How COMLINE AG Achieved GDPR Compliance

Post Date: 08/16/2019
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Case Study: COMLINE AG

Critical Needs

  • A suitable hybrid cloud backup solution for all data and services in Office 365
  • The ability to recover data stored in the cloud upon deletion, destruction, or other loss to comply with GDPR


Cloud Backup

Office 365 Backup

Success Highlights

  • A hybrid cloud backup solution that enables offline content recovery for file systems
  • Successfully recovering lost data within a day, including full Exchange mailboxes, appointment scheduling, and other important information
  • Fast, simple implementation and comprehensive support

“The major benefit of AvePoint Cloud Backup has already been proven several times over. The affected employees were extremely pleased to have been able to retrieve their lost data so quickly and easily.”

Martin Blach, CIO, COMLINE AG

The Challenge

A backup solution was a fundamental requirement for COMLINE AG when migrating its data to Microsoft Office 365. After analyzing the market, there was only one option as far as the CIO of the company was concerned: AvePoint Cloud Backup.

COMLINE AG was using a completely on-premise solution to manage their data, which was not cost-effective or time-efficient.

“The costs involved in keeping every single system up-to-date at all times was enormous,” explains Martin Blach, who has been CIO of COMLINE AG since 2016.

Going with a hybrid solution helped solve these issues for the company.

“By using Microsoft Office 365, all the systems are updated without any action required on our part. We don’t need to worry about anything in that regard, so we can concentrate on our actual work. The time that we save can be used to the benefit of our customers.”

GDPR compliance was an important factor for the company in its backup evaluations. If found not compliant, the company would be fined up to four percent of its revenue.

“All companies that use Office 365 components should ask themselves what would happen in the event of data loss – particularly in light of the new General Data Protection Regulation, which came into effect in May 2018,” says Blach. “We therefore had to make sure that the data that we use in the cloud can be recovered in the event of deletion, destruction, or any other loss.”

The AvePoint Solution

COMLINE AG quickly decided that AvePoint Cloud Backup was the ideal solution for them.

“We opted for AvePoint Cloud Backup because it offers data storage in an on-premises data center and the option of offline recovery, which means we can also restore content to file systems offline,” explains Blach. “Only AvePoint offered this special offline recovery tool in connection with the SaaS cloud backup solution, so there was no other backup solution on the market that we could consider.”

Once Blach and his team had decided on AvePoint Cloud Backup, all the technical steps had been implemented and the work’s council had given its approval, Blach and his team tested the backup solution in a proof of concept.

“The AvePoint service technicians supported and advised us throughout this process,” says Blach. “The setup process went smoothly; we just required a few changes, and these were quickly implemented. Setup was completed within four hours.”

The Bottom Line

Without an adequate backup solution in place ensuring their compliance with key regulations, COMLINE AG would not be as far along in their cloud journey.

“Without an offline backup solution, we would not have migrated any data to Office 365.” Blach stated. “Thanks to the fast, straightforward implementation process and the comprehensive support provided by AvePoint, we are now optimally prepared for migrating all our services to the cloud. Our aim is to be using all services in the cloud by mid-2019.”

Since COMLINE AG has been using the backup solution, AvePoint Cloud Backup has already proven its value to assist with several cases of data loss.

The company had lost entire Exchange mailboxes of several senior managers at the company, meetings, and other important information. However, thanks to AvePoint Cloud Backup, all the data was restored within minutes.

“The major benefit of AvePoint Cloud Backup has already been proven several times over. The employees affected were extremely pleased to have been able to retrieve their lost data so quickly and easily,” says Martin Blach. “Overall, we are extremely happy with the backup solution and are pleased to be working with such a professional and reliable team.”

The cloud approach offers COMLINE huge benefits in terms of configuration and monitoring.

“We don’t have to worry about anything – the data is transferred by AvePoint, backed up and stored in an encrypted storage location defined by [us] the customer,” says Blach. “When our customers ask who has access to their data, we can say to them, with a clear conscience, that the data is stored in a protected, encrypted location that only COMLINE can access.”



COMLINE AG has been delivering IT services to its customers since 1990. These services include business strategy consulting, business process design, software development, cloud management and IT management services. After bringing a new investor on board in the form of the Dr. Schmidt Group in 1999 and merging with COMICS in 2002, COMLINE was listed as one of the top ten system houses in Germany for the first time in 2004. The company now has 500 employees at ten locations across Germany.

COMLINE AG leverages Microsoft Office 365 and use applications such as Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business and the Enterprise Mobility Suite on a daily basis. 95 percent of the applications all COMLINE employees use are cloud-based.

Read the full case study here.

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