Ask The Experts: BCDR – Fact or Fiction?

Welcome to Ask the Experts, brought to you by CloudServicesUniversity.com. In this video, Intelisys’ SVP Cloud Transformation Andrew Pryfogle breaks down the hype around BCDR with EvolveIP’s CTO Scott Kinka. Find out more about how to solve your customers’ business continuity issues from Scott and the EvolveIP team here: http://evolveip.cloudservicesuniversity.com/

Andrew: All right, time again for another Ask The Experts session. Guys, we’re in our Advanced Data Networking Solutions Professional Certification track and we’re talking now about BCDR: Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery. I wanted to bring in one of our long time faculty members, one of our go-to smart guys, Mr. Scott Kinka, CTO of Evolve IP. Scott, welcome man.
Scott: I’m thrilled to be here.
Andrew: All right, very cool. Hey, news broke this morning that Tom Brady, his suspension’s been lifted by the way. Just FYI.
Scott: Wow!
Andrew: Yeah, completely lifted. That’s a different video though, so now focus my friend, focus.
Scott: Okay, I’m focused now.
Andrew: Here we go, we want to talk about . . .
Scott: At least he’ll be available for the Dallas Cowboys, which I need him to be.
Andrew: Yes no doubt, there you go. So BCDR, I wanted to get your sense on this idea of disasters taking down networks, applications, data loss and breaches. There is a lot of buzz around this—there seems to be a lot of hype, even a lot of fear. Is it hype and fear or is it actually fact? Are there things that are happening that should be real concerns for customers? Should our customers be losing sleep over this? Where are you seeing examples of real life disasters affecting customer continuity?
Scott: That’s a great question—it’s always hype until you need it. That’s generally the problem with the Business Continuity Disaster Recovery question. Which is why I think it’s one of the principle cloud tenants—we talk about the four or five things and reasons why people are largely moving to the cloud: you got TCDO, you’ve got avoidance of maintenance, you’ve got all the reasons why, but intrinsic DRBC is one of them. I think one of the challenges that we have is people think about buying something in the cloud and, “Hey, I automatically get Business Continuity Disaster Recovery.” To some extent that’s true but there’s also the business’ side of planning what to do. You can’t make use of any of these features until you tell people how to use them: when you have a disaster, how are you declaring a disaster, what is a disaster in our business? You certainly have the dramatic pieces.
The stories are out there. We have a customer, a very large hosted PBX and call center customer of ours, who ultimately begun their relationship with us just trying to solve PBX purchasing issues in all these field call centers that they had that were really branch offices to two very large offices in the Midwest. They kept the local flavor; these guys do oxygen, you know for people who have issues with their lungs—the little portable oxygen tanks—so those are pretty critical calls. People are calling in because they can’t breathe at the end of the day. So this is a scenario where you got something dramatic; they have offices all throughout the Northeast and the hurricane situation that happened in the Northeast a few years ago took out many of their offices.
You say it all the time: call centers belong in the cloud. Very easy to re-route the calls, nobody lost an order. It became a big case study for us but I think those are the less common scenarios. That is the once-in-a-hundred-year storm. We get car insurance for fender benders, so it’s the same kind of thing. The fender bender on the IT side of the house is just the loss of one server—and what if that server is the exchange server? Then the business is looking at, “How do I get email back, or how do I get my CRM back so I can process orders?” I think that I would caution our partners to really look more at the BC side than the DR side. Disaster’s a pretty dramatic term but continuity is not. All that business continuity means is that I have a piece of technology and if something were to happen I need to have a plan for business continuance at some point, whatever that is.
When you have this conversation with your customers, I would talk about what are their critical applications inside the business today and then challenge the prospects to say, “How long can I live without this one thing?” It’s okay if the answers are all different—CRM, I can process orders tomorrow; email, everyone’s going to freak out if I don’t have it for two minutes. Build those up into tiers and then really make that part of the discussion that you have from a technology perspective. Then once you engage one of the providers in the portfolio to assist you with fulfilling those needs, then the magic comes in—and this is where our partners really have a lot of opportunity—is to help the customer understand, not only that, “I have a technology that can support these,” but, “What do I do when it hits the fan? Do I send people home?” Well, we know the technology works at home but if there’s not a plan that says, “Go home and do X,” it really doesn’t matter whether the technology can support it or not.
Those aren’t expert technology conversations, those are just flat out logic consulting conversations. “I have the solution that can do X. Let me help you think about what’s critical, and what do we declare, and what do we do to push forward when we actually have a business continuance issue.” Not a disaster, we know that disasters don’t happen quite as often.
Andrew: Very cool man. That makes a lot of sense. So don’t just focus on the disaster that might be the hundred-year thing that happens, that people are fearful of. Talk about the more common occurrence and talk about business continuity. That piece—I love that, that’s really strong advice. Maybe even stratify them—is what you’re saying?
Scott: Oh yes absolutely. The thing with Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery is you can spend as much money as you have on it, so it’s a matter of figuring out what you can afford in terms of business loss and then you can equate that to dollars and cents.
Andrew: It’s kind of a conversation of what’s perfect versus what’s practical.
Scott: Exactly.
Andrew: Okay, good deal. Excellent. Scott, always great to get inside your head. Guys that’s Scott Kinka, the CTO of EvolveIP. Make sure you dig deep into the learning center for EvolveIP. Great stuff there that can help you get smarter about closing big deals in the cloud, especially with EvolveIP. We’re huge fans. Good selling.