Keys to a Great Endpoint Data Protection Partnership

Microsoft Partner - Gold Cloud Platform

At Datacastle, we have seen announcements from our competitors about shifting to channel strategies and wanting to recruit partners. We hear from our partners why these competitors fall well short or “don’t get it” in being a real partner. Being a real partner is more than just putting out a press release and throwing dollars against a partner recruitment program. We thought we would share with the partner community our lessons learned over the years as being the only true channel partner-focused endpoint data protection solution in the marketplace.

It is best to start with a few really good partners
We can not tell you how many times we have seen endpoint data protection vendors get the epiphany about needing the channel to be successful after selling directly for years. These vendors then ramp up a channel program by throwing their venture capital money at a channel partner recruitment program to sign up every partner they can get their hands on. Unfortunately, these late converts to the channel find that they are not a good match for most of these partners or can’t invest the necessary time and resources to make those partners successful. These vendors will make an announcement months later to the world (and to their venture capital investors) that they have signed up lots and lots of partners. What they don’t say is that these channel partners are not successful and the results are underwhelming for everyone. Datacastle has always focused on identifying the best partners by geography, industry, customer size, or practice expertise and then invest in that partnership. Once you have successful partners, new partners and growth will come over time and through hard work.

Invest in your partner
What does “invest in your partner” really mean? It means feed your new channel partner with leads that you generate rather than keeping them for yourself. It means performing sales and technical training for the partner. It means going on their first sales calls with them. It means arming the partner with all the sales tools and extending promotions to them. It means asking the partner to also invest in the relationship through the commitment of resources. All too often we see vendors sign up a partner, throw some product collateral and a price card over the wall, and tell the “partner” to let them know when they have an order. This is not investing in the partnership. When you see a vendor say that they have signed up thousands and thousands of partners, ask yourself if they have really invested in all those partnerships to make them successful.

Understand your partner’s reality
Datacastle assumes that all endpoint data protection partners have existing businesses. That may not sound revolutionary, but many of our competitors think partners exist for the vendor’s benefit. Some partners are MSP’s, some are traditional storage/backup resellers, some are business continuity/disaster recovery specialists, and some are data security or data governance experts. All of these types of partners have different realities to their world view about how they make money, the value proposition to their customers, and their expectations from the partnership. The partner’s reality manifests itself in the need for flexible branding, multi-tenancy, and different deployment options. Build relationships with partners where you are “a fit” and align with their reality, not the other way around. For example, Datacastle is a Microsoft Gold Cloud Platform Partner. We have spent years understanding the Microsoft cloud ecosystem really well and understand the world view of the different players in the ecosystem. It is a rich, complex ecosystem. Simply signing up to be an Azure vendor and make a press release isn’t going to lead to success with this ecosystem. We even see some competitors tout their Microsoft Azure relationship and then frequently steer customers into a rival cloud like Amazon AWS and hurting the Microsoft partner in the process.

International partners have additional needs
Datacastle takes great pride in our relationships with international partners. Datacastle RED is localized in 11 languages to meet the unique language needs of the users. But it doesn’t stop there. International partners have data jurisdiction and regulatory challenges, data center and connectivity challenges, and finally their customers may not have robust connectivity infrastructure. For some markets, partnering with local MSP’s works best. In other markets, partners taking advantage of Microsoft’s worldwide Azure data center build out makes sense. It should be the partners’ decision. Also having hybrid cloud technology like QuickCaches makes deployments in connectivity challenged parts of the world the most reliable and cost effective answer.

Complexity kills partnerships
Complex pricing models, rules of engagement, and incentive models yields more problems in a partnership than not. For a partner, the value proposition of your solution needs to be simple and well understood. Endpoint data protection is actually a pretty straight forward value proposition for a partner to engage with a customer around. Complicating it with a bunch of additional features that aren’t best in class just makes it complicated for the partner. Are you a half-assed cloud file sync and share solution? Are you a stripped down server backup offering (when most partners already have a mature server backup offering)? Datacastle RED is best in class at performance, resiliency, and storage efficiency if you want to protect your customers’ end users against ransomware, data loss, or data breach on their laptops, tablets, or smartphones. The Datacastle RED value proposition is simple so partners can sell it cleanly. Datacastle manages the technology complexity needed to deliver on the value proposition. We also have the proof of industry leading analysts to back up the claim.

Large, direct sales forces need to be fed
Many venture capital based endpoint data protection vendors in our space started off with direct sales forces and they have grown those sales forces over time. Large, direct sales forces need to be fed with leads and deal flow. This creates natural tensions with reseller partners. As a partner, if your endpoint data protection vendor has a large direct sales force, run the other way!

Provide a compelling future for the partnership
Partners rightfully take great pride in the businesses they have grown. They are invested in their businesses for the long run. They want to know how Datacastle’s product roadmap provides a compelling vision for how they are going to deepen the relationship they have with their customers. For example, we have been sharing our vision for rich analytics services that partners will be able to provide to their customers. This best in class analytics capability will add value to the customer relationship and how partners can procure more wallet share by providing more value. Different partners have customers that will take advantage of analytics from their endpoint data in different ways. Its important to listen and then make it simple for how partners can sell the new value to their customers.

Datacastle is totally committed to our partners. Sales through channel partners is not our growth “strategy of the week” to please venture investors. It is how we have had success to date and it is how we will continue to have success in the future. We help our partners have a growing, profitable endpoint data protection line of business. We help them exceed the expectations of their customers. At Datacastle, it is embedded in our DNA that our success is predicated on our partner’s success. We do not view partners as a means by which to fuel growth to keep our venture investors happy. To learn more about Datacastle and our approach to partners, please go to www.datacastlered.com/partners to learn more.

Acquisition and Integration Lessons Learned

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As many of you know, Datacastle acquired EVault Endpoint Protection from Seagate earlier this year. Integrating an acquisition is difficult and can often fail to meet stakeholders’ expectations. Our management team has good, hard-won experience from previous successful acquisitions. We are now a couple of months into the integration of the business into Datacastle and thought we would share a few observations.

The Cloud is an Operations Enabler
Datacastle needed to bring petabytes of precious customer and partner backup data under Datacastle’s direct management. The data was located in multiple jurisdictions all over the world. Fortunately, most of that data was in Microsoft Azure. By being in a large public cloud with a global footprint like Microsoft Azure, it made the process of transfer much easier than it would have been otherwise. We have heard horror stories of other companies trying to move large amounts of backup storage physically with assets potentially getting lost or damaged in the process. As our competitors know all to well, data stored in “private clouds” makes such data center transfers difficult or filled with additional risk. Managing petabytes of data in large, enterprise-class public clouds provides all stakeholders better operational flexibility and assurances.

Welcome Customers and Partners with High Information Onboarding Processes
Partners and customers don’t like the unknown. When a vendor relationship changes, it is critical to treat each customer and partner as if they are a brand new customer or partner, even if they have been using the product/service for years. Customer and partner communications, education, and expectation setting is critical. Don’t assume you understand the customer/partner motivations and what they value most about the product/service. It is the responsibility of the acquirer to go the extra mile to get the relationship off on the right foot. We have been pleasantly overwhelmed by the positive response from customers and partners so far. We will continue to work hard to establish expectations and exceed those expectations. By aggressively communicating with customers and partners, it also level-sets their knowledge and expectations from the product/service. For example, many customers and partners needed to be brought up to speed about the strengths of Datacastle RED and what sets us apart. Our most recent report that included Gartner research enabled customers and partners to quickly understand the benefits of best in class performance, resilience, and storage efficiency.

Assume it Takes Longer than Planned
While the legal and financial transaction side of an acquisition can happen quite quickly, the operational, people/organizational, and back office changes can take a while to work out the kinks. For example, while the service operations cut over very quickly for us because of the public cloud other aspects have taken longer than desired. When acquiring customers and partners from all over the world, new preferences for payments, reporting, and face to face interactions can take a little longer to accommodate. You have to prepare your employees that there is a bow wave of activity to work through before you get back to “normal” operations. Putting in the time and effort up front will save resources later and increase the likelihood of customer satisfaction.

The smoothness of the EVault Endpoint Protection integration thus far has exceeded our expectations. We have found the partners and customers to be truly amazing. We know there is still work ahead for us to be fully through the process. We appreciate the patience and commitment of our employees, customers, and partners as we take the business and our relationships to a higher level.

Datacastle Acquires EVault Endpoint Protection Assets

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SEATTLE, Feb. 23, 2016 — Datacastle, a leading provider of enterprise endpoint backup, archiving, and insights, today announced it has acquired the worldwide endpoint data protection assets of Seagate Technology.

“Datacastle is excited to be working directly with EVault Endpoint Protection partners and customers to continue to provide the best solution in terms of performance, resiliency, and storage efficiency in the industry.” said Ron Faith, President and CEO of Datacastle. “Datacastle’s proven technology, worldwide partner network, and Microsoft Gold Cloud Platform partner status means our customers’ laptops, tablets, and smartphones will be well protected for years to come.”

VaultLogix is a leader in cloud backup and recovery solutions in North America with over 11,000 businesses that we protect,” said Scott Kelly, VP of Product Management of VaultLogix.  “As an Endpoint Protection partner we are excited that Datacastle will be providing exceptional technology, service and support to our organization as we continue to grow our endpoint protection offering.”

EVault Endpoint Protection had been an OEM offering from Datacastle since 2010. There will be no disruption of service or support for any Endpoint Protection customers or partners as a result of this transaction.

Endpoint Protection customers will receive the latest upgrade of Datacastle RED as part of the transaction. New features include:
• Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite Compatibility
• Mobile Dashboard
• iOS Support
• Android Support
• Windows 10 and Mac OS X El Capitan Support

About Datacastle

Datacastle protects enterprises from mobile data loss and data breach with simplified and scalable hybrid cloud endpoint backup, archiving, and insights. Datacastle RED provides secure and auditable access to enterprise data on critical devices, anytime, anywhere. To learn more about Datacastle RED, visit www.datacastlered.com, follow on Twitter @Datacastle, or call 425.996.9684.

Media Contact:
media@datacastlered.com

Airbags and Endpoint Data Protection

Microsoft Partner - Gold Cloud Platform

Recently there was much discussion in Davos Switzerland about the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The key characteristics of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is speed, connectivity, and change. But as with all major changes, there needs to be some countervailing forces to prevent extremes from ruining the revolution. When automobiles started traveling at faster and faster speeds, they became dangerous for their drivers and passengers. The answer wasn’t to cripple the automobile from traveling at higher speeds. The answer was first seat belts and then ultimately air bags that made traveling at higher speeds safer.

Endpoint data protection is to the mobile workforce what airbags are to faster automobiles. Your mobile workforce is traveling with greater speed, connectivity, and change. This means the risk of data loss, data breach, and mobile workforce productivity disruption becomes more and more likely from lost or stolen laptops, smartphones and tablets. The answer isn’t to place greater restrictions on your mobile workforce and reduce productivity. Rather, the best thing to do is make your mobile workforce data safer through continuous offsite backup, remote data delete, and end to end encryption and key management.

Making it safer for your mobile workforce doesn’t end there. You need to be able to anticipate the growing dangers to your mobile workforce. One of the reasons Datacastle is a Gold Cloud Platform partner with Microsoft is because of the investments Microsoft is making in analytics and fighting cybercrime. For Datacastle customers on Azure, as Microsoft raises the bar on cybercrime intelligence and analytics, they will reap the benefits from our partnership.

If you wouldn’t send your workforce out in cars that didn’t have seat belts or airbags, you shouldn’t send your mobile workforce into the field without enterprise-class endpoint data protection based on world-class cloud security technology.

To learn more about how you can provide “airbags” for your mobile workforce data, go to www.datacastlered.com .

Datacastle Predictions and Year in Review

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It is that week of the year again where we see a lot of predictions for the year to come and a review of the year that has been. At Datacastle, we believe it is important to learn from what has happened in the past year and celebrate our successes. At the same time we think you need to be looking forward and aware of coming changes so you are prepared to take advantage of opportunities and avert new threats.

With that said, when you are in the data protection business, you need to have most of your attention in the present. Business continuity and resiliency is critical, so we thought we would list out the trends that not only were big in 2015 but will have continuity into 2016.

Ransomware
2015 saw a dramatic increase in ransomware attacks and unfortunately we believe it will continue to grow and morph in 2016. While you should be using anti-malware as your first line of defense, Datacastle is seeing significant demand in using cloud-based endpoint backup and data protection as the last line of defense. You should always be able to recover your data from your endpoints at any time from anywhere. Never be in a position where you have to pay the bad guys.

Cloud Adoption
The adoption of the cloud by enterprise IT has had a steady and growing march forward in 2015 and all indications are that this will accelerate in 2016. Cloud backup is already one of the most popular workloads to make its way to the cloud. Investment in reliable, large public clouds by leaders such as Microsoft Azure, IBM Softlayer, and Amazon AWS are bringing down the concerns and objections surrounding security and reliability.

Performance Matters
As we saw in the most recent Gartner report on Critical Capabilities for Enterprise Endpoint Backup, performance remains one of the top considerations when evaluating a cloud-based backup solution. Datacastle RED has been recognized as #1 in performance once again. Datacastle has been the leader in enterprise endpoint backup performance in 2015 and will continue to be the leader in 2016.

Analytics, Insights, and Business Intelligence
Business Intelligence (BI) was the #1 priority for enterprise IT in 2015 and is predicted to be the same in 2016. Increasingly, Datacastle customers are expressing interest to leverage their endpoint backup data for insights and analytics about their workforce. With the emergence of big data techniques that have matured and come down in cost, Datacastle is now in a position to deliver on the aspirations of these customers.

2015 was a great year for Datacastle, our customers, and our partners. We believe 2016 will be even brighter as we capitalize on new opportunities and thwart new threats to our customers’ endpoint data. We hope that all of our customers, partners, and employees have a very prosperous 2016.

Datacastle ranked #1 in Performance, Resiliency and Storage Efficiency

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As reported by StorageNewsletter.com, in the recent Critical Capabilities for Enterprise Endpoint Backup (12 November 2015 ID:G00279272) report, written by Pushan Rinnen and Robert Rhame, analysts at Gartner, Inc., Datacastle RED was found to be #1 in Performance, Resiliency and Storage Efficiency.

Datacastle focuses on the needs of mid-sized to large enterprises. Datacastle’s many enterprise customers have highly mobile and distributed workforces around the world where performance, resiliency and storage efficiency are paramount. Datacastle is pleased to once again be recognized as the leader in these areas worldwide as a result of our hybrid cloud QuickCache technology, RoamSmart technology, global data deduplication across encrypted data, and highly integrated, efficient cloud storage with leading public clouds such as Microsoft Azure, IBM, and Amazon Web Services.

Datacastle is available to partners around the globe looking to build their profitable cloud services portfolio with world class endpoint backup and data protection. Datacastle’s global network of partners value performance, high customer satisfaction, storage flexibility, and the ability to sell endpoint backup under their own brand. Datacastle RED is truly multi-tenant, scales, can be deployed in data centers that meet the strictest data jurisdiction requirements, and localized in 10 languages.

With growing threats to sensitive company data at the edge of the enterprise, it is more important than ever that IT departments secure their customers’ data and intellectual property with highly resilient and high performance endpoint data protection solutions such as Datacastle RED.

To learn more about Datacastle RED and its industry leading capabilities, please go to www.datacastlered.com.

Datacastle RED Globally Available via Azure Marketplace

MSFT Azure Global Map

Datacastle is making it easier and easier for mid-sized to large companies to try and buy Datacastle RED on Microsoft Azure. Datacastle RED is now available via the Microsoft Azure Marketplace for easy “try then buy” state of the art endpoint data protection. As Microsoft continues to build out data centers in more countries and regions around the world, companies can quickly procure Datacastle RED to operate in a data center in their geography. Recently, Microsoft announced new Azure data centers in India to complement their new data centers in Japan, Australia, Brazil. Datacastle RED is localized in 10 languages and operates in every Azure data center globally, so chances are you can have endpoint data protection in the language and geography of your choice. Microsoft Enterprise Agreement customers can also take advantage of our special promotion with Microsoft for one-year, license-free endpoint data protection.

For those customers in mainland China that would like Datacastle RED running on Azure, they can get it from our partner 21Vianet BlueCloud. 21 Vianet is the exclusive Azure infrastructure partner for Microsoft in mainland China.

To learn more, view this 1 minute video about Datacastle RED on Microsoft Azure.

Resilience and Endpoint Data

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At Datacastle, we have believed in the need for the resilience of endpoint data for a long time. In fact, the “RED” in Datacastle RED stands for “resilient endpoint data”. Over the past few years, we have seen both the scope of endpoint data and the awareness by customers of the need for that data to be resilient grow dramatically. So when Datacastle talks about resilience, what do we mean?

First, resilience transcends disaster recovery. While in the past, the primary motivation to back up your laptop was to prevent data loss, increasingly it is about making the employee productive again as quickly as possible and the prevention of costly data breaches when devices go lost or stolen. This means that data on laptops, tablets, and smartphones need to be protected and backed up continuously throughout the course of the day. It also means that employees need to gain access to the protected data at anytime from anywhere. This is where secure mobile access utilizing your company’s single-sign on credentials (like Microsoft Azure Active Directory) are essential.

Second, resilience is increasingly becoming synonymous with the cloud. We increasingly see our largest customers deploying Datacastle RED in public clouds such as Microsoft Azure. Why? Because the major cloud providers are building resiliency within their infrastructures at scale that would be costly to replicate on-premise. Multi-site redundancy, the ability to dynamically scale up and scale down depending on demand/load, and the increasing array of certifications, attestations, and credentials provide a level of assurance hard to replicate in a world of tight IT budgets.

Third, resilience means mobile. The frontier of your organization is where opportunity and growth reside. Frontiers are also dangerous places where one needs to be nimble and have strong defenses. New threats like ransomware surface on a regular basis. Employees are mobile and that means they need resilient data protection that travels well with their devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops regardless of what networks they may be roaming on and off. This means endpoint data protection needs to perform very efficiently and be robust on a wide array of networks.

Finally, resilience means being adaptive to the changes that are coming. By placing your backups in the cloud, new tools and capabilities enable IT to further leverage that data on behalf of the organization beyond disaster recovery. E-discovery tools, compliance, and advanced analytics are all taking advantage of the massive computing scale and security that can be found in modern cloud environments. Moving your backup data from on-premise to the cloud transforms your data from being a static cost to a dynamic asset that can be leveraged on behalf of the enterprise.

We live in a transformative time. The resilience brought by IT to your organization will be critical to your organization’s success.

To learn more about Datacastle RED go to www.datacastlered.com.

Datacastle RED & Azure SQL

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As a Microsoft Gold Cloud Platform partner, Datacastle uses many services and technologies within Microsoft Azure to help enterprises protect the data at the frontier of their organization. One of the most important services within Microsoft Azure that Datacastle RED uses extensively is Azure SQL. Datacastle RED utilizes Azure SQL for managing the following important data: partner information, company information, user group information, user information, and device information.

Why does Datacastle RED use Azure SQL:

  • Scale: Datacastle is able to shard the instances of Azure SQL in order to gain scaling up to supporting millions of devices per cloud vault
  • Security: Datacastle manages highly sensitive information. Azure SQL provides an enterprise-class additional level of security
  • Backup/Replication: Azure SQL provides Datacastle and our customers automatic multi-site replication as well as built in backup, recovery and audit mechanisms. For enterprises, it is important to be able to show that you can recover from the worst disasters
  • Deployment Flexibility: Datacastle RED can leverage common code between SQL Server for on-premise deployments and Azure SQL for cloud-based deployments
  • Future Proof: Microsoft invests extensively in making Azure SQL one of the best cloud data management platforms on Earth. Datacastle leverages that investment on behalf of our enterprise customers.
  • As Microsoft continues to make advancements in the areas of analytics, data mining, and machine learning, you can rest assured that Datacastle will be leveraging the increasing capabilities of SQL Azure and related Azure data management offerings for insights and analytics that help take the value of Datacastle RED well beyond backup and recovery.

    You can check out how to buy Datacastle RED and Azure SQL in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

    For more information about a special promotion for Microsoft Azure EA customers and learn how Datacastle utilizes Microsoft Azure and its services and technologies like Azure SQL, go to http://datacastlered.com/cloud-options/special-offer/

    Datacastle RED v8 Available for Mobile Workforce Backup, Archiving and Insights

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    Seattle, WA, July 14, 2015 – Datacastle®, a market leader for protecting enterprises from mobile workforce data loss and data breaches, today announced the latest version of its flagship product, Datacastle RED. Datacastle RED v8 provides enterprise customers even greater mobile workforce data protection via backup, archiving and insights.

    Datacastle RED v8 includes:

  • Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) Compatibility – Datacastle RED v8 integrates with Azure Active Directory for deployments and SSO, Microsoft Intune and SCCM for silent enterprise deployments, and provides mobile file access security with Azure Rights Management services compatibility
  • Mobile Dashboard – Optimized IT experience for managing Datacastle vault administrator functions from any tablet or smartphone
  • iOS Support – Datacastle RED provides a native app experience for backup and retrieval on Apple iPads and iPhones
  • Android Support – Datacastle RED provides a native app experience for backup and retrieve on Google Android tablets and smartphones
  • Windows 10 Ready – The Datacastle RED agent supports Windows 10 at launch
  • Datacastle RED v8 has been designed from the ground up to protect data at the frontier of the enterprise. Datacastle RED is optimized for network efficiency and security across smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and ROBO file servers.

    “Datacastle is excited to assist enterprise IT in bringing order and governance to the frontier of their organizations,” said Ron Faith, CEO of Datacastle. “The mobile workforce needs tools such as Datacastle RED to help them thrive and survive in this rapidly changing and threat-laden landscape.”

    For a limited time, Datacastle RED v8 is available to qualified Microsoft Azure Enterprise Agreement (EA) customers license-free for one year. To learn more about taking advantage of this promotion go to datacastlered.com/cloud-options/special-offer/ .

    Datacastle RED v8 is available today for on-premises, private cloud, or public cloud deployments directly from Datacastle or from one of Datacastle’s global network of partners. Datacastle RED smartphone and tablet clients are available for download from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store (Datacastle RED vault required to activate). For more information call 425.996.9684 or email sales@datacastlered.com.

    About Datacastle
    Datacastle protects enterprises from mobile data loss and data breach with simplified and scalable hybrid cloud endpoint backup, archiving, and insights. Datacastle RED provides secure and auditable access to enterprise data on critical devices, anytime, anywhere. To learn more about Datacastle RED, visit www.datacastlered.com, follow on Twitter @Datacastle, or call 425.996.9684.

    Media Contact:
    media@datacastlered.com