A former Vembu customer tells of his experience switching to MAX Backup.
Dan Engbers from Proactive Backups in Calgary is a former Vembu customer, who tells of his experience switching to MAX Backup.
Tell us a little about Proactive Backups
Proactive Backups provides online backups to Canadian customers that don’t want their data stored outside of Canada. We are also a partner centric company, where an IT company can partner with Proactive Backups to use our systems for their clients and receive a commission for the life of the contract.
How does it feel to be responsible for your customers IT (and probably their business?)
As a partner centric company, we need to know our partner’s customers are reliably backed up and that their data will be available when they need it most. It’s almost more pressure than if we managed the clients ourselves as we know some partners are using our systems exclusively for their customers.
Tell us how, if you deliver great IT systems what that means to your customers and what it allows them to do for their customers.
Our goal is to deliver reliable backups to our partners and, as such, represent them in the most professional manner possible. If our backups are reliable and available when they need us the most, it makes our partners look good. If our systems fail our partners would also fail.
Challenges and Goals
How were things before you started using MAX – problems you might have been facing?
We were facing many issues. Backups that needed to be monitored constantly, restores that were inconsistent, and constantly being told by support that the solution was to “upload a new full”.
What was the feeling when you were informed about the changes Vembu are making to their service? How would those changes impact your business?
The odd thing is that we were never actually informed of the changes. We, like all partners, discovered the changes either through the forum or by contacting sales or support. There has been no official announcement made to this day. We were already looking for a solution to replace Vembu because we were not interested in adopting new software with proprietary enhancements. When Vembu said they re-wrote the software and patented their technology we started looking for something new. Their software was never designed to be reliable, only to be sold. They concentrated on features rather than stability and reliability.
What were you looking for in a solution?
We were looking for software that could truly be relied on. A software offering that took the partner into consideration and didn’t try to compete with them. If we had to put our name and reputation behind another solution it would have to be elegant and reliable.
How importance was stability in a vendor?
This was an extremely important factor. Using an “up and coming” vendor was simply not an option. Considering a vendor strictly based on price is what got us in trouble before so we decided to seek out a vendor with a proven track record. MAX is well known in the industry and a name we can trust. Also, the pricing model allowed us to lower our prices and increase retention for our customers.
When looking for a replacement for Vembu, why did you choose MAX Backup?
We actually met with our rep, Chris Groot, before choosing Vembu. What a mistake! If I could go back I would have chosen MAX Backup and we’d be much more successful now than we are. After considering other software vendors and even testing their offerings, I can finally sleep at night knowing I chose the best solution.
What were the main features that drew you to MAX Backup and how do they differ from those offered by Vembu?
Support is a big one. I had to pay extra for support from Vembu and their responses don’t come close to MAX. I can contact support through chat as part of our package! I use it all the time, and the knowledgebase has been an amazing source of information for us.
How many servers and workstations are you currently backing up and how does MAX Backup help with these requirements?
We are still transitioning our clients to the new service, but the way MAX Backup handles new information makes the transition easy. Through the technical training we discovered that a new backup will start with the newest information, and then repeat this process at the scheduled backup time. This means that we don’t need to chase customers down for seed loads, we simply need to store their old backups for a set amount of time and rely on MAX backups for everything else starting the day we started!
How easy was it to get MAX in place for you and your customers?
The process was quite simple. Bring up a storage node and start backups. I watched the video and followed the instruction and everything just worked. Having the management piece in the cloud and managed by MAX is a big advantage for us. We are a backup provider only, so less management on the back end means increased profits.
How long did the transition over to MAX Backup take?
We are still transitioning, but the process will take far less time than other vendors due to us being able to offer our partners read-only access to the Cloud Management Console and MAX building the software in such a way that coordinating seed-loads is not necessary for any company that already had a backup in place.
How has MAX helped facilitated the move?
Every question I’ve had, I’ve gotten an answer to. Our rep even got back to me with answers late night, and I’ve never had an issue initiating a chat session with support. Support is the single greatest asset a software vendor can have and MAX does an amazing job with it.
Can you tell us a bit about how your business has changed by using MAX Backup and the way you work better now?
Due to the change in pricing we did have to redesign our company from the ground up. New pricing plans, new billing system, new software to train and advertise. The thing we’ve found is that MAX Backup was designed for the partner. So aside from having to make some changes, we’re actually able to offer our backups at a lower price and do it easier using products instead of adjusting quotas. With Vembu we were constantly managing full quotas and their API was difficult to work with and always seemed like an afterthought. This is not the case with MAX Backup, this software was designed logically and with the partner in mind.
Did the migration to MAX Backup run smoothly?
So far, more smoothly than we anticipated.
Would you recommend other MSPs make the switch?
We started a group on LinkedIn to assist other Vembu partners with the transition. MAX Backup seems to be the solution a lot of providers are going with. I recommend this to any MSP.
How has MAX made your life easier and helped to streamline your service?
Absolutely, we redesigned our business around this software.
Has MAX helped to reduce costs (or work more efficiently)?
Our labor costs have been decreased dramatically.
How has MAX delivered a better service to customers?
As stated previously, MAX has done an outstanding job supporting us so far and I look forward to a long standing relationship. I feel like I’m finally being taken care of and that someone is taking my business as seriously as I am.