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Acronis, BostonTech win Genzyme backup and recovery business

Genzyme International recently opted for an Acronis True Image backup and recovery solution implemented by integrator BostonTech Partners.

Even in an otherwise weak economy, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and other compliance regulations continue to drive brisk partner business in backup and recovery services.

Genzyme Corp. recently opted for an Acronis True Image backup and recovery solution implemented by Canton, Mass.-based integrator BostonTech Partners.

Basically, compliance regulations mandate that companies safeguard their information. True Image manages backup and recovery tasks for remote systems and includes backup application installation, backup, restoration and optimization of storage resources.

Genzyme, the Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech giant, did its due diligence. First, it evaluated the leaders in the field, using Gartner data as a starting point, said Haiying Peng, associate director of infrastructure and operations for Genzyme's international IT group.

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"We chose four vendors and built a spreadsheet with all the features and scored each candidate; from that we came up with Acronis," Peng said. That short list included Acronis, Symantec and a few others, he said.

It helped that Acronis, based in Burlington, Mass., was located nearby. One of the other candidates appeared to have no local presence. "When I called, the CEO actually picked up the phone, and although it was a U.S. number, I had the feeling I was talking to someone in India. That was not a good feeling," Peng said.

Acronis True Image 9.1 Workstation, in the end, was the backup and recovery solution of choice. Then came the issue of implementation.

The next step was coming up with a partner that could do the heavy-duty customization Genzyme required. Acronis provided a few names, including a New Hampshire company that came in with a high bid.

Peng said Genzyme had particular needs for this technology. "You cannot just buy it installed. We want an easy install, but we require a lot of customization," he said.

BostonTech had a few things going for it. It was local, it came highly recommended by the technology vendor, it had strong overall experience in backup and recovery, the price was right and it was already on Genzyme's list of approved partners.

"We like to use vendors that have already been in house. It's easier from a procurement perspective -- I don't have to create a new account. We were very satisfied with their work. We provided the requirements, and they did all we asked," Peng said.

BostonTech rolled out a pilot before Genzyme pulled the trigger on the full implementation, according to Jason Quan, founder of BostonTech, who worked on the project.

While the backup and disaster recovery solution was relatively straightforward in that BostonTech was not responsible for dealing with email and storage, Acronis and BostonTech are an example of a mutually beneficial vendor-partner team. BostonTech, which also represents Symantec, will often bring Acronis into the account. In situations like this one, Acronis brings in the partner.

BostonTech typically leads with Acronis, because it gets better response time and service from the vendor, Quan said. "The key is the team behind the technology. Typically when we work with Symantec and run into a problem, we're on our own or we get a 'We'll get back to you' message. With Acronis, they actually do get back to us," he said.

The Genzyme True Image implementation covers 500 to 1,000 licenses, 500 of which are now live. The rest are expected to go online later this year.

BostonTech sees a lot of business driven by SOX-like mandates, Quan said. "Disaster recovery and backup have definitely become day-to-day tasks for any public company."

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