There are dozens of free and low-cost cloud storage services aimed at consumers – everything from Google (News - Alert) Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, and higher end offerings from LogMeIn and Carbonite.
These tend to be ‘set it and forget it’ deals, but then hope all is well when crash time comes.
But BUMI, short for Back Up My Info!, is a step above with a fully managed cloud service for backup and recovery that was just enhanced. The service, aimed at SMBs, now includes new and improved features to support mobile devices, more specific support for Salesforce.com (News - Alert), and virtual disaster recovery (VDR).
Unlike low-end, consumer solutions, BUMI lets IT see what is going on with its data – an area that has been improved with the latest service.
Customers can use a Web interface to look at, and modify notifications and backup settings. This visibility and control is all in real time.
“Businesses face more challenges than ever when it comes to protecting their data,” said Jennifer Walzer, CEO at BUMI. “Exponential data growth has always been an issue, but on top of that we’re seeing more and more organizations using cloud-based applications, adopting virtualized environments and allowing their end-users to utilize mobile devices as part of BYOD initiatives. Today it’s no longer as simple as backing up a few physical servers to a secure offsite location. The IT landscape for many organizations has become so complex and far-reaching, driving the need for increased assurance that data can be recovered anytime and from anywhere. Our new software release helps companies address these issues in order to better protect their data.”
Tune in Your VDR
With remote and local Virtual Disaster Recovery (VDR), shops with downed computers can fail over to physical over VMware ESX servers.
Besides supporting most mobile devices running iOS and Android (News - Alert), the latest release also handles Windows Server 2012, Windows 8, VMware 5.1 and Mac OS X Mountain Lion.
And Saleforce.com customers can now back up and restore customer contact and status data.
The Support Angle
BUMI prides itself on quality support. The 24/7 support is 100 percent based in the U.S., and the company says it connects customers quickly to a live support engineer, who is an expert and doesn’t rely on scripts like so many others in support do.
In fact, all calls are answered by a live respondent, and there is no automated phone system to navigate. Meanwhile support engineers monitor customer backups every day, and can proactively alert you of problems.
A Culture all its Own
The New York city-based BUMI prides itself on an eclectic array of employees, somewhat in keeping with its location in the City that Doesn’t Sleep. In fact, company founder Walzer wanted to find just the right person to be a new systems engineer, and wasn’t satisfied with the response to a rather standard job description. So she redid the description and asked for someone with a "highly developed sense of irony and a touch of snark." Bingo. Five highly qualified candidates emerged out of some 125 applications.
BUMI, now 11 years old, boast some 40 partners over 500 customers, including law firms, hedge funds, banks, accountancies and financial and insurance firms.
On the Record with BUMI CEO Jennifer Walzer
Why did you start the company?
An old client I knew from a prior company had a major system crash, lost almost all of his data, and had no good way of getting it back. It took me about 15 minutes to realize what an opportunity this was. Data was growing out of control for many businesses, yet no one was thinking about how to recover it in a disaster. While it's true that data centers and backup solutions were available, knowledge about how to actually restore this data and all of the complexities involved was still a key missing piece. And with the downsizing of IT departments, this responsibility was usually given to the least qualified engineer on the team. I knew there had to be a better way to take care of these organizations. The market was really lacking a white glove approach to backups. If I were a client and needed support, I wanted to be able to pick up the phone and immediately speak with a senior level engineer who knew my technology and knew how my data behaved. I wanted to know that regardless of the situation, I was going to be in good hands.
What makes BUMI different from your competitors, and who do you primarily compete with?
While there are many service providers in the online data backup and recovery market, BUMI differentiates itself as a premium provider not only by delivering best-in-class technology but more importantly by offering category-leading customer service. We exclusively focus on serving a market niche that values highly personalized and responsive customer service. Unfortunately, our biggest competitor is inertia-especially with companies who've never experienced a disaster. These people often think they're ok with what they're currently doing, and are reluctant to change. Our service is very similar to insurance; you don't really value it until you need it.
How is your approach to support different?
Support starts before the sale. We provide a consultative assessment of a client's needs and focus on their recovery point objectives and whether or not there are any compliance issues that should be addressed. From set-up and configuration to ongoing support, we provide a highly personalized customer service experience. A lot of companies will just sell you backup software and facilities, and then leave it up to you to manage. While that ‘set it and forget it’ approach may work for some, we are extremely focused on support and proactively monitor backups on a daily basis, making sure our clients are taken care of around the clock. As a company, BUMI stresses a number of core values, one of which is "obsessive customer service." Our clients realize that by backing up their data, they are not only protecting their business, but also their customers and employees. And because of this, we strive to deliver the best experience possible for every single one of our clients.
What do you say to IT pros that don't trust backup to an outside provider and the cloud?
First, it is important to note that BUMI offers a hybrid approach, which includes local backups on the client's network in addition to our data center via the cloud. Before a company considers a vendor, they should consider the following: Do they understand my business? How strong are they financially? Can I speak to other customers like me? What's their support process and methodology? Where is my data located? Is it secure? Who has access to it? Just because your data is backed up to "the cloud" it doesn't necessarily mean it is safe and readily accessible.
Who came up with the name and how do customers respond?
When I first started the company, I knew I didn't have a massive marketing budget. So, I wanted a name that easily conveyed what we do. I thought that Backup My Info! pretty much summed it up. Over the years, the team and I realized it sounded a bit too consumer-oriented, plus our customers had started nicknaming us BUMI (pronounced Boo-Me!). So as the industry evolved, and the focused turned more towards recovery and less on backup, it was only natural for us to officially change our name to BUMI.
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