What are the main challenges involved in growing a disaster recovery and backup business through international expansion?
In my experience, I’ve seen companies spread themselves too thin, too quickly, while attempting to expand internationally. To avoid falling into this trap, Unitrends is focusing its efforts, and ensuring that strong leadership, unrivaled customer support and service, helpful sales teams and simple purchasing channels exist in any area the company does business. Even as we rapidly expand overseas and experience triple-digit growth, we never lose sight of our goal to make it as frictionless as possible for potential customers, our end users and our reseller partners to do business with us.
Another one of our major expansion goals is to remain agile to the different needs of our customers in each of the countries we serve. Our agility has been a major contributor of our success to date, and it will propel us to success throughout EMEA as well.
What type of synergy are you looking for in the European marketplace?
Within the backup and data recovery space, there are key trends that are impacting IT organizations globally – so we expect to have a synergy with our European customers that is similar to what we’ve built with our U.S. customer base. No matter what part of the world they reside in, mid-market organizations (less than 1,500 employees) today are resource-constrained. They are trying to manage ever-increasing data growth pressures, which tax IT infrastructures and require new and more agile data recovery strategies. And, with the emergence of virtualization, many IT organizations are contending with heterogeneous IT environments.
As downtime tolerance diminishes and securing data is paramount, organizations are looking for a turnkey approach to data protection – one that is effective, yet affordable and easy-to-use. Few backup and data recovery vendors can provide heterogeneous data protection at a price point and level of simplicity that SMEs require. We can, and our U.S. customers turn to us for enterprise-class data protection at the lowest total cost of ownership in the industry. We look forward to sharing our unique value proposition with our international IT counterparts.
What compliance, privacy and law issues do companies in Europe deal with that are different from the U.S.? Any surprises?
Actually, companies in the U.S. and Europe are held to similar data protection regulations and face similar compliance challenges, such as data retention strategies, outsourcing of data processing, records management, processing of employee data and security breaches. Specifically within Europe, businesses are held to more stringent guidelines as outlined in the European General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Retention Directive. And as globalization of the world economy continues, there will be an increasing number of compliance issues that businesses need to contend with. Our job is to help them evolve their data protection strategies to meet evolving security and compliance regulations.
As a company doing business internationally, we need to recognize how our technology supports compliance requirements and unique sets of legislation and standards. This means, for example, that we will not make services available to customers until we have put the right partnerships and resources in place to help our customers abide by specific federal, local and/or vertical regulations.