Moran Environmental Cuts Microsoft Exchange Online and OneDrive for Business Backup Costs by 75% with AvePoint Online Services

Success Highlights

Reduced costs to run Exchange Online and OneDrive for Business backups by 75 percent with the ability to schedule automated backups in the cloud
Restored content from Microsoft Azure-hosted backups from a variable recovery point objective
Eliminated the need for physical storage with the ability to back up Office 365 content to Microsoft Azure
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Moran environmental recovery logo

Customer Location Newtown, Connecticut

Industry Environmental

Platform Microsoft Exchange Online,Microsoft 365

Critical Needs

  • Flexible backup solution for Exchange Online and OneDrive for Business
  • Ability to perform point-in-time content restore
  • Cost-effective backup storage

The Challenge

A nationally recognized Oil Spill Removal Organization, MER operates in 39 North American locations – and growing. Adding at least one new organization to its family of companies every year, MER saw the need for a scalable IT system to support its entire organization. MER’s IT team also emphasized the need to manage its geographically-dispersed infrastructure from a central place. “Our first IT system involved storing data in Citrix in a private data center,” said John Megnia, Director of IT and Business Process at MER. “As time passed, we saw significant conflicts between Citrix and other technology used by our accounting and project management teams. They didn’t play well with each other.”

After a particularly problematic six-month period where employees had inconsistent access to data, MER began looking at cloud solutions, specifically Office 365. The organization saw that other construction services firms were seeing success with cloud technology and decided to move to the Microsoft Cloud.

As MER adopted Office 365, IT found that Microsoft’s native backup capabilities for Exchange Online and OneDrive for Business were not flexible enough to support its needs. “We were under the impression Office 365’s out-of-the-box backup capabilities would be enough,” Megnia said. “However, Microsoft only retains deleted items in the recycle bin for 30 days. So if I delete an email and want to retrieve it outside of that time frame, I can’t get it back without restoring an entire mailbox or site collection, which means I’ll lose any new data created since the item was deleted.”

To gain more flexible data backup and restore capabilities for critical cloud applications, MER began looking at available solutions for Office 365 data protection.

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With AvePoint Online Services, we have peace of mind that we can recover any document and restore it to Exchange Online or OneDrive for Business.
John Megnia
Director of IT and Business Process, MER

The AvePoint Solution

With the majority of its business services based in the cloud, it was logical that MER chose to implement AvePoint Online Services (AOS), a Microsoft Azure-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform for Office 365 management. “We chose AvePoint Online Services because it has a comprehensive feature set and was a cost-effective solution that met our needs,” Megnia said. “We also saw that implementation was easy and fast.”

With AvePoint Online Services, MER addresses its Exchange Online and OneDrive for Business backup needs with the ability to create a custom backup schedule. AOS allows MER to schedule automatic platform and incremental backup jobs at any desired frequency – ensuring that user data is always available. “We run backups nightly, weekly, and monthly – as well as taking mid-year and end-of-year snapshots,” Megnia said. “This has made managing backups much easier for us. We can access backups from various points in time and find what we need.”

In addition to being able to customize backup frequency, MER also gained the option to store backups in a variety of destinations. The organization ultimately chose Azure as its backup destination. “Our old setup involved lots of physical hardware and tape to store backup data,” Megnia said. “With AOS, we can send backups to Azure, which is a much more cost-efficient option for us. We have really benefited from using cloud storage. It eliminates the headaches associated with buying, implementing, and managing physical storage. We’ve cut our backup costs by 75 percent with this solution.”

In its shift to the cloud, MER has seen 20 percent of its user base adopt OneDrive for Business. As more users made the transition from file shares, MER’s IT team recognized OneDrive for Business as a critical application for users and realized that they would need a backup solution for that as well. “We’re working on replacing file shares with OneDrive for Business,” Megnia said. “As more employees begin to use it across the organization, we quickly realized that we needed a backup solution. With AvePoint Online Services, we have peace of mind that we can recover any document and restore it to Exchange Online or OneDrive for Business.”

AvePoint Online Services provides MER with the ability to restore emails and files outside of Microsoft’s 30-day retention policy. With its previous data protection strategy, it could take up to four days to recover content from physical storage. Since AOS enables IT to granularly restore items from its Azure backup in a matter of hours, the team now has much more time to devote to other IT services. “By implementing AOS, we have significantly reduced the opportunities to lose data,” Megnia said. “It’s easy to access our backup to find what we need and restore it quickly – no more ‘failed media’ error messages because we don’t have to deal with hard drives.”

Adding to Megnia’s peace of mind, AvePoint Online Services allows admins to set up straightforward notifications for backup jobs. “We created alerts for completed and failed jobs,” Megnia said. “Our help desk is notified immediately if something has failed so we can take care of it right away.”

The Road Ahead

With AvePoint Online Services, MER is able to implement a customized, flexible backup schedule for its users’ Exchange Online and OneDrive for Business content – ensuring they have continuous access to critical data. This new data protection strategy also lowered MER’s storage costs by 75 percent and reduced data recovery time from four days to mere hours. Also, by choosing a SaaS solution with no installation required, MER was able to quickly begin using AOS. “Implementation was very easy and fast,” Megnia said. “AvePoint Online Services delivers immense value, and aligns with our plans to adopt SharePoint Online.”

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