Don’t You Wish Your Colocation Provider Knew More about Customer Service?

Apr 14, 2017 | Colocation, Managed Services

We’ve heard a lot lately about REIT data centers (Real Estate Investment Trust) and poor customer service. The underlying purpose of a REIT is buying, selling and leasing real estate, or data center space in this case. These companies are not service-focused, and they outsource the majority of their operations and customer support. For instance, many of the technicians, facility managers and security staff that work for the largest colocation companies are hired on a contract basis from third-party vendors.

In Gartner’s 2016 CIO Agenda Report, the top barrier to CIO success was a lack of skills and resources. Companies look to colocation providers to take care of routine tasks and troubleshoot problems in the data center instead of having to hire more people or take valuable time away from their staff.

When colocation providers make third parties responsible for security, operations and support, it leads to a lot of ducking and finger pointing when things go wrong for customers, delaying answers to questions and solutions to problems.

We’ve heard industry folks refer to some colocation providers’ remote hands services as “dumb hands” because their staff doesn’t have sufficient knowledge and understanding of routers, switches, disk drives and KVMs.

This chatter has reaffirmed our entire business strategy and our values. Data Foundry started as one of the first 50 ISPs back in 1994, and so we’ve always been network operators. Our understanding of networking and IT operations is what inspired us to build data centers we could control from the ground up.

We also believe in hiring and training our own people. Some of our technicians and network engineers have been with us for 10+ years. It’s because of our highly skilled staff that we have been able to offer so many services to our customers in addition to remote hands (or as we call it, Virtual Hands) such as network assessment and management, network security services and a variety of connectivity solutions. We also maintain our own journeyman and master electricians onsite as well as NOC technicians, infrastructure specialists and technical account managers.

In a world where many colocation facilities offer similar physical benefits — N+1 redundancy and 24×7 security — customer service and support are key differentiators. Because companies rely on their colocation provider in the face of staff and resource shortages, colocation providers need to be willing and able to step up to the plate and handle issues with the same speed and efficacy as if it were managed in-house.

Learn more about what makes Data Foundry different.