I have been at three shows recently that have urged Agents, VAR's and others to morph into an MSP (managed service provider). Last week in Atlanta, Presilient gave a presentation on making an MSP out of an Agent. Basically, data backup is the first service for an MSP to sell. There are many choices for vendors from Mozy, Carbonite to Qwest (who has been selling Hosted Storage for 3 years) and Intronis.
Monitoring is another hot service. Firms are monitoring hardware, LAN and WAN. Reporting is the key to selling this service because without color charts to show incidents and actions. Presilient says that they can monitor from 5 to 500 servers. It would seem that 1-5 servers would be the sweet spot and anyone with more than (even I think) 30 servers will have a full IT staff.
The MSP model is a migration from break/fix toward a steady income delivered by MRR (monthly recurring revenue).
Presilient did mention that backup is all about: Data storage and assessment of storage goals and compliance and could be sold around best practices. (Be the expert!)
The thing about backup is that there isn't validation on many backup services, so sell validation. "Yes, we have your data error-free and ready for retrieval."
If the business does have IT staff, remember to mention that it isn't always about replacing head count. It can be about taking mundane tasks off the staff plate to an outsourced (local) partner.
Backup must be growing because Intronis is on pace to grow 50% in 2011.
UPDATE: Cox has backup now! So you might be late to the party. Cox Communications has launched new internet service features to help customers protect and store information. The set of tools includes Cox Security Suite Plus powered by McAfee, McAfee Family Protection and Cox Secure Online Backup.