Repeat Customer Leads To Profitable Data Backup Solution Project
By Cindy Dubin, Business Solutions magazine.
This systems integrator is set to earn thousands per month by managing its client’s data loss prevention solution.
In general terms, 80% of a VAR’s business should come from 20% of its existing customers, better known as the 80/20 rule. This means one repeat customer is worth about four one-time clients. So, it makes sense to focus time and effort serving customers who will keep coming back and provide the most profit.
This was the case for Xpert Technologies, Inc., a nine-person systems integrator, which provides cloud and managed services, as well as IT consulting. Xpert had installed a SonicWALL NSA E5500 Firewall for a defense contractor client back in 2009 and was called upon again just one year later to help the customer solve a problem it was having with its backup data solution.
A Demo Seals The Deal
The 400-employee defense contractor was in panic mode when it could not recover a file related to a legal matter. “The contractor was unable to recover the files because its file-based backup was failing,” says Brad Byrnes, president of Xpert Technologies. “Even worse, the client didn’t know that the failure had been occurring for the three months prior to calling us.”
As the defense contractor was not able to back up any files, Byrnes says the sale of a SonicWall CDP 5040 continuous data protection appliance was somewhat easy. Xpert presented the solution to the CFO on two occasions, and then a demo unit was installed to perform a full system recovery on one of the servers to prove the strength of the solution. “After the demo, the client was immediately sold on the solution,” says Byrnes.
While Xpert mostly sells and installs solutions, it also resells certain products like those from SonicWALL. The SonicWALL data loss prevention solution was chosen for this particular application, says Byrnes, because of features such as an incremental server snapshot that is taken each hour and can subsequently be restored.
Lots Of Leads For Outsourced Backup Services
It took about one day to install the backup agents on the defense contractor’s 10 servers. Each was configured to send backups to Xpert’s off-site data center (which uses a SonicWall CDP 6080 Continuous Data Protection Appliance) so that both a local copy and remote copy of all backedup data was available for reference. Training was minimal as Xpert manages the entire solution, but the client’s IT team was taught how to recover files and emails from the management console.
The defense contractor was charged a one-time setup fee of $500 and then $100 per server (in this case 10 servers) per month for backups for a total of $1,000 per month. Since the installation, Xpert sends weekly backup reports to the client’s IT manager, and Byrnes claims his team has maintained a 99% success rate in successfully completing backups. The client has since moved to a fully outsourced managed IT services program that provides an all-inclusive IT solution, which includes Xpert’s help desk, consulting, managed SonicWALL backups, SonicWALL managed antivirus, and both on- and off-site support. “We provide all of these IT services under one maintenance agreement based on a price per PC and server, giving the customer a predictable cost,” says Byrnes.
Regarding the ability to locate backed-up data, the solution is providing a much quicker recovery process for the client. Rather than taking hours or days, data and the infrastructure can be restored in minutes.
Word about the relationship between Xpert Technologies and this client has been spreading. “The defense industry in Michigan is booming, and the companies in that sector recognize that the loss of information can result in a very expensive recovery effort to recreate lost documents,” says Byrnes. “We have received many leads from this client, and we now provide services for six other defense companies.”