The New York-based company on Friday plans to release its Register.com Data Backup Service, an automated backup tool aimed squarely at non-technical users. The easy-to-use Web-based tool allows users to schedule regular backups and retrieve data from any computer with an Internet connection.
For a slightly higher fee, small businesses with multiple users can assign levels of access and storage to employees, enabling file sharing and allowing the small-business owner to manage access to specific files.
"We serve small businesses that are, for the most part, not in the business of thinking about technology," said Monica Schulze-Hodges, general manager for Register.coms retail division. They might be consultants or florists, and they need help managing their Internet services."
Other features include Jumbo Mail, which allows users to upload large attachments to a secure storage account and e-mail people with links to the account; and automatic restoration of files in their original formats, settings and locations.
Although the product isnt substantially different from those offered by other automated data backup companies like Connected.com, SwapDrive, Ibackup and Xdrive, Schulze-Hodges said Register.com Data Backup Services ease of use, combined with its attractive pricing, makes it a competitive offering. Pricing for the product starts at as little as $5 per month for 100MB of storage and climbs to $125 per month depending on the amount of storage space and whether the user wants multiuser or single-user access. Annually, the price ranges from $24 to $1,000 per year.
The decision to enter the online backup market is risky, considering its history, said Adam Couture, a senior analyst with Gartner Inc., of Stamford, Conn.
"The growth of online personal and small-business backup for PCs has been underwhelming, with only one major company—Connected Corp.—truly succeeding," Couture said. "But [Register.com does] have something going for them—business users whose domains they have already registered. This way, instead of a recurring revenue of once every five years when these businesses reregister their domains, they are probably looking for a subscription-based revenue stream."
While Schulze-Hodges acknowledged that Register.com will market the product to its current customer base, she stressed that the company also hopes to gain new customers who do not currently have a domain registered with the company. "But if you already do business with us, its a way to consolidate more of your services in one place," she noted.
Although online data backup is Register.coms first foray into the non-domain product space, Schulze-Hodges says it wont be the last. Although she declined to say what might be next, she did indicate that it will follow the business line of the company by being an easy-to-use Internet-based service focused on small businesses.