Building Resilience in 2021

In looking back at 2020, it’s easy to dwell on the low points; Coronavirus, business turbulence, protests, widening political divides, a recession, and lock downs. However, when I reflect on 2020, I focus on the resiliency built into our industry. Each one of us has faced our own unique challenges yet here we are, continuing to support our customers and employees.

Author: Justin Gilbert, Zix
Author: Justin Gilbert, senior director of channel marketing, Zix

Some of us have taken this opportunity to elevate our game by consulting with experts. At Zix | AppRiver, we’ve implemented an MSP Masterclass and facilitated conversations between our partners and MSP-focused consultants like Karl Palachuk from Small Biz Thoughts, Carrie Simpson from Managed Sales Pros, Marie Wiese from Marketing CoPilot, and Paul Dippell from Service leadership. While it might seem easier to just weather the storm and try to get by, the partners having these conversations are instead taking this unique moment in history and using it to transform their businesses.

2020 also saw a sharp uptick in cyberattacks on customers and vendors alike. While bad actors have continued their trend of never letting a bad situation go unanswered, MSP’s have responded with resilience and perseverance. While preventing these attacks is Plan 1, having a “backup” plan has been key in MSP’s success. Earlier this year, our partner community let us know that cloud-to-cloud backup was a need that we weren’t fulfilling for them. We listened. In November this year, we announced our acquisition of CloudAlly, a leader in cloud-to-cloud backup, and we are already helping partners build out additional resiliency in their tech stack.

Cloud Backup for MSPs: The Benefits

Cloud Backup addresses more than just post-attack recovery, it also serves to shore up cloud services’ own gaps related to restoration. In Microsoft’s own words, “Point in time restoration of mailbox items is out of the scope of the Exchange service.” They aren’t alone. Most SaaS providers today provide limited backup capabilities with little to no ability for a partner to act quickly to restore back to a given point. Considering 33% of companies using SaaS lose data and the average time to identify a breach averages around 206 days, customers without backup are left in difficult situation. Regardless of whether you partner with us or another vendor, do yourself and your customers a favor in 2021 and build resiliency into your tech stack.

As we enter the new year, I’m guessing the strangeness that was 2020 will continue to linger a bit longer. Some of us are a bit leaner, but all of us have used this opportunity to hone our businesses and create more efficiencies. We’ve weathered the dumpster fire that is 2020 and come out the other side with businesses that have been stress tested to the extreme.

I am ever hopeful that in the back half of 2021 we’ll get to attend partner conferences again, participate in on-site visits again, have dinner with friends and peers, complain about airlines and lost luggage, and look beyond our home office and our 7th video call of the day. Personally, I can’t wait to sit down and have a beer or three with you all again! Cheers!

Justin Gilbert is senior director of channel marketing at Zix. Read more Zix blogs here.