As founder and owner of Syfer Networks in Dallas, Sonny Williams prides himself on doing his homework. Two years ago, Williams decided to shift Syfer's focus from being a more traditional IT services company into a managed service provider. At that time, Williams was looking to replace the legacy spam filter Syfer was using. After doing plenty of research, Williams discovered GFI MailEssentials Online from GFI Software. For Williams, the GFI product worked better as a spam filter than the previous product due particularly to a reduction in false positives. "I switched all of my clients over to GFI MailEssentials Online," Williams recalls. It was from that moment that Syfer began its relationship with GFI.
By June 2013, Williams was looking for a new backup provider. "The vendor we were using was expensive and a lot of my clients didn't want to use the backup product," Williams says. So Williams launched into an exhaustive due diligence exercise, one that involved evaluating approximately 70 different backup products and charting the various features on a spreadsheet. By October, Williams had decided to go with GFI MAX Backup, a hybrid cloud solution that relies on disk-to-disk-to-cloud technology. "The product was in my price range and had all the capabilities I was looking for except for one," Williams says.
Primarily, Williams was sold on GFI MAX Backup's ability to allow Syfer to house data on its own servers in its own data center. While Syfer does not currently have its own data center, Williams says this capability will allow Syfer to provide HIPPA-compliant backup services in the future to its healthcare industry clients. In addition to HIPPA compliance, having physical access to data will enable Syfer to provide fully operational backups in a few hours. "I want to provide that kind of personal IT service to my clients at a fraction of the cost of having their own internal IT department," Williams says.
Another plus for GFI MAX Backup: its ability to do block level or sector level backups. "That is a big priority because a lot of my clients have slow Internet connections," Williams says. While many backup companies do a regular full backup and then incremental backups for changes, GFI takes that a step further by "only backing up the bits of data that have changed, so I don't have to back up a whole file," Williams says. In addition, GFI MAX Backup allows Syfer to conduct point in time restores for its clients – another way for Williams to provide personal service to clients.
And as for that one feature — full machine imaging — that GFI MAX Backup didn't have initially? Williams says a beta was introduced a month after he first implemented the product. Indeed, it is the continual introduction of services and improvements that impresses Williams most about GFI and its products. "GFI is dedicated to creating products that meet their customers' needs," Williams says, a philosophy that he himself espouses. "I have never lost a customer, and I believe it is because I can provide a high-level of security to my customers without breaking the bank."