IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Putting Data Protection Solutions to the Test

Ceeva gains a competitive edge with a business continuity offering and a valued partner. By Rick Topping

Businesses can lose an estimated $164,000 per hour as a result of IT downtime from the associated impact on their business and employee productivity, according to a recent study by the Aberdeen Group. The risk of business interruption is a major pressure driving IT initiatives. Can you, or your clients, really afford that? We all know that protecting our data is important, but do we do it in a way that makes it easy to recover and maintain business as usual? At Ceeva, we found a solution that makes this process almost seamless.

We have more than 150 customers in legal, non-profit, and manufacturing in and around Pittsburgh. For many years, we relied on various tape- and disc-based backup solutions. Then we began working with a new customer that was already using a disaster recovery device that offered off-site replication options. While our techs liked the concept behind the product, the support offered by the vendor was virtually non-existent, which prevented us from assisting our customers. The support was unacceptable, so our techs started looking at other competing products that offered a similar approach to backup and disaster recovery.

Through our product research we evaluated four solutions based on price, the reputation of the solution, the type of hardware platform used, and how much support was available through the vendor's channel program. We saw that many of these solutions were comprised of hardware and software made by a variety of vendors. Because there were so many different components, there would still be a lot of variables to troubleshoot, which could result in a lengthy time to restore data.

Ultimately we decided that a vendor with an on-site appliance, in addition to cloud-based backup, was the key. We could immediately grab data from the on-site appliance in the event of a disaster, rather than having to rely on Internet access that could potentially go down, depending on the nature of the disaster.

One of the products we evaluated during our research was from Axcient, which we discovered during an Internet search for cloud-based disaster recovery solutions. What we liked about Axcient was that it offered a single integrated solution for backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity, which included an on-site appliance as well as off-site replication.

We read several reviews of the product by other users, attended webinars on the solution, and talked in-depth to a representative from the company. From these discussions, we decided we had the solution we were seeking.

When deciding on which data protection solution to offer our customers, there were several important features we looked for. We wanted a solution that:

  • Was built from the ground up with backup and business continuity in mind
  • Would give our customers the option to select the drives, files, and applications they wanted to back up; do reverse incremental backups; and change the retention schedule on demand
  • Offered a Web-based interface from which we could centrally manage all our clients' devices

We currently have the solution deployed at 20 of our most demanding customers, whose businesses require on-premises business continuity and disaster recovery solutions. These deployments protect close to 17 TB of data.

But there were other benefits as well. Axcient's partner program provided us with certification training, support, and marketing materials, and the company gave us a real sense that we were working together as partners to meet our customers' needs.

In the end, though, it doesn't matter how great the partner program is or the flexibility a solution offers. What matters is that the product works properly when disaster strikes. We had been installing the solution at our customers' locations for about a year when we decided to deploy it for our own in-house disaster recovery and business continuity needs, replacing our old tape-based backup system. Shortly after installing it, our file server-which houses everything we need to operate our business-crashed.

Backed up by Axcient, we simply turned on its virtual machine and were up and running in less than an hour. The backup was so quick that my accounts receivable department and office manager didn't realize that the server was down. That fast response was priceless to us, and made us realize how the solution's various features truly benefit our customers as well.

Rick Topping, Vice President of Sales, Ceeva Inc.

Location Pittsburgh
Founded 1992
Number of Employees 10
Company focus We're a professional services firm whose mission is to enhance our clients' operation by creatively solving business problems through the effective utilization of technology, including hardware, software, and integration services.
Favorite part of my job Learning new technologies and applying them to my customer base to create greater value to their business.
Least favorite part Driving downtown!
What people would be surprised to know about me I sang for a heavy metal band for 10 years.

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