One place you may break through is in servicing backup management and offsite backup tape rotation. This task often falls to someone in the office who either has no experience managing backups or no desire to do so. Removing the onus of offsite tape management can ingratiate you with both the local office staff and the corporate IT staff who may not have time to give this aspect of backup the attention it needs. It may also open the door for you to configure and manage backup software at the office, providing you further insight into the inner workings of both the ROBO and the larger corporation.
Do not be put off by comments that all data is backed up centrally. While this is the trend, central offices may only keep 30 to 90 days of remote office data online and available for recovery. Identify if the remote office houses data that is either too large to be backed up centrally or data that requires longer retention times the central office is either unwilling or unable to support. Such specialized activities may turn into new selling opportunities for storage and software.
Also check what third party, if any, the central corporate office has contracted to provide network and storage support to the ROBO. Even though they may have contracted with a nationally known firm or a well-known local provider, quality of support and time to respond can vary significantly by state or region. In offices where support quality is low or response times long, local office staff have some say in determining which outside vendor provides troubleshooting support for their office.
This was first published in April 2007