Mining new revenue from lost data

Data loss is an inevitable eventuality for any organization. When it does happen, it can cripple an organization and even lead to a company’s demise.

But what if you could swoop in and save the day?

Regardless of size or industry, whether it’s a doctor’s office losing electronic patient records, an accountant losing clients’ yet-to-be-filed tax returns or a hotel that maintains reservations online, electronic data is the cornerstone of business. At the very least, a serious data loss interrupts normal business operations, and in some cases, the loss of information can have a devastating effect on a company’s ability to compete in the marketplace or to comply with regulatory legislation.

This is why the ability to retrieve lost data directly from seemingly inaccessible storage media is a powerful tool for service providers to have in their portfolio. After all, some companies don’t have a proper data back up strategy in place, either because they don’t realize they need one or don’t have the IT resources to put one in place. Data recovery services exist because even the best back-up methodologies and tools fail. If your customer’s primary data can be compromised, then it’s possible their back up data could be compromised too.

But one company’s loss is another company’s gain.

When your customers suffer a data loss disaster, they frequently turn to you for assistance. If that assistance is limited to simply repairing or replacing the hardware without recovering their data resident on the storage device, then you are left with a very unhappy customer. Not many support organizations have the expertise at hand when their customers make that troubled call.

Either way, the next step is to look at recovery options. Do you have the expertise at hand when the customer makes the troubled call? If you don’t, then you are missing out on excellent opportunity to generate new revenue and enhance an existing customer relationship.

Ultimately, you should be ready for that call and be able to bring data recovery expertise to the table. While it is neither essential nor cost-effective for you to develop that expertise in-house, there are tremendous benefits that you can realize if your customers have access to a data recovery expert through you. Partnering with a data recovery firm that can work completely behind the scenes if you wish can help your customers solve an immediate, pressing problem and provide you with a loyal and grateful customer base.

Competitive advantage

Differentiating yourself in a crowded, competitive market is and will continue to be one of your most critical business challenges. If you are a VAR, what is your value add compared to your competitors? How can you stand out from the rest of the pack when you’re competing for new customers, especially long-term contracts that will generate revenue for your organization over the long term?

The ability to offer new and unique services to your clients is ultimately your best weapon in the battle to win business. What can you offer that’s critical to your customers continued business operations?

If you can respond to the data loss emergency immediately, you’re able to go beyond the traditional role of a VAR and step up to the plate to address a serious business continuity issue for you customers where other VARs cannot.

Additional revenue generation

Data recovery costs money, pure and simple, but in most cases businesses are willing to pay a fair price to have their most critical business data retrieved quickly and carefully.

Data recovery services in your services portfolio represent an additional and immediate source of incremental revenue for you without the need for market development or capital investment. Why? You can leverage the expertise of a third party supplier who already knows the ins and outs of data recovery.

Choosing the right partner gives you immediate access to specialized expertise that you can then provide to your customers when they need it, rather than having to source the supplier at the time of their data disaster.

Enhanced customer loyalty

Even before a catastrophic data loss blindsides your customer, pointing out the advantages of a proactive data recovery “safety net” demonstrates that every contingency has been accounted for when assessing your customer’s unique risks and needs.

Moreover, when the dreaded data loss rears its ugly head, you are in the perfect position to help your customer during their most dire hour. In a crisis, the ability to “save the day” does more to build customer loyalty than good pricing on your products or services or a friendly sales representative. In short, you have come to your customer’s rescue when they need it most, which is something they’ll remember the next time they’re looking to spend money on IT — they’ll very likely spend it with you.

In a business climate where differentiating yourself from competitors is tough and customers are scrutinizing supplier relationships to maximize value, being able to offer help during a critical moment for your client can go a long way to cementing your position. Data loss can mean the end of your customer’s existence, so providing data recovery through the right partnership when it’s needed not only enhances your business relationship, but ensures it continues.

Kalle Almer is director of business Development with CBL Data Recovery Technologies Inc. (www.cbltech.com). E-mail him at kalmer@cbltech.com.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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