If you're a retail IT VAR interested in adding recurring revenue sources to your line card, listen up. In the world of managed services, one of the leading, most profitable offerings is backup and recovery, or BDR (backup and disaster recovery), or business continuity. While speaking with some BDR experts for an upcoming magazine article, editor Jay McCall added in some questions about BDR opportunities in the retail vertical. Their responses should make retail IT VARs excited.
“I’ve seen quite a bit of change in this market,” says Rob Rae, VP of business development at Datto. “Retail understands downtime. If data is not available, they understand the cost to their business."
Ben Puzzuoli, director of sales at KineticD, says “There is definitely opportunity here as retail operations are usually dispersed geographically, which makes it hard to justify a large in-house costly BDR installation. Cloud-based BDR makes sense here. By using each retail location’s Internet connection, protection can be had at an affordable cost. On the flip side, many retail outlets that live under a larger corporate umbrella keep automatic copies of data synced with corporate headquarters on a regular basis.”
Rae says there's even opportunity with small retailers. "Each retailer acts as a small business. The conversation about downtime is still the same. Treat each business like its own small entity.” Puzzuoli adds, “I think the biggest opportunity is with smaller retail shops that don’t live under a larger corporate umbrella as those are the ones that will most likely have a weak or nonexistent BDR solution in place.”
“Business continuity is an easier conversation than ever before, and it’s a really big opportunity,” says Rae. “VARs/MSPs should be asking customers ‘What’s the cost if can’t access X server and/or Y data file?’ For VARs interested in getting into managed services, it’s one of the easier places to start. We’re seeing printer dealers and telco dealers getting into this recurring revenue opportunity by learning to have these conversations. There’s still so much tape and file-based backup technology out there. Gartner is saying that 45% of small businesses will change the backup solution they’re using today. Cost is coming down, and there’s a better opportunity to protect data than ever before.”
If you're new to BDR solutions and want to learn more, check out our Product Review: Backup And Disaster Recovery (BDR) Solutions and Part 2.