Cohesity deepens Microsoft 365 support with Backup-as-a-Service offering

Cohesity’s Microsoft 365 BaaS product is coming to market later than some competitors, and while they acknowledge their partners are likely selling one of those offerings today, they think theirs will have advantages that will convince them to switch.

Cohesity’s Microsoft 365 BaaS

Data protection vendor Cohesity has announced the expansion of support for Microsoft 365, through their Backup as-a-service offering, which includes protection for Microsoft Exchange Online, OneDrive, SharePoint Online, and Microsoft Teams through the same interface. While Cohesity had already been providing Microsoft 365 protection, this extends it significantly, and adds what Cohesity believes is a significant differentiation against competitor offerings that are already in the market.

“We are not the first to market here, but I do think we have a unique offering,” said Doug Ko, Director, Product Marketing, Cloud Products and Solutions, at Cohesity. “Based on customers’ feedback so far, we have advantages on a couple points, around flexibility and the pricing model itself.”

Ko said that while Cohesity has already been providing Microsoft 365 support for over two years, providing that support through their DataProtect delivered as a Service offering will make it even easier for customers.

“This both expands our support and provides it through a dedicated product,” Ko said “The Backup as-a-Service is the net new piece. Even through we have hundreds of customers already using us for Microsoft 365, we think the vast majority will use this backup as-a-service model.”

Ko also stressed that while some competitors use pricing models unique to their Microsoft, they have the same pricing model for all their workloads.

“It’s $150 TB/month, based on the front end terabyte TB used capacity on the data sources being protected,” he said. “There are unlimited restores, and no data egress charges. It’s a significant TCO savings over a per user model.” It’s sold on a one-year subscription model.”

Ko said this type of protection is necessary because even though Microsoft has told customers for years that Microsoft’s internal backup for Microsoft 365 was never intended to be a full backup solution, and that a third-party solution is necessary, most customers still don’t use one.

“There is still a lot of risk and disconnect in customer base itself, and many people still don’t understand their responsibilities for protecting their data,” he said. He cited recent data from the Enterprise Strategy Group that while 78% of respondents use Microsoft 365, 74% of these said they rely on native Microsoft 365 services for backup.

“Only 22% of customers use a third-party solution to protect their Microsoft 365 data,” Ko said. “We think it’s due to some misunderstandings of what cloud is. In the enterprise space, Microsoft does some education here, but less in the SMB. We think it’s a constant education process.”

Given these numbers, its not a surprise that the same study found that only 15% are 100% successful in recovering their Microsoft 365 data.

“That’s partly because Microsoft 365 tools are not really backup tools,” Ko said. “It’s a recycle bin. Microsoft wont even let them pay for extended retention beyond their 30-day default period, because it would be a question of liability.”

Ko acknowledged a difficulty in coming into this market late is that some of their partners will have preferred a backup as-a-service solution and be reluctant to switch, but he thinks that will be a minority.

“I do think this is easier for them to sell,” he said. “It’s not a separate SKU, or a separate metric. Even if we are net new , starting with Microsoft 365 will allow partners to land and expand a lot easier.”

The Cohesity Microsoft 365 backup as-a-service offering is available through distribution as a sellable SKU, and through the AWS marketplace.

“Partners can make margin no matter how they sell it,” Ko stated.

In addition to protecting Microsoft 365, Cohesity’s new offering also includes support for Amazon EC2 Virtual Instances and Compute Infrastructure, and soon, for Amazon RDS Cloud Databases. The RDS support will be available in the summer of 2021.