In yet another first for the local market, hospitality and retail point-of-sale software specialist Pilot Software is offering, restaurants, hotels and retail users of its software solutions an online data back-up service.

“The service is to an independent data centre infrastructure and will be known as Pilot Online Backup,” says Pilot Software CEO Glenn Miller. “It is a completely automated process and is therefore immune to human error, allowing users to cost-effectively and securely store their current data. Not only is it practical but also good corporate governance.
“This is an integral part of our strategy to supply effective business tools that ease the management burden for restaurants, hotels and retail stores, giving owners and managers more time to focus on all-important direct contact with their customers.”
Miller adds that data integrity is now also more critical than ever before because of Eskom‘s capacity problems and ongoing load shedding. “Power can be cut without notice during processing and can result in data corruption. Regular data back-up therefore becomes more critical than ever.”
With Pilot Online Backup, restaurant, hotel and retail store owners and managers can securely access their backup data at any time of day from any location, provided they have an Internet connection.
Backup times are set once with no additional manual intervention in the shape of changing disks or tapes. Once set up, the system will send the store owner a backup report via email every time a successful backup has been completed.
“Data loss is a severe setback for any business and especially so in the hospitality and retail industries where it is critical that managers have access to key comparative business data on a daily basis,” adds Miller.
“We realised the value inherent in this back-up service when we started using it ourselves and decide to make it available to our users. The back-ups are done on an incremental basis which keeps the time taken to conduct the back-up, as well as the size of the backup data, to a minimum. The frequency at which the back-ups are done can be automated to suit each user’s needs and can be as frequent as an hourly basis.”
Data security is ensured by three-layer encryption before data is transmitted to the remote server. Once stored, it can be accessed only through the use of a unique encryption key.
Miller says one of the major advantages of the service is that it ensures that if computers, on-site back-up drives and back-up CD’s are stolen, damaged or corrupted, clean data can be easily and quickly restored via the Internet from the remote site. In addition to this, backup data can often be used in the detection of theft and fraud where data is inadvertently lost or damaged.
The restore facility allows users to restore data via a standard web access, restore directly from the local application or to perform a “snapshot restore” allowing for specific files to be retrieved at a certain date/time rendering this a very flexible and powerful backup tool.
“It is also difficult to beat this system for cost-efficiency as there is no requirement for investment in hardware or software or maintenance, just an inexpensive monthly fee to pay for complete peace of mind. The facility operates on ADSL and other broadband networks so that data can be stored and retrieved at any time of the day or night every day of the year."