How Stage2Data’s unparalleled customer support and world-class infrastructure sets it apart from other cloud technology service providers

As an award-winning cloud technology solution provider, Stage2Data places a high premium on providing high-quality technical support and innovative solutions to its customers. The company’s exceptional level of support is made possible by a professional and knowledgeable infrastructure team whose core focus is ensuring that all data and infrastructure components are correctly deployed and running smoothly.  That is the company’s core mission – to make sure that their clients’ environments are run with unmatched precision.

Gerhard Rautenbach, Vice President of Professional Services recently shared some valuable insights into the inner workings of Stage2Data’s customer support and professional services model. With a heavy emphasis on world-class infrastructure and unparalleled customer service, Gerhard outlined what sets Stage2Data apart from other cloudserviceproviders (CSP).

Gerhard, originally from South Africa, completed his studies at North-West University whereafter he dabbled in a bit of urban economics before settling into the role of programmer/developer at Absa Capital, one of South Africa’s most prominent financial service providers. In 2008 he joined the Engineering Council of South Africa as an IT Engineer where he worked for almost a decade. Gerhard relocated to Canada, where he joined Stage2Data as Project Manager – Professional Services in 2018. He was subsequently promoted to Professional Services Manager shortly after and finally into his current role as Vice President of Professional Services, a position he’s held since 2021.

What are Stage2Data’s key differentiating factors?

Apart from the fact that Stage2Data offers premier cloud infrastructure managed by a superb infrastructure team, the CSP is also renowned for its flagship Network Recovery-as-a-Service (or NRaaS™) solution. NRaaS™ has been a game-changer in the cloud disaster recovery space.

“It’s fairly easy to supply DR and backup solutions. But if you don't have access to your data through an exceptional network recovery solution, spinning up a new VM or ensuring a robust DR environment is simply not good enough. The emphasis should be on accessibility and usability and reliability – that is very important. We pride ourselves in our NRaaS™ solution, it is a massive differentiator in the marketplace and for Stage2Data, and is often what secures new customers”

Currently, approximately 30% of Stage2Data’s customers make use of its fully-fledged NRaaS™ solution, with this figure growing monthly. In the event of a VM infrastructure down event or a complete site failure these customers failover their entire environments to the Stage2Data backup and,  where Stage2Data is also their internet service provider (ISP), their public IPs remain unchanged. Where Stage2Data is not the customer’s ISP, the same process applies but the customer will be supplied with new public IPs.  

Stage2Data’s secret sauce: A very strong technical team and robust technology 

Stage2Data established a strong infrastructure support team that provides first-class technical and cloud infrastructure support to all its customers. The team uses robust technology to streamline remote working and the ability to communicate in real time. 

“What makes us unique to our industry is that we have the technology to work remotely as if we're sitting in front of a datacentre or server rack. With secure access and the requisite communications capabilities we can deliver exceptional service and rapidly complete any task assigned to our team”,

Given the nature of the industry in which Stage2Data operates, it’s typically challenging to find team members who are well versed in all the technologies used by Stage2Data such as VMware, Zerto, Cohesity, MinIO and Veaam – it’s not a typical combination found in any one resume.

“I always look for somebody who is a very quick learner and who can grasp the basic concepts quickly and then build up rapidly from there given the fast-paced information technology industry. When it comes to disaster recovery, I need level-headed team members who can react calmly and quickly to customer support requests. Those are the type of qualities that are very important when growing the team and I’m proud to say that it is exactly what I currently have. Our entire purpose turns on having well-executed infrastructure, networking and deployment with all redundancies in place. I pride myself on the fact that I want to keep it as simple and boring as possible. That is the goal of the day, every day”,

Changes in the recovery landscape as ransomware rapidly increased over the past 2 years 

Ransomware attacks have seen a steep rise in both frequency and sophistication over the last two years. This has become even more evident in the midst of 2020 during the pandemic. Security and encryption are becoming increasingly important within the data centre and the cloud. Moreover, the market has shifted along with the technology so everything from encryption at rest, encryption in transit, and encrypting backups are taking the forefront in security solutions and disasterrecovery and backup solutions. 

The 3 biggest mistakes companies make during DR planning

“We started seeing more and more customers falling victim to ransomware where their whole VM was locked up and all their files encrypted. One of our customers was hit so hard by ransomware that their whole infrastructure was down, even their network. Luckily, we had DR through Cohesity in place for them, so we rolled back a couple of hours before the estimated time of the ransomware attack and recovered them fully without having any data loss. We were able to fail them over to our backend environment and started rebuilding everything. The customer has been so impressed with our service and customer support, they have since been permanently hosting with us”,

Ensuring data protection and disasterrecovery preparedness is more important than ever before given the fact that there is a bevy of factors that could lead to a system outage or downtime. In these instances, organizations must leverage DR and backup data to keep operations running smoothly. Despite this, organizations still often fail to understand the scope and importance of DR planning. They still rely on infrequent backups and do not account for all the locations where their data are stored. A further big DR failure is organizations not re-evaluating their DR plan whenever major changes are effected.

Stage2Data’s mission is to consistently provide superb support while constantly exceeding customer expectations. Deploying a robust disaster recovery solution has never been easier. Stage2Data’s cloud Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) is simple, reliable, and all-inclusive while the CSP’s flagship NRaaS™ solution ensures that network services are restored, and downtime minimized following a disaster.

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