Many IT organizations are turning to managed service providers (MSPs) to offload the burden of protecting against the growing number and sophistication of malware attacks, and the increasing volume of data that must be protected. MSPs have an opportunity to grow their business on the back of serving as a strategic adviser and broker of critical backup and data protection services. However, they face the challenge of navigating pay-as-you-go, cloud service business models – which may create unplanned pricing spikes and surges to backup volumes, dragging down profitability.
Asigra Unlimited Use Subscription Licensing
For its part, cloud-based data protection software provider Asigra has introduced its new Unlimited Use Subscription License model, to stabilize licensing costs and facilitate more accurate pricing forecasting for its MSP partners. Pricing through the new program is based on the previous year’s usage as well as a growth forecast that is jointly agreed upon by Asigra and the MSP. Contracts are for three years, and the MSP will not be charged any additional license fees through the duration of the contract period regardless of how much their usage may increase. Pricing can be based upon a number of factors, including capacity, virtual machines, physical machines, sockets, and users, and the MSP has the flexibility to price based on what makes the most sense for the end customer’s environment. This “all you can eat” model provides the opportunity for MSPs to increase profits because the MSP is not paying additional software license fees if they grow their business more than projected.
From a functionality perspective, Asigra’s backup software enables data to be backed up and recovered from endpoint devices over a local area network (LAN), as well as in cloud environments (with software-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service hosting all supported). This includes support for Office 365, G Suite and Salesforce.com data. Additionally, the software provides protection on both backup and restored data; this approach is designed to be proactive as opposed to reactionary against malware attacks and to address the fact that backup software is a growing target for malware. Furthermore, the software aims to ensure compliance with governmental regulations, for example through FIPS 140-2 certification.
Asigra has always been optimized for delivery by MSPs, and the vendor is no stranger to trying out new licensing models that are designed to make Asigra easier for MSPs to work with and to increase opportunities for MSPs to drive profit. For example, it rolled out the Asigra Recovery License Model in 2013. This licensing model charged MSPs a monthly, per-Gigabyte fee designed to undercut the industry average and to reward partners that either did not need to recover data, or that recovered a minimum amount of data. From this standpoint, Asigra differentiates from many software vendor peers that have made the shift into direct cloud service hosting – thus cutting into MSP partners’ business.
With Asigra’s Unlimited Use Subscription Licensing, the MSP partner should be confident in their ability to materially grow their business, to avoid over-subscribing and to maximize their ability to increase profit margins. From this vantage point, and considering the fact that the MSP will still need to factor in an expansion to the service contract with Asigra at the time of the renewal, the new licensing model doesn’t necessarily take all of the simplicity out of the equation. However, it makes particular sense for MSPs that have healthy existing backup-as-a-service and disaster recovery-as-a-service businesses.