CommVault corporate communications manager Ian Mackie talks to Alan Leigh, Computer Concepts Limited director, about what CCL has learned from taking managed DR services to their customers, and best practice tips for other MSPs looking to sell DR solutions.
What channel strategy have you employed, and why?
Alan Leigh (AL): Our expertise is in designing and hosting disaster recovery solutions. To do this effectively, close engagement with clients and exact understanding of their requirements is key, so our account management model is very much direct.
We do, however partner with key, best-of-breed providers like CommVault as our technology vendor for our corporate and enterprise DR, and work with various other solution providers for components such as backup tape and storage services.
Is there sufficient demand for managed DR solutions in NZ?
AL: There is absolutely demand for managed DR solutions in NZ. Recent natural disasters have prompted some businesses to think about this more, but there are other ongoing drivers in the general business environment that were driving demand before this, and continue to do so.
There is an explosion of data across sales and marketing as well as the traditional areas of financial operations and governance. DR is becoming more crucial than ever to protect data, because increasingly, and rightly, it is seen as a business critical asset in determining the ultimate sustainability and profitability of all businesses.
Is there a good opportunity for the New Zealand channel to offer more DR specific offerings?
AL: Definitely. Technology solutions continue to change. The growth of cloud and Infrastructure as a Service is an example. When coupled with the growth of data the average business is experiencing, the DR solutions clients require today also need to change to match changing infrastructure approach.
Clients have to manage an entirely new and independent business issue – purely in terms of the sheer volume of data they need to store and how and where to store it. This offers a new opportunity to develop DR offerings that will enable their customers to meet new, specific, DR objectives to align with this.
Do you think DR solutions can be sold better via channel or through a direct selling model?
AL: The best model is via the MSP/SI channel. These service providers have a relationship with clients and an understanding of their IT environments that adds value in designing and implementing a DR solution. That level of client intimacy delivers a better outcome for clients.
What are your best practice tips for other MSPs looking to sell or create DR solutions?
AL: Chose a great technology partner, hire awesome engineers, develop a fantastic infrastructure platform to support your DR proposition and put a highly robust level 1,2 and 3 support model in place to manage the run state. Get the basics right.
What were your biggest challenges in bringing these services to market and how did you overcome them?
AL: When designing and delivering any managed IT service the challenges are often around delivery and the reliability of the technology solution. This is overcome by hiring talented engineers with a great attitudes and choosing highly robust technology components. Also, a big dollop of ingenuity from your engineers goes a long way.