SMB Audit Highlights High-Growth Cloud Backup

Mar 8, 2011

Asigra Inc., a leading cloud backup software provider since 1986, today announced the findings of a commissioned study[1], "The High-Growth Managed Backup Services Market," conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Asigra. The results reveal the areas of growth among small and medium businesses, how channel partners are responding to increased demand from this market segment and what IT decision makers expect from channel partners. Based on a February 2011 survey of U.S. IT decision makers, the study also leverages the Forrester/OCE Global Channel Companies’ Cloud Business Models survey.[2]

While both large and small companies are investing aggressively in cloud backup and recovery solutions, in the next two years the greatest growth in cloud-based managed services will come from SMBs. Today 5 percent of SMBs surveyed employ backup-as-a-service, remote backup or online backup services from a managed service provider and 38 percent plan to employ them in two years – a growth rate of 660 percent.

Market Driven by Multiple Needs

Three factors contribute to this anticipated growth; SMBs view their computer systems and data as invaluable assets, they realize employees avoid performing their own backups, and they want to free IT resources to focus on growth and core competencies. Drivers for selecting a cloud-based service include lower costs (68 percent of respondents), the physical security of the provider's infrastructure and data centers (48 percent), and service/support availability (38 percent). 

Channel partners are responding to this demand by ramping up their offerings. Today, more than 25 percent offer cloud-based services and another 30 percent plan to do so. These companies are particularly interested in investing in the remote management of PCs, servers or network infrastructure (81 percent); storage and backup services (77 percent); data center services (68 percent); and remote backup/disaster recovery (64 percent).

In addition, the great majority of channel partners are ready to resell SaaS or other cloud-based products. Currently 29 percent resell them, while 16 percent plan to offer them in the next 12 months and 16 percent in a year or more. Only 8 percent are not interested in this market.

Marketing to Customers' Value Points

To grow a successful managed services business, channel partners must be aware of customers' expectations of them and of their vendor partners. Overall experience in implementing the solution was very important to 58 percent of decision makers considering VARs. Both solutions experience and support SLA (e.g., helpdesk response time, on-site support) were very important to 47 percent of the respondents. The survey found that SMBs considering VARs gave particularly high consideration to the level of support because they now see their data as mission critical. Respondents considering MSPs, however, had somewhat different priorities. To 60 percent SLA support was very important, 51 percent said solution experience was very important and customer references were very important to 38 percent.

Asked what they value most from their vendor partners, 48 percent of respondents said protecting their territory from other channel partners, 45 percent said financing some of the cost of the hosting infrastructure, and 34 percent said business-model training for moving to hosting.    

"We believe this survey paints a clear picture not just of the types of cloud services businesses plan to employ but also of what they expect from their VARs and MSPs," said Eran Farajun, EVP, Asigra. "Every participant in this rapidly expanding market can use this information to hone their go-to-market strategy and shape their offerings in response to the needs and values of their customers."   

A complimentary copy of "The High-Growth Managed Backup Services Market" study is available for download at http://bit.ly/g21vc5


[1] The High-Growth Managed Backup Services Market, A Commissioned Study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Asigra, February 2, 2011

[2] Forrester/OCE Q3 2010 Global Channel Companies’ Cloud Business Models Online Survey

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