Atum & IT Industry Blog

July 13, 2011
by Christine
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We all recognize that customer service isn’t what it used to be. We don’t expect personal attention anymore, we expect to serve and ultimately fend for ourselves – like online banking, or bagging your own groceries!

There are certain exceptions, such as when you are researching hosting or virtualization options and the company guarantees uncompromised support. Whether you are already using a host, looking to switch providers or new to the game – you should ask yourself a few questions about the level of support being offered.

How much do you need?

  • Migration – will you require help in the migration process? If you aren’t an expert, it’s often a good idea. Make sure the company offers it as a service, and check the price!
  • 24/7 support – it is crucial to have a support team that can be reached 24/7, either via a support telephone line or a direct support email.
  • Managed options – again, if you aren’t an expert in managing a VPS or virtual infrastructure, it might be worth it to invest in a managed option. Do your research – not all companies provide this support option.

Are you getting enough?

  • Do you talk to a real person…ever? Entrusting data to a remote support team requires constant contact and trust. If you are already with a host, when was the last time you talked to a real person on the other end of the line? Connect, insist on personal attention, get to know your support team!
  • Have you had minor issues? A blip in the system, or a small communication gap may not seem like a big deal….but if you consistently have minor issues with your host, they could be a pre-empt for a larger issue down the road.
  • What are you paying for? Are you paying extra for a managed package, a platinum service or 24/7 support? If so, make sure you are getting exactly what you are paying for!

What’s in a guarantee?

  • 100% Guarantee …Really? If your data is monitored 24/7, and your host is utilizing its resources to avoid overload, 100% uptime guarantee CAN be a reality. Be careful of anyone guaranteeing uptime under 99.9%.
  • Backups in Place – make sure there are ample backup solutions in place, that way if there is an OS failure, your data will be back up and running ASAP with no long term damage.

The importance of data and uptime is at a premium, and you can’t risk taking a risk with ineffective support. If you let someone else pack your groceries, is it too much to ask for some quality support?

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