Keeping the wheels spinning: how cycling company Saddleback enhanced its backup

Premium cycling distributor and B2C company Saddleback took the decision to streamline its backup system at the end of last year, using IT services provider OGL’s Datto product. John Wager, Saddleback’s head of technology and people says previously it had its backup managed within four different consoles - which required a great deal of admin to handle. 

“Over time things stated to become a bit unmanageable. I knew where things were and had everything documented, but was still having to juggle three to four different plates to achieve that. Also as we are getting bigger, so my time was getting more squeezed,” he tells Essential Retail. Saddleback has just two people in its IT department -  despite having a “reasonably complex IT system.”

Since the company installed Datto, all the various elements of its recovery system have been brought into a single console, so the entire operation is backed up in one place. “That means I can create more restore points as there’s no crossover time to worry about between solutions, allowing me to pinpoint exactly where I can restore our data,” says Wager.  

“Having an all-in-one platform has really helped minimise our downtime and keeps our operations flowing smoothly,” he adds. “It’s worked out very well, because OGL are now proactively managing it as well.”

Mature growth

Saddleback has been running for 17 years, of which Wager has been there for nearly 10. During that time the company has grown significantly, as has its IT estate. “When I started we had two grotty old servers, one of which had to restart every hour,” he says. 

“The backup was the Friday tape, which sat on the side and got rotated every other week… I immediately put in a solution that could back up to a local NAS [Network Attached Storage].” The company then moved to OGL around six years ago. 

But that’s not the only aspect of its IT which has expanded with the business. Now most of its architecture is based on SaP BusinessOne’s ERP software and Cisco’s Meraki network, with Cisco servers running on virtual infrastructure. More recently it has started using AI company Darktrace for its cybersecurity.

“That scans everything that comes through to make sure there’s not going to be any breaches. It is very much belt and braces.” The software can immediately detect malware entering the system. 

“Darktrace is the cutting edge of looking at what’s coming through your network -  joining all those dots to say what is happening?” He adds: “We’ve been trying to get the best of breed all the way through [our IT architecture].” 

Wager says the key to effective systems is to remain fiercely vendor agnostic. “It’s about keeping an open mind about technology. It is very easy to keep using the same thing year after year, and just use one supplier - but it is just making sure you keep your head a little bit above the parapet to make sure you can see something else.”