OfficeSuite® Application Protection - Protect What Matters Most: Your Business Apps
Stop and think about all the vital processes that enable your business to operate. Consider how you:
- communicate internally and externally
- nurture client relationships
- manage your finances
- collect revenue
- allocate crucial resources
- report on, and analyze, key operations
- service customers, such as appointment setting and tracking shipments
- handle online operations or e-commerce, such as order placement and customer billing
Then think about all the critical business applications that support these processes: email, instant messaging, video conference software; CRM solutions; accounting applications; Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) applications; Point of Sale (POS) applications; and lastly, databases. After you’ve made your mental list, ask yourself:
‘What would happen if my business lost access to these applications? How would that affect: my ability to service clients? My ability to collect revenue? My brand? My employees’ productivity? My visibility into operations?’
The unsettling truth is that the average small- to medium-sized business that loses access to its critical applications cannot fully recover operations for at least three to five hours, and that’s on the low end. On the high end, it could take several days for a business to fully recover. How much lost revenue would that mean? How much faith in your company would customers lose? What would that do to the long-term success of your business?
Up until about a year ago, the only organizations that had the resources to procure and manage technology that safeguards against application downtime were mid-market and enterprises. SMBs do not typically have robust IT departments or tens of thousands of dollars in their budgets, and these were the barriers that kept them from obtaining the same peace of mind that larger organizations had.
But that has changed. As cloud technology evolves, it becomes more sophisticated and intelligent; and it becomes more affordable as well. So, what is this technology, how does it work, and exactly what benefits can it deliver? To answer these questions, I interviewed Jeremy Bigler, Broadview Networks’ Cloud Computing Lead, to gain a better understanding of our new Application Protection service. Below is Part One of the interview series – stay tuned for more!
What is Application Protection?
OfficeSuite® Application Protection is a cloud-based service that provides organizations with a mirrored (or cloned) instance of their virtual machines (otherwise known as virtual servers), and/or their applications, all the way up to mirrored instances of an entire physical or virtual data center. Application Protection helps organizations recover quickly in the event of a disruption.
What would businesses lose as a result of NOT having a service like Application Protection?
This really goes back to a company’s risk posture. Every organization assumes risk for downtime. That risk could be loss of real or potential revenue; negative impact to brand; negative impact to employee productivity; and potentially to comfort level with the organization. Let's be honest...messages like this do NOT go over well with any of your business stakeholders - employees, clients, partners.
Any amount of application downtime ultimately translates to financial impact, and as part of a responsible continuity strategy, organizations should start by first quantifying potential risks that they would face by conducting a business impact analysis (known as a BIA), plan appropriate continuity strategies to minimize or eliminate those risks. Application Protection as part of our OfficeSuite® PrivateCloud service provides an ideal continuity strategy for many organizations to dramatically mitigate risks that they would face from unforeseen issues or disruptions.
What is the average recovery time for SMBs who lose access to their critical applications?
It would take most SMBs a number of hours to fully recover their app architecture, ranging from 3-5 hours on the low end to several days on the higher end depending on the nature of failure. (It could be hard drive failure, physical server failure, power/connectivity disruptions at site, regional disasters like Hurricane Sandy.)
Application Protection takes those 3-5 hours to several days average recovery time down to roughly 5 minutes.
Many organizations don’t fully understand their risk posture [or what type of exposure they have] or how to mitigate that exposure – that is what we help them with. What we do is educate businesses about their options and their risks so that they can make informed decisions that will help them ensure reliable operations in the future.
Is Application Protection a new type of service in the market?
It’s a newer type; it’s an emerging trend. Historically most of these services have been available to the mid-tier or enterprise level. Very rarely have we seen services like this offered to the SMB space. But they now have a need for it as well; they just didn’t have the IT resources or budgets before. Since OfficeSuite® Application Protection is cost-effective, small and mid-size businesses can now afford to protect their information and applications with similar recovery time and recovery point objectives as the mid-market and enterprise organizations have been able to do.
To learn more, stay tuned for Parts Two and Three that are coming soon.