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TSANet offers members the opportunity to showcase their company’s customer support organization. The latest company in the "Member Spotlight" series is Scale Computing.

 

 

 

 

TSANet interviewed Blake Rodier, Technical Support Manager, Dave Demlow, Vice President of Product Management and Support, and Lynanne Gibel, Director of Support and Professional Services at Scale Computing.

 

About Scale Computing

Scale Computing, founded in 2007, integrates storage, servers, and virtualization software into an all-in-one appliance based system that is scalable, self-healing and as easy to manage as a single server.

Scale Computing’s flagship product, HC3®, is a hyper-converged infrastructure platform that is a complete ‘datacenter in a box’ with server, storage and virtualization integrated into an all-in-one appliance.  Key product benefits include: fast installation in less than an hour, built-in browser-based management providing easy management, all VMs created on HC3 are highly available, automatic failover for node failures, scale-out architecture, mix and match new nodes and more. Click here to learn more about the product and benefits.

According to Dave, their products are available for small to large enterprises that need highly available yet simple IT infrastructure. Some of the markets they serve are city, county, government, schools and universities, financial, and healthcare. Scale computing delivers products through the channel and their sales teams is very involved with the customers pre and post sales.

 

Scale Computing Support and Services

Scale Computing support organization is based in Indianapolis Indiana, providing 24/7 technical support with 2-hour response times for critical issues. Their worldwide standard business hours are 8 am to 6pm local time and market serve. Support is provided via phone, email and chat. In addition, an online knowledge base is available in the customer portal. Each agent is required to attach a current knowledge article that is relevant to the case, or create a new one, before the case can be closed.

The support team operates as a tiered structure and each engineer has a different role and responsibility. According to Lynanne, the beauty of their team is they are subject matter experts, in virtualization, networking and infrastructure. Being team and goal oriented, the engineers learn from each other. Their support team doesn’t operate as a regular tiered organization. At Scale Computing, every one in the support team learns everything and everyone helps with cases and installation.

Scale Computing provide professional services that include: installation of the product, workload migration that includes physical to virtual or virtual to virtual environments, networking configuration services that includes planning and configuring the network as well as validation, premium installation services that provide follow on training, disaster recovery planning and setup, and remote failover that provides VM failover solution to second HC3 cluster.

According to Blake, they take an educational approach with customers, to show them best practices and common problem solving, which is a part of their customer success.  After the installation of the product, Scale Computing does four hours of training on virtualization, networking, DR and backup to make sure the customer has a full understanding of the product. They also send out a quarterly newsletter that highlights key knowledge articles, showcases a support team member along with an overview and updates of what’s going on with the company and the products.

Click here to learn more about Scale Computing support and service offerings.

 

Scale Computing Training

Scale Computing has a 90-day plan for new hires. The plan includes an intense overview of their products, UI features, backend system, and Linux. In addition, they go through best practices for customer engagement and customer support. At the end of the 90-day plan, Scale Computing senior personnel carries out weekly check-ins to see how the new engineers are progressing and if their goals have been met. When hiring new engineers, they look for people with networking skills, Linux skills, virtualization skills, customer service skills and bachelor’s degree in the IT field.

Their knowledge base is used as an internal educational tool to train engineers. Knowledge articles ensure everyone is doing the same thing, defines best practices, and increases the process overall with serving the customers.

 

Multi Vendor Support

They utilize TSANet heavily when they have to engage with another vendor. When another vendor is already a member of TSANet, it’s easy to connect with them making the engagement process simple.

Scale Computing always tries to be the central point of contact for any support communications for their customers. If the customer has to engage with another vendor, they like to keep track of what’s going on and make sure they are getting what they need. TSANet helps with this process. TSANet enables Scale computing to contact the other vendor on the customer’s behalf allowing them to maintain the level of contact.

 

Scale Computing Best Practices

Scale Computing measures net promoter score both internally within their support organization, and externally through TechValidate which does a blind survey on the products and support. On the support side, the NPS score has been consistently over 91. Here are a couple quotes by Scale Computing HC3 customers from TechValidate:

“HC3 has greatly increased the reliability of our infrastructure, and has lowered the demands of managing all of the different systems by placing it in one simple, easy to use interface. The ability to turn up a new virtual machine in a matter of minutes instead of hours has greatly helped our work flow.”

—IT Manager, State & Local Government Agency

“I am the entire IT staff at this time. HC3 has freed up a lot of my time, especially concerns regarding disaster recovery. Cost savings over physical servers for our typical replacement cycle were instrumental in the decision process.”

—Kent Smith, IT Administrator, Presbyterian Mo-Ranch Assembly

Click here to view more Scale Computing data research from TechValidate.

“Our support renewal rate is around 93%. That says something about the support organization. We consider ourselves as a part of the product. A lot of our customers want to come back because of the support they receive and I consider that a huge acknowledgement for our team,” said Lynanne.

According to Lynanne, one thing that’s unique about their support organization is thier engineers do the work of three individuals at one time by doing account management, technical support and training. They take an educational approach to make sure their engineers are technically savvy on the architecture and methodology.  Scale Computing talks with each individual to make sure they have goals, a career path and take an interest in their own education. They promote self-education and encourage engineers to seek out other individuals within the support or development team to get additional education. The senior support personnel continue to mentor and coach every engineer professionally and technically.

According to Dave, one unique thing about their product is it’s designed to be a simple experience. When a they receive a case, the customer can initiate a remote support tunnel back to them. This allows the support engineer access to the customer’s system and see what’s going on real time and make changes or updates as required. The customer is getting a managed service with the product, and at the end of case the customer issue is fully resolved.

According to Blake, the support team has a close relationship with the software development team. The support team meets with them at least once a day and communicates with them throughout the day. The software development team’s fundamental is that the support team should escalate early if they see anything that should be enhanced or notice something the software development team should be made aware of. At least once a quarter the support team sends an engineer out with the software development team for a week to get hands on experience, and to see if the engineer would want to consider joining the software development team later on in their career. 

Another best practice is the support team answers customer’s calls within seconds. The customer never gets a recording; it’s always a live person. Scale Computing support takes a very personal approach with the customers. They want the customer to be satisfied from the initial call until they have an end resolution.

Some awards Scale Computing has received include the 2016 Editor’s Choice Award by Virtualization Review, Vendor Excellence Award for Best Midmarket Strategy, Best Midmarket Solution: Hardware, Best in Show, Best Hardware, and Best Boardroom Presentation, Best Midmarket Strategy and many more. Click here to view all the rewards received.

 

We would like to thank Blake, Dave, Lynanne and Scale Computing for their support and participation as a valued Member of TSANet since 2009!

If you would like your company to be featured in Member Spotlight please contact Brittany Jimerson, brittany@tsanet.org

 

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