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Services Ontrack for Kroll

01 May 12

Best known locally for its data recovery software, Kroll Ontrack is looking to spread its wings and offer services via a New Zealand partner. APAC general manager Adrian Briscoe talks to The Channel about the company’s plans and the market drivers.

Kroll Ontrack expects to have a New Zealand services business in operation very soon, as the company looks to expand beyond software distribution here.

The company has been sourcing a local agent to provide a physical location where resellers could send customers’ equipment for data recovery. The equipment would then be shipped to a clean room in Australia for the data to be recovered.

“We have had software distribution here for some time, but we don’t have an agent for services,” says Adrian Briscoe, Kroll Ontrack general manager APAC. “Now we’re looking at an expansion of our channel here and using partners in New Zealand to offer this service.”

The company has 50 certified providers in New Zealand and offers a certification partner programme enabling partners to become ‘first responders’ when clients need data recovered.

Briscoe says the services side of the business is something Kroll Ontrack has wanted to be involved in locally for a while, but the shipping costs have previously been a deterrent.

“There’s a lot of potential for a good quality data service in New Zealand. We’ve been offering it in Australia for six or seven years and we’ve seen an increase year on year in the number of jobs coming into our labs here,” he says.

The services move comes as the data recovery company reports soaring demand for data recovery – including increasingly from smartphones. Kroll Ontrack says globally it has recovered more than 103 petabytes of data – that’s enough to fill 25 million 4GB USB flash drives – since 1987. In 1987 the company recovered 1.2GB of data for the entire year. By 2011 that figure had soared to 35 million GB.

Virtual concern

Increasing use of virtualisation technologies are driving business for Kroll Ontrack, Briscoe says. “We are seeing an escalation in the quantities of data to be recovered since the advent of virtualisation.”

Unstructured data, BYOD and regulations requiring organisations to hold electronic data means many companies are struggling to find a comfort level regarding how to protect data from loss. And while many believe data stored in the cloud or on virtual equipment can’t be lost, data can – and does – still go astray.

A recent survey by Kroll Ontrack, Lost in Virtualisation?, noted that virtualisation may give companies a false sense of security. An Information Week study, cited in Lost in Virtualisation? revealed 22% of respondents backed up less than half their virtual servers each week.

Briscoe says there remains plenty of scope – and need – for resellers to educate clients.

He says virtualisation strategies are demanding new approaches to data protection and disaster recovery, with human error the leading cause of data loss in virtual environments.

“Traditionally, 80% of our data recovery work came from mechanical hardware failure  – where hard drives just stopped working, say. But with virtualisation we’re finding its 65% user error – someone does something accidentally and they lose data.

“We are seeing a big spike in people losing data in the virtual environment from human error.

“And we’re certainly seeing more and more demand for data recovery from smartphones. Evidently they’re where people are keeping their critical data,” Briscoe quips.

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