The Vblock Support Experience is often misunderstood as most things that are structurally different than every other offer in the industry. I enjoy sitting back and watching the industry shenanigans by competitors either describe what they think we don’t do or how they are the same as us.
I am proud of many things about VCE but most importantly that we are a culture focused on the customer experience. We build the best architectural answers for customers, taken from the portfolio’s of our investor companies. Our mission is to enable IT transformation, not find a way to trick you into buying the same old stuff with a slick marketing name and some support facade. The side effect of this sort of culture is that we don’t have armies of bodies crafting slick material and training VCE and investor sales teams how to outsmart a customer with slideware and marketecture.
I am sure if you have evaluated Vblock™ Systems then you may have gotten information from our competitors about what our support organization is and isn’t. Let me spend a brief amount of time telling you definitively about the industry’s best converged infrastructure support team.
Vblock™ systems are sold and supported as a product. The team dedicated to our support organization are a foundational reason for our unmatched customer experience.
First, lets cover the history. In the early days of VCE (2010 and the beginning of 2011) actual technical support personal were dedicated at each of the investor company support centers. VCE customers would call our support number and issues would be triaged and closed through engagement of those dedicated investor resources. In 2011 those support responsibilities shifted to VCE while maintaining the capability of engaging investor resources should a problem require escalation to an investor.
Within the VCE support organization there are several resources dedicated to our customers.
- Technical Support Representative (TSR) – Resource that pinpoints issues and owns resolution – this is not a person who just knows a part but knows the Vblock™ System.
- Vblock™ System Support Engineer (VSSE) – Converged Infrastructure System Specialist – not simply trained in a component but understands each with in-depth system interoperability and architectural functional knowledge.
- Escalation Engineer (EE) – VCE’s fly and fix resource, should a situation dictate the need to extend the support organization to the customer premise, our team will be there.
- Customer Advocate – The customer’s trusted advisor for the Vblock™ System support experience, providing in-depth knowledge of the VCE support ecosystem and placed in the field to drive comprehensive communications, reporting and is empowered to orchestrate all VCE support assets.
VCE’s support center resources (TSR, VSSE, EE) are centralized in VCE locations around the world (Dallas, Hopkinton, Cork, Bangalore, Tokyo). Customer Advocates are distributed throughout the world in support of customer deployments. Some customers have dedicated customer advocates others share customer advocates within a region (shared versus dedicated customer advocates are based on quantities of systems within a region or customer, actual ratios are not published without NDA).
Standing behind VCE is our investor support organizations recognized as the very best in the industry. One nugget of knowledge is that VCE’s support organization actually pioneered an intellectual property that ties each investor company into our support ecosystem, ensuring that customers aren’t transferred or bounced around between investor support teams. Instead this technology (patent pending) enables VCE support to pull in investor support resources based on their technology specialty and skill. The technology enables a TSR to pull resources into the support call while simultaneously performing the necessary ticket system translations between the VCE and investor company support systems. This results in one call, intelligent engagement with VCE and investor escalation resources should they be necessary.
So lets list the VCE support experience and let you decide if any other converged infrastructure system provides such a comprehensive support experience.
- Worldwide Support Center dedicated to supporting Vblock™ Systems, not parts but the systems we build.
- Technical Support Representatives trained to engage with customers about the Vblock™ System and the problems they may be experiencing.
- Vblock™ System’s Support Engineers trained in how each of the components are engineered and assembled into the system, understanding the intricacies of how each technology connects to another.
- Escalation Engineers, the very best of our VSSE’s who will in a moments notice fly to a customer site and stay until the problem is resolved, bringing our converged infrastructure system engineering support directly to the customer premise, should it be required.
- Customer Advocates, resources in the field dedicated to customers, reporting on the status of your interactions with our support teams and orchestrating engagement of any resource in the support ecosystem necessary to resolve every issue in the most expeditious manor possible.
I always ask our customers to ensure that they are getting a support organization designed to support the converged infrastructure not a facade of marketing on a package of parts.
Next up: What are the support rules with a Vblock™ System?