Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Local Boy Makes Good: LUS Fiber/Skyscraper Partner

LUS Fiber and Skyscraper Data Solutions announced a nifty new freebie, iOBackp—with a great backstory—for LUS Fiber customers. Both LUS business and residential users will get 10 GB of free, offsite, encrypted backup.

The Freebie:
Like the recently announced Sprint deal it is basically a marketing trade: LUS gets a nice perk for its customers (and only its customers) and the company get a local marketing boost. No money changes hands between the two companies. Backup is one of those crucial things that folks seldom actually do. And when they do backup, they don't backup often enough. And even if they've set up a good, consistent system they don't backup offsite—and that is a crucial. Skyscraper is offering to do it all—and encrypt it to industrial standards. So this offer is a large real benefit and everyone for whom it is available really ought to take advantage of it. It can be scheduled to run during downtimes and looks pretty slick on the video. The biggest benefit will go to small business users who, if they restrict their usage to documents, can almost certainly keep their recent backups online and offsite. It's small businesses for whom that transient electrical spike can be a real disaster if it hits right before the billing cycle. Those guys ought to run, not walk, to take Skyscraper up on this. But residential users, at least those on Windows, ought to take 'em up on it as well. They may not have the dollars at stake but pictures of the kid's 3rd birthday party can be pretty priceless.

The Great Backstory:
Part of what is great about this deal is that it wraps up a lot of hopes for out municipal network into one neat package. Lafayette wanted to have a network with features that would enable great new business plans to be tried out. It wanted to keep our kids here and to draw those who had left back home. It wanted real benefits to come early and first to Lafayette. This nifty marketing deal hits all those buttons and should bring a smile to the faces of local citizens.

The principle in the new business is one Scott Eric Olivier and he's got a his own grand backstory: born and raised in Lafayette, gets into the music business, travels, gets techy, starts a small cloud-based business to protect audio assets post 9-11, works with Michael Jackson, quits touring to work on his businesses, moves back home to Lafayette, and shows up at a press one fine noontide as the CEO of a locally owned business partnering with LUS Fiber to provide advanced backup and storage to the community. At that press conference he says that it's the fiber network, and the 100 megs of intranet bandwidth that make his new business possible. Without that kind of upload capacity backing up 10 gigs of storage could take all night. So Lafayette gets the return of a native son, a nifty new business that is only really practical on our 100 meg intranet, and a nice nifty new freebie the likes of which are not available, for any price, in other places.

Hard to say that's not a win-win-win.

The Downside
Of course there's a downside. There's always a downside. In this case its that devotes of Mac and Linux operating systems are sadly left out in the cold. The website's FAQ  makes it clear that they are not supporting those operating systems. In a quick chat after the press conference Olivier said that he was well aware of the demand—and in fact had a Mac on his own desktop—but that he just couldn't make developing that client a priority for a business-oriened service. He is intimately aware that the audio and visual businesses where he got his start are Mac-heavy; in fact his original backup business, Laptop Roadie, there is a full client for Macs and Linux fanboys. Olivier, unsurprisingly, recommends that. But it's not free, and its not locally hosted...the two killer features of his enterprise product iOBackup. I think he ought to just make that service available if he's gonna tease us with an Appleish leading lower-case "i"...but then I'm clearly just a jealous Mac user.

Lagniappe: As an extra, scan down to the bottom of Olivier's online bio...it sounds as if he's doing a bunch of interesting things in Lafayette with his various businesses.

And:

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