Case Study – Xcellent
As a managed services provider that designs, builds, and manages mid-market IT infrastructure, Xcellent has a reputation for strong customer support. This pledge includes the protection and recovery of client data if assets are lost or compromised.
One Xcellent client was hit several years ago by a ransomware attack that took several days to remedy. The MSP knew it had to give customers more protection than what Microsoft could provide.
“We needed to have a good solution in place to protect us against those kinds of disasters,” said Mark Schoonderbeek, the company’s operational director.
Further underscoring that need was the launch of Microsoft Teams, which produced a new and changing pool of customer data — with elements such as channel conversations, chats and Planner tasks — that was becoming increasingly difficult for Xcellent to protect with their existing backup provider.
“When Microsoft launched Teams, we had customers using it and creating data within the blink of an eye,” Schoonderbeek said. “At the time, AvePoint was the only provider supporting those types of backups. We were looking for a backup partner whose product development was very close to the release of new services from Microsoft.”
The AvePoint Solution
A consultation demonstrating the function and value of AvePoint’s Cloud Backup solution convinced Xcellent that the service could effectively meet the company’s diverse and evolving backup needs.
Cloud Backup is a 100% SaaS solution that provides automated, comprehensive backup and restore services for Microsoft 365, 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.
Cloud Backup is also designed to meet the unique challenges of busy MSPs with a designated portal to help them manage the service and support needs of multiple clients.
Xcellent considered cloud backup solutions from Veeam and SkyKick. Ultimately, they chose to work with AvePoint and purchased Cloud Backup through Ingram Micro.
“For us, the main reason was fast development, fast restores, reliability, and an easy-to-use interface,” Schoonderbeek said. “We have all of that within your product.” Cloud Backup’s compatibility with new Microsoft 365 services and functionality updates means MSPs can offer swift, comprehensive protection.
Setting up the AvePoint solution was just as quick. “It only took us a couple of hours to get started,” said Richard Groot Roessink, a technical consultant for Xcellent. “I did the job and configured backup across office 365 for a customer in one hour — pretty fast.”
Another perk: AvePoint’s global presence, which includes offices in The Hague, made the process — and the partnership — feel even more personal.
“The first time I did an AvePoint backup, one of the technical guys looked over my shoulder,” said Groot Roessink. “The contact with our account manager was all in our own language. It was very easy to communicate our issues and questions.”
AvePoint’s dedicated European data centers and multi-geo capacity for customers to choose where their data lives, as well as functionality to comply with right to be forgotten requests, is critical for GDPR compliance.
“It’s very important to have those options for customers demanding it,” said Schoonderbeek, who added that Xcellent uses Cloud Backup for its own needs as well.
Xcellent hasn’t yet used AVA, AvePoint’s virtual assistance bot for data restore, but leaders see potential in giving customers some self-service capabilities as needs increase.
The Bottom Line
Comprehensive backup and recovery are critical safeguards to ensure business continuity, and in many industries they’re non-negotiable.
The ease and reliability of AvePoint Cloud Backup gives Xcellent the power to grow revenue with a highly marketable service as the COVID-19 pandemic changed the remote work landscape.
And when it’s time to perform, Cloud Backup delivers.
After an Xcellent customer lost a 100 GB SharePoint site collection, the retrieval was seamless. “In one night, we restored the complete site collection,” Groot Roessink said. “The next morning, it worked without any issues for all users — like it never happened.”
Moreover, the power to directly manage backup and restore services boosts Xcellent’s value as a trusted partner and delivers a streamlined experience with peace of mind.
“Our customers don’t want to be dependent on a big company,” Groot Roessink said. “With AvePoint Cloud Backup, we can make a difference in the flexibility and the speed of solving issues for our customers — and give them a good night’s rest regarding the safety of their data.”
Reliable service and performance have even compelled Xcellent to recommend AvePoint to other MSPs.
“I got called by another IT service provider starting to look into managed backup services,” Schoonderbeek said. “They asked me, ‘What kind of tool do you use?’ And I said, “Look into AvePoint.’”
Xcellent delivers a range of managed IT services to customers in a range of industries — including education, local government, healthcare and professional services clients. The company’s 100 employees are responsible for protecting more than 3,000 Microsoft 365 end users and ensuring a collective 100 TB of cloud data is backed up and accessible for a restore.
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