Upstate Cerebral Palsy Protects 6 TB of Data in O365 with AvePoint Cloud Backup, Shifts Away from On-Prem Backup

Success Highlights

Easy deployment of AvePoint Cloud Backup
Safe implementation of Office 365
Substantial time savings for IT maintenance
Quick, comprehensive restore of lost data
Upstate cerebral palsy case study banner
Upstate cerebral palsy logo

Customer Location Utica, NY

Industry Not-for-profit

Platform Microsoft 365

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Upstate Cerebral Palsy is an organization dedicated to providing direct-care services and programs for individuals who are physically, developmentally, or mentally challenged and their families. The not-for-profit, including affiliates, employs more than 2,300 people in the Central New York region. The organization follows a shared vision: “empowering people with exceptional opportunities.”

Critical Needs

  • Data protection and backup in M365
  • HIPAA and FERPA compliance
  • Reduce on-premises backup reliance
  • Recovery and restore

The Challenge

The critical and compassionate services delivered by Upstate Cerebral Palsy (UCP) produce a lot of data — records, schedules, reports, and much more. Until recently, however, the organization was only using on-premises storage to retain copies of the information.

So when UCP first considered adopting the cloud-based Office 365 in 2018, leadership knew that added protection was needed.

“The only way to move to Office 365 was to have a backup solution in place,” said Christopher Roy, the organization’s vice president of information services.

Because UCP provides comprehensive healthcare, it must take special precautions with the private information of individuals who receive medical, behavioral, and social services.

“HIPAA requires the availability of data — not only do we have to keep our records secure and maintain their confidentiality, we also have to make sure they’re available,” Roy said. “If something like a system failure or an accidental deletion occurs, we still have to be able to access that data.”

UCP leaders sought reassurance when backing up their cloud data. That’s because a previous on-premises provider found it “challenging” to handle large amounts of UCP data, said Roy, adding that his organization wanted to move away from on-premises storage due to the costs and hassles of maintenance, upgrades, and bandwidth.

“It was a lot to worry about,” Roy said. “We were ready to embrace Office 365 as an organization.”

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I’ve been in the field for about 12 years, and I have dealt with a variety of backup solutions. There has definitely been nothing as seamless as AvePoint Cloud Backup. We don’t have to go in and tweak or make changes; it’s just set.

Christopher Roy
Vice President of Information Services, Upstate Cerebral Palsy

The AvePoint Solution

With AvePoint Cloud Backup, UCP could safely implement Office 365 for employees and affiliates.

Cloud Backup is a 100% SaaS solution that provides automated, comprehensive backup and restore services for M365, Salesforce, and Dynamics 365. It features built-in storage and encryption and offers flexible pricing plans based on the number of users or the amount of data.

With backups performed four times daily, the solution is designed to accommodate the latest Microsoft APIs and handle granular rollbacks (including Teams chats, Groups, and Planner).

AvePoint’s capabilities, as UCP leaders learned, were hard to match. The agency had considered a cloud backup solution from a former on-premises provider, but the sales pitch quickly fell short.

“They said, ‘Yeah, we do cloud backup’ and we took their word for it — but then we found out there were limitations on the restore process and getting your stuff back,” Roy said.

And unlike the organization’s experiences using on-premises backup, the AvePoint process was simple.

“I’ve been in the field for about 12 years, and I have dealt with a variety of backup solutions,” Roy said. “There has definitely been nothing as seamless as AvePoint Cloud Backup. We don’t have to go in and tweak or make changes; it’s just set. AvePoint handles everything in the cloud, so I don’t have to worry about the underlying administration. That’s where the time savings comes in.”

With Cloud Backup, UCP is now protecting about 6 TB of data. At first, the organization opted for a price plan based on data use but recently switched to user-based licenses with unlimited data “because in the future we’re only going to grow,” said Nicholas Newman, system administrator at UCP.

The agency isn’t yet using additional Cloud Backup features — including delegated administration and the AVA self-service chatbot — but has found the restore process to be quick and effective.

“We've had a few users who have left the agency and deleted items; we were able to recover them easily because of Cloud Backup,” Newman said. “You just go through the interface, click ‘restore,’ choose a user and you can just restore.”

Finally, a quarterly payment plan model from AvePoint allows UCP to stay on budget and ensure coverage. “That flexibility has helped us from a financial standpoint,” Roy said.

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The Road Ahead

UCP has been satisfied with AvePoint Cloud Backup, and Roy offered advice for other organizations seeking a backup solution: Try before you buy.

“I’m a skeptical guy, so I always like to have vendors not only demonstrate a solution but to let me test it and see how it actually works,” he said, adding that AvePoint’s sales and customer service teams guided a speedy surveillance and deployment and have always been available to help along the way.

By having reliable and unlimited capacity for backup in Office 365, leaders at UCP can safely expand their data creation and accelerate digital transformation efforts.

“We’re continuing to migrate more and more of our critical business data into the cloud,” Roy said. “With any new application, we’re definitely looking at SaaS cloud-based applications. That’s really becoming our model.”

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