growing number of malicious mobile viruses in circulation, it is perfectly feasible that one email circulated to the entire company could inadvertently infect the entire mobile fleet.”
There are many things to consider when looking at the impact of disaster on the mobile market, states Andrew Barnes. Barnes is senior vice president for corporate development at Neverfail, a software company focused on providing continuous availability and disaster recovery for Windows-based applications in physical, virtual or mixed environments. He comments: “Today, mobiles are portals into many corporate information systems ranging from email to SQL and Sharepoint systems. This means that estimating the size of the market means looking at these systems as well.”
The ROI for smartphone users on disaster recovery is very compelling, explains Barnes. “Downtime of BlackBerry’s is not tolerated, particularly in light of statistics such as those from RIM themselves, that BlackBerry delivers an extra hour of productivity per user per day,” he states. “Clearly if there is any downtime that value decreases and could even disappear. Focusing on eliminating BlackBerry downtime is well received by both customers and resellers.”
Mobile disaster recovery has exciting potential for those in the mobile channel willing to learn. Mobile devices are portals into corporate information systems, which means disaster recovery extends beyond the mobile fleet to become an essential requirement for Exchange, SQL, SharePoint and many others, so there are numerous follow on opportunities for sales, says Barnes.
The potential for resellers in this area is massive, Barnes continues. “The opportunity for disaster recovery for mobile devices is immense. One example of this is RIM BlackBerry. The BlackBerry handset depends on interfacing with the Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) software installed in the corporate server room. Estimates of the installed base of BES vary, but there are at least 100,000, which means that there is a very addressable market just for this software.”
Growth in demand
Barnes states that protecting BES availability for planned maintenance and unexpected outages is a rapidly growing area. He says in the UK, both O2 and Vodafone deliver options for high availability and disaster recovery managed services built on Neverfail continuous availability software. This approach by service providers means that users do not suffer and interruption of data services even when there is a data centre outage.
Curt Hopkins, head of enterprise mobility solutions at Vodafone UK, comments on why Vodafone partnered with Neverfail this year: “Earlier this year we responded [to the growing demand for disaster recovery for mobile devices] by forming a partnership with the software company Neverfail to provide continuous availability and disaster recovery solutions. As a result we now offer business customers a high availability and disaster recovery service for Blackberry mobile email using the Neverfail software.”
The service provided by Vodafone monitors the health of the entire email environment, including the server hardware, the network infrastructure, the application and the operating system. If any anomalies are identified, Neverfail will immediately take action to prevent loss of service. It will either automatically attempt to restart applications before they fail, switch over to a secondary server, or alert the IT staff so that no downtime or loss of service is experienced. Once the issue is resolved, they are automatically switched back to the main servers and neither users nor administrators are required to restart their applications.
Hopkins adds: “It’s important for us to be able to offer this service because we can now offer enormous service expertise to protect critical parts of our customers’ IT infrastructure. It’s a significant part of our strategy to offer strategic managed services and indicative of the way the general telecommunications market is heading.”
Barnes states that dealers are focusing on lost ROI as an important approach, in selling disaster recovery, as well as the disruption to senior managers and executives who rely on their BlackBerry access. Any disruption to email flow and usability of BlackBerry’s tends to quickly attract the attention of decision makers in the organisation, and these are the ones with the purchasing power for such technology, he says.
Commenting on how to sell disaster recovery for mobile fleets, Barnes explains: “The consultative approach is definitely required to help customers understand the impact of downtime, through to the ecosystem that supports information availability to the mobile devices itself. It also means that customers can better understand the importance of their organisation to be able to deal with unexpected failures, bearing in mind the whole point of a BlackBerry is to be available 24/7.”
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Disaster recovery for mobile fleets
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