The cloud makes CRM more accessible to SMBs, but solutions must be layered with backup and recovery.

5 Min Read
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Until recently, big enterprises were the primary adopters of CRM technology. While this is changing as CRM technology is becoming more scalable and accessible to SMBs, here are three reasons SMBs only recently began widely adopting CRMs:

  1. Ability to spread out CRM costs 
    The costs to implement CRMs were traditionally quite high and included the cost of hardware, software, licenses, and additional investment to manage and maintain the applications. Now, many SMBs can spread these costs out over months or years.

  2. Less complexity in CRM implementation 
    CRM implementations used to be so complex that organizations had to deploy the application on several servers, and this involved a lot of configuration to get the system working properly. With cloud-based SaaS models, this process can be completed much faster and with fewer interruptions to an MSP’s team.

  3. Easier-to-maintain CRM environment with cloud hosting  
    With the advent of cloud and subscription-based pricing, CRM applications are hosted in the cloud, and small businesses can take advantage of a full-fledged CRM implementation with a pay-as-you-use pricing model (per user/per month cost).

With the adoption of CRM solutions by SMBs comes the challenge of ensuring data remains available to users. And while some CRMs, like Microsoft Dynamics 365, include some backup and recovery built-in already, they’re often not robust enough to provide the data security and recoverability standards most SMBs require to maintain SLAs.

The Cloud-Based Data Recovery Myth  

When it comes to CRM and SaaS data, many SMBs and MSPs make the mistake of assuming that data is secure when it’s housed in the cloud. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even in the cloud, your own employees could accidentally delete important client information or unknowingly click on a malicious email that lets a threat actor into your system.

Placing too much faith in a CRM or SaaS vendor to keep data safe is risky. As cyberthreats rise amid COVID-19 closures, MSPs must take greater measures to prevent IT service delivery disruptions to their clients.

Why Backup and Recovery Is Essential for Cloud-Based CRMs

Most organizations downplay the risk of not protecting their SaaS data, but one ransomware attack can change that. For this reason, critical customer experience data in Microsoft Dynamics 365 needs to be protected.

Data loss can occur due to various reasons:

  1. SaaS platform disruptions
    Microsoft and other SaaS vendors strive to keep their services up and running, but these online services occasionally suffer disruptions and outages. What’s more, SaaS vendors state that they’re not liable for any data loss that may result due to these disruptions—you are.

  2. Human errors 
    By far, the biggest reason for CRM data loss is human error. No matter how careful you or your employees are, SaaS data is easy to misplace, write over, or lose.

  3. Programmatic errors
    Data loss can result because of third-party application integrations or large data migrations that you run within the Microsoft Dynamics 365 application.

  4. Cyberattacks
    Digital transformation and remote work environments due to COVID-19 have opened up many attack vectors for hackers and malicious programs to exploit.

  5. Reliance on Microsoft’s native backup
    SaaS vendors like Microsoft often provide tools and mechanisms to back up your SaaS data. But can you rely on those backups to recover your users’ SaaS data? Not completely. SaaS vendors aren’t responsible for recovering data accidentally deleted by a user.  Microsoft’s service agreement recommends the use of third-party backup applications to regularly backup content and data.

  6. Backups at instance level 
    Microsoft’s native backup allows you to back up SaaS data and recover it at an instance level (production and sandbox instances). It doesn’t allow you to perform backups at the fields/object level.

  7. Retention of the backups 
    You can retain backups of your production instance with one or more Microsoft Dynamics 365 applications for up to 28 days. System backups of your sandbox instances are retained for up to seven days, and you can’t extend this timeframe.

  8. Limited data restore options
    Microsoft doesn’t allow you to perform an in-place restore of your production instance. To perform in-place restore, you need to first switch it to a sandbox environment, and changing an environment type to sandbox will immediately reduce backup retention to seven days.

  9. Ransomware protection
    Microsoft Dynamics 365 does not protect against ransomware, malware or any defense against malicious users.

  10. No integrated backups 
    Suppose your customer has both Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365, a norm for SMBs. In that case, you will need to implement two separate data-recovery solutions, which is a risk over time due to the integration between the two applications.

A Recovery Solution Designed for Microsoft Dynamics 365  

What’s clear is that CRMs like Microsoft Dynamics 365 should be accompanied by a more comprehensive recovery solution to ensure important customer information can always be restored. Fortunately, there’s a tool for this. It’s called ConnectWise Recover SaaS, and it offers extensive backup and recovery protection for Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM data.

Here are eight ways ConnectWise Recover SaaS makes Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM data more recoverable:

  1. Comprehensive data protection 
    ConnectWise Recover SaaS keeps track of all changed fields in the Microsoft Cloud Dynamics CRM applications and can easily roll needed data back in-place. It backs up entities/objects (and their related metadata), including its relationship(s), and recovers them without any service disruptions.

  2. Keep data as long as you’d like  
    Match your retention period for backup as per your business needs. You have the flexibility to define retention in days, months, and years.

  3. Fast to deploy 
    No installation is needed. Just create a SaaS backup account, configure a Microsoft Dynamics 365 connector with a secure connection to your Dynamics instance, and you are up and running within minutes. There’s no Capex involved.

  4. Easy to use 
    A simple, intuitive, and easy to use web interface eliminates complexities to configuring Microsoft Dynamics 365 backups, performing granular restores, or reviewing job statuses through job monitor or the SaaS Dashboard.

  5. Automated backups 
    Daily automated backups that run at least twice daily provide peace of mind.

  6. Expand as needed 
    There’s no need to deploy multiple SaaS backup solutions to protect Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365. Use one single platform with an easy-to-use interface to add connectors for Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365, G Suite and Salesforce—then back them all up in one place.

  7. Ransomware protection 
    ConnectWise Recover SaaS comprehensive backup and recovery capabilities allow our customers to roll back to any point in time and recover exactly the data that got compromised or lost.

  8. Rich search and restore 
    When it comes to restoring entities and records from Microsoft Dynamics 365, it has to be fast and effortless. ConnectWise Recover SaaS provides smart search capabilities across all snapshots allowing you to quickly identify and restore data at the granular object level. With a preview and restore capability, you can be sure the data you are restoring is the correct record prior to restoration.

To learn more about how ConnectWise Recover SaaS can provide extensive backup capabilities for several different CRMs, review this datasheet. If you’re ready for a more in-depth look, watch the ConnectWise Recover SaaS demo.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.


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