StorageCraft banner27Jun14StorageCraftStorageCraft® ShadowProtect® Small Business Server has been rebranded to StorageCraft® ShadowProtect® for Small Business.

This name change is being made to better reflect the diversity of Microsoft products supported, including:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials and Foundation
  • Windows Server 2012 Essentials and Foundation
  • Windows Small Business Server (SBS)
  • Additional Windows operating systems listed on the ShadowProtect page of the StorageCraft web site.

The only change is the name. All features and functionality remain the same.

If you have any questions about this name change, please contact our sales team on 0118 9898 222.



Article published on StorageCraft  Recovery Zone

From making money to staying relevant and keeping customers happy, managed service providers have plenty to keep them up at night. We’re all worry warts at heart, but the key is tackling our fears head on and owning them. First things first: let’s call out those fears!

1. The Threat of Competition

Try as they may, but MSPs can’t help but worry about the competition. The explosive growth of trends like enterprise mobility, cloud computing, and big data has forced service providers to think twice about things they may not have given a second thought a year ago. In the mission to differentiate your company from the crowd, remember that adopting the right trends, competitive pricing, and fantastic support are just as important to standing out as delivering unique solutions that solve problems.

2. Keeping Pace with Technology

Technology moves faster than the average person can keep up with. As an MSP, it is your duty to follow the IT trends pushing the needle in your niche. However, this is easier said than done when you’re preoccupied with marketing, technical support, and running your business on a day to day basis. It’s hard work, but something that must be done to distance yourself from the competition and continually provide customers with the best possible managed services. Keep an ear to the ground by reading articles, analyzing market research, and following relevant discussions in social channels.

3. Properly Using Technology

You’re steadily adopting technology to move business forward and strive to use all these tools to their full potential. Of course, things don’t always run smoothly in the IT department, especially when the network is a disjointed mix of proprietary and open source applications. To ensure that IT flows as smoothly as the often cranky Tech Gods will allow, MSPs have to make securing great vendor support a priority. Sure, you’ve got to do your part in properly using the technology, but it never hurts to have a partner who’s willing to hold your hand while learning the ropes with their product.

4. Recruiting Top Talent

You might not always be hiring, but you should always be recruiting or at the very least, scouting the talent pool for potential additions. By staying on top of recruitment, you’ll be prepared to plug in pieces when positions open up opposed to scrambling at the last minute. At that point, you’re desperate and more susceptible to settling. Also, don’t limit your recruitment efforts to IT. Try to broaden the scope with a targeted focus on customer service, human resources, and other key areas of the business.

5. Retaining Top Talent

Retaining superstar employees is an ongoing concern for IT companies. They’re awesome at what they do, so naturally you want to keep them on your staff and away from the competition. While there are no guarantees, there are some things MSPs can do to make their company more attractive. Are employees properly trained? Do they have access to the tools needed to succeed at their job? Are you doing your best to accommodate them with scheduling? When it comes to retaining your best workers, flexibility and the ability to listen are your greatest attributes.

6. Dealing with problem employees

Unfortunately, not all employees are at a superstar level. And the longer you keep them around, the more costly they become. I saw an infographic on The Undercover Recruiter stating that under-performing employees can cripple ROI by a stunning -298 percent. This number was calculated based on the cost of hiring them, paying them, and keeping them around.

Here’s a quick look at some criteria MSPs can use to determine when it’s time to part ways with less than stellar employees:

  • Poor attendance: Even average to good performing employees can cost a company severely when their poor attendance hurts productivity and increases the workload for co-workers.
  • Mishaps: No one’s perfect, but constant mistakes can cost you dearly in time, production, and money when those errors have to constantly be corrected.
  • Negative influence: One bad apple can threaten to spoil the whole bunch when their negativity begins to impact team interaction, production, and morale.
  • Poor business performance: From recruiting and retention to innovation and product quality, under-performing employees can hinder the performance of the entire company.
  • Revenue loss: Finally, if performance evaluations indicate that certain employees can be attributed to substantial revenue losses, parting ways may be the only reasonable course of action.

7.  Retaining Clients

Customer retention and customer relationship management go hand in hand. Every now and then, you get by on the strength of your services and providing solid support when called upon. Most of the time, though, you’re working to manage the customer relationship on a regular basis. Use all those open communication lines to maintain contact with clients. Consistently feed them valuable content in newsletters and social media posts that save them money and time, or help their business otherwise. You’ve got to be proactive if you want to keep those good paying clients around.

8. Disconnecting From Client Relationships

They say it’s cheaper and easier to keep existing clients than it is to obtain new ones. At the same time, some clients are more trouble than they’re worth. Picture the client who’s frequently late with their payments or constantly rude to your support staff and forever treading the line of violating usage policies and abusing network resources. In some cases, these relationships can be saved through nurturing, communication, and mutual understanding. In others, the differences are irreconcilables. MSPs have to approach each client relationship on a case by case basis to determine when and where to cut ties.

9. Managing Money and Cash-flow

If you thought handling personal finances was a chore, just imagine the torment that comes with managing the finances of an IT company. You’ve got critical investments to make in tools and solutions that keep the infrastructure pumping. Bills. Possibly acquisitions that position you to flourish and grow. All this without falling into the red. Financial institutions are still a bit weary of tech firms so traditional lending isn’t a reliable option. MSPs have to make the most of funding ventures all while spending wisely and prioritizing profitability – because every business needs money to survive.

To learn more about StorageCraft solutions, contact our sales team today on 0118 9898 222


StorageCraft_LOGO_HORZ_4CNewStorageCraft's Headstart Restore is part of the StorageCraft Recoverability solution, providing effective disaster recovery for businesses.

Watch this short video on how  Headstart Restore works:

Call our team today on 0118 9898 222 for more help with disaster recovery solutions and the StorageCraft Recoverability solutions.



Stop selling products and start selling solutions

We inviting our Resellers to join Blue Solutions and our vendors, StorageCraft Technology and LabTech Software at our Stop Selling Products and Start Selling Solutions event, on Friday 30th January 2015.

Join us at Hotel Megaro, London, where StorageCraft specialists will show how you can guarantee business continuity to your partners. LabTech Software specialists will demonstrate how the RMM platform improves productivity with I.T. automation.

Register for the event

Take a look at a WD Sentinel

We're also going to have a WD Sentinel at the event for you to ask any questions about the product and the licencing promotion we're currently running.


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Our sales team had a busy time at IPEXPO, Europe's Number one cloud computing and IT infrastructure event. We joined StorageCraft,  our backup and disaster recovery vendor, to speak to new and prospective customers. This was also a great opportunity to discuss the industry topics affecting MSPs and Reseller and make contact with industry experts.

Our Product Specialist, Nicola Boswell (pictured below, centre), who spent the event with the StorageCraft Team "found the event to be a great way to meet customers, speak about StorageCraft technology and explain how Blue Solutions work with customers in the I.T. Channel".StorageCraft & Blue Solutions at IPEXPO

If you missed Nicola at IPEXPO and would like to find out about StorageCraft solutions, please contact her on 0118 9898 219






Exchange administration can be time-consuming and difficult if you don't have the right tools. StorageCraft Granular Recovery for Exchange (GRE) allows you to easily search, recover and migrate Exchange emails, mailboxes and other mailbox items.  It has a simple user interface that allows you to restore mailboxes, email messages, or attachments directly from an Exchange backup image file to a production Exchange server or PST file. This makes recovering lost emails not only painless but nearly effortless.

Key Features:

  • Recover mailboxes, email messages, and email attachments.
  • Restore or migrate individual mailboxes quickly and easily.
  • Search individual mailboxes or email messages for specific keywords.
  • Quickly mount backups for ultra-rapid access to Exchange database (.edb) files.
  • Use with any backup.
  • Enjoy support for Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, 2010, 2007 and 2003.

Problems with any Exchange server will develop. Searching, restoring and migrating email data is not easy and requires automation support. That is where StorageCraft GRE shines.

StorageCraft GRE is installed as an add-on accessory for any Microsoft Exchange server backup. StorageCraft GRE uses an interface similar to Microsoft Outlook and ‘drag and drop’ functionality for managing email objects and creating restorations to a live Exchange server environment or to .PST files for client use. StorageCraft GRE solutions not only operate with the StorageCraft flagship ShadowProtect product line, but offer compatibility with any Microsoft Exchange Server email database (EDB) or .PST file.

This means that organizations can simply add StorageCraft GRE to existing backup systems without needing to deploy a new or unfamiliar data protection product. This is important for organizations that have seasoned backup processes but want to add the Exchange search, restore and migration functionality transparently.

Here's a quick video to help you understand how easy it is to search for and recover a lost or deleted email, or other Exchange items, using StorageCraft Granular Recovery for Exchange:

If you have any questions about StorageCraft Granular Recovery for Exchange, contact our Product Specialist Nicola Boswell on 0118 9898 219.


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We've been busy working with StorageCraft on some new events for you. If you missed our news about us signing the distribution agreement to be their UK distributor, you can read it here. These events are another way that we are supporting you in building and growing your MSP and Reseller business. So what's happening?

  • We have a webinar on 30th September at 11:00am where we'll share with you how to Recover from disaster in less than 5 minutes. The session will be run by a StorageCraft Technical Specialist who will show you the disaster recovery solution for your clients’ physical and virtual environments. We’re also offering anyone who registers and attends the webinar, a free ShadowProtect Desktop license. You can register here for this event.

storagecraft imageOur Learn and Sell event on 30th October is where we’ll share with you the value of adding StorageCraft to your existing product portfolio. Our half day Disaster recovery for Resellers who want to get ahead event, will take you through how the Recover-Ability solution can set you apart from other backup and data recovery resellers. We’re offering anyone who registers and attends the webinar, a free ShadowProtect Desktop license. You can register here for this event.

We hope you'll be able to join us for these events and if you have any questions please contact our product specialists on 0118 9898 222.

StorageCraft banner27Jun14 We always like to let you know what’s happening at Blue Solutions, especially when there’s great news from our vendors.  We recently signed a distribution agreement with StorageCraft Technology Corporation, a leading data backup and disaster recovery vendor. Through the new distribution agreement, Blue Solutions becomes a StorageCraft Master MSP and Master Distributor for the United Kingdom.

Our Director and co-founder Mark Charleton commented: "We only work with vendors that we believe have products and services that add competitive advantage to our customers' business. This is most certainly the case with the StorageCraft product range and the flagship ShadowProtect product line. Using our in-house product experts and team of passionate staff we will actively recruit new resellers, incentivise, train and support them long-term. The StorageCraft partner program is a very attractive one -- no fees to sign up, NFR software, training, marketing incentives, etc. -- and we will provide all the support, training and marketing collateral for resellers to take out to end-user customers”.

You can read the full press release on our website

We’ll bring you more news about StorageCraft products in the coming weeks and if you want to know more about their data backup and disaster recovery solution, watch the video below:


Call our product specialists on 0118 9898 222 for help with any questions about StorageCraft and how it can help you build your business.

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A lack of time and tight budgets isn’t something new to MSPs. When you’ve got to migrate physical systems to new Hyper-V Servers and stay on schedule without blowing the budget, where do you start?

With StorageCraft ShadowProtect IT Edition, you can backup and restore an unlimited number of machines. It’s a standalone tool for IT professionals that enables you to back up and recover any Windows server, desktop, or laptop—even Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 machines. Without installing any software on existing systems, you can take full backup images of the servers and restore those images to Hyper-V clients.

These Hyper-V clients are exact copies of the original physical systems and can be tested and run in parallel until the moment that you decide to cut over from the physical to the virtual systems.

ShadowProtect IT Edition is portable so you don’t have to install any software to use it. You’ll receive the software preloaded onto a USB key so that you can back up or restore a machine.

Subscription model

As it is a unique subscription-based model, ShadowProtect IT Edition lets you back up and recover an unlimited number of servers, desktops, and laptops for the duration of your subscription. Subscribe for two weeks, one month, three months, or a year—it’s up to you. Platinum, gold and silver StorageCraft partners are also entitled to a free IT edition after reaching a specified sales turnover per quarter. Please see the partner program website for more information.

In summary, here’s some of the benefits of ShadowProtect IT Edition:

  • Use ShadowProtect IT Edition for backup and recovery without installing any software.
  • Back-up and restore an unlimited number of machines, one at a time, for the duration of your subscription.
  • Restore a backup image to a different machine, even if the failed machine doesn’t have ShadowProtect software installed.
  • Back up Microsoft SQL, Exchange, and SharePoint servers and other critical application servers, including updates in memory.

Click here for further information of how ShadowProtect IT Edition can help you work better and faster.

More questions?

If you have any queries about ShadowProtect IT Edition call our product specialists on 0118 9898 222. More information is also available on our website at our StorageCraft pages.


For such an important thing, disaster recovery is sometimes treated as an after-thought. Businesses might think “of course everything will be ok and we don’t have to ever worry about losing data or I.T. downtime”… or do they?   A survey conducted by CA Technologies found that IT downtime is costing companies $26.5 billion annually across Europe and North America. Perhaps this shows that a lot of companies aren’t prepared for losing data and downtime.

Some of the most common disasters that every businesses should be aware of and planning for are:

  1. Vandalism or theft of property.
  2. Power outages, hardware failures and network crashes.
  3. Network attacks, malware infections and data breaches.
  4. User errors – lost files, accidental deletions, improper shutdowns and data corruption.
  5. Civil disruptions – disgruntled employees, strikes and legal issues.

How can you help your clients manage these risks and recover from a difficult situation? First, they need to build a disaster recovery plan and include these 3 points to safeguard their businesses and livelihoods:

  • Be prepared – ask your client to think about the potential disasters and risks to their businesses. This could range from user error to viruses downloaded by employees. Clients should assign roles to employees for different parts of the disaster recovery plan, to ensure that everything is covered if the worst happens. For example, who will contact the customers about a loss of data?

Don’t forget that MSPs can really show their expertise (and earn their money!) by advising companies on which applications and services should be restored first, second etc. Advise your clients on which functions are the most valuable to their business and will get them back online quickly.

  • Mitigation – Internet security software that protects against malware, hackers and network-based attacks will help to protect client networks from a range of threats.  MSPs can also deliver solutions that give clients extra piece of mind by making sure the data is backed up locally and at an off-site location.
  • Action – Remember the roles we talked about assigning above?  This is when clients will need to ensure that anyone assigned to a role acts quickly to troubleshoot any issues if a disaster happens.  Also, make your clients aware that they should move data to webmail or DNS servers located offsite, until the original servers are restored.

Giving your clients this advice and support will help to build their disaster recovery plans and show the value you add to their business as an MSP.

Want to know more about disaster recovery and data backup? Visit our website  for more information about StorageCraft, a suite of backup and disaster recovery solutions.