CASE STUDY - AIMS Accountants for Business
By Stuart Janicki • 28 May 2014
AIMS Accountants rely on secure and automated backups to protect critical financial data
AIMS Accountants for Business is a member group of over 240 chartered and certified independent accountants who each run their own practice under a franchise. AIMS accountants offer a range of cost effective financial services to small to medium sized businesses across the UK including auditing, book-keeping and tax services to specific requirements.
Like all financial services companies based in the UK, AIMS accountants are heavily regulated by institutions like the Financial Conduct Authority and must comply to the Data Protection Act. They are required to keep an audit of accounting details relating to clients and are acutely aware of the value of backing up business critical data. A core group of AIMS accountants have been using Cloud Direct’s PC Backup service for several years after experiencing problems with the traditional methods of backup like tape, USB and CD/DVDs.
A replacement for legacy backup technology
AIMS Accountant, Tim Carney, first tried Cloud Direct’s software in 2007 after experiencing problems with legacy backup technology like tape and CDs. “My background is in IT, so I am acutely aware of the importance of having a good backup in place. I have used tape backup in the past but its very hit or miss - sometimes you can recover data, sometimes you can’t . CDs and DVDs are better but having to remember to carry out a backup every night was a major hassle. I just wanted something in place that I didn’t have to think about.”
“I heard about the benefits of online backup and found Cloud Direct through Google. I saw a reference stating some of the top five accountancy practices in the world use the same software. I thought, ‘if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me’ so I downloaded a trial”.
Enterprise security aids data protection
Like all UK organisations, AIMS accountants are required to meet the requirements of the Data Protection Act. Cloud Direct’s software helps business users stay in line with data protection law because their information is never stored anywhere unencrypted. Private business data is encrypted to military- grade standards before being transferred to and stored in tier-4 data centres located within the EU – an important requirement for the safeguarding of data relevant to third parties.
Automatic backup makes for reliable
The automatic backup process used in Cloud Direct’s software means a user no longer needs to schedule time in their day to carry out backups. By selecting the data needed to protect upon first installation, the software automatically does the leg-work for the user – reliably every day at a convenient time that they define. This is a feature Tim Carney finds most useful and valuable to lesser IT literate people.
“What I like is that you don’t need a manual to run this software. You click on it, download it and it just works. I’m computer literate so I don’t find IT challenging, however, I know a lot of people who can just about use spreadsheets and word processors but don’t know much else. Working with these types of files, it’s easy to accidently overwrite something. If you load last years spreadsheet as a template, then begin to work with this years data and you accidently save it as last years by mistake, you have potentially lost hours or even days worth of data.”
“With the Cloud Direct software you can immediately get that file back without any time lost or hassle. I click on the file I want to restore, and download it back onto my desktop in seconds. It’s just so intuitive.”
Award-winning support and customer service
On top of the software advantages, Tim also highlights the benefit of using a service company so focused on it’s customers. “With a data backup company, ideally I never want to speak to you and you never want to speak to me, but with Cloud Direct if I do need to ring you it’s not a case of someone ringing me back in two days time.”
“I once remember having a service pack issue and without being pawned off onto some clueless customer service rep I was directly in touch with one of Cloud Direct’s service technicians. Danny Kitainik then sorted me out efficiently and without fuss - to me that is good support. I don’t need to tell my clients what I use to backup their data, but when they ask, I recommend them to Cloud Direct and give them the web address. It’s a good product, easy to use and it works by giving you clear messages. It’s simplicity and also it’s price are the main factors for recommending it.”
A professional yet personal approach
Chris McWhirr is Channel Partner Manager at Cloud Direct, “We are delighted to provide our essential backup and recovery software to the AIMS Accountants for Business group. To have been working with such an established institution for over five years is testament to the levels of service we wrap around our core technologies.”
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