One in five small to medium businesses will suffer a data loss every year. And unless that information is protected by a suitable backup and restore system, it could result in financial, reputational or productivity losses.
That much is clear from ATTIX5 partner IronTree, which reports that of the more than 5 000 SMBs which use its automated, offsite data protection solution, some 1 000 put it to the test each year to restore lost or corrupt information.
“While these figures may or may not be extrapolated to provide an indication of the need for appropriate data protection across all SMBs, it nevertheless does demonstrate just how prevalent data loss is for business owners,” says IronTree joint CEO, David Lees.
He explains that IronTree  has based its online backup and restore platform on ATTIX5 Backup Professional technology, which is widely regarded as the leader in this field. “Our focus falls on delivering data protection largely to the SMB market.”
It is through this focus, coupled with a solution which is easy to understand, easy to buy and inexpensive for clients, that IronTree has built a client list which numbers in the thousands.
Acknowledging that the SMB space isn’t the easiest into which to take technology solutions, he explains the IronTree approach.
“Having spent some 20 years in fulfilling the IT requirements of end-user SMBs, we work closely with software vendor partners, their reseller channel  as well as ATTIX5, the vendor at the top of the chain which provides the software technology that underpins the online backup and restore.
“Through IronTree, ATTIX5 is marketed and installed into popular business applications including those from Pastel, Pilot Software, AccountMate and QuickBooks,” Lees says.
Important for the SMB owner is simplicity, ease of use, accessible support and a clear value proposition. “A very important part of that is the  high level of customer service provided by IronTree.”
With the backing of ATTIX5 technology, IronTree is able to hit all these high notes. “No matter how small the implementation or how confident the end-user may be of installing it themselves, we call every single client who registers for the IronTree solution to ensure that the software is installed and configured properly and that the user knows exactly how it works,” he says.
More than that, he points to the “setup and leave it alone” nature of the data protection solution.
“Once installed, ATTIX5 technology automatically does everything that’s required to ensure that the client’s data is protected. And should their machine not back up for any reason, such as being switched off at the time of the scheduled backup, we have a process in place to monitor client backup frequency as well as follow up calls to alert clients where their backup is ‘out-of-date’.”
Just how it works is the real magic of it; with an initial copy of the client’s data stored offsite in a secure data centre. At a pre-set time each day, ATTIX5’s software scans the protected machine for any changes to data, sending just these changes over an Internet connection to update the offsite copy.
Only new data and data which has changed subsequent to the last backup is incorporated into the backup files, which are then compressed and encrypted for bandwidth efficiency and data integrity.
“So efficient is this technology that ADSL and wireless connections are more than adequate,” Lees explains.
He says growing awareness of the necessity of a backup – and an understanding that even a DVD or USB stick “somewhere in a desk drawer” is insufficient – is helping to drive acceptance of automated solutions.
“Of course, the best motivation for implementing a ‘proper’ backup and restore regime is loss of important data. With 20% of our protected clients enduring losses from which they recover, a similar number of companies without IronTree have the same challenges. Once it’s happened, and once you know there is a better way, the low cost and simplicity of ATTIX5 technology makes it a no brainer,” he concludes.
“IronTree’s growing customer base is testimony to the way they have structured their backup offering, and the way that they service their customers. They set a very high standard for their business and they are an exemplary reseller. Most importantly, IronTree ensures their customers’ peace-of-mind by protecting their information assets and ensuring their business continuity,” says Heidi Weyers, Attix5 GM for sales.