Why resellers need to master on-premises and cloud backup
Kate Mollett, Regional Director, Commvault Africa

Why resellers need to master on-premises and cloud backup

The reseller that can develop knowledge to understand vendor offerings, understand customer environment, propose the solution that best meets these needs, is the reseller that will be most successful in hybrid backup says Kate Mollett at Commvault Africa.

In recent years many more organisations have embraced Software as a Service, SaaS, particularly Backup as a Service, BaaS as increased workloads have migrated into the cloud. In Africa, this migration to the cloud is being led by smaller enterprises without the legacy infrastructure and investment, whereas the larger businesses have shifted critical workloads in order to gain agility advantages.

In either instance, having on-premises backups make little sense for cloud-based data, although large enterprises still tend to have secondary backups to their own infrastructure. As the way that backups and data management are performed continues to evolve alongside cloud and hybrid environments, the reseller needs to take on a new role.

It is no longer about selling a backup appliance to a customer, but about having knowledge and experience of the various offerings that exist in the market to craft a comprehensive solution to meet customer needs.

Although many organisations in Africa have embraced the cloud, bandwidth remains an expensive commodity, which is holding some enterprises back from a complete cloud migration. There also remains the hidden costs like ingress, egress, and network charges, and customers are aware of these potential expenses.

This has resulted in the majority of businesses adopting a hybrid scenario of certain elements on-premises and others in the cloud. This adds a layer of complexity to the backup and data management environment, which means that it becomes more important than ever to adopt the best solution.

Cloud storage and backup are based in a hosted environment, whether this is with one of the major hyperscalers or within a private cloud, while on-premises backups require infrastructure hosted either in a datacentre or on business premises. The decision of which to use depends on many factors, and the best blend is often entirely dependent on the unique situation of the business.

This makes it more important than ever for resellers to propose solutions, rather than sell products, so that customers can get the best option for their unique requirements.

For smaller businesses that are entirely in the cloud, cloud backup and storage make complete sense. This scenario removes the need for physical infrastructure to house the backups as well as ensures they are physically secure. However, the data remains the responsibility of the organisation that generated it.

For large enterprises, key workloads in the cloud can provide agility benefits, and cloud backups for these again make sense, but there is still a need to house a copy on premises to avoid latency with recoveries as well as expensive egress charges.

This complexity is exactly where the reseller need to play the most important role.

Customers, especially in Africa, look to resellers as a trusted advisor. They expect the reseller to have done research and developed insight into products, performed the necessary assessments and be able to understand what mix of products will deliver the best solution.

There are many solutions available, from vendor-managed SaaS solutions to hybrid vendors, pure cloud offerings and more. Blending this with traditional on-premises backups can be complex, and it becomes important to simultaneously support digital transformation while ensuring legacy solutions remain operational.

While there are dedicated tools available on the market for this, the customer does not want to spend time finding the solutions. On the other side of the coin, the days of resellers dropping boxes are long gone.

The reseller that can develop the knowledge needed to understand the offerings, understand the customer environment, and propose the most apt solution that best meets these needs, is the well-rounded reseller that will be the most successful in this challenging environment.

Mark Appleton, Chief Customer Officer, ALSO Cloud UK
Mark Appleton, Chief Customer Officer, ALSO Cloud UK

Selecting the right partner

The success of any long-term collaboration depends on two-way partnership and the ability to remain transparent throughout the process. The right channel partner should understand the needs of a business and provide solutions tailored to those needs.

Partnerships are at the heart of the channel, and success for resellers and MSPs is often tied to collaborative relationships with partners. A 2022 survey based on 650+ partner professionals and executives found that 49% of organisations attribute at least a quarter of their revenue to partners, and 65% consider partnerships critical to their future.

With technology solutions and reseller companies as the highest ranked for the most critical partner type, resellers and MSPs need to identify the right partners that can provide operations to enhance their system orchestration and unleash the full potential of their ecosystems. Companies that do invest in partner channels can have more robust ecosystems that drive more revenue and retain customers.

Partners must be adaptable to help MSPs and resellers meet their goals while anticipating their future needs. Common goals, strategies, and expectations achieve a successful channel partnership. One potential avenue to explore is using value-added services like skilling employees to grow revenue streams and net new customers. However, ensuring that both parties have similar objectives is essential for practical cooperation.

Partners must understand MSP’s challenges and opportunities within their domain. Whether troubleshooting, addressing technical issues, or offering resources, a strong channel partner should be an extension of the company’s support network to ensure clients have a seamless experience.

Partner should have a clear understanding and in-depth knowledge of the sector these resellers operate within, crucially to provide fast responses and maintenance services to nurture the relationships. In doing so, they can offer strategic consulting services and help companies navigate complex landscapes to make informed decisions while ensuring ongoing support and customer success beyond the initial integration.

Ensuring the end customer has the highest level of service for their company data and employees is more apparent than ever. The ability to run assessments across their systems will increase colouration and trust, enhancing customer service and repeat business across the channel.

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