyal fans, increase client retention and capture more upsell and cross-sell revenue, without incurring the costs of losing business. As a result, independent BDR platforms enable MSPs that are offering business continuity services to be more profitable.

Become a Major BDR Player with Continuity247™

Fully-managed BDR platform, Continuity247, is owned and operated entirely by Continuum, allowing the company to deliver the peace of mind provided by each of the four points outlined above. Continuum is committed to ensuring its partners receive unparalleled support and regularly make refinements and improvements based on partner feedback. With this shared ownership, trust is at the core of its business model. You can always count on Continuum to have your back. Nowhere is this more evident than with the level of BDR service that partners receive from its world-class Network Operations Center (NOC).

For example, with Continuity247™, Continuum’s team of 700 NOC technicians provides partners 24x7x365 backup support. In addition to absorbing time-consuming, labor-intensive responsibilities like testing and monitoring backups so MSPs don’t have to, support staff is intimately familiar with the BDR technology, understands its DNA and is able to more quickly troubleshoot its behavior. To strengthen technical support for Continuity247, Continuum also combines deep product education with regular internal training to reinforce the BDR service delivery on partners’ behalves. Continuum is the final line of support, which means the company can answer any product-related inquiries internally, rather than having to rely on a third-party to respond. Finally, Continuity247 was built with partners’ profit margins in mind. Since they’re not constrained to the pricing of a third-party vendor, partners can yield a higher profit by selling their business continuity services at a much higher rate than what they purchased them for.

Whether you’re thinking about switching providers or just getting into the BDR market for the first time, you have to vet what you are actually getting in a BDR solution vs. just simply the shopping price.

Do you know if your current BDR provider owns all of their backup technology? If not, you may want to start asking questions regarding their BDR offering to ensure you are getting the most value for your spend. Only after examining solutions under this lens can you accurately compare BDR platforms and make an informed purchasing decision.

Ben Austin is the Sr. Product Marketing Manager for Continuum’s backup and disaster recovery products. He has experience in high-velocity content marketing and demand generation. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Emerson College and has spent his career researching and writing about the B2B tech industry.

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Start-up Nuggets

Start-up Nuggets

With a holiday weekend here in the US, I find that there is a unique opportunity for our readers to slow down and reflect. So I wanted to share a couple of interesting start-up nuggets I bumped into this past week.

Long-time SMB Nation citizen Chip Reaves is always up to something! This Tuesday (May 31) at 3pm Eastern, he’s showing off his new look at this popular Bigger Brains site. Chip shared “A few weeks ago we announced we were rolling out Bigger Brains v3 to our MSP / IT Service Pro resellers. The update is mostly in place now (there are a couple of small issues the team is still fixing), and next week we'll host a webinar to show off the new features AND how you can use Bigger Brains to boost your MSP/CSP/IT Service Pro business.”

Sign-up here

Another nugget concerns StorageCraft. Earlier this week it announced a summer kick-off special. It has reduced prices on its premium backup and disaster recovery software between now and June 30th. StorageCraft is an early and long-time supporter of SMB Nation going back to the early days when StorageCraft itself was a start-up. Learn more here: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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D&H Distributing Expands Disaster Recovery Initiative for Resellers

dandhjpgEarlier this week, D&H Distributing announced that has added new resources for its backup and disaster recovery resellers. These new resources include an interactive Solutions Lab webcast, to be broadcast this week, as well as a new marketing template for resellers to use with their end-users.

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StorageCraft Cloud Services Solution Exceeds Company Expectations for Storage Growth

storagecraft smallStorageCraft Technology Corporation recently announced that the addition of the StorageCraft Cloud Services solution has exceeded company expectations. The company designed this solution in December 2012 to be a stable and reliable platform for MSPs and VARs, and it is available to IT Pros in the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. In fact, the company explained that the Cloud Services solution has seen a 200% growth in data stored and a 99.99% uptime in cloud operations in its run to date.

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StorageCraft Releases Two Solutions for Microsoft Exchange Managers

Storagecraft logoToday, StorageCraft announced two solutions for Microsoft Exchange Server managers. The first is the latest edition of the company’s award-winning StorageCraft ShadowProtect Granular Recovery for Exchange Software, version 8, while the second is the StorageCraft Granular Recovery for Exchange. This second solution can be used with any non-StorageCraft BDR software.

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Recent Intronis Study Speaks to BDR Trends in SMBs

Earlier this week, Intronis released the results of a study conducted in September 2013 by The 2112 Group, titled “The 2013 State of Cloud Backup.” This study was made up of responses from 350 IT Service Providers, including MSPs, and the main result showed that SMBs are tending not to have any BDR plans until after a disaster occurs.

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Unitrends Receives Major Growth Equity Investment from Insight Venture Partners

Unitrends logoWhile most all of the kids (and maybe even some adults!) were out trick or treating yesterday, Unitrends was busy announcing the fact that they have received a major growth equity investment from Insight Venture Partners.

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StorageCraft Expands "Across the Pond" into Ireland

Storagecraft logoStorageCraft is taking its business across the pond with its decision to open a new office and international headquarters in Cork, Ireland.

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StorageCraft Releases ShadowProtect IT PRO for Quick Recovery, System Migration

Storagecraft logoStorageCraft told us today that they have released a new tool known as ShadowProtect IT Edition PRO, which provides IT professionals unlimited disaster recovery, data protection and system migration for Windows systems in their environment, without installing any software.

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StorageCraft, ABS Team Up on Enterprise-Class BDR Solution for MSPs

We heard frStoragecraft logoom StorageCraft today that they have partnered with Advanced Backup Solutions to integrate StorageCraft ShadowProtect software into its line of Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) Appliances and offsite DR infrastructure.

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Intronis Launches Partner Success Organization, Taps Jasmine Lombardi to Lead


TN-66984 JasmineLombardi2013IntronisVPPartnerSuccessWe heard today from Intronis that the company has formed its Partner Success organization. Led by Jasmine Lombardi, vice president of partner success, the new team is responsible for simplifying and accelerating the success of Intronis' partners.

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EVault Delivers Cloud Data Protection via NetApp, Joins Partner Program

evault logo p thumbnailEVault, today announced EVault Storage Cloud – Data Protection Service for NetApp. As part of the news at NetApp’s global technical conference, EVault also announced it has joined the NetApp partner program for Service Providers.

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Dell Software Speeds BDR with Tighter NetVault Integration

Dell softwareWe heard from Dell Software earlier this week that NetVault Backup, its enterprise data protection solution, has been fully integrated with the Dell DR4100, a scalable, disk backup appliance with built-in deduplication and compression capabilities.

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StorageCraft Extends 30% Discount Rate Offer for Cloud Services

Storagecraft logoMSPs in the U.S. and Canada now have an extra month to take advantage of a 30-percent discount for using StorageCraft Cloud Services—the company has decided to extend the offer’s deadline to Oct. 31, 2013, due to the tremendous response that it has had from MSPs.

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Survey Says: 60% of Cloud Users Recover Apps, Data 24 Hours Post Disaster

DR Infographic finalTwinStrata has released the the results of its 2013 Cloud Storage and Disaster Recovery survey. Conducted between May to August 2013, the report analyzes responses from 288 IT personnel. According to the survey, the results indicate widespread acceptance of cloud storage and demonstrate the tangible impact cloud storage can have on disaster recovery strategies.

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eFolder Acquires Anchor to Deliver Cloud File Sync Solutions to MSPs

efolder logoWe heard from Ted Hulsy, VP of Marketing at eFolder, that the company has acquired Anchor Box, a startup that is based on providing file sync and share software tailored for MSPs, VARs and cloud providers. According to eFolder, the acquisition will position the company as the only channel-focused vendor that provides a complete solution suite for cloud backup, BDR services, and cloud file sync from a single supplier.

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Rebit Introduces Latest BDR Program Version

RebitLogo-C50M0Y100K0gray-tagline.151826Earlier this week, Rebit, Inc. announced the latest version of their full-system local backup program designed for Windows devices. Rebit6 has been slightly revamped to make the user experience simpler. The company is currently offering free 30-day, single PC license trials for prospective users, and one-click updates for current customers.

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Survey Says: 94% of SMBs to Use Tape as Part of Hybrid BDR

iron logoIron Mountain today released a study noting that almost all (or plan to) use magnetic tape cartridges as part of their BDR strategy.

Titled “Perception Versus Reality: The Role of Tape Backup in SMB,” the survey asked more than 400 North American IT professionals in March 2013 to assess the role tape backup. With 91 percent of the survey respondents coming from organizations with fewer than 250 employees, the results offer a unique glimpse into the IT landscape of today’s small and mid-size business. The survey was conducted by Spiceworks, the network for more than 2.5 million IT professionals.

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Western Digital Expands WD Arkeia Network Backup Appliance Line

Western Digital LogoWD released this week two ultra-compact backup appliances: the WD Arkeia DA1300 and DA2300, which are designed to offer SMBs all-in-one backup and disaster recovery solutions.

Bundled with the WD Arkeia v10.1 software, these new appliances come with an unlimited numbers of file/folder backup agents on any of over 200 distinct platform types. The software also offers optional specialized agents for hot backups of important applications and databases.

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What's Next for Zenith Infotech?

Zenith Infotech logoFor the last two years, it has been no secret that Zenith Infotech has experienced its share of headlines discussing its current financial situations. It was first noted in October 2011 that the company had defaulted on $85 million in foreign currency convertible bonds. Now, just last week, The Economic Times of India (Zenith is based in Mumbai, but has U.S. headquarters outside of Pittsburgh, PA) reported that the “Bombay High Court has admitted the winding-up petition (meaning an order has been sought to put a company into compulsory liquidation) filed by foreign lenders. In addition, the article said that the court has appointed an advocate as a provisional liquidator.

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Datto Integrates Kroll Ontrack PowerControls for Exchange Server, SharePoint Recovery Support

Datto logoDatto said earlier this week that it is now offering Kroll Ontrack PowerControls 7.0 through Datto’s integrated software. According to Datto, this new implementation makes Datto the only BDR solution provider to offer granular recovery support for Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 in addition to having new functionality for preserving and exporting Exchange/SharePoint source and metadata.

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Unitrends Launches Service Provider Program for BDR

538784 10151006214355426 233882944 nUnitrends said today that it is launching a new Service Provider Program, which equips hosting, managed services and cloud providers with the agile infrastructure needed to simply and cost-effectively offer onsite and offsite backup and disaster recovery services to their customers. 

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Datto Acquires Paradeon Technologies to Form Datto UK

Datto said today that it has acquired distribution partner Paradeon Technologies in order to further expand into the UK and EU markets. Marking the first stop of an ongoing international expansion program, the UK site will include a dedicated office with sales, operations and marketing teams focused on the UK and broader EU sectors.

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Asigra Announces New BDR Pricing Model for Backup Software

AsigraEarlier this week, Asigra, Inc. announced the debut of a new pricing model for their recovery and restoration services. Company representatives explained that this new pricing is based on current film, music and car insurance models.

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StorageCraft’s ShadowProtect IT Edition 5 is Ready for Action

StorageCraft today said that it released the latest addition to its line card of ShadowProtect BDR products. The company’s new Edition 5 version is loaded with various new features, such as support for Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8.

The platform is designed to provide system administrators with unlimited disaster recovery, data protection and system migration for every Windows system in a company’s IT environment without having to install any software. ShadowProtect IT Edition also allows administrators to recover data anywhere, at any time, enabling a business to continue operations following a disaster.

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Datto Appoints LPI Veteran Rob Rae as VP of Business Development

It was announced today by Datto that the BDR provider has hired Rob Rae to the position of VP of Business Development. Rae, who is known by most in the SMB channel for his work as VP of Partner Development at Level Platforms, will begin his tenure at Datto on Monday, August 5.

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VaultLogix Offering One Month of Cloud Freebies for New SMBs!

VaultLogix said today that is going to offer a free month of its backup services to all new customers signing one-year contracts from now through July 31, 2013.

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Survey Says: One-Third of SMBs Don't Test BDR Solutions for Effectiveness

According to a recent survey by GFI Software, SMBs are losing critical business information as a result of failed backups, and have suffered significant impacts as a result.  Many IT administrators surveyed revealed that a failed backup has led to a loss of revenue and important company documents, including financial records, employee emails and confidential information such as social security numbers. As a result, respondents indicated that failed backups have affected customer relations, business operations and brand reputation.

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Intronis Expands Virtualized Environment Support; Opens Canadian Data Center

We heard today from Intronis that it is expanding its support for virtualized environments via immediate availability of its Spring Release ’13. Simultaneously, the cloud backup provider announced the opening of its latest data center in Montreal, Canada.

New features within Intronis’ Spring Release ’13 include QuickSpin, a data recovery tool that offers advanced data restore and localized recovery support for virtualized machines. Priced at a fixed per-host cost, QuickSpin offers Change Block Tracking (CBT) for speedier incremental backups, flexible data retention and archiving settings, as well as 256-bit AES encryption for maximum data protection.

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StorageCraft Offering Free BDR Software Downloads to those Impacted by this Week’s Tornadoes

In response to the tornadoes earlier this week in Oklahoma and Texas, StorageCraft has pledged to provide relief by offering a free three-day version of its BDR software products, StorageCraft ShadowProtect IT Edition. The company is providing a free download to businesses and non-profit organizations in the regions that were affected by the storms.

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CompTIA Survey: Tech Link to Biz Success is Gaining Muscle

comptia logoThe role of IT in setting strategic priorities and achieving business success is growing for companies around the world, according to new research released today by CompTIA. According to the trade organization’s research, more than three-quarters of businesses say technology is important or very important to their success; the majority plan solid increases in IT spending this year; and four in 10 have expectations of hiring new IT staff in 2013.

CompTIA’s International Technology Adoption & Workforce Issues study is the result of a survey of more than 1,250 business and IT executives in countries around the world, some with mature economies and others, maturing.

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VaultLogix Offering Free Two-Week Trial on Biz-Class End-Point Protection until June 30

vaultlogix logoVaultLogix is now offering a free trial of its business-class MobilePlus service, which provides backup, recovery and data protection for mobile workers’ Windows and Mac laptops and desktops.

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Nancy Williams Hired as eFolder’s Newest Account Manager

We heard this week from our good friend and community member Nancy Williams, that she has accepted a new gig as an account manager with eFolder, a provider of remote and local data backup, email security and email archiving services.

Pictured at right: Nancy Williams accepts her SMB 150 Award at last year's gala. Williams is a recipient of the award once again this year, which will be distributed during next week's spring conference.

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Zetta.net Announces New Lead Generation Program and Management Console for MSPs

Zetta LogoYesterday, Zetta.net, a California-based backup and disaster recovery services provider, released news of a new lead generation and marketing program, as well as the addition of an MSP-specific management console for their DataProtect solution. These additions are designed to help SMB MSPs who are looking to update their marketing model and/or move away from application-based systems.

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StorageCraft’s New ShadowProtect Version Allows for Quick Email Recovery

StorageCraft said it has released its StorageCraft ShadowProtect Granular Recovery for Exchange 7. Available to worldwide MSPs and VARs, ShadowProtect Granular Recovery for Exchange 7, which is the latest addition to the StorageCraft Recover-Ability solution, simplifies management and recovery of Microsoft Exchange Servers.

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Datto Inc. Announces New BDR Solution for SMBs

Datto ALTOToday, Datto, Inc. announced the launch of a new solution designed to provide both on-site and off-site BDR to SMBs. The new solution, called Datto ALTO, is built to be scalable and affordable.

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Friday Afternoon Club with: Rick Faulk, CEO, Intronis

Earlier this week, we reported that Intronis completed its search for a new CEO. Most of you in our community know that the BDR provider’s previous CEO, Kent Plunkett departed last fall. Since then, Jay Bolgatz, Intronis’ VP of Engineering had been filling in as interim CEO while a search committee sought out a new leader.

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Intronis Hires SaaS Sales/Marketing Executive as New CEO, Board Member

We heard this morning from Intronis that the company has completed its search for a new CEO, and has formally announced that it has hired Rick Faulk as CEO and board member, effective immediately.

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Spiceworks Study Covers BDR in the SMB Space

Spiceworks logoSpiceworks today released the results of a recent Carbonite-sponsored survey of SMBs concerning BDR and data protection. Overall, the survey found that 45% of SMBs have experienced significant data loss.

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Novosoft Launches Beta Tester Program

Novosoft LogoThis morning, Novosoft, a global BDR company, announced the start of a new Beta Tester Program for the company’s Handy Backup and Handy Backup Cloud solutions. In particular, the company is looking for SMB IT consultants to test new features and provide feedback.

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Guest Blog: How a Cloud-Hybrid BDR Solution can Ensure SMB Continuity in 2013

By Dan Tully, executive vice president, Conduit Systems

According to a 2009 National Archives and Record Administration report, 93 percent of companies that lost data for 10 days or more, filed for bankruptcy within one year, and 50 percent of those companies filed for bankruptcy immediately. Disasters can strike at any time, and in any form. Power failures, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, snow storms, data breaches, and human error are just some of the ways that a business can be seriously affected. The up-front and hidden costs of downtime to repair your business can be just as devastating.

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Datto Technology Now Integrated Into Level Platforms Solution

Datto Level Platforms logoThis morning, Datto, Inc., announced the release of deep product integration with the Level Platforms Managed Workplace platform. This integration will allow Datto partners to provide an improved end-user experience to their customers.

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Dell BDR Solution Expected to Drive Down Recovery Costs

In order to help customers better-manage and reduce the cost of backing up and recovering company data, Dell today introduced its next-generation disk backup appliance built on the Fluid Data architecture.

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Zetta.net Announces General Availability of DataProtect Solution for NetApp

Zetta LogoEarlier this week, Zetta.net released news that their Zetta.net DataProtect for NetApp solution was generally available. This solution is the first SaaS-based BDR for NetApp Filers.

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Datto to Provide BDR and Biz Continuity for Team Logic IT Network

Datto said late yesterday that it will provide backup, disaster recovery and business continuity solutions to more than 50 TeamLogic IT locations across the country. TeamLogic IT is a nationwide network of businesses that provide comprehensive computer-based services for managing information technology.

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dinCloud Releases Second-Site Replication Service

dinCloudToday, dinCloud announced the release of a NetApp-based cloud storage service for NetApp customers. The solution, dinBackup, is a comprehensive disaster recovery solution that provides affordable and easy-to-manage second-site replication and redundancy to Data ONTAP-based storage users.

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Continuum’s Tech Advantage Program Offers MSPs High-Value, Low-Cost Expertise

Continuum said today it is now offering Continuum Tech Advantage, a new program that allows its MSP partners to leverage the expertise of more than 200 certified engineers and technicians on a project-by-project basis.

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Friday Afternoon Club with Dana Prestigiacomo, Datto’s New Marketing VP

Even though we heard about this late last year, Datto this morning formally announced that it has hired Dana Prestigiacomo as its new Vice President of Marketing. The new hire was in part due to the result of Datto’s 5,554% revenue growth that occurred from 2009-2011.  

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Continuum Partners Can “Revive” BDR with Free Re-Imaging Technology

Continuum said today that it is currently offering the immediate availability of Continuum BDR Revive, a quick way to breathe new life into existing backup and disaster recovery (BDR) appliances. Continuum BDR Revive is an easy-to-use BDR re-imaging tool that upgrades Zenith Infotech, Dell AppAssure, Axcient, HEROWare, Chartec and other BDR hardware that meets minimum hardware requirements, into Continuum Vault appliances.

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