This article also appears on The VAR Guy.
A backup and disaster recovery appliance is a slick, profitable way to provide clients with a backup and disaster recovery at a price they can afford. The trick is, like any service or solution you sell, your clients need to understand the value before they will get on board. Here are some things to think about when it comes to selling a BDR.
What a BDR is and isn’t
A conversation with a business might entail going over what a BDR is and what it isn’t. Some businesses are quick to assume that a BDR is just another server and will balk at paying for something they already have. Part of helping them understand the value in a BDR is showing that it’s a tool to protect against downtime. To do that well, you’ll need to ask the right questions.
The DR conversation
A big part of selling a BDR is selling clients on the idea of backup and disaster recovery in general. There are a lot of misconceptions about what they get when they pay for a BDR appliance, so it’s important to dispel them. Asking clients certain questions about downtime can help them understand the value. Try asking things like
- If your most important systems crashed tomorrow, how would that affect your business?
- While your systems are down, do you know how much money you’re losing?
- If a system went down tomorrow, what would you do?
- Do you understand what a good disaster recovery plan could do for you?
These questions really illustrate that without supplemental equipment, a business will start losing money as soon as a server or other piece of equipment goes down. For more questions that help start the DR conversation, check out this article.
Build or buy
You can build and sell your own BDR using a flexible software solution along with the right hardware. This is nice because you can choose the hardware specs that fit each client and make sure it’s the quality you’re looking for. The trouble with building is that you end up with two vendors for support: your backup software vendor and the hardware vendor. This can result in difficult-to-resolve issues and finger pointing if you run into trouble.
The other option is to buy a pre-built BDR. These are often affordable and are supported by one vendor that has an intimate understanding of how both the software and hardware work. The issue is that they may not have the hardware you’re looking for and you may not have the flexibility you need for multiple client sizes and types.
For more information on making the build or buy decision, check out our ebook Should You Build or Buy Your Next BDR?
How you’ll make money
Once your clients are ready to buy and you’ve decided to either buy a pre-built BDR or build one from scratch, it’s time to actually make some cash. There are typically two ways IT providers go about selling them.
- VAR model. VARs will typically sell the BDR along with installation and configuration. Under this model, the end client owns the BDR (and the backup software if you’re building it yourself). As a partner of the vendor, you will purchase and resell the software licenses as a reseller.
- MSP model. An MSP will usually provide the BDR, software, and services as a unified disaster recovery service for a recurring monthly fee. Monitoring and maintenance is provided by you.
The above is just a high-level look at ways you can sell a BDR or provide services along with a BDR. You can offer a BDR packaged with cloud backup and recovery, or any number of formulations. Think carefully about how you want to sell or lease BDR units so you can maximize profit while also being flexible enough to accommodate various client types.
For a more thorough look at how to sell BDRs, read our guide Selling a BDR Appliance.
Photo: Flazingo Photos via Flickr