Small and medium enterprises signing up for online backup services are looking for much more than a facility to backup data in an offsite repository. They expect to be supported by experts who know the how, why, what, when and where of backup; and are able to provide them with technical support round the clock or whenever required. Small and medium enterprises want to limit the number of technically savvy personnel within the enterprise and ride on the service provider’s technical expertise to resolve backup related issues. A 24 x 7 Technical support is just what they would appreciate.

Do online backup service providers really extend 24 x 7 technical support services? The answer cannot be an unambiguous Yes or No. They do and they do not. At a very basic level of support, most online backup service providers offer website support, which includes a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers and a contact us form that sends out an email to the support team, which promises to reply within 24 or 48 hours of the receipt of the email.

A few service providers set up discussion forums where users can gather and discuss common issues and problems of using the online backup service and support personnel may reply to some of the questions with resolutions to the problems. While these avenues of contact with support teams are available 24 x 7, users cannot really expect to get instantaneous resolutions to their problems.

Several online backup service providers program their software to generate alerts whenever a process (backup or recovery) fails or there is a breach of security or unauthorized users attempt to access customer information. The software may generate an automated alert for the resolution of the administrator or service provider or both. The system may also be programmed to alert the service provider if the customer is unable to resolve the issue or the customer fails to react to the generated alert within a stipulated period of time. The service provider may, issue automated periodic alerts to the customer or contact him via telephone with a request to resolve the problem that has been encountered.

More sophisticated online backup services offer enhanced customer support services at a price. Customers can contact their assigned technical expert on telephone, round the clock for resolution of their software or hard ware problems. Onsite support comes at a premium and the online service provider may station a technical expert at the customer location for the resolution of any day-to-day problems that may be encountered.

Customers need to choose the type of customer service they need even before they subscribe to the online backup service. They must read through the fine prints in the Service Level Agreement and ensure that they have understood what they can expect by way of customer service from the service provider.

SecurStore, powered by Asigra, provides 24 x7 customer and technical support; and comes with an automated alert system to notify clients in case their backup or recovery fails.