Free ESXi Backup for VMware vSphere

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Original Publication : August 13, 2013

backup and recovery built for Free ESXi

In my last post, I talked about the product-related aspects of delivering free backup for VMware vSphere (also called free ESXi or unlicensed ESXi.)  Thought folks might be interested in how we went about announcing it.

First, the coverage has been outstanding!  Here’s an incomplete list of just a few of the analysts, blogs, and others who wrote about what we’re offering:

But it gets even more interesting.  We actually won an award for best SMB product!  Well, kind of.  It turns out that at the last moment we didn’t receive it – because we didn’t have a booth at VMworld.

Why didn’t Unitrends have a booth at VMworld?  The reason is pretty simple.  We tend to watch every dollar we spend pretty carefully.  Last year we got a booth, sent tons of people, gave away a motorcycle, and at the end of the day we weren’t thrilled with the results in terms of reaching people who were interested in backup.

So this year we tried something very, very different.  We asked a person at Unitrends named Jenn Sipala to lead a guerrilla effort at VMworld centered around the idea of making people aware of a new offering we were planning (the Unitrends Enterprise Backup™ Free Edition product for free VMware vSphere.)  Jenn led a cross-functional team including our corporate marketing group (led by Jenn Sullivan, our leader of marketing at Unitrends, with work by Katie Drucker and Kelly Lowe at VMworld, Tina Dussault on the web site, Paul Nashawaty in alliance/analyst marketing), our leader of business development Lee MacIllwinen, Mark Bloom and Bob Gagnon (channel), Tommy Phan (sales engineering), and our evangelist Maria Pressley.  And of course this doesn’t include the models who helped us as well.

Wow!  That’s a lot of folks and a lot of cross-functional coordination, huh?  And I’ve got to tell you – we’re pleased with the results.  Next year, I believe we’ll marry the two concepts and have a booth while we go guerrilla.

In the meantime, it’s incredibly gratifying to see the product get such glowing reviews.  A lot of time we focus on the R&D – the developers – and we’ll do that another time here.  But quite often marketing and sales and G&A (Teresa and Jake) and QA (Joe C.) and a lot of others are also doing heroic work – so a thank you to all.


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