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.

 


Cloud Storage Reviews: The Cloud is Here to Stay – Wired.com

March 14, 2012

Wired.com published a fascinating and very revealing article about the use of cloud services in business. At SOS, we love statistics, and this article is chock full of them. Check out some of these insightful statistics about cloud backup in business, brought to you by Wired.com:

1. 70 percent of businesses are either using or investigating cloud computing solutions.

2. In 2011, two-thirds of companies surveyed were planning or had already deployed cloud-based technologies.

3. 30% of small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) used cloud software in 2011.

4. Worldwide IT spending on cloud computing has increased more than 25 percent from 2008 to 2012.

5. 48 percent of U.S. government agencies moved at least one workflow to the cloud following the new requirement that federal agencies adopt a “cloud-first” policy.

For all those businesses that have readily adopted cloud computing and embraced it with open arms, there is a group of hold out SMBs that are resisting the move to the cloud. The article approaches another potent topic – arguments against cloud computing.

Argument 1: cloud computing is just another iteration of SaaS and ASP, which ultimately failed.

Wired counters this argument by observing that bandwidth of much cheaper these days, which was a major impediment to ASP and SaaS in the past.

Argument 2: Security and compliance are weaker in the cloud

Actually, it’s often stronger and better. Wired quotes a 2010 survey that showed 57 percent of respondents agreed that cloud computing actually improved their security.

Argument 3: Cloud computing is too expensive

SMBs often find cloud computing to be affordable and allow for the outsourcing of core competencies such as security and data center hosting. This brings them the benefits of this cloud-centric security knowledge, without the cost. A study cited by Wired notes that 74 percent of the respondents said that using the cloud reduced their infrastructure costs.

Are you considering backing your business up to the cloud? You can start a 175GB 14 day free trial with SOS Online Backup for Business right now. Check us out, see why SOS has won the PC Magazine Editor’s Choice award four times. Download the free 175GB trial here.

SOS also offers affordable server backup solutions (without a hardware purchase requirement!). Backup your entire business – from workstations to Exchange servers to SQL servers with SOS. Learn more about our total business backup solution, SOS ServerSave.


Data Backup Free Trial – SOS Online Backup Announces Version 5.2 : Faster, Simpler, Stronger

March 12, 2012

Today we’re excited to announce version 5.2 of the SOS Online Backup and SOS ServerSave backend upload agent. To put it succinctly, this new technology is faster, simpler, and stronger.

First, we’ll roll out this new technology to our SOS ServerSave users. Very soon, you’ll receive information about how to download the new executable, which will install right over your existing client.

Here are some major feature updates that you can look forward to. If you’ve been waiting to get started on SOS ServerSave – now’s the time!

SOS was fast before, now we’re even faster.

SOS ServerSave has been updated with version 5.2 of the backend upload agent. This new upload agent will increase your upload speeds nearly 2x. The following examples illustrate how much faster the new SOS ServerSave upload capabilities are:

  • A 15 GB file uploads 25% faster
  • A 200 GB file uploads 28% faster
  • On a 100,000 file set, it uploads 43% faster.

SOS software is designed to perform the fastest initial uploads. 

SOS ServerSave and SOS Online Backup now benefit from improved Intellicache functionality. This means that the software is able to cut down on network and disk usage.

SOS has never throttled your back ups, but now you can better maximize your connection speed with version 5.2. This new version of the upload agent actually adapts to the network connection quality that is being used, and improves upload speed. Additionally, if you happen to lose your internet connection during a backup, you’ll be able to resume the transfer at any time.

Speed is also a benefit of our improved compression and encryption performance, which does apply to bare metal images as well as standard files and folders. SOS software still encrypts data locally, in transit and at rest in the data center – but now we do it faster.

Enhanced Recovery Features

SOS Online Backup and SOS ServerSave’s recoveries will now be faster, and resumable. Recovery will no longer require temporary disk space.

New Centralized Management and Reporting

Pulse Centralized Management is getting a new role in SOS ServerSave. It is no longer necessary to install Pulse as a separate management agent, because it’s now included in Online Backup & Recovery Manager.  You’ll also be able to receive email reports with a list of the “top 20 errors”. We’ve also made detailed backup progress descriptions available.

Hey you – are you shopping around? 

If you are shopping around and considering SOS ServerSave for your business’ server backup solution, click here to request a free trial!

Or if you’d like to get into the nitty-gritty of what SOS ServerSave offers, click here to view our features grid.


MSPs : Are you Keeping Up With IT Departments? : Best Opportunity for MSP to earn high revenue in 2012

December 28, 2011

IT departments are preparing to make massive investments in backup and recovery solutions in the next two years. According to a recent IDC survey, backup will jump from being a 1.6% chunk of IT budgets, to a whopping 3% piece of the pie. Though those sound like small numbers, they are numbers that are doubling between 2011 and 2014.

As an MSP, are you ready to take advantage of this?

Firms that are early adopters often have internal IT departments. If your role as a managed service provider is to work with these types of clients (or you want to obtain these kinds of clients) you may find yourself constantly trying to catch up with rapidly changing trends in backup technology.

If you aren’t already doing so, part of your offering as a managed service provider should be cloud backup for servers. Businesses, large and small, ought to have a backup and recovery plan for constantly changing Exchange servers,SQL servers, Windows servers, and SharePoint servers. As an MSP, you have a unique opportunity to provide this plan, and consistently increase its value by updating it.

If you want to learn more about providing value to your clients, and increasing your recurring revenue as a managed service provider, drop us a line. SOS Partner Specialists are always happy to help you get started.


SOS Online Backup and SOS ServerSave Featured in InfoStor : Bare Metal Backup

December 20, 2011

InfoStor’s Kenneth Corbin recently released his interview with SOS CEO, Ken Shaw, on the topic of the future of SOS Online Backup and new capabilities of SOS ServerSave. SOS ServerSave brings SOS partners and clients the opportunity to create more efficient businesses and IT departments by creating a complete server backup solution. SOS ServerSave is a complete solution for IT managers – including cloud backup for servers and complete end-point protection for workstations and laptop fleets.

Kenneth Corbin from InfoStor and Ken Shaw from SOS chatted about the flexibility and opportunity SOS ServerSave brings to the server backup marketplace.

However, increasingly the company is moving into the business space, particularly with ServerSave, its solution for the workplace that safeguards content from an organization’s litany of servers and PCs.

“Our aim for SOS ServerSave was to backup all servers and workstations — SQL, Exchange, Windows, fileservers, full local machines — and provide an end-point solution for workstations and laptops,” said Ken Shaw, CEO of SOS Online Backup. “With all these components, SOS ServerSave’s ultimate goal for the IT manager is to eliminate the pain of managing these different pieces from different portals.”

According to Shaw, the market for server backup technology in the public cloud is headed for a “price-functionality inflection point,” one that will dramatically reshape the value proposition of the market.

“Server backup is going to start doing more for less money, and SOS ServerSave is poised to be the first to spearhead this trend,” he said.

The company’s ServerSave product offers bare-metal backup and restore of Windows, SQL, SharePoint and Exchange servers with management consolidated in a single portal, dubbed Pulse Centralized Management, and an unlimited headcount for a single account.

Click here to view the full article. If you’d like to learn more about SOS ServerSave, click here to view one of our recent SOS ServerSave webinars.


Testing the Waters as a Managed Service Provider : Backup Reseller Program Review

December 16, 2011

The year is just about to wrap up.  Is your reseller business where you want it to be?

If you didn’t make the leap this year to providing managed services for your customers, let’s start laying the groundwork to get you there in 2012.  First off, a quick list of benefits to convince you.

  • Recurring revenue stream from services you may be outsourcing to vendors
  • Increased interaction with clients
  • Improved customer satisfaction

Aren’t those enough?  These are the top three benefits I’ve seen since starting to provide managed services to my clients.  I’ll address each one talking about the first managed service I provided to my customers; online backup service.

Recurring Revenue Stream

In the past I recommended and implemented tape backup strategies, then removable hard drive strategies like the Dell RD1000 drives to my customers.  I made very little margin on the sales of the media and the upkeep of software such as Symantec’s flagship Backup Exec.

As an online backup reseller, I am now seeing consistent monthly recurring revenue from these customers.  Instead of the small margins on the sale of hardware and software maintenance contracts, I’m generating revenue from providing the actual service.  While the cost to my customers is lower, my margins have increased dramatically.

Increased Interaction with Clients

I can’t emphasize this one enough.  As I regularly communicate the status of my clients’ backups, I’m keeping in touch with the client on a much more regular basis than in the past.  Some of these conversations go off on a tangent and generate either a service call for an unrelated issue or a sale of a new piece of equipment.

Improved Customer Satisfaction

Since implementing online backup services with customers, their satisfaction has increased for at least two reasons they have communicated.  First, they are happy that the offsite-rotation of their backups has been taken out of their hands, lowering their administrative overhead.  Second, they are pleased with the added benefits of using an online backup service, namely their ability to easily restore files from anywhere in the world using the web interface.  Several clients have called me from the road asking me how to restore their presentation, since they either forgot to bring it on their trip or they want to present an earlier version of the file.

If you’ve been thinking about adding MSP services to your arsenal as a consultant, there is no easier way to get your feet wet then to add online backup services.  Take the time to get your client software fully branded, so your customers are also comforted by your trusted name on the product.  You can’t underestimate the value of that.

— The Backup Master


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


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