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As solution providers and their customers struggle with increasing
regulatory and financial pressures, demand is increasing for backup and
disaster recovery solutions delivered via a software-as-a-service (SAAS) model.

To help solution provider partners capitalize on this demand, Bell Micro has
teamed with Teneros to deliver Teneros’ new high-availability and disaster
recovery SAAS solution for Microsoft Exchange.

The new solution offers Teneros’ Instant-On failover technology and provides
round-the-clock e-mail uptime for businesses running Microsoft Exchange, says
Manish Kalia, vice president of marketing and founder of Teneros.

While Bell Micro already had a strong partnership with Teneros, selling the
vendor’s high-availability appliances, the new partnership takes advantage of
solution providers’ need for the flexibility and cost efficiency a SAAS model
can provide while helping customers secure their mission-critical e-mail and
messaging platforms, Kalia says.

“Messaging infrastructure and e-mail have become much more than just an
application for customers,” he says. “It’s a platform, a cornerstone of
communication and collaboration,” Kalia says. He adds that many corporate
systems like unified messaging, BlackBerry networks and the like are built on
customers’ e-mail platforms, increasing demand for a solution that can provide
affordable disaster recovery and backup in this space.

Kalia says that with the economy floundering, most organizations are having to
deal with reductions in their capital expense budgets, which makes backup and
disaster recovery more difficult to accomplish. Many customers affected by
slashed IT budgets are looking for SAAS offerings that include a hybrid on-site
appliance but are delivered and managed remotely, he says.

“We’re making a much bigger play now as we see increased demand—and we’re seeing
demand all the way from an SMB to large customers with over 20,000 employees,”
he says. In addition to increased budget constraints, many large organizations
are under regulatory pressure as well, and it’s imperative that they have a
secure, high-availability solution that allows them to safely archive
intellectual property as required, he says.

The hybrid solution allows solution providers to deploy Teneros’ appliances on
site, and customers store their data on the appliance within their own network,
Kalia says. The appliances are remotely monitored and managed by Teneros
solution providers from remote locations, he says, eliminating the need for
additional IT skills or in-house maintenance.

For Bell Micro solution provider partners, the ability to offer a hybrid
on-site and SAAS model solution means partners can offer increased flexibility
to customers and can provide multiple routes to market, says Gary Gammon,
senior vice president of enterprise marketing for Bell Micro.

“From a customer perspective, it makes perfect sense to have an appliance-based
solution as well as this service, and it makes their decision to buy much
easier,” Gammon says. “Resellers love having more than one way to sell, and
this can give them extra protection in a market where closing deals is tough.”
The service requires no up-front investment, and is billed on a per-mailbox
monthly fee, he says.

Gammon says Bell Micro is currently looking at other, similar SAAS partnerships
with vendors that could be complementary for Bell Micro’s existing hardware

“We definitely see potential to expand this, with SAAS offerings that build on
our core competencies and help our resellers be more flexible and profitable,”
Gammon says.