Bringing on any new business practice or income stream is not an easy thing for a business, nor is it something to be taken likely. Many factors need to be considered during the planning stages. Some products/services seem like a slam dunk, but you still have to do your homework and plan accordingly, else you’ll end up in the deep end. Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) is no exception.
I find that many MSPs starting down the BaaS road follow the idea of “if you build it, they will come”, but that is not always the case. Outside of the normal business vetting strategies you have to ask yourself some key questions about customers as well that relate specifically to this service. As such, I wanted to talk about 4 common questions all MSP should answer about their customer base before starting out on their BaaS journey. Let’s take a look.
Will my target customer base value it?
It’s a simple question, no? Is there a real market there for my new service? I find that many MSPs don’t think about this one. Granted it can be a tough one to objectively look at, it can effectively be answered. Do your customers have their own IT staff? Are they willing to lose control of those day-to-day operations? Is your customer willing to go with an operational expenditure model? Do they have existing backup software that they’re not willing to remove yet due to licensing or comfort? These are some of the questions you can ask yourself to help answer this core question.
What types of backups are my customers looking for?
Do they need continuous backups? Every 15 minutes? Daily? What type of data do they need to be protected? Full Images? VMs? Applications? This is essentially leading up to the question of, does your projected offering check all the checkboxes for your customer base’s data protection needs? Answering these questions during the planning phase will help when it comes to choosing the backup application that will help drive your new business practice.
Where do your customers want to store their backups?
Backup storage location plays a key role in the backup application choice, just like the above question does. The reason I separate it out is depending on what the answer is, there could be more far-reaching implications. Is cloud storage a must, ok which cloud? Are their industry or geographical requirements for that backup data? Does it need to be disk based? Is there a requirement for tape? Whatever the answers for these are, they all likely require some sort of additional footwork on your part. If your customers are expecting cloud storage you need to have cloud storage reachable and ready to go on day one.
Can you provide the needed RTO and RPOs needed by your most demanding customer?
Before you go to market you need to have a strong SLA defined, and written with the ink dry. Not only should you know what types of Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) you can accommodate, you should also be prepared with customer expectations, notification mechanisms and items that allow you to prove to the customer that you’re providing the value they are paying for. If you can’t meet these defined expectations, you need to examine your stack and determine why or change the standard to something more manageable for your organization.
Interested in learning more?
This article is just a small portion of the planning work you should be doing to bring on a new BaaS service for your customers. The process can be long and arduous and you likely want to do all you can to be successful. Luckily,we’re here to help! We asked Nick Cavalancia, a long-time IT industry veteran as an Executive and technology author, to put together an eBook specifically on this topic! Our new BaaS ebook covers BaaS from conception to pitch, making sure you’re asking all the right questions along the way and helping you prepare as well as possible so you can provide a great backup service to your customer and make a tidy profit along the way. Download the ebook 3 Steps for MSPs to Get Started with Backup-as-a-Service to learn more!
Free Altaro ebook
3 Steps for MSPs to Get Started with Backup-as-a-Service
In this eBook, Nick Cavalancia, explains how to successfully add BaaS as an additional MSP revenue stream and important service to your customers.
Learn how to:
- Clearly define your BaaS package
- Design a suitable pricing structure
- Pitch and sell the service effectively
With the expert insights gained from this eBook you can go to market with your BaaS offering, confident in the knowledge that you’re fully prepared and providing the best possible service that you and your customers demand.
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