HYCU enters a very crowded Office 365 backup market, but believes that the capabilities within their Protégé platform and some design features to address specific market needs, will provide them needed differentiation.
Boston-based HYCU emerged on the scene in 2017 with a purpose -built backup solution for Nutanix. They then added support for VMware to their enterprise cloud offerings, followed by expanding into the Google and Azure Marketplaces with support for those two platforms, and introducing the Protégé platform for multi-cloud management. Their latest offering, HYCU Protégé for Microsoft Office 365, is the first backup SaaS service they have offered, bringing them into a different part of the market.
“This is our first SaaS backup offering from our Protégé console, which will allow customers to manage their Office 365 from a single pane of glass,” said Subbiah Sundaram, VP of Products and Marketing at HYCU. “It’s a major evolution for the customer.”
Sundaram acknowledged HYCU is entering its most congested space to date, with literally dozens of competitors, many of whom also have newish or newly redesigned cloud-native solutions with impressive bells and whistles.
“Lots of people provide Office 365, but we think that there are some significant differences to what we are doing,” he said. “Many Office 365 solutions just support a subset of Office 365 – the major solutions, Sharepoint and Outlook. Initially, that met the needs of the market. But what is increasingly happening is that many customers now want to use as many of the services as they can in Office 365, in order to save money. Now, you need to protect the entire gamut, including OneDrive, Teams and Notes, and that’s what we do.” All the Office 365 subscription services are protected through the same service and the same Protégé management interface.
While HYCU is not looking to become an Office 365 backup company, they made the decision to enter the space after they expanded to cover the Microsoft Azure platform a year ago, and found that concerns about Office 365 tended to pop up a lot. Sundaram said that they have addressed these issues in their design of the solution.
“With our service, we let the customer keep the data forever if they want,” he indicated. “There is no limit. We also don’t lock the customer in by keeping their data. If for some reason, the customer wants to leave, they can take the data with them.”
Sundaram emphasized that HYCU Protégé for Microsoft Office 365 dynamically scales, eliminating the need for sizing and planning exercises, is simple to use, with one-click functionality, and provides advanced features like journaling that are not standard in Office 365 backup solutions.
“We also enable recovery at all levels of granularity, for OneDrive files, SharePoint sites, Groups and Teams,” he stressed.
This granularity extends to search functionality as well.
“All data is automatically indexed and searchable, so search becomes so much easier,” Sundaram said. “End users can even do this themselves, and it can be offloaded from IT admins to users if the organization allows that.”
These capabilities mean that HYCU Protégé for Microsoft Office 365 is a full compliance solution as well as backup and recovery.
“It provides a full audit trail for legal purposes, and allows things like being able to suspend email expiration on demand for this reason,” Sundaram said. Compliance regulations supported include HIPAA, GDPR, PDPA [Singapore], the Australia privacy act, SOC 2 Type 1, FISMA, DIACAP and FedRAMP, DOD CSM Levels 1-2, and FIPS.
“We can help with the compliance regulations right out of the box,” Sundaram pointed out.
Pricing is $4/month per user, with discounts determined by the number of users being protected.
“We think it is very competitively priced, particularly as unlimited backup storage capacity is part of the service,” Sundaram said.
HYCU sells entirely through channel partners. Their channel is a little on the smallish sides by the standards of the backup industry, with 320 plus partners globally. HYCU thinks their existing channel will be able to handle the large Office 365 market, however.
“We are now solidly established in the Azure marketplace, and more than 60% of Office 365 users use Azure,” Sundaram said. “Many Microsoft partners have also become Azure partners. We see this of interest to our managed service provider partners as well. We support both those who just transact, through our reseller program, and the ones who manage as well through the extension of our program last year to support Cloud Service Providers. That CSP program has done really well. We thought it would originally be mainly focused on North America, but it has done well worldwide, even in Africa.”