Intermedia, which specializes in hosted Exchange, has unveiled a 100 percent data protection guarantee. But what exactly does the guarantee mean and will rival SaaS (software as a service) providers follow suit? Here are some fast facts and potential implications for managed service providers.
First, Intermedia's claims. A spokesman for the New York-based SaaS provider says:
"Any data or e-mail stored in Exchange is guaranteed to always be available. Intermedia is the first SaaS vendor to offer this level of data protection guarantee. Typical cloud vendors, such as salesforce.com, offer limited compensation for data loss in their SLA fine print."Intermedia is quick to note the following research points:
- 93% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more due to a disaster filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster. 50% of businesses that found themselves without data management for this same time period filed for bankruptcy immediately. (Source: National Archives & Records Administration in Washington)
- According to a survey commissioned by Intermedia: 70% of respondents said data protection is “extremely important” when choose a SaaS vendors, yet 36.6% don’t know if they have a data protection guarantee of any kind (even a partial guarantee).
The MSP PitchSo what's the heart of the matter here? For most MSPs and their small business customers, SaaS decisions come down to issues such as price, data availability and data privacy guarantees. Sure, many customers are willing to pay a flat monthly fee for online applications. But those same customers also want to know that their data will be secure and available.
Assuming Intermedia makes good on its 100 percent Data Protection Guarantee, MSPs may have an easier time re-branding and pitching Intermedia's hosted services to end-customers.
Also of note: Intermedia and its channel partners will likely use the 100 percent guarantee to differentiate from Microsoft's own BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite) efforts, which include hosted Exchange. Microsoft recently cut BPOS and SaaS prices, in a move that was largely considered a competitive reaction to Google Apps.
If you've spotted similar 100 percent SaaS guarantees let us know. I'm wondering if this is a single, isolated move by Intermedia or if similar market efforts are underway.
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