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BackupAssist Launches North America MSP Partner Program

For a company that’s defined itself by steady, organic growth over the last 15 years, pushing into the North American market has forced those in charge of BackupAssist to rethink their usual strategy.

Still, as the Melbourne, Australia-based company rolls out its BackupAssist as a Service (BAaaS) and MSP Program on this side of the globe, it’s become apparent that there are a few things that will never change.

“We’ve really stayed true to our customers, which is the SMB market,” Linus Chang, CEO, BackupAssist, tells ChannelE2E. “They’re after a simple inexpensive solution that just works out of the box.”

Now Chang says the company has well over 30,000 subscribing customers ranging from anyone who’s purchased a single license up to companies with hundreds of licenses.

Instant Noodle Success

BackupAssist started back in 2002 when a friend came to company founder Linus Chang complaining about how complex and expensive it was to backup a Windows server. This was back in the days of tape drives, which made backing up cost prohibitive for SMBs, says Chang.

"Fifteen years ago I was actually coding up the first version of BackupAssist from my bedroom in my parents' house, I'd quit my job and was living on instant noodles for about six months," Chang laughs.

He eventually finished the first version and, being unsure of how much to charge for the product, he slapped a $50 price tag on it. At the time, Chang says the competition was offering similar solutions for more than $1000. The company’s first company was a cemetery. “Which actually got me a bit worried,” says Chang. “But pretty soon afterward we sold to an American university and then all sorts of businesses and governments started buying it, and that’s how the business was born.”

The Right Tool For The Job

This style of organic growth would largely define the company as it expanded to have partners in 165 countries and offices in the U.S. and Australia. According to Chang, that has a lot to do with BackupAssist’s end-user focus. “A lot of our customers don’t have a Ph.D. in backup, they just want something that works, and that’s exactly what we aim to do in our software. To assist them in performing their backups,” he says.

This 10th iteration of BackupAssist’s core offering appears to extend those capabilities. It allows clients to recover the whole system from bare metal, accomplished using drive images. Additionally, file protection backups take daily snapshots of the file system for what Chang calls hundreds of days. “Really, it’s about using the right tool for the right job to protect against the risk,” he says. “Our software allows the user to use multiple tools to protect against multiple risks.”

Also included in BackupAssist 10 is a backup-to-the-cloud feature. While this might seem fairly run of the mill, Chang says it took the company about four years to implement the feature. That’s because they were determined to add compression and dual-duplication, as well as robust encryption.

The Perpetual Program

While the company has made sales to the United States directly through its website and has had a number of resellers in the country for years, this is the first time it’s officially launching a product and reaching out to media partners. “I guess we’ve grown up and we’re taking things to a new level right now,” Chang jokes.

With the official move into North America, BackupAssist is also launching a new MSP program. The new offer allows resellers exclusive access to purchase BackupAssist on a monthly subscription service. The company has dubbed the program BaaS, or BackupAssist as a Service. This is in addition to the company’s Perpetual Program, which launched in 2008.

Right now, about 75% of BackupAssist’s global sales come via the channel, while in the U.S. 50% come through the channel.

The MSP Channel Program offers a number of benefits for partners, including the ability to bundle BaaS with other services, modular pricing, dedicated support, and a fully functional 30-day trial period.

Lessons Learned

Having already expanded to 165 countries has afforded BackupAssist a number of lessons they’re eager to apply to the North American market. “It’s all about relationship building. It’s one thing to market your program, it’s another thing to them engaged in your brand and have a customer that’s ready to purchase BackupAssist,” says Troy Vertigan, VP Channel Sales & Marketing. “The one thing that we’ve found us that really helps us is providing that extra level of support for our customers. We answer the phone.”

Clients have unique environments and specific needs. Everyone’s a bit different, says Vertigan. “We need to work very closely with our channel partners to ensure mutual success.”

So far that organic growth strategy has served them well. We’ll be looking to see how it works for them here moving forward -- especially in the hyper-competitive U.S. market.