Vision Australia Leverages AvePoint Cloud Backup To Protect Microsoft 365 and Salesforce Data

Success Highlights

Saving 8 hours a month or more on backup maintenance
Executed approximately 10 seamless Microsoft 365 restores for granular items, including project data from departed executive
Easier on and offboarding of large volunteer workforce

Customer Location Melbourne, Australia

Industry Not-for-profit

Platform Microsoft 365,Salesforce

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Vision Australia is a leading national provider of blindness and low vision services in Australia. They support more than 25,500 people of all ages through 35 Vision Australia centres. They have about 4.5 TB of data in Microsoft 365 and are leveraging most services, including OneDrive, Teams, SharePoint and Planner. They have about 330 GB in Salesforce, which they have recently started using as their main CRM platform. The IT team supports about 750 full time end users in addition to about 2,000 volunteers.

Critical Needs

  • Granular backup ability at the item level
  • Ability to retain data for 7 years
  • Protect client relationship information in Salesforce

The Challenge

When Vision Australia first started leveraging Microsoft 365 around 2018, its IT team immediately considered extending the native data protection features to align with its 7 year data requirement.

“Microsoft 365 is interesting because there are some basic protections, but its not enough,” said Vip Thong, Senior Systems Administrator, Vision Australia. “Data is only kept for a short period of time.”

Thong knew it was important to not just focus on the backup capabilities, but how to restore the data as well.

“It’s not easy to restore natively. You have to run PowerShell commands or really know what you are doing,” said Thong. “That’s one of the main reasons we needed a third-party backup solution: ease of use along with longer data retention, and running backup jobs multiple times a day.”

Volunteers in the nonprofit sector turn over at a higher rate than private sector employees. By leveraging a third-party solution, Vision Australia could also more easily on and offboard its large volunteer force.

“Cloud Backup definitely helps with onboarding and offboarding, especially with the one year retention minimum,” said Thong. “They can go and come back. When they leave we remove their mailbox, store it for a year and if they come back, its easily restored.”

Vision Australia recently adopted Salesforce and started reviewing third-party backup solutions after investigating native options.

“Salesforce has even less of a backup function than Microsoft 365,” said Thong. “You used to have to pay a lot of money to restore data and now that native service is decommissioned entirely. Losing that data would be a big problem because customers trust us to keep their information secure and have it when they need it.”

The answer to both backup needs turned out to be the same: AvePoint Cloud Backup.

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My advice: I would say definitely have a look at AvePoint, I’ve used other products and the ease of using Cloud Backup and lack of maintenance is first class.
Vip Thong
Senior Systems Administrator, Vision Australia

The AvePoint Solution

For Thong, what stands out about AvePoint Cloud Backup is that it brings a lot to the table while still being easy to use.

“The simplicity of the product is the first thing that comes to mind along with the robustness of the product,” said Thong. “The ease of getting support is always there as well.”

Cloud Backup’s ease of use enables Vision Australia to save time maintaining backups-- a key differentiator when comparing to similar vendors.

“I’d say the time saved managing backups compared to other vendors is about 15 minutes a day, so multiply that savings across a month and you get about 8 hours,” said Thong. “The initial set up is also easy especially when you compare to a product like Veeam where there is a lot you need to do during the initial setup, which can be quite lengthy with a lot of maintenance and troubleshooting.”

Another important consideration for Thong was the ability to backup and restore Microsoft Teams.

“Earlier this year we started to adopt Teams for the entire organization, so its important that we backup Team and Private channel which are supported by Avepoint,” said Thong.

This success lead Vision Australia to evaluate AvePoint’s Salesforce backup solution.

“We evaluated a few Salesforce backup vendors. We chose AvePoint because it had a solid product and was priced competitively,” said Thong. “We weighed our requirements against features offered and cost. We have run some test restores with Salesforce and it has run well for us so far, no issues.”

For both Salesforce and Microsoft 365, the quality of the company behind the solution and the approach to delegated administration was a big advantage.

“With AvePoint I don’t have to wonder if its going to exist a few years from now,” said Thong. “I also appreciate that I don’t have to give global admin rights to everyone, it makes us more secure. I delegate Salesforce backup to the Salesforce admin and the OneDrive backup to the OneDrive admin. It’s a great feature.”

The Road Ahead

Vision Australia has repeatedly found value in AvePoint’s backup solutions.

“We do about 10 restores each year on average for Office 365, mainly for Exchange and OneDrive, where a user has misplaced or deleted an item. For example, we had an executive that left 6 months ago and the team had to find a document related to a project and we were able to get it back.” said Thong. “It’s a big plus to be able to granularly restore an item so we don’t have to roll back a whole site or mailbox. You can drill down to the item level.

“My advice: I would say definitely have a look at AvePoint, I’ve used other products and the ease of using Cloud Backup and lack of maintenance is first class,” said Thong.

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