Jul
25

Case Study: StorageCraft and eMazzanti Technologies

Case Study: StorageCraft and eMazzanti Technologies

July 25
By

The smell of diesel fuel triggers memories for Jennifer Mazzanti. She and husband Carl Mazzanti are Hurricane Sandy survivors. So is the business they run together, eMazzanti Technologies in Hoboken, New Jersey.

“After the hurricane, there were so many generators running, everyone smelled like diesel fuel. Even now, months later, I get PTSD symptoms when I smell diesel fumes,” Jennifer says.

In October 2012, the majority of their customers, as well as their own business headquarters, were located in areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy. Despite the ravages of the storm, Carl and Jennifer not only saved their business, but their customers’ businesses as well.

“Within 72 hours of Sandy, we recovered all of our customers,” Carl says.

Case Study: StorageCraft and eMazzanti Technologies (865.3 KiB, 629 downloads)

Surviving Disaster in the Danger Zone

Since opening their business a few days before 9/11, Carl and Jennifer have weathered several disasters—from terrorist attacks and economic recession to hurricanes, floods, and blizzards.

“For 12 years, we’ve been a major IT player in the small and medium-sized business space in the greater NYC area,” says Carl. “We opened our doors just before September 11th, 2001, and found a way to focus on helping our customers succeed regardless of the challenges. The result was double-digit growth for each of the years we have been in business.”

In March 2013, they made their first non-organic growth acquisition with a purchase of a small networking company, along with its customers. Today, eMazzanti Technologies is bigger and stronger than ever. The company’s secret of survival? Using best-of-breed technology and following best practices for business continuity. For disaster resistance, they chose StorageCraft technology. In fact, the Mazzantis have been using StorageCraft backup and recovery solutions for almost eight years.

StorageCraft ShadowProtect was a game changer,” Jennifer explains. “Tapes were a nightmare—unreliable backups, usually managed by a client’s low-level employee, plus the high implementation and maintenance costs of tape backups.”

They are currently in the process of migrating their newly acquired customers from tape backup to ShadowProtect, an image-based backup solution.

“In two weeks we were able to convert half of the acquired new company’s customers to StorageCraft,” Carl says. “That includes one customer trying to manage 39 backup tapes a month. Soon 100 percent of our customers will be on ShadowProtect.”

Jennifer says StorageCraft has also helped them improve customer relationships.

“Choosing StorageCraft for business continuity was one of the smartest decisions we’ve made,” she adds. “ShadowProtect is definitely more cost-effective for our clients. Plus, it is more reliable. We know that it’s working, and we can easily test and prove to our customers it’s working. That is something we use to maintain trust and a good relationship with our clients.”

Disaster Resistant Technology Saves the Day

In recent years, the Mazzantis’ technology decisions have withstood some of the most rigorous challenges Mother Nature can dish out: Hurricane Irene, Hurricane Sandy, and Winter Storm Nemo.

“Irene was the practice run, the year before Hurricane Sandy,” Jennifer says. “It forced us to prepare and think about the kind of readiness our clients expect.”

But 14 months later, Carl and Jennifer did not expect the magnitude of damage Hurricane Sandy would dump on their own business, in addition to their clients in the storm-ravaged Northeast. The eMazzanti building was flooded out, along with most of Hoboken, New Jersey.

“Our biggest lesson from Sandy was that it is just as important to treat our own site as ‘a client.’ We tend to be client-focused in any emergency,” Jennifer says. “At a bare minimum we need to be up and running or we can’t help anyone else.”

In the days before Sandy hit, every eMazzanti employee was moved to a customer support role, checking backups and making sure clients were as prepared as possible.

“In the end, power was our biggest challenge,” Carl recalls. “We did not have power, and a lot of clients in lower Manhattan did not have power. We were under water, and at the time the storm happened we couldn’t tell which customers were not under water, just that their systems were reporting down to our management systems.”

So they set up temporary headquarters in an employee’s home outside the danger zone and started calling customers with cell phones.

“We had to triage everyone first, figure out who needed help and how we could help. We had to strategically see where to bring up servers, locally or virtually. Then we had to move equipment to different locations to get customers up and running,” he says. “For one customer we climbed up 19 flights of stairs to get their servers (no elevators when the power is out), walked two blocks, and up another 14 floors to get them to a data center.”

Every client and many of eMazzanti’s vendors were affected by Hurricane Sandy. In some cases, customers shared equipment and power with other customers who were waiting for new equipment to arrive.

“The recovery was a great StorageCraft performance. We ordered new parts, used StorageCraft to bring systems back up, and with StorageCraft virtualization, we had customers up and running before the new hardware arrived,” Carl says. “StorageCraft saved the day.”

A few months later, when Winter Storm Nemo blew in, the Mazzantis were ready. In advance of the storm, they emailed all of their customers to help them know what to expect, double-checked backups, and placed engineers with recovery equipment outside the area.

From: Carl Mazzanti

Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2013 8:10 PM

To: Our Customers in the Northeast

Subject: eMazzanti Technologies Winter Storm Nemo Service Advisory

Winter Storm Nemo could go down in the history books of crippling New England blizzards. eMazzanti advises that all of its customers in the Northeast region take precaution and review these winter storm tips.

The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning in effect from 6 am Friday to 1 pm EST Saturday. In anticipation of this storm eMazzanti has taken the proper precautions to ensure that we will continue to seamlessly provide the same superior quality of service.

Although we at eMazzanti are hopeful that this winter storm will not be the cause of any business emergency, we are fully prepared to support you in the event that there is a need. eMazzanti has taken the steps to verify the integrity of our customers’ business continuity. This includes staffing engineers outside of the anticipated region of impact for this storm and verifying customer backups.

We recommend everyone heed the warnings by the National Weather Service and please stay safe through the impending storm. Should you have any questions or concerns, please email or call us. We are here to help.

Regards,

Your {e}Care Management Team

eMazzanti Technologies

“It helps to build a trust relationship with your clients,” Jennifer says. “We heard from many that we were the only vendor who contacted them beforehand to give them moral support and help them prepare for Nemo. They even sent thank-you notes.”

Forecast: 100 Percent Sunny

Carl and Jennifer Mazzanti did not lose a single customer’s data during Hurricane Sandy or Winter Storm Nemo. In fact, just five months after Hurricane Sandy, they bought another company.

“Sandy literally flattened some of our competitors in this region,” Carl says. “We not only kept 100 percent of our customer base, we have expanded another 50 percent in the short time since Sandy.”

Though they do not like recounting the hours of cleanup, the stress, and the sleepless nights, the Mazzantis can be philosophical about their hurricane survival now.

“I feel like it brought us closer to our customers,” Jennifer says. “A vendor that didn’t skip out on them, and we were in it with them. We had water in our own office, but we kept going.”

They were able to support their customers in large part because StorageCraft allowed them to virtualize servers for their clients and for their own business.

“If we’d been trying to use tape backup it would have been a nightmare,” Carl says. “We could work remotely in locations away from the storm damage, and our customers could, too. We actually had clients helping other clients because they had power and Internet access. We helped broker assistance between clients who had storage or equipment or power, and those who did not. We realized if you cannot bring power to the client, bring the client to the power.”

As disaster survivors, the Mazzantis have this advice to other IT consultants and service providers:

  • Develop a business continuity strategy. Disaster resistance may have been optional in the past, but now it should be part of your business strategy. Storms of this magnitude are becoming more and more common.
  • Make StorageCraft a core part of your overall business continuity strategy and test your fail-over systems on a regular basis.
  • Gather supplies such as generators, solar-powered equipment, fire extinguishers, etc. Fuel is insanely important during a disaster.
  • Find someone outside your geographical area and partner with them. Set up “technical overflows” so your partners can help take calls when your call center is overloaded.
  • Choose only the best technology partners and business partners.

“When we choose our vendors, we’re extremely selective. We focus on one vendor in each category—servers, infrastructure, cloud, email, etc.—so we can build deeper technical expertise and have input on the development of products with that vendor,” Carl explains. “StorageCraft is our strategic partner for business continuity.”

“We know we are offering our clients only the best because we have done our homework,” Jennifer says.

Founded in 2001, eMazzanti Technologies is an IT consulting firm located in one of the most densely populated—and competitive—regions in the United States. It provides IT consulting services for businesses ranging from home offices to multinational corporations throughout the New York metropolitan area, the United States, and internationally.

About eMazzanti Technologies

eMazzanti Technologies offers a suite of {e}Care services, including cloud computing, network monitoring, hosted email, managed print, and business continuity/disaster recovery. Customers can choose from two business continuity/disaster recovery options: file folder level or complete system backup with rapid recovery.

Over the last four years, eMazzanti has had zero turnover in employees. This allows the company to deliver a consistent level of service and satisfaction to its customer base.

“Employee retention absolutely generates customer retention,” says CEO Carl Mazzanti. “We empower our employees with the latest technology and with an unlimited budget to solve a customer’s problem.”

In March, eMazzanti Technologies was named as a 2013 SMB Nation Top 150 winner. The award recognizes leadership in the IT industry for the SMB market worldwide. Currently, eMazzanti Technologies is the 2012 Microsoft Partner of the Year. The firm is also WatchGuard’s four-time Partner of the Year and has made the Inc. 5000 list for the last four years.