Intermedia Offers 100% Data Protection Guarantee on Exchange 2010By Ericka Chickowski | Print
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The guarantee is the first of its kind and could mark a shift in the way SaaS providers assure customers of the safekeeping of their data.
The market’s leading Exchange hosting provider, New York-based Intermedia,
announced this week that it will roll out the first ever new hosting service
for Microsoft Exchange 2010 with an attractive new twist: a 100 percent data
protection guarantee for customer information stored within Exchange.
The guarantee is the first of its kind and could mark a shift in the way SaaS providers assure customers of the safekeeping of their data. According to Bob Leibholz, vice president of sales and business development for Intermedia, the company’s new guarantee differentiates the organization from other hosting providers who only concern themselves with SLAs (service-level agreements) that include uptime guarantees.
"Uptime guarantees are, of course, about service availability. Data protection is about keeping data safe and ensuring you’ll always have it," Leibholz says. "And that really is a fundamental and core issue around hosting today. It is sort of the elephant in the room that people don’t talk about. Customers still often don’t have a comfort level that whatever happens, their data is guaranteed."
And this, says Jeffrey Kaplan of analyst firm THINKstrategies, is an element on the decision matrix for SaaS services that really needs to be emphasized.
"Whenever organizations entrust their data to a third party, whether via a cloud computing service or a traditional outsourcing arrangement, it's important to evaluate the vendor's technical and operational capabilities to fully protect the data," Kaplan said in a statement. "We recommend businesses carefully evaluate the vendors' ability to verify they have the proper backup and recovery systems as well as the policies in place to safeguard their records."
Intermedia’s claims are made based not on marketing merits, but on the basis of its multimillion-dollar infrastructure, Leibholz says.
"Its not just meaningless words," Leibholz says of the guarantee. "Our infrastructure replicates data across multiple data centers, [and] maintains several copies in the original data center as well as one in an alternate data center. And then we also have tape backup. Because there are so many copies of the data, we can guarantee that it will always be there."
Intermedia currently supports 225,000 premium hosted Exchange users across multiple versions of the product. The company has a robust private-label program, depending on more than 4,000 partners to sell the hosted solutions. Leibholz says the company is constantly on the lookout for new partners, signing up more than 100 new private-label deals each month.