Motion

Consultancy Starts a Podcast Interview, Ends With No-Brainer Storage Gains

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Tristan Pelligrino, Co-Founder, Motion

“With Backblaze, we don’t worry about moving footage to a different level. The pricing is clear, and we always know how long it will take to retrieve files. Those two things made it a no brainer.”

Situation

When he founded Motion, a B2B content marketing agency, Tristan Pelligrino aspired to be a location-independent business. He used Amazon S3 cloud storage to build a remote operation with staff around the globe. He had minor frustrations with S3, but Pelligrino didn’t know there was a better option until one fateful conversation changed his mind.

Solution

After hosting Backblaze’s VP of Marketing, Ahin Thomas, on Motion’s podcast, “Tech Qualified,” Pelligrino immediately recognized the advantages Backblaze B2 had over S3. Thomas illustrated its ease of use, straightforward pricing, and valuable features—all while demonstrating Pelligrino’s go-to consulting strategy of having the right conversations at the right time. By the end of the interview, he knew switching cloud providers was the right choice.

Result

Though he was worried about the feasibility of moving 45 TB of data out of S3, Backblaze partner Flexify.IO executed the transfer in a day. With the time and cost savings he realized by switching to Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage, Pelligrino now spends more time doing what a good entrepreneur should be doing: finding his next “right conversation at the right time.”

Tristan Pelligrino sitting in studio
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Motion helps B2B technology companies strike up genuine conversations with the exact people they want to do business with. They establish B2B technology companies as thought leaders through podcasts, video interviews, and written formats. They also produce the “Tech Qualified” podcast to provide B2B technology marketers with access to real world case studies and best practices straight from industry leaders.

From Curious Interviewer to Excited Customer in One Conversation

Looking for the next tech industry leader to feature on his podcast, “Tech Qualified,” host Tristan Pelligrino reached out to Backblaze Vice President of Marketing, Ahin Thomas, to discuss how Backblaze outpaces their competitors in cloud storage.

The podcast series serves as proof-of-concept for Pelligrino’s consulting approach at Motion, where he helps technology companies like restaurant point-of-sale provider Qu and cancer data analytics firm COTA develop thought leadership programs to initiate the right conversations at the right time with their ideal customers. On “Tech Qualified,” Pelligrino and his co-founder Justin Brown interview real-world experts to provide tech marketers with best practices and solutions for B2B marketing challenges.

As Pelligrino learned more from Thomas, however, he suddenly realized that a shift had occurred: Pelligrino was indeed having the right conversation at the right time; he just happened to find himself having it during his podcast. The realization? Motion was an ideal customer for Backblaze.

Articulating Value Through Thought Leadership

Early in his career, Pelligrino learned just how difficult it was to articulate the value of technology—a result of developing countless proposals and sales decks for companies like PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM. The challenge prompted him to get his MBA with a concentration in marketing and launched his foray into video production.

After successfully running a production company for more than a decade and earning a place on Inc. Magazine’s annual ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in America—the Inc. 5000 list—Pelligrino founded Motion with Brown in 2017. They help tech companies solve the challenge of communicating value through thought-leadership programs that establish authority and speak directly to their ideal customers.

Tech Qualified

Cloud Storage Enables Location-Independence

From the beginning, Pelligrino decided to do things differently at Motion. When he started in video production, everything lived on hard drives and most collaboration required in-person meetings to manipulate and share content. Looking to the future, he wanted to create a location-independent business that allowed him to work with talent all over the world—a vision that required location-independent storage and backup as well.

He knew cloud storage afforded that flexibility, so he implemented Amazon S3. “At the time, it had a reputation, and it offered a great price point,” he said.

Pelligrino and his team started backing up raw footage to S3 as soon as they finished a shoot, then they archived the finished files once a project was complete. It worked, and he loved the use-cases cloud storage allowed for. “People can pull footage down from anywhere, and it’s backed up, secure. Going in that direction allowed us to avoid catastrophe if something happened with the footage,” he explained. His vision for a location-independent company became a reality, and today, he’s accumulated around 60 TB of data.

Small Frustrations Add Up to a Big Waste of Time

“The [S3] interface is very complex. It felt like I was recreating the wheel every time I set up a new user experience. It was frustrating, but someone had to do it.”

Tristan Pelligrino, Co-Founder, Motion

dog sitting in Motion studio

Amazon S3 worked well enough that Pelligrino wasn’t looking for another option when he interviewed Ahin Thomas, but as they spoke and Pelligrino learned more about Backblaze B2, S3’s shortcomings for his specific needs became painfully clear.

Pelligrino sometimes spent up to an hour in S3 just to set up a new user. With robust settings and powerful functionality, S3 is the biggest name in the game, but it isn’t always the best name, especially when you have enterprise needs on a start-up budget.

“The interface is very complex. It felt like I was recreating the wheel every time I set up a new user experience,” Pelligrino said. “It was frustrating, but someone had to do it.” He figured it out, but combing through the knowledge base to find answers to what he felt were simple questions—how to set up a read-only user, adjust security settings, or share files with clients—took time he preferred to spend growing his business.

Pelligrino also knew S3 had different tiers of storage that could lower his monthly costs, but figuring out how to move files to another tier seemed more time-consuming than it was worth in cost savings. “It was impossible to figure out, so we just settled on keeping things as is and paying for it,” he admitted.

He resigned to suffer through these minor frustrations. The complexity was annoying, but not painful enough to warrant researching a new service and moving his files to a new provider when he was also running a business—until he realized how easy it could be.

The “Aha Moment”

During their interview, Thomas and Pelligrino talked about Backblaze B2’s ideal customer profile. Pelligrino recalls thinking, “Wow, that’s us. We should probably look into this.”

Switching to cloud storage with S3 helped him grow his business to where it is today with a workforce distributed across the globe and more than 300 clients. But Pelligrino quickly recognized that, Backblaze B2—a pay-as-you-go service with no upload fees, no deletion fees, no minimum data size requirements, and a one-hour minimum retention period—offered an easier, more cost-efficient solution.

“We’re always looking to modernize, become more efficient, and reduce expenses,” he reasoned. “If you can help us with that, I’m all ears. That’s what happened with Backblaze. It just made sense.”

“We’re always looking to modernize, become more efficient, and reduce expenses. If you can help us with that, I’m all ears. That’s what happened with Backblaze. It just made sense.”

Tristan Pelligrino, Co-Founder, Motion

video shoot on train tracks

Moving Files: Easier Than Expected

“I thought moving my files would be the hardest part of the process, and it’s why I never really thought about switching providers before, but it was easy.”

Tristan Pelligrino, Co-Founder, Motion

Before learning about Backblaze, Pelligrino hesitated to even think about switching providers due to the seemingly insurmountable burden of moving the files. Transferring stored files between cloud providers strikes fear in the heart of many business owners. “What if there’s a pipeline failure? Will all my files transfer? What if they get corrupted?” These questions loomed large in Pelligrino’s mind.

Backblaze set up a meeting with partner Flexify and Motion to discuss the transfer. Flexify uses cloud internet connections rather than clients’ local internet bandwidth to achieve amazingly fast migrations. Moving Motion’s many terabytes of data was swift.

Pelligrino checked that all the files transferred and closed his S3 account. He confessed, “I thought moving my files would be the hardest part of the process, and it’s why I never really thought about switching providers before, but it was easy.”

Time Savings Leads to Even More Efficiency

The time and cost savings of switching to Backblaze B2, along with Backblaze’s user-friendly features, allow Pelligrino the freedom to think about other ways to create efficiencies and streamline his processes.

“This quarter, we’re going to start backing up individual workstations using a two-way sync,” he said. He never considered doing that with S3 because of the complexity. But with file synchronization partner Goodsync, B2 Cloud Storage has the functionality to mirror separate workstations on the cloud.

He’s also made use of Backblaze B2’s Snapshot service—a convenient way to download many files at once from B2 Cloud Storage to a zip file—which makes sharing files with clients infinitely easier. “This was huge,” Pelligrino said. “We can pay for it with the cost savings, and it’s a nice service for clients. For us, it comes directly from Backblaze, and we don’t even have to be involved. It’s taken care of.”

And Backblaze’s simple pricing structure means Pelligrino doesn’t have to think about moving files to cold storage to save money. It’s an all-in-one, cost-effective tier. “S3 has all these different tiers of storage. With Backblaze, we don’t worry about moving footage to a different level. The pricing is clear, and we always know how long it will take to retrieve files. Those two things made it a no brainer.”

Chalk it up to Thomas’s real-world application of Pelligrino’s thought leadership strategy or just his charming charisma, but that one well-timed conversation turned Pelligrino from a curious interviewer into a happy Backblaze customer.

Backblaze B2’s Snapshot service—a convenient way to download many files at once from a Backblaze B2 bucket to a zip file—made sharing files with clients infinitely easier.

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Flexify.IO is a cloud storage virtualization and migration platform that helps businesses build cloud-agnostic solutions by simplifying migration and avoiding dependency on a single cloud storage provider.

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Goodsync is a backup and file synchronization program used to synchronize files between two directories whether they’re on one computer, between computers, or between a computer and the cloud.

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