September 15, 2010, 9:04 PM — Carbonite released a new version of its online backup service that includes several new tools and increased ability to search for and recover single files as well as control over the order in which data should be restored.
Carbonite 4.0 for Windows includes Restore Manager, a user interface that guides customers through the restore process -- whether they need to restore a single file or their entire hard drive. Restore Manager also offers a restore summary report, which tells users how many, and which, files were restored. And it can specify any files that were not restored and where they're located.
"If someone can't get their data back, we've failed," said Carbonite CEO David Friend. "What we discovered is when someone has a successful restore experience with Carbonite, they become really strong promoters of the product, and frankly that results in a lot of word-of-mouth sales."
Carbonite 4.0 includes file versioning, which enables users to restore all previous versions of a file backed up by the service instead of just the latest version of the file. The service keeps up to three months worth of file versions.
The user interface for restoring individual files
Version 4.0 also includes a migration wizard that ensures data ends up in the proper file structure for a target operating system, according to Friend.
"Carbonite's always been easy to backup. There isn't a whole lot to do.... But we found people wanted to be able to restore a particular file, they couldn't remember the name of the file or where they'd stored it on a disk, so we put a lot of effort into the search mechanisms," Friend said. "There are all kinds of ways to find files now."
For example, users can search by file size, date and content.
Along with a new version of its customer software, Carbonite also rolled out new internal call center software that allows service representatives to handle incoming e-mails according to their urgency. "We still offer e-mail support, but anytime someone e-mails us with a problem that seems like there's a high anxiety level, rather than just go back and forth with e-mail, we send them a message saying, 'Look, just give me a call and I'll walk you through this.' "
"If they're hesitant to call us, we'll call them. Or if you really don't want to talk, at least let's do a live text chat and I'll walk you through this," Friend said.
The new call center software can enable a remote desktop session with users, allowing service representatives to access a PC through a secure connection to resolve a problem.
For example, users can now see the progress of a restore at the file level. In the past, Friend said, users could track the progress of an overall restore via a thermometer-style meter, but they couldn't tell which files had been restored at any given point.
An example of Carbonite's restore user interface