Auckland-based IT distributor, Soft Solutions, is hosting a multi-city roadshow to attract New Zealand resellers to StorageCraft’s new managed service provider (MSP) option for backups and data protection.
The roadshow will visit core regional centres during July and August to explain the benefits of StorageCraft’s MSP model to resellers and provide a sneak peek of the new generation of ShadowProtect, StorageCraft’s flagship backup and recovery product.
Backups crucial to companies of all sizes
Small to medium businesses in New Zealand are becoming more aware of the need for good recoverability and business continuity, but many are still caught out in the event of a failure.
Soft Solutions Southern Channel Manager, Paul Leslie, says incidents such as the Christchurch earthquake underscore the need for an offsite copy of business data to maintain some level of continuity.
“New Zealand businesses are seeing the benefits of having specialist IT companies looking after critical services such as backups,” he says. “Resellers can have the best intentions for customer backups, but being able to get around and make sure best practices are up-to-date can be challenging.”
One of the main reasons for the roadshow of seminars is to remind resellers of the best practices available and update them with the latest capabilities. For example, StorageCraft has added a shadow control product to its suite, providing partners with greater remote visibility over backups at customer sites.
“When backups are delivered as a managed service, there are regular checking and monitoring requirements and you need tools for visibility across a customer base,” Leslie says. “It is incumbent upon us to continue to get best practices in the field.”
With the increasing uptake of cloud services, businesses can overlook the limited backups and retention offered as part of the service.
This requires resellers to think about both on-premises and cloud data.
The MSP model adds more capability
Both Soft Solutions and StorageCraft have cloud infrastructure which can be used on-demand by resellers. This expands their ability to include off-site backups, which, if offered without a partner, are expensive to deploy and maintain.
“It is one thing to fail over, it is another thing to bring data back to on-premises location,” Leslie says. “StorageCraft can fail over to the cloud and restore in the event of a problem.”
“MSP is a different way of delivering the product in terms of licensing and ownership, but it is not fundamentally different in terms of functionality. When you move to a managed services provider model, you stop selling a product and start selling your own product services and you need to deliver the best solution for your customers’ needs.”
Resellers on a perpetual licence are selling a product, however, business continuity is not a product it is a service provided to customers. The backup product is included in the service for free and from $71 per month resellers get 1TB of storage for replication.
The MSP model is a way of buying licensing on a monthly basis. Customers can use a lot of different services, including cloud services and off-site replication. There is also a bundle available for ShadowProtect on-site and disaster recovery (DR). Office 365 and G Suite backups are available via the same portal.
Soft Solutions Northern Channel Manager, Devinder Lamba, says most resellers in NZ want to change to an MSP model, but are unsure how to do so.
“StorageCraft’s perpetual licensing model is going well, but the cloud services licensing model is new and not every partner is aware of it and the benefits it brings,” he says. “This has been a huge area of education and growth leading to success for over the past year and there are now more than 200 MSPs throughout the country. The StorageCraft cloud service model works well and offers DR-as-a-Service for resellers without the need to buy or manage infrastructure.”
StorageCraft does not dictate a reseller’s price for MSP services. Resellers managing backups for a customer can price the service to include factors such as retention policies. Resellers pay StorageCraft, but they charge the customer accordingly.
Technology and marketing support on offer
To guide resellers on the path from VAR to MSP, Soft Solutions offers both product and marketing support.
“We help setup their MSP portal, including a 30- to 45-minute session on how it works. From setup to execution we hold their hand,” Lamba says. “A reseller can do a few things like offer StorageCraft backups on their own infrastructure, but they might be paying too much with two or three different delivery models. They are also spending a lot of effort on making it happen. StorageCraft’s MSP model makes it easy and cost effective.”
In addition to backups, resellers can offer file backup and recovery with analytics for mobile devices, such as the Surface tablet.
“The seminar talks about how the MSP model benefits sales and technical people along with the end customer perceptions,” he says. “We also discuss how the industry is changing and what we are seeing in the market. We try to have an open discussion.”
The seminars are open to partners of any size and the business can be an existing or prospective reseller.
“We also support resellers with marketing funds for seminars, events and other activities,” Lamba says.
If you are interested to know more about the event, or find out when it will be coming to a city near you, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.