iPhone in Business


“The iPhone is a communication device, a demonstration unit, a travel tool and a tie-in to critical business applications.
Oh, and a telephone.”

Jay Hagan, CEO

Rescuing data, staying connected.

At DriveSavers, a worldwide leader in data recovery, two things are key: innovation and speed. With 1,700 dead or damaged hard drives coming through the door every month, including those from major corporations and celebrities, DriveSavers has to stay agile and responsive.

With iPhone, they’re working smarter than ever.

Trade show saviour

DriveSavers Director of Marketing Lynda Martel spends a lot of time at trade shows, where she scurries from the booth to meals to meetings. iPhone keeps her on task and on schedule.

“There’s a lot going on at once”, she says, “and I need to focus on what’s happening in the booth”. So Martel sets her calendar before she leaves on the trip and then lets iPhone run her schedule. “Every time I have a meeting, the alarm goes off 15 minutes ahead of time. It’s a gentle tone, so it doesn’t interrupt conversations with customers. And I’m always on time for appointments”.

Martel also uses iPhone to help capture the experience for the team back in Novato, California. “I record interviews”, she says. “I use the camera to take photos of the show. Our president likes to see how the demos are going, so I email photos instantly to everyone at DriveSavers”.

With iPhone, Martel can even review PDFs on the trade show floor. “Sometimes I’m receiving graphics for the next trade show we’re attending”, she says. “And not only can I download the PDFs with iPhone but I can magnify them. That’s brilliant, because I don’t always have my eyeglasses with me”.

Martel now travels laptop-free. “I remember the first time I brought iPhone instead”, she says. “I kind of gritted my teeth and did it. And I’ve never looked back. It’s the most amazing business tool ever”.

The evolution of an app

Not long ago, at an event on the East Coast, DriveSavers resellers came to the company with a request. They were having trouble explaining the service and had taken to using dead hard drives as demo models.

“They wanted to explain to their customers what a hard-disk failure looks like, and they needed more hard drives”, says Senior Engineer Chris Bross.

But sending failed hard drives to thousands of partners in more than 70 countries wasn’t logistically sound. So CEO Jay Hagan came up with an idea: develop an iPhone app that would simulate a hard drive, functioning and failing on command. The name? DriveSaver.

“We hired a developer”, Hagan says. “There are so many developers for the iPhone that it was easy to find somebody. So we developed an app just from an idea, and now it’s probably one of our biggest training tools”.

On the road, DriveSavers sales reps use the iPhone app as a demo. “We use the app to basically disassemble the drive”, Hagan explains. “There’s even a function in there that allows you to crash a drive—a virtual crash, if you will. And it’s a great tool for explaining what we do”.

DriveSaver is also a good marketing tool. “It helps our resellers do a better job with customers, and it drives additional business and revenue to DriveSavers”, Bross says.

Instant connection, faster recovery

When you’re dealing with data recovery, response time is critical. With iPhone, internal text messaging keeps DriveSaver’s tech team working at a brisk pace.

“We support our customers 24/7”, says Michael Cobb, director of Mac and Unix engineering. “And when our customers’ servers crash, they need to be recovered immediately. We use texting to contact the engineers on and off hours. The iPhone is critical for that”.

Cobb and his team also use iPhone to send each other text messages containing new account data, so that it gets into the system immediately. “When a drive comes in”, Cobb explains, “we need to coordinate where it shipped, how it shipped, who's shipping it, the contact information, etc. The iPhone is a great way for us to get that done”.

For Internal Support Guru Chris Rosa, iPhone has been a source of freedom—from worry and from his desk—by giving him instant access to DriveSavers servers, no matter where he is.

“Let’s say it’s Saturday night and I get an email notification of a high temperature threshold”, he says. “With iPhone, I can fire up the VPN and actually look at the ambient temperature inside the server, from a street in San Francisco. It's pretty cool”.

iPhone with VPN gives Rosa access to his help desk system, too. “I can pull up the ticketing system, check on any new tickets and reply”, he says. So even during off-hours, Rosa can keep the internal technology at DriveSavers running smoothly, freeing his colleagues to rescue hard drives and servers for customers.

Total integration, total customisation

CEO Jay Hagan has been delighted with iPhone’s versatility. “The iPhone is such a dynamic product. It just continues to evolve. What we thought was initially a tool for outside sales people has become so many different things to us”.

“The iPhone is so many devices rolled into one, it has made me truly mobile. I can go anywhere and do anything.”

Jay Hagan, CEO

And all without breaking the bank or taxing DriveSavers support team. “The iPhone is this amazingly solid device that you can carry with you at all times”, Hagan says. “Everything’s integrated perfectly. And it’s inexpensive. And you can completely customise it to meet your needs. It’s totally unique”.

Company Snapshot

  • 85 employees
  • Novato, California
  • www.drivesaversdatarecovery.com
  • DriveSavers has made complete data recoveries from hard drives that have endured the following: a 1700-degree fire; being crushed under the wheel of a conference shuttle bus; and spending two days in a sunken cruise ship, at the bottom of the Amazon River in Brazil. (The owner scuba-dived to retrieve it.)

Freedom to vacate

For Jay Hagan, iPhone has meant more freedom and family time. “I used to be chained to my desk”, he says. “But now I can get outside and do things that I haven’t done in a while”. And he can take care of business no matter where he is. For example? There are the times when their family holiday cabin gets snowed in, they're unable to leave and are left without power. "There was a time last year where for two days we were in the cabin and I had the iPhone, and I was able to communicate back and forth with the office”.

A good day with iPhone

At DriveSavers, iPhone gained legendary status on a single car ride. “We landed in D.C. for a trade show and were on our way to the hotel”, says Director of Marketing Lynda Martel. “Nobody could figure out how to use the GPS in the car. So our engineer Chris Bross pulled out his iPhone and used the GPS and Maps to get us there”. As the group discussed dinner, Bross consulted iWant to find a sushi restaurant. “And when a song came on the radio that I recognised but couldn’t name”, Martel says, “Chris tapped into the Shazam app. A few seconds later, we knew it was Carly Simon”.

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