Spare Backup software venture offers bulletproof protection for small firms

Davis, Rick

Cery Perle does know a thing or two about startup companies. In a professional career as a venture capitalist, Perle has played integral roles in the fortunes of a number of startup businesses.

With his latest one though, the California native is convinced he’s got a startup that’s destined to save today’s smalltime operators from a potential disaster – a computer files wipeout.

Thus the name for Perle’s new company: Spare Backup Inc. Launched about a month ago as a subsidiary of Perle’s holding company, Newport International Group Inc., the Palm Desertbased firm is targeting small businesses with fewer than seven employees and individuals who operate home businesses.

What’s being pitched is a self-proclaimed, bulletproof piece of technology: a software system that backs up computer data and files automatically, then stores them on remote servers.

For smalltime players whose business venture doesn’t include an information technology department. Perle believes it’s an affordable insurance policy for only $15.97 per month.

“The challenge for us is to get businesses to try it,” said Perle, chief executive officer of Spare Backup. “We believe retention will be high once they try it.”

For years, Perle was one of those folks who wasn’t always diligent about backing up computer data by transferring it to discs or servers. Then the wake-up call came. One day, all his email files disappeared from his laptop into oblivion. It was the nudge he needed to direct technology associates to develop a new product.

“The beauty of our product is it scans a user’s hard drive [for everything including e-mail, address books, attachments, files and folders], then automatically stores backup of everything to secure data centers on both coasts,” said Perle, also noting that changes to existing files are recognized automatically and incorporated into backup. “We believe that Spare Backup is a lower fruit on the tree because it’s simplistic, fast, user-friendly and has fewer steps [than the competition]. Our product is more reachable. And it eliminates manual operations and human error.”

Designed by the company’s technology department based in Phoenix, the product also addresses a complication caused by the fact that many existing backups fail to copy registry settings associated with a program. That can result in files being stored in different areas on the hard drive than the configurations required to read them. Spare Backup finds and backs up all such registrations.

Perle noted one study recently concluded that, on average, 50 percent of the companies that lose all their data go out of business within 60 days and 90 percent cease operations within two years.

“Most business users intend to back up their computers,” said Perle. “But they just don’t do it because products are too complicated or too expensive or both. Backup software is designed for computer users, rather than business users.”

A Spare Backup file is encrypted when stored and can be recovered from a user’s storage area only after a three-step security process is completed.

The challenge at this point is to market this magic bullet. Spare Backup Vice President for Marketing Suzie O’Hair said the company is launching a threepronged campaign.

1) One campaign involved running TV commercials over a twoweek period. It will be followed by a direct-mail phase in which targeted small businesses will receive promotional compact disks.

2) The company also plans to hook up with Internet service providers in offering Spare Backup as an additional service.

3) The third program will involve distribution of the product through some of the industry’s large partners that provide other hardware and software products.

“My approach is to be the biggest cheerleader in the company,” said Perle, noting his work day typically is 15 hours. “Encourage everyone to do their jobs. I work long days because it’s the way to get where you want to be. And I’m a single dad raising two girls.” Also, his fiance, Jenell Fontes of the firm’s marketing department, has two boys. “We are the Brady Bunch at home,” said Perle.

Perle said his objective is “to deliver to the little people something that’s only been affordable for big companies with technology departments. I feel we’re in the right place at the right time.”


What: Company offering remote automatic backup service and storage of computer data. The product is designed for small businesses and home businesses

Where: 73-061 El Paseo, Suite 205, Palm Desert (technology department located in Phoenix)

Owner: Cery Perle

Established: March 2005

Employees: 25 (8 in Palm Desert)

Information: 779-0251

Copyright Desert Publication, Inc. and Sharon Apfelbaum May 03, 2005

Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved

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