PROFILE: True Cloud Believers
Adam Baldwin, owner of nGenuity Information Security, explains how MirrorCloud is helping the company to collect recurring revenues from many of its customers for the first time.
By Adam Baldwin
Most IT providers view security services as an add-on to their core network management offerings. For us, however, it's kind of the other way around. When we went into business four years ago, we were 100 percent dedicated to security solutions. But we soon discovered that SMBs don't actually hire security specialists. They prefer having technology generalists handle security along with the rest of their needs. So if we wanted to build a thriving security practice we would have to deliver a complete range of other IT services as well.
That wasn't our plan when we started nGenuity, but it sure has worked out well for us. Today, we have a steadily growing customer base and steadily rising revenues.
One thing that hasn't changed these past four years, however, is our widespread use of cloud computing technologies. We've been doing that since we first opened our doors. We were a little unusual in that regard back in 2007, and plenty of IT providers view the cloud with suspicion even today. But we've always seen it as a great way to lower our customers' hardware spending and help them turn IT from a capital expense into an operational one.
Of course, we don't actually call what we're doing "cloud computing" when discussing it with clients. We learned pretty quickly that using that term mostly confuses nontechnical people. As a result, we leave it out of our sales presentations and just tell customers what our solutions do, how they work, and why they're superior. That minimizes distractions and helps them focus more easily on the benefits of our cloud-based offerings.
Of course, while we're big believers in cloud computing generally, we do have some reservations about the public cloud specifically. For one, since we're security experts ourselves, we hate the lack of control we have over a public cloud provider's security measures. We pretty much have to trust that they're as rigorous about that as we would be. It also bothers us that if a public cloud solution goes down for any reason, we're not likely to receive much support or information. After all, we'll be competing for attention with half a million other angry customers.
A True Business Continuity Solution
Given our concerns about public cloud computing, it's probably no surprise that we eventually became enthusiastic resellers of Zenith Infotech's private cloud-based MirrorCloud business continuity solution. We first heard about it from the employees of a local technology firm that we recently acquired. They'd been actively investigating MirrorCloud themselves, and when they told us about its features and capabilities we saw its appeal right away.
MirrorCloud provides continuous mirroring of a client's data in near real time. If a mirrored server ever fails, we can use the SmartStyle cloud computing platform that MirrorCloud runs on to create a virtual image of that device within a few minutes. That's why MirrorCloud isn't merely a disaster recovery system, but a true business continuity solution. In addition to backing up data, it quickly gets customers operational again after breakdowns and calamities, and keeps them up and running until we can resolve their problems.
Even better, as a private cloud solution, MirrorCloud delivers all of the cloud's efficiency and scalability without any of public cloud computing's flaws. For starters, MirrorCloud puts us in complete control of our customers' data, so we can apply state-of-the-art security protections. And since we always have direct access to MirrorCloud, we can diagnose and repair technical issues ourselves instead of waiting around for some giant technology provider to do the job. Furthermore, any time we run into a problem that we can't solve ourselves, Zenith answers our calls right away and provides excellent support.
Sealing the Deal
In short, offering MirrorCloud has been a great experience for us. It's also been a lucrative one. Business continuity is one of the few managed services we provide, so MirrorCloud is helping us collect recurring revenues from many of our customers for the first time. It also gives us a reason to drop by client sites periodically for quick hardware checkups, which has led to more frequent communication with business owners, closer relationships, and additional project and consulting work.
In fact, MirrorCloud has been so beneficial to nGenuity that it recently helped us close a deal to sell the company to Robinson Tech, a nearby IT provider. The folks at Robinson loved knowing that they would be inheriting a profitable cloud computing practice with satisfied customers and plenty more to come.
To learn more about MirrorCloud and SmartStyle, visit the Zenith Infotech home page at www.zenithinfotech.com.