Did you get hoodwinked when it came to your backup and disaster recovery solution? You can admit it if you did – it happens to a lot of businesses.

You thought you were investing in a solution that would change everything. Something that would make your life simpler, your backups easier to handle, your recovery faster. But then it turned out your solution involved a lot of little solutions – a vendor that came with half a dozen other different vendors attached. You had to negotiate pricing, licensing, deliverables, support with all of them. The total cost of ownership has been hard to get a grip on. You spend more time than expected with each vendor, following up on small details and chasing down unresolved issues. And when a problem arises, everyone passes the buck, saying it must be that other vendor.

The BDR solution that was supposed to save you so much time seems to be consuming more and more of it. Inevitably you stop managing each aspect effectively because you just didn’t account for the resources required. And those high level objectives you hoped to achieve? They look farther and farther away.

You’re lost in multi-vendor chaos.

There’s only one cure for this situation: to simplify your backup and disaster recovery system as much as possible. By eliminating the complexities of managing different teams, you can put more time and money back in your life, and let your team devote themselves to more interesting work.

A few tips will help streamline your solutions and your processes.

Evaluate your current situation. Take a look at where you’re spending time and where past disasters have stopped your recovery. Sometimes what seems to be a minor part of your system can be costing you more time, phone calls or meetings than you realize. Before you can simplify, you need to identify where your system flows smoothly and where it slows down and gets murky.

Choose a solution that takes care of everything – for real. Maintaining one relationship usually means lower costs, decreased risk and better service. It’s easier to negotiate more favorable terms and develop a true partnership where your vendor learns the needs and nuances of your team, which sharpens their ability to provide great service. You have several options here, like choosing a DRaaS solution where the experts handle all the day-to-day tasks. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention at Quorum, we really do handle it all – archiving, recovery, testing, you name it.

Get clear on price and value. You may have lived through this before: you decide on a BDR solution that seems budget-friendly at first, and then random little add-ons keep nudging the bill higher and higher. Elements you assumed were included, aren’t. The lesson here? Don’t jump at the solution with the lowest price tag. Look at the total value in terms of management, features, time. Will your team be able to focus on revenue-driving activities? Does the SLA promise a reduction in downtime and lost sales? Your team’s freedom to innovate and focus on their core mission should always be the priority.

Prioritize communication. Look for a vendor you can talk to. These days we all have a dozen ways to contact each other – yet too often, we can’t get a conversation with that one person who can solve our problem. You want a vendor who will pick up the phone and talk to you in a language you understand, instead of relegating you to a third-party call center or refusing to take responsibility.

Automate. When you’re evaluating a new backup and disaster recovery solution, don’t settle for promises of how “easy” it will be. Be blunt and ask about automation. Is testing automated? How much effort is involved in backing up and failing over? All too often that “easy” solution involves more training and processes than you realized – leading to difficulty down the road when disaster hits and the two people who understand how to spin up a backup are both MIA.

When it comes to vendors, less is usually more. Find the vendor who can do it all and do it well, and you’ll find your own team empowered to do a lot more.

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