Backup for Resellers: Kenneth's Story

How to profit from helping people protect their data.

You've got a business to run

Aside from functioning, you need backups to work with your business operations. That means working for your clients to meet their needs, while meeting your needs as a service provider.

That is the story of every MSP, and it's the story of Kenneth.

For more technical information

read our Business Considerations at the end of this page or The Complete Guide to Backups.

The Tale of Kenneth

Like any self-made IT professional making his own way in the world, Kenneth is a hard worker. People call him all hours of the day or night needing help with their computers, their network, or their VOIP system. Half the time Kenneth is fixing problems created by the other local “experts” like Freak Squad or Geek Herd.

But people call Kenneth because he knows his stuff. He’s that go-to guy when no one else can save the day, plus he smells good.

Kenneth has three problems: 1, he needs to keep his customers happy. 2, he needs to make money. 3, he’s a Chicago Cubs fan.

Kenneth is a forward-thinking individual (go Cubbies!) who knows that he must anticipate the needs of his customers ahead of time, to be most prepared to mitigate or resolve issues. That is why he requires all of his customers to have online backup. It’s just so important, data loss so likely, that it’s not an issue he can compromise on.

Sharing the Pain

It was a dark and stormy night… actually it was just drizzling, but to Kenneth being awakened by his cell phone for a service call, it made no difference. He answered the phone in his best awake voice. Someone’s computer had crashed after having it serviced at Best Byte. They were panicked and wanted help right away, until Kenneth explained his emergency service call fee, in which case they were content to wait till morning.

It was still drizzling the next morning when Kenneth responded to the residential service call. He quickly diagnosed and repaired the distressed machine, then explained his standard service agreement to his new clients. For a flat fee he would do a health check on the computer, make sure antivirus is installed and working, and set them up with online backup.

They agreed, as did most of his clients. He quickly logged into from his tablet and created a sub-user. He then downloaded and installed the KeepVault desktop application on to their computer, selected their user directory, and let it run. He explained to his new clients that it is a service, so it will always run, even if they reboot their computer, and that if they have any problems, well, here is his card.

This was always a good moment for Kenneth: not only did he gain new business (as he often did from shoddy the service of Best Byte), but he made some extra hustle on the online backup part of the deal. It’s always nice to make residential calls as worthwhile as possible.

One Application, Many Applications

Kenneth’s clients aren’t nearly limited to accident-prone residential customers. He maintains the networks of several local businesses. Kenneth likes that he doesn’t have to have a bunch of different solutions for their backup. KeepVault neatly handles both the workstations and the servers.

He also makes a nice cut from the online backup. With a combined 65 workstations and 5 servers between his business clients, he’s able to pay some of his bills on his online backup markup alone and put a little extra cash into his Cubs World Series ticket fund.

Business Considerations

An MSP fits the technical requirements to the context of his customer. The issues unique to the MSP is the business-end of things. How will he service clients, make money, and advance his or her career?

Backup is a small but critically important aspect of that. Not only for additional income (which is important!) but also in the interests of keeping their clients secure in their data.

That’s why we recommend backup as mandatory for maintenance contracts or retainers, if not with one-off service calls.

Operational Implications:

A good question to ask is “how much time will this backup software cost me?” Time is one of the MSP’s most precious resources, so this is an important question because...

  1. You sell it
  2. You install/configure it
  3. You support it

The first part, the sell, is a general thing: all people need their data protected, period.

The second and third part is greatly affected by which backup service you choose, particularly regarding support. Does the backup provider support you and also your end-users?

Also, even if a backup provider does support your end-users, in practice your customers will often call you, and you don’t want to blow them off. So to an extent you need to be able to do basic troubleshooting yourself.

That means your backup provider should have accurate and easy to understand documentation that you can either absorb quickly, or reference easily. If your own efforts are insufficient, you need great support from the provider themselves.

That’s why choosing a backup provider is an important decision, because it relies on a business relationship that supports you and your clients.

KeepVault for Resellers