3 Customer “Must-Haves” in the Cloud

Two months into my new role at HOSTING, I wrote a blog post answering a question we hear frequently – “What is the cloud?”. I received great feedback from readers who appreciated my straightforward approach to defining cloud hosting. Fast forward a few months and I now understand what customers are really looking for in their cloud solution provider (CSP). cloud8-300x204

Availability

Customers don’t want to experience downtime – ever. As one HOSTING customer succinctly put it, “If we’re not up, we’re not selling . . . we’re losing customers and we’re losing credibility.”

Real, 24 x 7 x 365 Customer Service

Customers want a partner that has as much urgency in addressing and resolving issues as they do – no excuses.

Compliance Expertise

In highly regulated industries such as finance and healthcare, organizations are seeking cloud computing experts who have a proven, methodical approach to helping them attain and maintain their compliance.

So, let’s go through the above bullets one by one, starting with availability. What is availability? It’s simple – it’s uptime. HOSTING is committed to providing a highly available infrastructure that customers can rely on with six strategically located data centers across the United States, along with the industry’s best team. Be sure your CSP is committed more to availability than you are because if they are not, it’s time to consider new options.

As for the second bullet, you may be wondering what I mean by “real” customer service so let me start with a few questions:

  • When contacting your CSP’s support team, how long does it take for you to reach someone who knows your business and your cloud environment?
  • When you finally get someone on the phone, are they ready to help, or are they ready to pass you on to a more experienced person?
  • Does the support rep seem more like an order taker than a problem solver?

If you sighed or that internal voice just screamed in reaction to any of these questions, it’s time to open up the window and yell, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more!”

At HOSTING, we tie our customers’ satisfaction to our employee’s compensation. Yes, it’s true! Also, our customer support calls are answered in three rings or less and you start with Tier 2 or 3 level support – not an order taker. Imagine calling support on Black Friday because of an incredibly increase in traffic able to work with a knowledgeable rep that can resolve your issues quickly. Now that’s real customer service!

And on to the last bullet: HIPAA compliance, PCI compliance, SOX compliance – you know the drill. Even if you don’t need compliant hosting wouldn’t you feel better knowing that you were partnered with a cloud service provider that is seasoned enough to provide it? Compliant hosting is very complex because of regulatory and legal requirements. Don’t be fooled by “compliance in a box” claims because the real truth is your provider doesn’t make you compliant – your provider can help you become compliant. Don’t trust anyone who tells you the former.

Searching for a cloud service partner to help you achieve success in the cloud? Contact us at any time – our cloud solution experts are available to answer your questions. Feel free to download our complimentary white paper, 20 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Cloud Service Provider for more information.

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