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A Rare Find – A Vendor Who Has Your Back

October 17, 2014

I don’t think of myself as a high-touch kind of person but rather self-sufficient, independent, comfortable around a toolbox, and generally pretty handy. I typically will ask for help well after I actually need it.

I went to a small-chain building supply store with a shopping list for a home project, not expecting to be confronted with so many selection options … sizes, configurations, multiples, guarantees, big and little-known brands, package instructions saying “if this, then that” and “use only for …” and, of course, prices.

The store clerk must have heard me second-guessing myself aloud. After acknowledging his “how can I help you,” I went straight for it. “Do you have this?” He said that the store did, led me to the correct aisle and asked, “What are you working on?” He looked at my rough project sketch non-judgmentally and began asking questions, many to which I fumbled for answers.

Fifteen minutes later I walked out of the store with a different plan than I went in with, only some items from my list, and few things I had never considered important to my project. Just as the clerk had suggested would happen, the job was simpler and the results better than expected. True story.

I regale you with this personal account because I was struck by how similar this all-too-rare experience was to the stories conveyed by Peak 10 colocation and cloud customers during a client roundtable. They were recounting how the company helped solve thorny technical issues, freely offered advice and assistance without hesitation, and were always accessible to answer questions and explore options.

One roundtable member recalled how a previous provider responded to a performance issue, requiring proof that the provider was the cause before they would look into it. By comparison, he said Peak 10 is interested only in setting things right, talking through problems, getting to the bottom of what’s going on. Having the advantage of serving more than 2,000 customers’ IT requirements day and night gives a company an enormous experience pool from which to draw when troubleshooting problems, regardless of origination. No finger pointing, only resolution.

When implementing new VMware virtualization features, another participant said his team followed the instruction manual step-by-step. It just wasn’t working and despite repeated attempts to find where they may have gone wrong, nothing was successful. The certified VMware experts at Peak 10 root-caused the configuration glitch and guided the client through the fix.

Many Peak 10 technicians and engineers have numerous professional certifications, ranging from Microsoft systems to Cisco networks and Unified Computing System (UCS) platforms to EMC storage systems, among many others.  Such skills are difficult to secure and retain for many companies. Having access to so many from one provider is an enormous benefit, augmenting and extending the skill sets of the customers’ own IT staffs without all the cost and management demands of hiring their own.

This professionalism and consultative approach have other benefits, too, according the participants … notably, preparing oneself to use the cloud. Not all workloads transition well to a virtual machine and multi-tenant environment because they weren’t designed to do so. Sorting out which ones need modification and which will migrate successfully, and then placing them into a computing and storage infrastructure optimized for specific workloads – security, accessibility, performance – takes experience. It takes active participation by the customer as well. “The more information a customer shares with us about their IT environment and what they want to do, the more we can do to help them,” said Chad Buzzard.

A couple of roundtable members were lamenting the fact that what initially appears to be a good deal for service pricing from the mega-providers ends up costing much more in the long run. Often their product packaging and pricing models require clients to buy more than they need. Solution customization doesn’t fit their business case. Having a vendor say, “You don’t need that” will likely never happen because, first, you’re left to your own provisioning and, second, there is no one there to talk to.

The concept of “right sizing” a solution is a fundamental operating tenet at Peak 10. Like my store clerk, Peak 10 is not so much interested in what you want to buy. They want to know what you want to accomplish. From a discussion extending over several meetings, they architect the appropriate solution to do the job today with an eye toward tomorrow. When you’re successful, Peak 10 is successful and that’s good business for all involved.

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About Peak 10

"Our values are the foundation for everything we do at Peak 10, and are ultimately what enable us to earn our customers' business and their trust."
David H. Jones,
Board Member, Peak 10 + ViaWest