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Unitrends: If You Build It, They Will Come
By Karen D. Schwartz


Unitrends appears to put its confidence in the concept behind the popular phrase "If you build it, they will come."

The Columbia, S.C.-based company, which offers a line of products and services related to business continuity and disaster recovery that includes electronic data vaulting, seems to have tapped into a burgeoning market at the right time, as organizations of all types—large and small, public and private—increasingly are realizing that they need easy and reliable ways to ensure that their data is full protected.

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The increased demand for all-inclusive disaster recovery solutions, combined with a solution set that integrates disaster recovery-related services with products in a way that makes it easy for systems integrators and managed service providers to create comprehensive offerings for their customers, has translated into more partners—and more sales—for Unitrends.

For Busch Consulting Inc., a managed security provider in Honolulu, Hawaii, providing disaster recovery and remote backup as a managed service seemed to be a natural evolution of the company's business model.

"We looked at what we were spending the most time on for our clients in the managed services area, and it was clearly backup. There were always backup issues—the tape didn't eject or didn't get changed, for example," said CEO Matthias Busch. "It caused a tremendous amount of time in our managed services group to keep our clients' backups running smoothly."

Once company executives decided that offering disaster recovery and backup as a managed service made sense, Busch set out to find the right solution.

After considering several online services and other vendors, Busch heard about Unitrends from another reseller. That recommendation, plus Unitrends' turnkey approach to the problem, sealed the deal for Busch.

"It's an integrated system, so we don't have to piecemeal things together," he said. "We had almost a turnkey system and could start providing services almost immediately."

Although the service is only a few months old, Busch said his company's target customers, which have between 25 and 100 employees, have shown great interest in the service, which starts at $375 per month.

Given enough time, "we'd like to be leader in Hawaii for this service," he said.

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Unitrends' integrated approach also was the deciding factor for CTS Companies, a voice and data integrator based in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

"We're not bringing elements in from two or three different suppliers and trying to integrate them together and make them work," said vice president Joe Stevens. "And this way, we don't have to try to get support from a variety of suppliers, which can be difficult to coordinate."

But unlike Busch Consulting's path to Unitrends, CTS Companies first stumbled on the solution when trying to determine how best to solve its own internal disaster recovery challenges.

After choosing Unitrends for itself, company executives began to realize that it would make a good service for its customers.

Typically, CTS implements the solution in single-site companies that need to back up 30GB to 80GB at prices starting at $150 per month.

CTS first installs a local data collection unit at the customer's site that gathers data from the company's servers.

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At scheduled times, the unit synchronizes only block-level changes to the customer's data through a secure VPN with CTS' data vault, located offsite in a secure location.

For minor losses, customers can access the unit on their own premises, while for more major losses, they can access the unit in CTS' remote site.

Although neither Busch Consulting or CTS Companies was familiar with Unitrends before a few months ago, both seem satisfied with the company's sales and technical support.

"They have a good apparatus in place, and we were pleasantly pleased with their support apparatus," Stevens said.

     
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