Let’s just face it – downtime happens.  In the past three months almost every major cloudy service, from Microsoft Office 365 to BlackBerry, Amazon Web Services, the Sony Playstation Network, and Netflix, has suffered an outage for one reason or another.  There’s no reason to try to hide this reality when you try to sell hosted solutions to your clients.  It makes more sense to set an accurate expectation that a reasonable amount of downtime is to be expected, then to help them decide whether they can accept it or what they could do about it.  It’s a bit like “under promise and over deliver” with a twist, and it can often help you to upsell a higher value solution. 

Costs and Benefits

scalePurchase decisions are all about a cost/benefit comparison, and always will be.  What clients seek when making cost/benefit comparisons is very simple:  good enough.  Most want neither the bottom of the barrel, nor the top of the line, but a solution somewhere in the middle that addresses their core needs at a reasonable price.  As your client’s Trusted Technology Advisors, you get to give that “Goldilocks advice”—what’s too little, what’s too much, and what’s just right. 

Often email and messaging are among the most important services to a business, tools they depend on every day.  With hosted messaging solutions from ExchangeDefender, you can help to protect your clients from suffering downtime their business can’t afford.  Downtime can be the key to upselling a client from Exchange 2010 Essentials to Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010.  It’s just a matter of finding out what’s “good enough.” 

The Power of Good Enough

fatmanIn many cases clients are willing to trade off a few features or accept a lower service level for the benefit of a lower price, but only to a point.   The question becomes:  how important is email to the client’s business?  How much downtime can they afford?  An hour?  A day?  Can that client justify the cost of guaranteeing that their email will always be available? 

If the possibility of an occasional bout of downtime isn’t the end of the world to the client, and they really just need a secure email-and-only-email solution, then Exchange Essentials 2010 is the right fit.  With a cost difference of a mere $4 per mailbox per month, though, it can be quite easy to upsell the LiveArchive feature of Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 to those clients who cringe at the thought of prolonged downtime. 

With Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 from ExchangeDefender, the Live Archive service is always on, constantly archiving sent and received mail so there is no maintenance or management to worry about in case of an outage.  So let’s say the power goes out at the client’s office.  With Live Archive, all those users have to do is go home and log on to their secure Outlook Web Access portal and pick up work right where they left off.  The cost of the outage just dropped to almost nothing. 

Help to protect your clients from downtime they can’t afford by setting accurate expectations about the reality of downtime, and by offering them the right ExchangeDefender solution to meet their real needs. 

Do you find this information useful?

lc_logoIf you’d like a lot more in-depth discussion about the cloud and how it affects you and your clients, visit Looks Cloudy http://www.lookscloudy.com where I blog daily about the adoption of the cloud in SMB, conduct live webcasts and podcasts with industry leaders and more. 

Kate Hunt
VP Community Development, ExchangeDefender
(877) 546-0316 x777