In December of last year, one of our customers left our backup service. Apparently, a large hosting company made a commercial arrangement that included managing the backup of their data as part of the hosting solution. Losing customers is something that occurs from time to time. Sometime customers go to other providers for varying reasons. Sometimes it is because we didn’t meet their expectations, other times it’s for personal relationships and at other times for commercial reasons.
What made this case so interesting was that we received a phone call in January from that same customer informing us that their websites had been hacked. We asked why they hadn’t contacted their new provider to have their data restored and the response we received was that they did make contact with the hosting provider but the provider was unable to recover their data. It was an excellent example of how data backup and restore can go wrong even when you think someone else is taking care of everything. We were really happy to be able to restore their data. As you can imagine, they were ecstatic.
It just so happened that we hadn’t deleted their data from our storage infrastructure. It wasn’t such a large amount of data but the point was that we still had a copy. We certainly could have made a big fuss about the fact that they had left us for another provider. If your entire websites are lost and you have no backup, the cost and the time involved in bringing new websites to life is extraordinarily high. We restored their data and simply charged them for the month that they didn’t pay.
I think the other lesson to learn from this customer incident is that even though you might not have a large volume of data, its value can be extremely high. If the window of your business is the website, I can only imagine the cost of having it down for an extended period of time or needing to rebuild it from scratch is going to have a serious negative impact on your marketing and customer perception. I mean, what kind of company doesn’t have some sort of backup plan for their website? Not a very serious one, I hear you say.
The incident made me think about some other aspects of where backup is also “taken care of”. I have often wondered what happens if you lose data from Google Docs or from a SaaS provider. There is no backup application or interface that allows you to monitor the backup or perform a restore. It means that there is no simple way to restore files. And, I wonder how one would actually recover the data. I make that point because my commercial experience with Google has been like this. We spent about $5,000 per month on advertising for a long time and we have subscribed to Google applications. At various times, we had questions about billing. We sent off some emails but hardly got a response and for the most part it was certainly auto generated. So, I do wonder, if I accidentally deleted some data or they managed to lose it, how would you actually recover it? It’s not like Google has a call centre with capable people sitting in support desperate to help you, is it?
We developed the slogan ready to restore several years ago because at that time we recognised that backup is actually all about the restore. You don’t need your backup until something goes wrong. Probably because restoring is not something done so often it is often overlooked. LiveBackup is a premium backup service with world leading technology and outstandingly committed engineers who take the backup of customer data extremely seriously.