August 5, 2013 Issue
The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information
As the industry’s first Enterprise Agentless Cloud-Based Recovery Software Company, Asigra is allowing Organizations Worldwide to Protect their IT Environments, Backup and Recover Data using a 100% Channel Focused Model
Trusted since 1986, Asigra provides organizations around the world the ability to recover their data now from anywhere through a global network of partners who deliver cloud backup and recovery services as public, private and/or hybrid deployments. As the industry’s first enterprise agentless cloud-based recovery software to provide data backup and recovery of servers, virtual machines, endpoint devices, databases and applications, SaaS and IaaS based applications, Asigra lowers the total cost of ownership, reduces recovery time objectives, eliminates silos of backup data by providing a single consolidated repository, and provides 100% recovery assurance. Asigra’s revolutionary patent-pending Recovery License Model provides organizations with a cost effective data recovery business model unlike any other offered in the storage market. Asigra has been recognized as a Gartner Cool Vendor and has been included in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup and Recovery Software since 2010.
Cloud Backup + Recovery
Interview conducted by: Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – August 5, 2013
Mr. Farajun: Asigra is a software company that is based in Toronto. We sell our software to midmarket and enterprise customers through our ecosystem of partners – we are 100% channel focused - that are located around the world to protect their IT environments and to essentially backup and recover their data.
CEOCFO: There are many companies in that space. What is special about Asigra?
Mr. Farajun: We are not a service provider and we do not deliver any service ourselves. Our software is sold to a wide variety of service providers all over the world so one of the first things we figured out was not everybody wants to backup their data to a service provider that they do not know. They might be more comfortable with somebody they already have a trusted relationship with. We are 100% channel focused and likely that whoever it is that you are working or buying some type of backup solutions today might already be delivering some kind of a backup service to you leveraging Asigra’s technology. From a security perspective people want to know that the data that they are backing up is secure and protected in a way that others cannot read the data that allows them to comply with oodles of regulations which laws might be obliging them to. Asigra technology has third-party security certificates which means that it is not secure because we or our partners say it is secure but it is secure because certain governments have certified it as such. You can rely on those from a security perspective. Another thing we have figured out over time is that at the end of the day it is really about recovery and not about the backup. Our corporate mantra is “recovery is everything” and that is what people want in their backup solution. They want to be able to recover when they want as quickly as needed to get on with doing whatever it is that they were doing. It is really kind of a continuity or resumption solution to resume operations. Nobody thinks about a backup they just think about what they can recover and recover it. Those are the three things; the way we go to market, that it is a secure solution not because we said so but because governments have said so and finally the main focus of the business is on being able to recover data and not just backup.
CEOCFO: How do you reach partners?
Mr. Farajun: We reach partners by marketing to enterprise customers. We market to the end customers and do a little bit of marketing to the channel. A small percent of our marketing is directly at service providers. For the most part we want to market out to the midmarket and enterprise customers and when we market to them they reach out to us and learn about our solutions and them might call us up and ask how they can procure it and learn more about it. Then what we do is we ask them if there are any channel partners where they are buying technologies and then we will connect with those channel partners. We will basically facilitate an introduction of the end customer to one of our existing partners.
CEOCFO: What is your geographic reach?
Mr. Farajun: We have business on all six continents. One day we will do business on Antarctica when it makes sense to do so but right now we are on all six continents. We have service provider partners all over the world that focus on different types of customer verticals and segments and pretty much where everybody is doing business. There is probably an Asigra Service Provider not far away and our reach is quite long and wide.
CEOCFO: Do you have several different solutions available?
Mr. Farajun: We have one offering. We have remained since inception for twenty-seven years now, focused on doing one thing and doing it really well. We are only focused on backup and recovery and helping customers recover their data from many different devices, everything from hand-held devices like smart phones and tablets all the way to their corporate datacenters.
CEOCFO: Your website indicates that you have superior encryption; how so?
Mr. Farajun: It is superior because it is certified and we have taken the trouble to vet it. There are many technology companies that have encryptions but there are not so many technology companies that have certified the encryption that they are using. I will use an analogy to explain. It is very much like you have a door and there is a lock on the door. You can go to Home Depot or to Lowes and by a lock and you can be a do-it-yourselfer on the weekend and install the lock but just because there is a lock on the door does not mean it was installed by professional locksmiths in the sense that it can be circumvented or is much more difficult for it to be circumvented. It is the same thing with encryption and there are many technology companies that think that because they drop encryption into their product the encryption makes the whole product secure. When you go through a certification process you learn that there are very clever people in the world and they know how to circumvent encryption just like people who know how to pick locks. We have taken the trouble to go and certify it and to have US government look at the source code and things to validate the encryption that we have implemented cannot be circumvented. It gives customers an extra value level of comfort to know that.
CEOCFO: What is the key to keeping up with the new technologies?
Mr. Farajun: I think it is this multidimensional engagement. What I mean by multidimensional engagement is first of all you need to have good people on your team at your company who are plugged in to what is happening in the industry and plugged in to different technologies, enjoy learning and reading about technology so that they can see how the technology that their company creates works with other things. You have to have really good people that have a passion. The second dimension is having good partners that are also engaged with the market with technology who are engaged with it but also feed it back to you and show you new opportunities and work with you to enhance and influence your roadmap. The final dimension is having really great end customers and engagement with customers. If your end customers like your product, they are going to want to make your product more successful for them and for their peers, so they are going to be giving you feedback and engaging with you and from them you are going to learn also about what is new. If there is nothing else that we have learned, it is at least that we cannot know everything because there is just too much to know. It really becomes an ecosystem which is customers and partners that together really fill in the puzzle and helps you stay on top of the marketplace and what direction to evolve.
CEOCFO: Would you tell us about your recent breakthrough pricing model?
Mr. Farajun: We have recently introduced a new licensing model in the backup market and Asigra has a pedigree in introducing licensing models. The predominant license model in the market today is called the Capacity License Model and it was invented by Asigra in 1992. It changed the industry and at the beginning everybody laughed at Asigra like other thought leaders were laughed at. After two decades it is now the predominant pricing model and that is you pay for backup based on how much you backup. The customer that backs up more data pays more. It sounds very logical and it worked for many years but we think it is now on its last leg and that is why we created a new model called The Recovery License Model. We have done that because of data growth. Data is growing at a fast rate and the velocity of data growth is fast. As customers generate more and more data they pay more and more for their backup. The costs keep going up which puts price pressure on our partners and us and our competitors as well. It is an unsustainable model for the foreseeable future because eventually there is no ceiling to data growth and there is absolutely a floor to the cost of creating backup and recovery solutions. Once you hit that floor, that is it, a discount is zero from zero. But in the new recovery model, you pay based on how much or how little you recover. It turns out that customers recover a very small fraction of what they actually back up. Over the long-term this is a much more sustainable model because it is more cost effective for customers because they pay based on how little they recover. It is also more fair because in the current model it is not fair that one company that runs a very efficient IT shop recovers very little, to pay the same amount as their competitor and to effectively subsidize another shop that is not running the efficient IT shop and they pay the same price today. The current model is now on its last leg. It is not fair anymore and it is unsustainable. That is why we have introduced to the Recovery License Model.
CEOCFO: What about inclusion in the Gartner Magic Quadrant?
Mr. Farajun: This is our third year being included in the Gartner Magic Quadrant. It is really a market defining document. There are many midmarket and enterprise customers that look at Gartner to help them understand what technologies are relevant for them. Now, all the companies on the Magic Quadrant are good companies. Gartner does not include them unless they are worthy of closer inspection. The question is which companies are the best at solving the customers’ specific use case. You have different types of solutions and it comes down to what are your real organizational needs. Gartner is showing customers the leading vendors that cover the use cases for what is required in the marketplace. There is a specific quadrant that is focused on cloud based solutions and Asigra is ranked the best in that quadrant. It does not mean that Asigra is going to be the best solution for every company. It means that Asigra has very good solutions for customers that have cloud based requirements, whether they are private clouds or public clouds it is something worth looking at. We are very proud of that and while Gartner is an important indication of significance in the marketplace for customers to look at, I think there are others who have won a number of awards and a number of industry analysts that are going to cover Asigra and watch what we are doing and comment about it.
CEOCFO: Why should the business and investment community pay attention to Asigra?
Asigra is an innovator in this backup and recovery marketplace. The backup
recovery marketplace has many players and that is a healthy thing. It is
always good to pay attention to those that are pushing the boundaries in the
market and Asigra has a twenty-seven year track record of doing so. It is
important to assess where you are vis a vis the development and innovation
being made in the marketplace and Asigra is a good company to pay attention
to because somebody has to be first and we have many things that we have
done first in the industry and the most recent one is the Recovery License
Model and that is why. We are known as a gutsy company that has courage to
change the status quo and try new things and being in that position as an
innovator, I think is important for others to pay attention to it as well
and stay on top of what is happening and how to market.
“We are known as a gutsy company that has courage to change the status quo and try new things and being in that position as an innovator, I think is important for others to pay attention to it as well and stay on top of what is happening and how to market.”- David Farajun
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