If you need to share and collaborate on a few large files between people at two or three locations, any file-sharing service will work, like Google Drive, WeTransfer, or Dropbox.
But if you work in a large organization that needs to keep tens of millions of files synchronized, across offices in different cities or even different countries, running different operating systems (Windows, Mac, various flavors of Unix)—you need something much more powerful.
That’s the type of challenge Aba El Haddi has been working on his entire career. He founded EnduraData in 2006 to enable healthcare firms, government agencies, and other types of enterprises to securely share and sync files among offices and data centers across the globe.
The company’s EDpCloud solution prevents data loss, keeps data available to legitimate users and processes, safe from prying eyes and malicious actors, reduces costs, and provides an up-to-date backup for rapid disaster recovery.
Here’s the EnduraData story.
EnduraData is a software company based in Eden Prairie, MN. The company designs and markets data replication and automated data synchronization software used to mirror and synchronize data in real time between different geographic sites and between different/heterogeneous platforms.
EnduraData software is used by health care companies (insurance/payers and providers) to automate data movement between servers located on the same network or in different data centers. Clinical research companies use the software to synchronize data between clinics located in different countries where they conduct clinical research under contract for device manufacturers, pharmaceutical firms, etc. Businesses such as dispersed legal firms and automotive companies sync data between their sites or between different cloud providers.
The main uses of the software are:
- Business process automation/work flow
- Data protection
- Data delivery (to other business processes, analytics, etc.)
- Automated data migration
Some competitive advantages:
- Secure data movement during transit and at rest
- Cross platform: The same software inter-operates between different operating systems (Windows, Linux, Mac, Solaris, AIX, OpenBSD, etc), multiple hardware platforms as well as multiple storage systems. You install, configure and forget about it. It continues to sync all file changes in real time, automatically.
- High speed parallel data transmissions
- Fault tolerance: EnduraData software will resume from where it left off and continue to synchronize data without the need to restart, saving considerable time.
- Redundant transmissions: in case a network link fails, EnduraData’s software will use other communication networks, if available, to deliver data.
- Server isolation, ransomware tolerance and avoidance
- Low memory foot print since the code is all written in C/C++
- Flexible topologies: EnduraData’s software can be configured to:
- Send data from multiple locations to a single location (Data aggregation case, Data protection)
- Send data from one location to many (I.e data and content distribution, web farms, redundant data copies, etc)
- One to one: Exact server mirroring
- A combination of the above topologies can be created to allow customers to automate their work flow, protect the data and automate business processes.
Year founded: 2006
Funding rounds: Privately held.
Current size: EnduraData broke even in 2018. 100 % of customers have renewed their subscriptions every year for the last four years.
EnduraData is featured in:
Webbiquity: What inspired you to work on a solution to this particular problem?
Aba El Haddi: Having worked on protecting and moving data since 1986, I have experienced my share of grief from data loss and global data delivery issues.
In 1992, the ceiling of my office at the University of Minnesota collapsed because of a frozen pipe, and I learned the value of having good backup. September 11th, heightened that for me since my former employers’ offices were in the World Trade Center. Furthermore, working on the airborne systems, we needed to deliver data, critical to saving lives and property, in real time to decision makers.
During the dot-com boom in the late 90s, I worked on delivering financial data—and when data delivery is late, real money is lost and everyone hears about it.
I continued to build these skills from various application domains. And I woke up one day and I realized I had not left the house for over a week, just trying to write stuff to move data between my Mac, Sun, and Linux boxes.
So I started coding a file sharing application before thinking about its monetization. Then I pivoted to secure automated enterprise replication and data delivery.
Here are two links that say a lot more about my “why”:
Webbiquity: What were the most effective channels or methods for you to get the word out to prospective customers when you first launched your product?
Aba El Haddi: Our sales are both direct and through our partners. We are always looking for value-added resellers (VARs) and managed service providers (MSPs) world wide. The challenge is that the Pareto rule in this case is no longer 80:20 but 95:5. Therefore, we are always looking for good VARS and reseller partners.
The challenge is getting the word out.
We rely a lot on growth hacking as well as our VARs.
We spent a lot of time on tuning our site (not from a design perspective: another challenge) to give our customers the information they need to make a decision.
Webbiquity: Finish this sentence: “Knowing what I know now, if I were starting over today, what I would do differently is…”
Aba El Haddi: Knowing what I know now, I would not have started the business during the recession. I had to pivot a couple times between 2006 and 2009. I learned my lessons and went back to the drawing board, but this time I went out on a series of interviews to talk to system administrators and operations staff before writing a single line of code.
Webbiquity: What’s the most important advice you could offer to an entrepreneur starting out today?
Aba El Haddi: Don’t be a perfectionist. Try to give away as many copies of the software as you can in the early days.
Get out early and interview potential users and see what they value the most.
Fail fast and fail early.
You can connect with Aba El Haddi on LinkedIn.