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How to Choose a Cloud Backup Vendor? The MSP Edit

As an MSP, VAR, or CSP the $4.13bn cloud backup market is a profitable business opportunity to tap into. But how can you pick the right cloud backup vendor in the crowded market? Here is an objective 10-point checklist to choose the cloud backup provider that is the best fit for your MSP.
How to Choose a Cloud Backup Partner? The MSP Checklist | CloudAlly
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The cloud backup market is expected to grow to $4.13bn by 2022 at a robust 26% CAGR. As a Managed Service Provider (MSP), Partner, or Reseller, that is a business opportunity that you can’t ignore. However, a market as lucrative as the cloud backup one is crowded. It can get confusing to choose a cloud backup to partner with that offers secure, dependable, and cost-effective backup for your customers. And not forgetting, a profitable MRR for you. Here is a checklist of parameters to keep in mind while selecting a SaaS backup vendor to partner with.  

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  1. ROI
  2. Regular MRR
  3. Ease of Use
  4. Flexibility
  5. Multi-Platform Support
  6. Security and Compliance
  7. Partner-friendly
  8. Support
  9. Reputation
  10. Pricing

How to Choose a Cloud Backup Partner? The MSP Checklist

#1 ROI

To understand the ROI you should expect from a cloud backup vendor, you would need to examine two aspects.

ROI From Reduced RPO and RTO

SaaS data loss affects one in three companies. The average cost of a breach is $3.86 million, and the average time to identify and contain it is 280 days. Use our Downtime ROI calculator to understand how costly downtime is for your specific set of parameters. Your backup partner can minimize this damage by optimizing the two critical factors in lowering the cost of downtime – RPO and RTO. 

  • Recovery Point Objective (RPO) is the maximum amount of data you can withstand losing in a breach. When applied to a backup solution, it is the maximum time that can elapse between two data backups. Inquire about the frequency of backups, if you can customize it, and if you can backup on-demand. Also, ask about the backup data storage limits and data retention, so you can recover data from any point in time. 
  • Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is the amount of time it takes to restore regular operations after data loss. RTO when taken in the context of a backup solution refers to the time taken to recover the lost data. Ascertain the recovery time and recovery flexibility (granular, point-in-time, cross-user, cross-org).

ROI Based on Feature Requirements

You will have a unique set of feature requirements based on your client set. Do you want to pay for backup storage, store it on your own servers, or would prefer unlimited storage? Perhaps the inclusion of Microsoft Teams as a part of the overall Microsoft 365 backup? A specific regional data center because of GDPR restrictions? Would you prefer white-label OEM backup? List out your particular requirements and verify if they’re met by your cloud backup vendor to make certain you get the most for your $.

#2 Regular MRR

As an MSP or reseller, you surely appreciate how a consistent and profitable Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) keeps your business thriving. MSP experts unanimously agree that to maximize MRR it makes business sense to sell ongoing services as opposed to one-off products. SaaS backup and recovery as a service harnesses the cloud’s agility, scalability, and performance while guaranteeing a bankable MRR. Ensure that your backup partner offers SaaS backup and recovery with both monthly and annual plans. Check also that the plans are flexible and scalable to accommodate changing customer needs. Work with a vendor that is as committed to you achieving your MRR goals as you are. Does the backup vendor offer bundled packages, dedicated support channels, easy customer management tools, pre-sales, and marketing support?

#3 Ease of Use

Your customer does not need another tool that requires time and effort to install, learn how to use, and maintain. The same undoubtedly applies to you. The ideal backup and recovery solution hits the ground running, works unobtrusively, is low maintenance, and can assuredly restore data accurately and quickly. A true safety net for your customer’s data.

Choose a backup solution that requires zero installation and minimal support. Verify that the cloud backup partner has an exhaustive knowledge base and video tutorials. Avoid taking on the hassle of maintaining backup storage or any infrastructure of your own. Insist on an in-depth demo and a hands-on trial of the backup solution to validate that it is intuitive to use. The same would apply to any Partner-specific tools that your backup vendor may provide you with. Most importantly, explore how easy it is to restore data – the litmus test for a backup solution.

#4 Flexibility

As an MSP/Reseller, you likely support a wide range of customers in terms of industry types, sizes, and software stacks. Make sure that your cloud backup vendor does not tie you down with commitments in terms of customer size, backup storage limits, software requirements, backup storage locations, and/or backup storage types. Specifically, explore the range of backup/recovery options. For example, ensure that you have the flexibility to backup to your own storage when required and/or export backups to a storage type of your choice. As far as recovery goes, your customer should be able to recover easily at any granular level, from any point-in-time to any user, or across any organization.

#5 Multi-Platform Support

The modern workplace often hosts multiple SaaS platforms. You may have clients that use Microsoft 365 for Exchange, SharePoint, and Teams, but Dropbox for cloud storage. Or a customer may want to migrate from Google Workspace to Microsoft 365 or vice versa, and need their data to be backed up on both platforms to secure their migration. Multi-platform support for all the major SaaS platforms – Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, Salesforce, Dropbox, Box, and others, is a must for an MSP/reseller with a diverse clientele. Additionally, examine that essential applications of the SaaS platform are backed up too. For instance, Microsoft 365 backup should be comprehensive enough to also include MailCalendar,  Contacts and  TasksTeams, OneDrive, and SharePoint.

#6 Security and Compliance

Your data is only as safe as its backup. You definitely do not want your customers to have a cascaded “breach by association” with a compromised backup partner. Thoroughly screen your backup vendor’ss security credentials. Are they GDPR compliant? Can they provide a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) to be HIPAA compliant? Is their data encrypted both at-rest and in-transit? Are the backups hosted with a reliable vendor? Do they support OAuth, Okta, MFA/2FA? Is there a choice of local data centers? Do they adhere to no data retention after deletion and privacy by design?

#7 Partner-Friendly

Your cloud backup vendor should be partner-driven. Check if that’s the case by asking about partner-friendly features and tools that they offer. MSPs do not have the time to manage each customer’s backup separately. Does the backup vendor ease the hassle of juggling multiple platforms with a centralized web-based backup management console? A unified place to monitor and manage all your accounts and customer backups? A central billing console?

#8 Support

To say that events of data loss are extremely stressful is an understatement. You need a cloud backup partner that is committed to being your data protection partner with exceptional post-sale customer support. Multi-channel, responsive, real-person, and available 365x24x7. Truly tier-one support. At no extra cost.

#9 Reputation

With backup emerging as such a lucrative market, there are a dime a dozen new kids on the block. As a reputable MSP, vet that your SaaS backup vendor is a well-reputed one with a proven track record and a top-rated suite of backup services. Verify that your SLA is 99.9% at the least. Choose a proven and tested cloud backup solution over one with more, but unproven “bling”.

#10 Pricing

While pricing should not lead your choice, it surely is a critical differentiating factor. Apart from the dollar value, read the fine print behind the pricing. Is unlimited storage included? Do you have to make a commitment of X users or Y backup size? Ask if your vendor offers monthly and annual pricing, so you can test the waters. Do they offer high-volume enterprise pricing? Is there a goodwill discount for nonprofit organizations or educational institutions? If you move from one backup solution to another, are transition costs deferred? Importantly, confirm that you do not have to pay for any upgrade, additional software licenses, plugins, training, or support.

Partner With CloudAlly MSP Backup

We pioneered SaaS backup a decade ago and have built a proven top-rated suite of MSP Backup solutions for all the major SaaS platforms Microsoft 365, Salesforce, Dropbox, Box, and  Google Workspace. Over 1000 Partners, 6500 customers, and 500k users run 3.5 million CloudAlly backups per week. Our credentials are robustly secure and audit-compliant. Unlimited backup storage, unlimited retention, and exceptional tier-one support are included. All at one price with no fine print. We’re also a part of Zix, the leading provider of cloud email security, productivity, and compliance solutions.

We’re especially committed to and driven by our Partners. We provide a dedicated Backup Management Portal for MSPs. This web-based Partner portal eases customer management with a single view of all trials, backups, and billing status and counts for all your customers. Get granular control with smart filters and easy drill-down from Account to Customer. Simplify billing with consolidated billing for Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, Salesforce, Box, and Dropbox backup for all your customers. All with one single, easy-to-use portal tailored for MSPs and VARs.

Would you prefer to expand your brand identity while offering backup and recovery? Explore our white-label OEM backup.

Schedule a demo with a Partner specialist and see for yourself!

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