The SOS Partner Beta Group: Bringing Democracy to Software Development

October 5, 2012

SOS Online Backup is a company built by software developers and propelled by them. Another important feature that sets SOS apart from other online backup and cloud storage companies is its partner program. SOS has been paving the way for years with helpful features like the Partner Resource Center and the Web Integration Package – we create these things to help our partners be successful in selling online backup.

Now, we’ve introduced something even better: the SOS Partner Beta Group. This is a vote-based crowdsourcing community for our Managed Service Providers. SOS founder and CEO, Ken Shaw, refers to the SOS Partner Beta Group platform as “American Idol style product feature development.” Every partner in the group gets one vote, and every vote counts towards declaring a specific feature a winner. These votes and comments shape the upcoming product development plans.

SOS Online Backup’s partners are invigorated by the new approach to crowdsourcing. Clayton Reeves, Operations Manager at Utah Tech Solutions is involved on a daily basis. “The discussion with other partners is probably the most valuable piece that I get out of it.” Reeves also notes that his knowledge of technology gives him a special appreciation for the SOS Partner Beta group, “Being someone who writes software, the ability to help shape the future of such an iconic piece is amazing.”

Michael Papazachariou of Ominous Technology Solutions has been involved in the SOS Partner Beta Group from the beginning. “MSPs and resellers rarely have the opportunity to be so directly involved in the product’s lifecycle. SOS is doing a remarkable job by allowing this via the SOS Partner Beta Group.” Papazachariou added, “The SOS Partner Beta Group is an excellent idea, bringing partners face-to-face with the product development team.”

SOS is moving quickly to introduce software updates and enhancements to the market. Just this week we introduced the private cloud deployment option to our Managed Service Providers. Click here to learn more about this new option for selling online backup that can be hosted in your own network or data center.

 


Crowdsourcing online backup software features and solutions : SOS Partner Beta Group

September 10, 2012

Our engineering road map has always been a busy one. But what if it wasn’t the right one? What if it could have been made better, if we based it solely on what our customers and online backup reseller partners had to say? We’ve taken the “what if” out of the sentence and made this a reality by creating the SOS Partner Beta Group.

What is the SOS Partner Beta Group?

The SOS Partner Beta Group is a forum for and by our wholesale partners. Our partners, CEO, Product Manager, and Director of Marketing are constantly discussing and voting on features and products that our online backup solution should encompass. This is crowdsourcing at its best!

How does crowdsourcing work in the SOS Partner Beta Group? 

The SOS Partner Beta Group is a permission based group – so you do have to be a partner to join. Right now, there are over 40 features being voted on. Members of the SOS Partner Beta Group can even see which ones are planned and currently in development. New feature suggestions will be voted on and placed in our engineering development cycle to be worked on over the next 2 – 6 weeks. This process will keep going in order to create the best online backup software in the business.

Considering becoming an SOS Online Backup Partner? 

Are you not yet an SOS Online Backup partner, but you’d like to participate in a similar group? Don’t worry, we’ve got your covered. Be one of the first to start a discussion in our “Considering Becoming a Partner” forum. Submit your feature requests, suggestions, and thoughts today!


Mac Client Now Available in the SOS Reseller Program

June 15, 2012

For all MSPs that have Mac-based clients with laptops and workstations: SOS is now offering  a Mac software client for SOS reseller partners. This software offers the same great features available with all SOS Online Backup endpoint protection software clients:

  • Unlimited file archiving
  • Unlimited versioning
  • Three-tiers of encryption
  • Mobile access
  • Unlimited device backup per license
  • Continuous data protection

For all Managed Service Providers serving businesses and offices using Mac products. This is your opportunity to join the most affordable and flexible online backup reseller program available. Take advantage of the same plans and prices available to all SOS Online Backup resellers.

We look forward to seeing you on board!


Small Business Online : SMBs are Powering Growth in Online Backup – Back up Data in Cloud

February 16, 2012

The cloud was once something that felt speculative. Businesses were, not long ago, unsure whether to trust this impenetrable and ubiquitous piece of technology in the sky. Based on new information from Parallels Inc. and IDC, it appears that this concern has vanished, and businesses around the world are embracing the power and security of online backup.

This is great news for all of us cloud service providers out there – and great news for businesses.

In 2011, IDC reported that 16% of businesses had already started using online backup. That same survey concluded that 69% of businesses intend to use online backup in their business and are researching it. An article published today by Maggie Holland at ITPro.co.uk adds color to this spike in demand for online backup by SMBs.

“There are 148 million small businesses out there waiting to be served. The challenge we all have is that it’s such a diverse market,” said Parallel’s CEO Birger Steen during his keynote speech at the event.

IDC has also reported that the cloud services industry is going to double in size between 2012 and 2014. Small to medium-sized businesses are a huge force behind this move.

SMBs with less than 20 employees are three times more likely to use a cloud than on-premise server. In fact, traditional systems administrators working for a small business are no longer going to be people who hug servers in back rooms,” he said.

“In Q4 last year, we had, for the first time, more instances of servers out of the SMB server room than in the SMB server room in the US. The change is happening already. The server has effectively been moved out of the server room.”

Hardware, software, and skills needed to operate online backup and recovery solutions within an organization and outside of an organization are going to be in high demand in the next few years and beyond. SOS strives to offer complete solutions for managed service providers and businesses. These solutions make transitioning to online backup easy, light in resources, and completely affordable.

Learn more about SOS ServerSave and the SOS 360 Degree Partner Program here.


Becoming a Managed Service Provider is Your Gift to Yourself : Online Backup

November 30, 2011

Are you looking to put another present under your own tree?  As a reseller or IT consultant, I’m always looking for more ways I can connect with my customers and provide an additional service that both parties can profit from.  Managed services, and in particular, online backup have become a rapidly growing segment of my business for the last five years now.  The best thing about selling backup is the fact that it is something that all of my customer need.  The biggest hurdle is making the customer take the leap from a conventional backup solution to a managed, online service.  Here are some of the selling points I use to make it a win-win scenario.

Deployment Cost of Online Backup

Initial deployment cost for an online backup solution versus regular tape backup is significantly lower.  As new servers and equipment are purchased, we forgo the high cost of tape drive libraries and media, opting for a monthly recurring online backup service fee.

Ongoing Total Cost of Ownership in Online Backup

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is something near and dear to the hearts of small business owners.  If you can present a lower TCO with some solid numbers, the sale practically makes itself.  Online backup solutions have a relatively stable recurring cost, varying only slightly as the years pass.  Traditional tape backup solutions require not only the initial investment, but the continual reinvestment of additional hardware (media) over the course of the implementation period.  When I have customers tell me they haven’t had to purchase new tapes for years, I offer them a free test-restore of their backup.  Most quickly learn that just the backup job succeeding does not always go hand-in-hand with a successful restore.

Administrative Costs

Someone has to swap those tapes.  Day in and day out, the tape drive needs to be reloaded, the logs need to be checked, and the data needs to be rotated to an offsite location for safekeeping.  Online backup eliminates two of those three costs of administrative overhead (labor).  Even the remaining factor, reviewing the logs, becomes simpler with online backup.  With a quick review of the daily log email, administrators only have to go as far as the ‘backup successful’ subject line.

Do yourself a favor this holiday season.  If you’re not already selling managed services, take some down time and look into it.  The best way to get started is online backup.  With fully branded software, you can own your own backup business, and use the good name you have built with your customers to help them transition to the cloud.

— The Backup Master


eChannelLine USA: SOS launches new low-cost, high margin total data cloud protection offering

November 9, 2011

Mark Cox from eChannelLine USA spent some time reviewing SOS’s newest release, SOS ServerSave, today with Ken Shaw, CEO of SOS Online Backup. eChannelLine USA closely tracks the channel sales and VAR segment of the IT solutions business.  We’re very excited about SOS ServerSave, particularly for the great opportunity for high margin sales it gives our VARs and MSPs. In some cases, it allows our resellers to become much larger businesses, by expanding their product and service offerings.

As Ken pointed out, the industry is at a point in which demand for online backup is about to increase greatly. Analyst firm IDC confirms:

“60% of those who buy our home user products are businesses,” Shaw said. “We find the five seat market is the threshold. Below that, companies tend to act as consumers and buy consumer products. But consumers and SOHOs have also led the adoption of backup. Small businesses, in the 50-100 seat space, are on longer replacement cycles, and they have something now, so it’s typically more of a replacement sale. We are just now seeing massive increase in adoption spend in 50-100 seat businesses.” He pointed out that IDC recently found that while only 16% of small businesses use online backup today, 69% plan to get it.

That’s where SOS’s new offering comes in, catering to this burgeoning demand with a total protection package that offers this market business grade rather than consumer grade solutions. It offers backup and recovery for Exchange, Windows Server, SharePoint, and SQL database, Bare Metal backup and recovery, archiving to protect against accidental deletion, and mobile backup capacity. Several of these — the Bare Metal Exchange, SQL and SharePoint offerings — were not sold separately by SOS before.

Since demand is about to increase, this allows SOS and its partners to become more competitive.

Aside from offering more features than the major brands in the small business space, the price is low, and reseller margins are high.

“The real story here is the price point,” Shaw said. “Enterprise vendors offer all this, but it has never been bundled at a price point that’s intelligent for small businesses before now. We offer it to partners for as little as $70 a month — and as low as $30 with volume commitments, so they make very attractive margins.” The recommended resale price is $129 per month, although Shaw said some partners in less price sensitive verticals sell it for considerably more than that.

If you would like more information on SOS ServerSave, visit the home page here. You can check out features and sign up for a webinar.

Take a look at the entire eChannelLine article by Mark Cox here.


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