Drive Backup As A Service (BaaS) Profitability

Using Automated, Streamlined Data Protection Operations To Boost Revenue and Cut Costs

September 14, 2021

Using Automated, Streamlined Data Protection Operations To Boost Revenue and Cut Costs

Enterprise organizations are increasingly turning to MSPs for backup as a service (BaaS) offerings. The opportunity to leverage MSP subject matter expertise and offload backup software and storage management to a third-party is an attractive proposition. It’s a major reason the BaaS market is expected to grow by $14.29 billion thru 2025.

However, enterprise customer expectations, amplified by compliance guidelines and complex environments, stand in the way of driving BaaS profitability. Between managing countless challenging systems and addressing customer reporting and compliance needs in a timely fashion, MSPs are hard-pressed to cost effectively scale up BaaS operations.

These challenges are addressed head-on by introducing automation throughout the BaaS process. By identifying opportunities to automate service delivery and streamline back-end operations, MSPs can efficiently offer a range of BaaS solutions while minimizing the labor hours needed to do so. The end result high BaaS customer satisfaction and a profitable business line.

Offer Backup As A Service Features Customers Want

Driving new business to your backup as a service offering comes with showing you can easily take on a customer’s backup management and monitoring. This means giving them the peace of mind that their backup data is protected.

Simplify Oversight Of Any Backup Product If a prospective customer wants you manage their backup environment, how easy is it for your BaaS team to oversee the backup solution they have? What if they have multiple products, perhaps legacy on-prem systems as well as a cloud solution?

Relying on manual processes makes heterogeneous environment management extremely inefficient. BaaS team members must collect, normalize, and aggregate data across unique solutions on a recurring basis to make this happen. Multiplied by the sheer number of ever-evolving backup solutions in the market today adds further complexity and introduces a high likelihood of human error.

However, leveraging tools that automate this process and share data under a single pane gives BaaS teams access to necessary data the moment they need it, regardless of a customer’s backup products. This makes it much easier for your organization to bring in new customers and keep up with evolutions in backup solutions.

Give Customers Frequent Backup Health Validation Customers expect timely reports to verify that their backup data is protected, and that their MSP partner is performing regular maintenance to keep backups healthy. Developing daily, weekly, and monthly performance reports via manual efforts alone isn’t feasible. It won’t scale across the number customer environments you manage, the backup products under management, and the ideal report frequency.

Automating this process, however, makes this completely feasible. By scheduling high-level performance reports to run at a particular cadence, personnel can share performance metrics with customers on a regular basis with nearly zero overhead. Customers get the validation they want, all while you provide satisfaction on a regular basis.

Deliver SLA Confirmation in A Timely Fashion One regular but extremely time intensive task is pulling together data to demonstrate SLA adherence. Doing this customer-by-customer is extremely tedious and requires hours per month.

However, through automated report templates, you can make these monthly reports take just seconds. With pre-collected performance data and configurable SLA definitions, you’ll be able to populate monthly SLA reports quickly and easily. This means customers get SLA reports as soon as a reporting time period ends.

Be Ready for Rapid Audit Query Turnarounds A major headache for IT infrastructure teams is the time spent addressing internal or external regulator audits. Show prospective customers that you can remove this headache for them entirely.

Equip your BaaS team with tools that let them easily filter customer-specific data by time period, backup server, geography, and other related criteria. With both automated data collection across your customers’ backup products and the ability to slice and dice data exactly how auditors want to see it, your BaaS team members can return answers to audit queries in the same day. In fact, with historical data retention, you can answer queries no matter the time frame required. You’ll drive customer satisfaction with these rapid turnarounds all while expending very little labor time.

Show Your Proactive Approach to Backup Management When selling BaaS offerings to a prospective customer, consider how you can position yourself as an MSP team well-equipped to get ahead of issues that impede backup health.

Showing the proactive tools you use to identify potential critical failure issues demonstrates this. For instance, by using critical failure alerts triggered by system-wide error messages, your BaaS team can show they are able to quickly address broader problems impeding backup job successes. Or, by using tools that identify variances in backup data bytes or storage usage, you can show key tools in-hand that proactively get ahead of cybersecurity issues.

Keep Backup As A Service Costs In Check

Any service line your MSP offers will naturally come with overhead costs. Introduce ways to streamline daily operations and oversight to minimize backup as a service labor hours and improve the service line’s overall profitability.

Pre-Segment Backup Clients By Customer Any customer report you produce must be limited to just that customer’s backup environment. Manually isolating customer data is time intensive, and can result in missed tagging of relevant performance data or even improper assignment of customers’ data sets.

By using automated tagging protocols, you can easily assign backup clients to individual customer accounts. This means the moment a new backup client appears, it is immediately assigned to a specific customer. The next time you develop any type of report—weekly performance report, monthly SLA documentation, ad-hoc audit query—it will automatically populate it with the correct data.

Automate Daily Performance Reports To deliver on monthly SLA goals, your BaaS team needs daily customer backup health assessments to identify areas that need attention. This translates to 2-3 hours per day of labor time if done manually. That is a lot of time spent on low-value activities.

With automated daily backup performance reports, your team gets performance data in-hand the moment they walk in the door. This better optimizes your BaaS team’s time. They can now focus on reviewing performance, identifying potential issues, and addressing problems impeding expected backup success rates.

Enable Critical Issue Prioritization Managing enterprise-scale environments means your BaaS team is faced with many backup failures per day. Doing ad-hoc reviews could result in time spent on issues that will resolve themselves with zero intervention and more critical issues left unresolved.

Further optimize your BaaS team’s time by using automated consecutive failure detection and reporting. This is a report that isolates only those backup jobs that failed over a repeated number of attempts. With this data in-hand, your BaaS team can efficiently identify problematic failures and explore ways to resolve the underlying problem.

Streamline Unprotected Asset Discovery Customers expect you to protect all their critical data. However, with the amount of data under management and the speed in which it is created, it’s all too easy for key resources to go unprotected. The classic approach to identifying unprotected assets is hyper manual. Personnel must pull backup records, collect asset lists from asset inventory systems, spreadsheets or other sources, and then tirelessly reconcile the two. It takes countless hours and can still lead to unprotected assets falling through the cracks.

Eliminate these manual reconciliations entirely. Use tools that automate the ingestion and comparison of asset lists with assets that have active backup records. In just seconds your team receives a punch list of assets that need further review and likely protection put in place.

Automate End-To-End Ticketing Consider what goes into ticketing management: opening a ticket, populating the ticket with relevant information, routing it the to correct team member, monitoring its status, and closing it upon completion. Now multiply this process by the number of tickets your team is producing. You’ll identify far too much time spent on activities that don’t directly result in high backup success rates.

Instead, leverage tools that intelligently handle all these unique ticketing steps. While team members will still spend time assessing the failure issues, these low-value but necessary tasks can be completely removed from your team’s workflows.

Streamline Customer Billing Procedures Think about how you bill your customers for your backup as a service work. It could be based on the number of backup jobs that ran over a period of time. It could be based on the amount of storage being used. Or, it could be a mix of these and other inputs. Any monthly invoice you submit will need verification reports that include these details.

Just as with performance, audit, or SLA reports, these verification reports can take far too much time if done manually. This is especially true since billing approaches may vary across your different customers. Develop customer-specific billing templates that let you automatically populate data upon month close. With next-to-no labor hours, each customer receive objective, verifiable data to support your monthly invoices.

Driving BaaS Profitability With Automation

MSPs looking to scale backup as a service programs need to introduce automated touch points throughout their operations. These allow for high-quality service delivery while minimizing the labor time associated with any given task. Leveraging independent, automated BaaS software solutions juggle these two priorities seamlessly.

These solutions provide the reporting and verification independence customers want while automating key backup monitoring and reporting operations. When assessing BaaS software, consider tools that:

  • Integrate across leading on-prem and cloud backup solutions
  • Feature highly-customizable reporting templates
  • Enable segmentation of backup environment reporting by customer account
  • Support critical issues identification and triaging
  • Include proactive alerts to get ahead of systemic issues
  • Support broader automation across IT operations like ticketing and asset protection monitoring

Select solutions that includes this wide array of features and be well-positioned to meet and exceed BaaS expectations.