Toronto-based data backup and recovery vendor Asigra Inc. says its recently launched cloud backup solution for mobile devices is allowing its service provider partners to capitalize on the consumer device trend among businesses and differentiate when building disaster recovery plans for their customers.
“The trends that we’re seeing in the marketplace is that these devices are becoming more and more prevalent in the IT space,” said Ashar Baig, senior director of alliances at Asigra. An offering like Asigra’s will allow managed service providers (MSPs) to capitalize on the growing trend, he said.
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Backup for mobile devices was launched as an app with Asigra Cloud Backup v11 (version 11) in June. Service providers can automate the backup times for phones or tablets so the process is unobtrusive. Asigra currently supports Android and Apple devices and is working on other operating systems.
“I see a bigger demand for a product like Balance from RIM,” said Derek Silva, an analyst with London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group when version 11 was launched. Many companies would likely still prefer remote data deletion on their company mobile devices, he said.
But when service providers build disaster recovery plans, management for mobile devices is crucial, according to Baig. “They told us that they’re customers are asking more and more for these devices and support,” he said. “That’s what these service providers want to do to differentiate themselves in this saturated data backup space.”
“It’s been around for a while, so the solution is very feature rich,” said Lauren Whitehouse, a senior analyst with Boston area Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. “They were really the first and so far the only that are doing true backup of mobile devices,” she said.
“It does not have agents on every machine in the environment the way that traditional client server software does,” she said. “It’s very simple to deploy and non-intrusive and gets the job done.”
The administrative features are also a strong point of Asigra’s offering, since service providers need to manage subscriptions for various clients in a simple way, she said. “The service provider is able to do a lot of reports that help them best manage the environment for all their clients.”
Asigra has taken into account how an MSP would run its business, not just what services it could offer, she said. Backup for smartphones and tablets also allows MSPs to potentially target consumers, she said. “I think that the MSPs like the fact that Asigra’s creating an opportunity to extend their services.”
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Not having to have anyone on-site to provide backup is also key for Stacy Adams, president and CEO of Calgary-based Direct Tec Inc., a managed service provider specializing in cloud services for businesses with between 20 and 100 employees. It has been using Asigra’s cloud backup solution for about a year and has built the vendor’s backup for mobile into its services and consultation for disaster recovery plans.
“It made the clients more comfortable and it allowed us to provide better quality service,” Adams said. Many of Direct Tec’s customers work in the energy industry, where data backup is highly critical. “They have requirements to keep data for extended periods of time,” he said.
“It’s allowed us to open some doors,” he said. “I don’t know whether it makes any difference whether they’re (employees) remote or in their office. It’s targeted at all of our clients,” Adams said.
Asigra also recently partnered with MSPexcellence, a consulting firm to the MSP sector, to offer the Cloud Backup Business Acceleration Program, which gives partners a ready-to-use template for building and marketing a cloud services business using Asigra backup software.
-With files from Christine Wong