PlanITDR Launches Disaster Recovery Documentation Platform for MSPs
The folks behind ThinkGard, one of Datto‘s top 10 partners and an MSP focused entirely on data protection, are launching a new business called PlanITDR. The new company, pronounced “Planet DR”, offers an online platform that allows MSPs and channel partners to create and deliver disaster recovery plans — i.e., actual documentation — for their end-customers.
The online service claims to offer MSPs five key benefits:
- Removes the guesswork from disaster recovery planning & testing;
- Standardizes an MSP’s DR plans for all clients and all DR products;
- Adds even more value and increase customer retention rates;
- Helps MSPs to win more details; and
- Differentiates adopters from rival MSPs in the market.
The PlanITDR platform starts at $99 per month for an MSP that wants to support up to 50 customers, while an advanced plan costs $199 per month for an MSP that wants to support an unlimited number of customers. The effort initially supports MSPs running Datto, but additional third-party BDR support wizards are planned.
Although “documentation” is part of PlanITDR’s mission, the online service should not be confused with IT Glue — which is more of a general purpose documentation offering for MSP businesses.
Names to Know
PlanITDR’s three co-founders have extensive experience in the MSP data protection & IT market. The names to know include CEO Paul Franks, President Kevin Fuller and Partner Chris Jones.
Franks and Fuller also run ThinkGard, a technology risk management firm specializing in intelligent disaster recovery and business continuity planning. Think of it as an MSP focused entirely on BDR and overall data protection. Jones, meanwhile, is a 24-year veteran of the IT world. The trio’s combined experience in the BDR & IT markets allowed them to spot an industry pain point that needed solving.
- MSPs that sell BDR services typically don’t have the time or expertise to develop full-blown, documented disaster recovery plans for their clientele.
- The situation is equally painful for end customers that embrace BDR services — but don’t necessarily know how to navigate and operate during a data emergency. Indeed, only 38 percent of enterprises actually test a disaster recovery plan on a regular basis, according to an IDC research report from 2015. ChannelE2E suspects the situation is even worse for SMBs.
Amid those gaps, PlanITDR was born as a pure channel company. “At ThinkGard all we do is backup and disaster recovery and keep business data up and running while most MSPs offer an array of services,” said Franks, in a prepared statement. “A huge selling point for us has been that our solution has always included delivering a solid disaster recovery plan to our customers. I’m probably giving away a little of our secret sauce for our success, but it’s something the industry desperately needs. Law firms, banks, CPA firms, and public sector agencies typically require this type of documentation so it will help MSP’s sell in markets they never considered competing in before and being such as competitive market, it adds value and helps with customer retention.”
Meanwhile, Fuller says writing a DR plan is a time consuming process. Most people don’t know where to start, he notes, including experienced MSPs. Amid those challenges, the PlanITDR online service is “a much needed way to streamline the process by turning something that usually takes days into something that only takes minutes,” Fuller adds. “It’s not unheard of for the disaster recovery documentation to take a back seat to the actual business end of the solution. It is the elephant in the room for managed service providers. With the recent waves of ransomware and malware incidences popping up, customers need a documented process to know the steps to kick off their systems to recover their data as quickly as possible. There’s just no time for guessing.”
In addition to the MSP know-how that Franks and Fuller bring to the table, Jones also packs technical know-how. He has 24-years experience in the IT world across verticals like education, government, finance, and manufacturing. The University of Alabama graduate spent time as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force managing the Air Force Academy network and Air Force Intranet Control Center, then Director of Information Technology for a regional homebuilder and global hedge fund. He holds or has held certifications from Cisco and Red Hat, and has been a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) since 2005.
It’s safe bet PlanITDR will have a presence at the upcoming DattoCon18 conference in June.