A recurring theme in briefings with vendors is a search for a point of differentiation – there are many application types where there are a huge number of vendors all battling for market share – in situations like this everyone is trying to find a nugget of difference to crate a value proposition from. One such area is backup and disaster recovery for small business – there are almost untold vendors competing in this space – from Mozy to Carbonite, from Iron Mountain to EVault.

Often these services attempt to differentiate on technical features or price – arguably a fraught approach in such a rapidly moving and well funded industry. Recently I spoke with Jennifer Walzer, founder of Backup My Info, a managed service provider that specializes in data backup and recovery for SMB customers. While the market for off-site backup solutions can be considered a low-cost commodity, BUMI has strategically been built by delivering premium customer service, which differentiates BUMI from the competition.  Unlike third-party providers that offer a low-cost, “set it and forget it” approach to backups, BUMI delivers highly-personalized customer service and its technical team proactively monitors all backup operations around the clock, contacting clients if/when there are any errors.

BUMI is currently utilized by more than 500 small and medium-sized businesses for data protection as well as business continuity, disaster recovery and compliance initiatives. In terms of pricing (and this is where the service part comes in) BUMI includes full support and service in its pricing model and is based on compressed gigabyte storage. As an example, n organization with 100 compressed gigabytes (10 gigabytes live + 90 gigabytes in archive) is approximately $490 per month. The pricing includes free consulting to develop a custom backup strategy, 24/7 monitoring and support by senior level engineers, and free, overnight shipment of physical drives for emergency restores. It’s hard to do a direct side by side comparison as most other services charge by number of clients whereas BUMI offers unlimited users in its rate.

Part of the consulting piece of the pricing includes ensuring that highest priority data is restored first. To achieve this, the changing data (generally around 10% of an organization’s data but this varies of course) is backed up to BUMI’s online vault as well as in a local location on the clients’ network, thus ensuring it can be backed up quickly. Data that has not changed for a long period of time, or data that does not require immediate recovery, is kept on the BUMI retention vaults utilizing lower cost storage – in the event that there is too much of this low priority data to transfer practicably online, BUMI will ship this data overnight in encrypted and compressed format on a USB hard drive which can then be restored rapidly at no charge to the client. As a standard practice, a BUMI engineer will be remotely connected to assist in all recovery procedures and they are available 24 hours a day for emergency support.

Backup services are a dime a dozen. That said there are a huge number of small and medium sized organizations wanting to use their services, for those organizations that would prefer to pay  little more, but to get a full service offering, BUMI is worth a look.

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Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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