"The goal in blogging/business/inspiring non-fiction is to share a truth, or at least a truth as the writer sees it. To not just share it, but to spread it and to cause change to happen."
Years ago, API Digital decided to build a better business model, one that truly solves technology problems and offers real value to the customer. We decided to take a critical look at technology management processes and call center operations. These are the key problems we uncovered:
Call centers are efficient, but not necessarily effective. Call centers are set up to take calls, take record of problems, and forward this information along to a separate group who then works on a solution. In essence, A call center resembles part of a factory line. They carry out a specific role, but have limited involvement in the overall solution.
The motivation of a call center directly opposes the goals for having a call center--providing customer service excellence through solving technical problems. The majority of outsourced call centers are paid per call. Thus, call center representatives are motivated to get off the phone as quickly as possible in order to take more calls. The result of high quantity pressure is low quality customer service.
Call centers are reactive only. A network problem has already occurred by the time a call center representative is involved.
In essence, call centers neither solve problems nor provide good customer service.
API Digital made it our mission to find a better way to support our customers. In doing so, we came to the understanding that businesses do not need a call center, they need a customer solution provider.
A customer solution provider genuinely cares about helping a business reach their goals through providing excellent customer service and significantly improving the technology process.
We decided to go back to the drawing boards to find a more effective technology support model that actually solves technology problems and provides excellent customer service.
Here’s what we came up with:
Effective technology support services have knowledgeable, technical representatives answering every call. Not only do they have the technical chops to walk the customer through an issue, they are involved throughout the entire solution process; including taking extra steps to follow-up with the customer once a solution is in place.
Solution providers need to be motivated to solve the root of the problem. If we solve technology problems all the way down to the root of the issue, our customers experience a quieter, more reliable technology experience. Additionally, if our motivation is to take the time to solve the core issue, it changes the way we talk to the customer; resulting in a better customer experience.
Customer solution groups need a proactive education component. A call center that only reacts to issues is not enough to keep up with the high demands of business technology requirements. You need a smarter solution. API Digital digital addressed this need with our very own proactive component to technology support. We believe it is essential to catch issues on your network before they become service impacting. Our NOC continuously watches your network to solve problems fast. They also serve our customer solution representatives by educating them on network related problems. Should a mass issue occur, our staff is already aware of the problem and working on a solution, often times before our customer calls in to report the issue.
This technology support strategy proved to be a huge success for API Digital. Our genuine approach to customer care was immediately attractive to the rural telecommunications industry, who not only entrusted us with their own technology support but also with supporting their hundreds of thousands of customers. Likewise, large enterprises are partnering with us for their daily technology support operations. They are attracted to our multiple carrier bandwidth options, our continuously supported colocation facilities, and our ability to effectively monitor and support numerous technology components for their hundreds of locations across the country.
We are committed to finding technology solutions and have a vested interest in helping your business technology run effectively.
"When you're a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you're not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You'll know it's there, so you're going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through."
-Steve Jobs, Apple Co-founder
Your customer doesn't see all of the technology your business uses. But they do experience it.
API Digital ensures the quality of your technology is carried out all the way through, day and night.
While you soundly sleep, API Digital has eyes on your network. And in the morning, API Digital continues to watch your technology so your business can stay focused on what is most important to you.
Imagine being in a room with key players from Google, SAIC, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Oprah. Imagine that this is your chance to spread the word about you, your ideas or your business by making a connection with these powerful information channels. Would you do it? How important do you think this would be to your success?
OK, lets take away the pressure of the designer clothes, red carpet, paparazzi, and the nerve racking thought of coming up with the perfect something to say to get your message out. Tell you what, lets go ahead and remove the people too so all you have left is the big name channel, the network.
Seems a little less intimidating, right?
Think about your virtual network working like this. When you place your server in a room with other big name players in technology you give your information the opportunity to travel faster and more efficiently to those who need your information most; whether it is down the hall or across the globe.
This is network peering. Network peering in a structured colocation facility allows your Internet server to link to other Internet channels. These channels allow your information to travel efficiently and securely through the network to its intended destination, fast.
Another benefit of colocation through peering is that you build a more reliable network. Not only is your network faster, but you have practically eliminated information downtime. Peering allows multiple Internet access lines to your server. In the event that your main ISP goes down, you are literally in the same room with other ISP channels. Staying up is as simple as unplugging one cord and plugging in another. Awesome.
It is up to you to decide how to get that message out to as many people as possible, utilizing the most efficient channel as possible. You may not have Anthony Kiedis or Oprah Winfrey marketing for you, but network peering is possibly the the fastest (and less expensive) realistic option.
Click below for more information on API Digital Colocation options.
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Why risk revenue and employee productivity loss during an unplanned disaster? Circumstances around the event have enough unpredictability.
March is considered the beginning of tornado season for much of the United States. In Southern states, tornado season is typically from March to May. For Northern states and upper Midwest, peak season is in June or July.
School closings and tornado warnings are in full affect in my area as I write. There is some concern that due to an unusual warm winter across most of the United States that the upcoming tornado season could be more severe than usual. Wind, hail, and lightening are also damage concerns for storms of this magnitude.
Is your business prepared for disaster recovery due to severe weather?
There is a difference between disaster prevention and disaster recovery. Both are necessary, but the former only mitigates the risk of downtime. The latter makes sure if downtime happens you can quickly and effectively get your IT back online.
Disaster recovery utilizes geographic and power source redundancy through the following measures:
- Backup power supplies
- Backup generators
- Power surge grounding planes
- Backup AC availability
- Geographic network redundancy
- Server cross-connectivity
API Digital offers the above recovery measures through our managed disaster recovery services in an effort to keep your business technology up and running even when disaster strikes. We do this by implementing a focused, organization-specific disaster recovery plan that encompasses your organization's overall strategy and business recovery concerns while developing detailed action plans for various disaster scenarios.
Managed disaster recovery services will help protect your mission-critical data by leveraging our infrastructure and support services.
In the event of a natural disaster, we work around the clock to reduce downtime and avoid revenue loss for your business. Our team of expert engineers ensure ample and reliable power supply for your technology equipment. No matter what happens, you resume business and employee productivity quickly and more cost-effectively in the event of an unplanned disaster.
Most importantly, this allows you to focus on your core responsibilities without the added pressure of protecting your organization technology in the event of a disaster.
Click below for more information on API Digital managed disaster recovery services.
API digital offers business continuity and telecommunications failover solutions in 3 strategic locations: Atlanta (GA), Chicago (IL), and Huntsville (AL).
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A follow-up from my previous post, What is Colocation?
I received many useful responses to this article. Thank you! Most notably, I found it interesting the various ways that you spelled “colocation” (the way i spell it) in your response.
So, What is the proper spelling? Colocation or Collocation...or Co-location?
If this question came to mind then you are not alone. In fact, I had to look into this my first week on the job at API Digital.
The reality is that both colocation and collocation correct spellings, but due to the meaning associated with their spelling you can not use them interchangeably (like whether and weather).
Co-location is also used on occasion because it works grammatically and it is recognized by most spell check software functions, unlike the word colocation. For this same reason, automatic spell check functions change colocation to collocation which is largely why collocation is so common.
Collocation is an English noun, of Latin origin meaning to set or place together side by side, arrange in the proper order.
In Linguistics collocation is used to mean words which are commonly found together. For example, a pretty woman or a handsome man. These words are considered in proper order, or collocated, because “pretty” and “handsome” are feminine/masculine words respectively. In other words, you would not say pretty man or a handsome woman, in most cases.
In America and Europe, colocation is the most common spelling when referring to a business data center (ie: server colocation, colocation facility, and colocation data center). It is derived from the French term colocataire, which means renting a house (or flat) with another tenant.
Finally, for those of you that utilize colocation data center services, you just say “colo.”
And that's OK too.
What is a colocation data center?
A colocation data center is a hosting option for businesses who want the features of a large scale IT department without the private costs. Colocation is dedicated web hosting (the server machine is dedicated to your site’s exclusive use) that also allows you to safely share bandwidth with other business servers in secure racks nearby.