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Discussing business continuity with customers and prospects

March 21, 2019
business owner data protection challenge

Many MSPs struggle to sell disaster recovery (DR) technology and services to customers and prospects. Typically, this is because organizations already have some form of backup in place and assume that’s all they need. Additionally, many businesses resist spending on technology they don’t perceive to be directly tied to revenue.

However, restores from traditional backups can be time consuming, especially if you are restoring a large amount of data—like a failed server, for example. Many organizations underestimate just how long it takes restore normal business operations from that type of outage. And, that’s not even a worst-case scenario: Restoring operations when an office or facility is inaccessible can take much longer.

The downtime that occurs during a restore can have serious implications, ranging from revenue loss to permanent damage a company’s reputation. So, conversations with customers and prospects must clearly articulate the business value of DR. Put simply: today’s DR solutions are designed to restore operations quickly to avoid business downtime and revenue loss.

Illustrate the cost of downtime

To help customers understand the cost of downtime, get them to take a hard look at how much revenue they stand to lose if business operations are offline for an extended period. Some simple math can yield a decent estimate. Ask customers to think about how much revenue they could use if operations were offline for a day. Or worse, a week.

Another option is to share an example of how you helped a similar business following a disaster and compare it to a restore using their current backup system. Keep it as straightforward as possible. For example: 

              XYZ Corp.

  • Damage: Complete failure of primary server
  • Data under protection: 3 TB
  • Frequency of backups: every 15 minutes
  • Restore time: One hour

             Customer or prospect

  • Damage: Complete failure of primary server
  • Data under protection: 1 TB
  • Frequency of backups: Once a day
  • Restore time: Two days


It’s about speaking their language. While ‘spinning up virtual machines in the cloud’ sounds cool to you, the IT specialist, many business owners (or managers) don’t even know or care what a VM is. However, they definitely understand the amount of revenue necessary to turn a profit.

So, in some cases, it’s better to not talk about technology. Instead, focus conversations on how your services can help prevent revenue loss. This is why some MSPs avoid using the terms “backup” and “disaster recovery” altogether, opting instead for the broader “business continuity.” 

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