CASE STUDY

Whalley Computer Associates Scales Its Cloud Storage Business with Wasabi Account Control Manager

March 23, 2023By David Ball

Whalley Computer Associates is a value-added reseller and managed service provider (MSP) offering turnkey IT solutions to more than 20,000 customers across New England, New York, and eastern Canada. Supporting everything from data centers and network infrastructure, to desktop services and client devices, Whalley sought a new cloud storage provider to deliver better value and performance to customers transitioning to cloud-based backups. The customer-focused MSP was not happy with the unpredictable pricing of their previous provider, and there were periodic performance issues. They also needed more visibility into their customers’ storage usage, and the ability to simplify management of multiple customer accounts.

Predictable pricing is big hit with customers

“Many of our customers look to us for guidance and assistance with their cloud migrations but don’t truly know what that entails,” said Bill Suarez, Technical Account Manager at Whalley. “They don’t understand the complexities of cloud storage tiering and all the hidden costs associated with cloud backups. Therefore, they aren’t prepared for the additional and unpredictable charges they could get hit with at the end of each month.”

Once Suarez and his team looked into Wasabi, they saw immediately how switching providers could solve their customers’ price estimation and budget challenges. “Wasabi is one simple tier of service with no fees for egress or API calls, so it gives our customers a far more accurate way of forecasting their storage budget. They know exactly what their monthly expenditures are going to be,” said Suarez. “Our customers are quite happy with us because we’re the brilliant folks that brought Wasabi to their attention and now we’re saving them money. You’d be amazed at the brownie points that wins us!”

Wasabi Account Control Manager simplifies account provisioning and customer support

To easily manage multiple customer accounts, Whalley uses Wasabi Account Control Manager, a first-of-its-kind cloud-based management console for centralized storage account creation, administration, and user billing. The solution gives MSPs (or any large organization managing multiple accounts) complete visibility and control over the creation and configuration of Wasabi cloud storage sub-accounts.

“We have a number of customers with a variety of emerging cloud storage needs,” explained Suarez. “We need to be able to quickly provision accounts for users to trial the service, then transition them to paid production accounts seamlessly when they are ready to convert. Wasabi Account Control Manager enables us to do all of this in a matter of minutes.” Even more valuable to Suarez and his team was the level of visibility that Wasabi Account Control Manager brought to their customer service capabilities.

“Customers are always asking us, ‘how much storage am I consuming? What’s this going to cost me?’,” said Suarez. “We didn’t have a lot of dynamic access to this information with our previous providers. However, through Wasabi Account Control Manager, we have all this valuable data at our fingertips. We can tell our customers their current consumption, total consumption, the number of stored and deleted objects, how much data is being egressed, identify API requests, and more.”

Using Wasabi Account Control Manager, we can quickly provision accounts for users to trial the service, and then transition that to production seamlessly and quickly with all of the necessary support behind the scenes. It’s the only tool like it in the industry.”

Suarez also likes how their new “over-the-shoulder” visibility helps enhance their customer support. “We can’t access customer data, of course, but we can see errors they may have made, such as misspelling the bucket name, so we can step in and help them when they run into problems,” explained Suarez. “We can show customers how to create additional users with varying permissions, how to create buckets and file manager on their end using different buckets for different content, how to replicate buckets to another region—some perhaps would use delete retention, some without, so that you actually have a way of maintaining lost file tracking. It’s just such a flexible and easy-to-use tool, yet very powerful. I have yet to run into a situation where I can’t make Wasabi fit.”

Seamlessly integrates with leading S3-compatible solutions

The team at Whalley also appreciated Wasabi’s harmonious integration with technology partners, such as Veeam and HYCU. “Setting up an account is as simple as going into Veeam and creating an S3-compatible repository with Wasabi, then setting that up as a scale-out backup repository to local storage and clicking ‘Finish.’”

Suarez also likes the fact that HYCU customers can now request to have their backend storage written to Wasabi. “As a customer, I had no access to my data in the HYCU cloud. I couldn’t have a second copy written somewhere else or export a copy for my own disaster recovery readiness in case HYCU had an issue. Having the ability to now write to Wasabi—and even using Wasabi Cloud Sync Manager to replicate to another Wasabi region—makes HYCU a much stronger offering. It addresses one of the main reservations when I talk to customers about any platform that doesn’t give you access to your data.”

Along with these integrations, Suarez shared that Wasabi’s reliable high-performance instills trust that data protection features, such as S3 Object Lock, will keep data secure. “Having Wasabi hold an off-premises copy that can’t be overwritten ensures that a customer will always have the ability to bring a company back online should there be a major attack of some sort,” said Suarez. “Everyone we put in place for backups, we recommend that they use S3 Object Lock.”

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Summary

Delivering the right services at a value for customers is critical to the success of managed service providers. “Recommending a platform that’s going to work, that’s going to be reliable, and that offers good value does wonders for building goodwill and trust with our customers,” said Suarez. “As an MSP, we need to know that if we or our customers need help, we can get it. This has been a challenge in the past, especially as companies grow larger, but not with Wasabi. They have been a great partner, always available for questions or to share their roadmap with us.”

Suarez was briefed recently on the Wasabi Surveillance Cloud, a new hybrid storage solution that adds low-cost cloud storage to existing on-premises video management systems (VMS). “Our customers have growing requirements to store more and more surveillance data for longer amounts of time,” said Suarez. “We're looking forward to hearing more about Wasabi Surveillance Cloud and how it can help our customers extend storage retention periods and reclaim capacity on their on-prem NVR without changes to their current video management system.”

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