Sage

If we had a complete failure, I’m confident our data is safe in our Gearset backups and we’d be able to restore. We’ve got that peace of mind.

Chris Deutschmann | Sage People Configuration Consultant | Sage

Automated backups give Sage peace of mind at long last

Overview

With their ever growing zip files of data and the announcement Salesforce are no longer supporting data recovery, Sage needed a backup solution fast. Adopting Gearset has given them the confidence they can fully restore should they ever need to and they rest easy with daily emails notifying the success of each run. Sage have also found it handy having metadata deployment and monitoring functionality as well as backup all in one place. Despite Salesforce launching its Backup & Restore functionality, Sage chose to continue with Gearset.

Sage stores a large amount of employee data

Sage has protected its Sage People Salesforce instance with Gearset’s comprehensive backup solution. To find out about Sage’s approach to Salesforce DevOps and Backup, we caught up with Sage People Configuration Consultant, Chris Deutschmann. Sage People is an HR system built entirely on the Salesforce platform, used internally across Sage and sold to People teams around the world. Chris’ team of 7 configuration consultants work with 5 admins to support a number of teams internal to Sage using Salesforce. The team get involved in improvements to the system, new functionality, creating custom fields or processes, anything like that to support what the business is doing.

Sage is constantly innovating, and so Chris’ team is always kept busy. They manage several developer orgs and four full sandboxes as well as production, and have to protect an ever increasing number of records for Sage’s vast workforce of 11,500 employees.

Secure data storage is a top priority

Before Sage implemented Gearset, they would run a data export weekly with Salesforce’s native Data Export functionality. But the files were ballooning in size. Chris started to question where they should store the downloaded zip files of data safely and securely.

“The IT Security Team were getting nervous about where that data went, as we were pulling 28,000 records on current and past employees.”

Chris also knew that should the worst happen it would take a lot of manual work to be able to restore from one of these backups.

Salesforce’s backup announcement comes as a surprise

Just as Chris and his team were beginning to get nervous about the size of their backup files, they were surprised by an announcement from Salesforce. Chris recalled:

“When Salesforce said they were stopping the Data Recovery Service, a lot of people were driven to look for a backup solution.”

This announcement caught many off guard and cemented for Chris and his team that they urgently needed a backup solution in place. Security was the driving factor, Chris summarized, in seeking a backup solution to make sure data was protected and backed up in a way that would allow for full and faster restoration.

The search for the best solution

Chris took on the search for a solution that would give Sage the regular backups they were after and offer the best return on investment. He looked at a few different products and decided at the end of the day, for me, it was the combination of functionality, price and user interface. Gearset ticked all three of these boxes. Chris worked closely with Gearset Account Executive, Frank, to trial Gearset’s backup solution with a sandbox org. From the trial, it was possible to evaluate their actual usage, volume of data backed up, additional functionality and licensing required.

In addition to the backup functionality, Chris knew Gearset’s metadata deployments and monitoring features would have a significant impact on his team’s output. Chris loves both these additional features but says even if Gearset didn’t have them, we would have still gone with Gearset for the backup options.

Peace of mind at long last

Chris is confident that Gearset is definitely a good return on investment and worth every cent. Even when it came to renewal last year, Gearset went straight through Sage’s budget approvals as Chris recalls, everybody is happy. This includes their IT Security Team who conducted a rigorous review and are more than happy with what Gearset is providing.

Adopting Gearset has made Chris’ life easier. Chris loves that we’ve got that peace of mind with daily backups and the email reports go straight to his inbox. It’s now part of his morning routine:

“While I’m making my first cup of coffee in the morning, I can open my phone and have a look to check everything ran fine last night. All good - delete the email.”

It’s important to Chris that Gearset has required very little manual intervention to make sure things are working - Sage has never had a backup job failure with Gearset. Thankfully, they haven’t suffered any data loss incidents but Chris explains, If we had a complete failure, I’m confident our data is safe in our Gearset backups and we’d be able to restore. Chris thinks of the backups like insurance - you need it, but hope you never use it. His team have also identified a couple of issues in their system that they wouldn’t have picked up if we didn’t have those backup reports that Gearset produces.

Not just a backup solution

Chris and his team also use Gearset for metadata deployments and have seen massive benefits here as well, especially for big projects where we’ve had to create 20 or 30 custom fields plus a whole bunch of process builders and flows. Gearset has been really useful because the configuration team at Sage aren’t having to do the work manually or use change sets any more. Being able to maintain all the permissions and everything that we’ve built up at the beginning is also a huge advantage as with Salesforce change sets the team weren’t able to do that. Staggeringly, over a 3-month project, Gearset’s metadata deployments probably save 10 days’ worth of manual work.

Another of Chris’ favourite Gearset features is the monitoring alerts, which enables visibility and brings more discipline to the team. Chris has found that about 1 out of 10 times I look at it I pick up an unexpected change so the monitoring is really useful for me. Although most of these changes prove to be harmless, if Chris didn’t receive his daily monitoring email, he knows it would take longer for them to pick up where there’s a potential issue.

“Without Gearset’s monitoring, we could potentially go on for a couple of weeks before somebody asks ‘hang on, why did this happen?’, and then you’ve got to go back and kind of reverse engineer stuff to figure out why something happened.”

Sage recommend Gearset as an all-in-one solution

While Chris set out to choose a backup solution that would meet Sage’s requirements, he’s been blown away by the added extras of the metadata deployments and monitoring. Chris remembers that Gearset stood out from the crowd as it offered a complete set of tools for backups, deployments and monitoring. After using it for over a year Chris’ team have now been able to make really good use of the various features. He concluded:

“The fact that Gearset combines deployments and backups is a definite bonus. Having all those tools together just makes life so much easier for us!”

Sage is more than happy with Gearset and Chris regularly recommends it to others. To anyone considering Gearset as a backup solution, Chris says Go for it! In fact, he’s often the first to answer queries on community forums with gearset.com - go there.

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