Electronic & Computer Specialties, Inc.
Lost Tax Files Put the Barracuda Intronis Backup – MSP to the Test
Electronic and Computer Specialties (ECS) doesn’t worry about its ability to restore clients’ lost data. Early in the MSP’s partnership with Barracuda MSP, a longtime client accidentally deleted 40 GB of program files, but Barracuda Intronis Backup met the challenge and helped ECS restore the files. The experience proved to the MSP based in Orange, Calif. that Barracuda MSP could confidently keep this promise: If you lose files, we can get them back.
Shortly after becoming a Barracuda MSP partner in December 2011, ECS, got a call that one of its clients, an eight-CPA firm, had lost all of its tax return and accounting data. “My heart sank,” recalls Brent Fairbanks, president of ECS. “Just a couple months prior, I switched the client over to Barracuda MSP’s hybrid backup, but I had never had to do a real-world restore with their product before.”
A technician the CPA firm used for tier-one IT support told Fairbanks that he tried launching the ProSystem fx tax and accounting software the firm used, and he received the error message: “The file can’t be found.” When he looked in the program folder on the network drive that was supposed to contain 10 years’ worth of tax returns and accounting data for the firm’s individual, corporation, and fiduciary clients, there were no files in the folder.
Fairbanks had the option of logging in remotely and performing the restore, but he wanted to investigate the situation in person to ensure he wouldn’t overwrite hidden files and further complicate the situation for the firm during the busy tax season. When he arrived, he quickly learned that the firm’s owner had purchased a new computer and asked a staff member to delete the data on the old computer. The staffer then deleted all of the files without realizing it was connected to the network.
Easy Data Restoration Results in a Loyal Client
The accounting firm’s staff was out of the office for a Christmas lunch when Fairbanks arrived to restore the files. He logged into the Barracuda ECHOplatform – MSP portal to access the customer’s backup history, found the last backup before the files were deleted, located the files and folders, indicated the path on the network where he wanted them to be restored, and pressed the “Restore” button. “In 52 minutes, all 40 GB of data were restored,” Fairbanks explains. He adds that because backups were scheduled four times per day during tax season, even returns processed that morning were recovered. “When the client returned from lunch, everything was working, and no one even realized there had been a problem — except for me, the tier-1 support person, and the owner.”
Fairbanks quips that the only downside to the experience is that his client has become almost cavalier about its ability to retrieve deleted files. “At least once a month, they have had to log in to the Barracuda ECHOplatform portal and restore an accidentally deleted document or spreadsheet,” he says.
Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) Business Grows
Now, after five years of partnership with Barracuda MSP, 40 percent of ECS’ revenue comes from BDR services. Fairbanks says talking to prospects about backup and recovery — and offering examples such as recovering the lost tax files — is a great conversation starter and an effective way to get your foot in the door. “A few months ago, I spoke with an IT administrator working at a local Christian school who was frustrated with office workers losing emails. I offered to back up a couple of mailboxes for a month for free, and after the trial period, he agreed to have me back up all of the school’s computers and servers. He even signed up for a managed services agreement,” says Fairbanks.
ECS has aggressive growth plans for the next five years, which Fairbanks also gives Barracuda MSP credit for. “Barracuda MSP introduced me to Robin Robins and the Technology Marketing Toolkit, which I started using in 2014,” he says. “The program has reinvigorated my business and helped me develop a long-term success strategy. Starting soon, I’m going to expand into new markets, such as insurance, and hire more salespeople who can talk to prospects about the importance of protecting their data.”
“The nice thing about working with a company like Barracuda MSP is that their product is simple, and it works when it counts,” Fairbanks adds. “Everybody today backs up their data. But, Barracuda MSP makes it easy to restore data, and that’s what sets them apart from many other backup companies.”