1 Assessing Your Cloud Backup Opportunity A guide to addressing 7 key questions about your customers
2 Introduction Are you losing business to competing Managed Service Providers (MSP) because you don t offer backup and recovery? Adding cloud backup services to your portfolio can mean a new source of recurring revenue, but it requires a clear understanding of the needs of your current customers. This assessment will supply you with the key questions and discussion points you ll need to consider before integrating cloud backup into your portfolio of services. If you are having trouble answering any of the key questions in this assessment, we recommend talking with seven to ten of your current customers, as this will provide you with a good sample size of your current customers needs. A short customer survey will also provide you with an up-to-date picture of your clients and help you accurately determine whether their requirements can be addressed with a cloud backup service delivered by your company. Along with helping you identify the business case for delivering cloud backup to your customers, this guide will also make it easier for you to talk with customers about the many advantages of cloud backup. Note: This resource is intended to stimulate focused conversations about cloud backup solutions. The guide will help you begin to evaluate the business opportunity of offering cloud backup, recovery and restore services to your customer base. For a complete assessment of your requirements, please contact your Asigra representative.
3 Question #1: Do you have customers in highly regulated industries? Some companies must maintain complete, regularly updated backups for audit purposes to comply with regulations specific to their industry. These industries include: Law Healthcare Financial Services Insurance Education Non-Profit Media & Entertainment Retailers Government Along with regular backup services, some clients have specific compliance requirements that demand offsite or encrypted backups with restricted access controls. Common compliance legislation and regulations include: Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) U.S. financial legislation that applies to any publically listed company Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) U.S. legislation that covers the security and privacy of electronic health data Basel II a framework to help international banks and financial institutions better plan for risk management Professional Governing Bodies and Associations various professions, including accountants and lawyers, have specific guidelines regarding the conduct of their practitioners By talking with your customers about the regulations they currently face, you can determine whether cloud backup is a good fit for their company. Offering cloud backup and recovery services can also help you broaden your current customer base and make it possible to reach local, national and global clients. To help you get the answers you need, here are some sample questions you should consider asking your customers about their compliance requirements: How do you currently protect your data? What specific backup challenges do you face in relation to compliance? Question #2: Do your customers have strict timelines for recovery following a data loss incident? In many cases, clients fail to realize the importance of a fast recovery until after a data loss incident. Part of your trusted advisor role as an MSP is to help your clients understand the central role that data plays in their business success. A good starting point is to determine how important data is to the daily operation of your clients. You will also need to ask your clients how much money they might lose if access to critical data is interrupted for a significant period of time. Clients with e-commerce applications, for example, might require a recovery time of less than an hour. This type of rapid recovery is not possible with an off-site tape backup system but can be easily delivered through a cloud backup solution. Have you performed a recoverability assessment in the past two years? How confident are you in your ability to recover data?
4 Question #3: Do your customers use different criteria to categorize their data backup needs? One of the key advantages of cloud backup is the ability to prioritize different types of data based on frequency. This allows the client to have more control over the data it deems essential and thus determine the price it will pay for this type of premium protection. For example, might necessitate instantaneous and automatic backups while tax records might only require a monthly backup. Have you ever categorized your data to determine Recovery Time Objectives (RTO)? Do you have a considerable amount of older data that you access infrequently? How often do you need to access more recent data? Are there any aspects of your current backup system that you would like to change or improve based on your specific business needs? Question #4: On average, how much incremental backup data will your customers generate each month? Determining the overall volume of data your clients generate each month is also a critical aspect in your decision to offer cloud backup. You will need customers that generate a significant and steady amount of data to preserve that they must retain for extended periods of time. If a given customer generates less than 10GB per month, and needs to keep this data for less than 12 months, delivering a cloud backup service might not be feasible. Keep in mind that your clients might have a tendency to underestimate the amount of data they generate. You will need to help your customers understand that critical data can include not only document files, but also and line-of-business applications. In some cases, your clients might currently produce a modest amount of data that will increase significantly in the near future. The amount of enterprise data being generated will increase dramatically over the next five to ten years. Gartner forecasts an 800 percent overall increase in data by 2016 and IDC anticipates a 50-fold increase between now and These kinds of rapid growth rates are being mirrored in the SMB market, where the storage, retention and distribution of data is already presenting similar challenges. Do you know how much data you have and how fast it is growing? What are the shortcomings of your existing backup system? (If your customer has outgrown their current system, the shortcomings will help you determine the type of backup service that would be of benefit to them.) Question #5: Do your customers operate complex, multipledevice IT environments? The growing popularity of employee devices in the workplace such as smartphones and tablets, along with a mobile workforce powered by laptops means that many companies are dealing with an entirely new set of data concerns. According to Gartner, by 2015 more than 60 percent of enterprises will suffer material loss of sensitive corporate data via mobile devices. The growing popularity of the Bring Your Own Device trend has created a new opportunity for MSPs offering backup services to help their customers protect data, no matter where it resides. If your clients have concerns about where their
5 corporate data and intellectual property is stored, a cloud-based backup and recovery solution will make it easier to ensure important information is always preserved. In some cases, your clients might currently be forced to use multiple backup platforms in order to capture backup data from mobile devices. The right cloud backup solution can simplify the process of preserving mobile and related device data by storing it in a single repository. How many of your employees bring their own devices to work? How many of those employees have enterprise data on their personal devices? How are you currently backing up customer data on employee laptops and mobile devices? What other precautions are you taking to protect corporate data on employee devices? Are you currently using more than one backup platform in order to backup mobile devices? What percentage of your employees work offsite or in remote offices? Do you need to backup data from PC and Mac devices? Question #6: What kind of implementation process will your customers prefer? Cloud backup will provide your clients with the flexibility to decide on the type of implementation. Certain customers might require a training session, along with a complete setup of the software and its features. Other clients might prefer a so-called low-touch implementation that is as non-invasive as possible. Depending on your level of staffing and IT expertise, you can decide to handle customer and technical support on your own, or outsource these functions to an authorized cloud backup support service that can transparently provide support on your behalf. Given the unscheduled nature of recovery requests, you will need to ask your customers if they expect 24/7 or 9-5 support. How important is a low-touch implementation or a self-sufficiency option to your business? Do you expect 24/7 technical support? Do you require phone, remote or onsite support (or a mixture of those options)? Question #7: How will cloud backup complement your current array of services? From both a technological and psychological perspective, it s important that cloud backup be a natural fit with your current business. Customers need to feel confident that you can handle their backup requirements. For example, if you re already providing services to a number of clients, a cloud backup solution will make it easy to save and restore crucial s in a timely fashion. You will need to confirm that customers view your company as an organization that can be trusted with their critical data. If current clients are not accustomed to your business offering a backup service, you may need to spend extra time with them to demonstrate how cloud backup from your company could work with their business. In some cases, a longer time to market strategy or other adjustments to your sales process can help you develop the market status required to convince customers that you can deliver a safe and secure cloud backup recovery and restore (BURR) solution.
6 Questions to ask about your own business: If your client experienced a data loss event would they call your company? Do customers seek your advice when adding a new Line of Business application or related IT products? Do your customers see you as a trusted business partner and advisor? Are you looking to add recurring revenue to your business model? Are you able to offer new services to your customer base to increase revenue potential and enhance your customer retention strategy? Or are you already operating at maximum capacity? Are you focused on acquiring new customers or cross-selling new services to existing clients? Do you focus on a specific vertical and customer segment size? Do you work mainly with the SMB market or enterprise level clients? Learn more about how Asigra helps MSPs succeed with their cloud backup service With the right assistance and support, an MSP can get its cloud backup service up and running quickly. The Hybrid Partner Program from Asigra is designed to provide extensive advice and tools along with access to our global partner community. Learn more about how our Partner Program can help you transition into cloud backup. About Asigra Asigra Cloud Backup TM transforms the way businesses manage and protect their data by delivering seamless end-to-end data protection that efficiently scales and easily adapts to any IT environment. Asigra Cloud Backup is built for MSPs/VARs who focus on data protection, IT constrained organizations, and industries with compliance mandates that are looking to improve their backup with a secure, reliable and predictable data protection cloud backup model. With proven experience as backup/ recovery pioneers, Asigra manages one of the largest business-class backup service provider ecosystems in the world who power their cloud backup services using Asigra technology. Asigra is recognized among top-tier industry analysts, including the Enterprise Strategy Group, Gartner, IDC, Forrester Research and the 451 Group. Recently, the company was recognized as a leader in cloud backup for 2011 by the MSPmentor 250, a leading online destination for cloud backup service providers. Asigra is headquartered in Toronto, Canada, with offices globally. Tel: Fax: Asigra, the Asigra logo and Asigra Cloud Backup are trademarks of Asigra Inc. All other product and company names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.