If you’re an IT managed service provider (MSP), stop what you’re doing right now. Stop it. Put it down. Take a few steps back. It’s time to have a serious think about the backup services you’re offering your clients.
For MSPs, a decent backup and disaster recovery service should be squarely placed among the core services you offer to clients. But are you doing everything you could be?
Think carefully, now, because if the answer is no then you’re breaking the two most fundamental tenets of a successful MSP business – offer your customers the best possible service, while still increasing your bottom line at the end of the day.
One way to improve the quality of the backup services you offer, right off the bat, is to ensure that your customers have the option for both onsite and offsite backups.
Onsite backups are important, because they’re what allow your clients to quickly restore data in simple cases like an accidentally deleted file or a single crashed server. If the backup solution you offer your customers is purely cloud-based, then performing basic tasks like these may take longer than necessary – particularly if your client has a slow internet connection.
With the right backup solution, you’ll even be able to perform these kinds of basic onsite restores remotely on behalf of your clients.
Offsite backups, however, are equally as important – they’re what ensure your customers have the capacity to recover if their entire onsite infrastructure is wiped out, backups and all. A fire is a common example.
For offsite backups, a cloud backup is something you may want to consider. This will allow you to store your customers’ backups to either a third-party cloud storage provider, such as Amazon s3, or Azure, a storage server, or leased space within a data center.
It’s worth noting though, that if you’re storing customer data on your own premises, then this puts a great deal of responsibility on you to ensure that data is properly protected – what happens if it’s your office that burns down?
Remote management is the lifeblood of the managed IT services industry. It’s what stops you from having to send someone out each and every time some computer-illiterate bonehead deletes an ‘urgent’ email.
There are a wide range of remote management services that are available to MSPs, and you’re almost certainly already using one. But when using a third-party remote management service, make sure that it’s going to work as expected with your chosen backup solution. Most good backup solutions will work seamlessly with remote management software, but it’s definitely worth taking the time to test this before you need to use it in a time-sensitive recovery scenario.
What can often be a better idea than using a third-party remote management service is to employ a backup solution that has its own remote management feature. That way, you’ll know for sure that you can access, perform and monitor backup and restore jobs for your clients remotely – no guesswork involved!
You pride yourself on the level of technical support you provide your customers. They depend upon that support. But what about the support that you receive from your backup vendor?
Part of providing a top-quality backup service, is being able to troubleshoot anything that could potentially arise within your customers’ environment. This means either becoming an expert on the ins and outs of that software yourself, or knowing that the vendor can provide you with fast, reliable support the instant it’s needed.
Some backup solutions will charge you for their technical support – or they’ll provide a basic level of support for free, but if you want anything that’s actually useful you’ll need to get your wallet out. At the end of your day, paying for quality technical support will eat into your bottom line.
If possible, go with a backup solution that provides free, high-quality support for MSPs. You’ll thank yourself.
A competitive price
As we mentioned at the top of this article, there are two key tenets of any good MSP: provide the best quality backup services possible, while still increasing your profits. So far, we’ve covered the first aspect – here’s where the second comes in.
The more you pay for the backup solution, the more you’re going to have to charge your customers for the backup services you provide them. That means fewer overall customers who will be willing to go with your company for their backup services.
A lot of backup solutions will try to convince you that you should put “value” over “price. Well, they would say that – it allows them to charge whatever they please for their software. The truth is that “price” is a fundamental aspect of “value”, and there are no two ways around that fact.
You need a backup solution that performs the functions your customers need, performs them to the high-standards your customers expect, and performs them at a price that will keep your business competitive.
Are you an MSP needing better backup services?
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