Service That Leads to Intelligent Outcomes
How do you judge a business? Is it based on the breadth of their product or how beautiful their website is? Maybe it depends on how the product satisfies a need. Likely, some combination of those – and more – shape perception of the brand.
It’s safe to say that, over the long haul, customer service is high up on that list. In the MSP and data center world specifically, customer service often boils down to how the company’s support team responds to an issue. After all, how many organizations – airlines, restaurants, telecom companies – have lost a customer permanently because of how well they responded, or didn’t respond, to a single situation?
NFINIT Network Operations Centers (NOC)
Result: Goal achieved, as assessed through customer satisfaction surveys upon ticket close
Location: San Diego, CA and Phoenix, AZ
100% problem resolution
Goal achieved upon ticket close
NFINIT’s network operations center (NOC) team holds itself to a high level of accountability.
“Our focus is making sure any customer who calls or enters a ticket knows that we have their back,” explains NFINIT Director of NOC Operations Kevin James.
“It doesn’t matter how small or big the customer is.
It doesn’t matter whose fault it is. It makes no difference. If you’re a customer, we want to make it right. We will take care of the problem no matter what.”
Making a service work in a holistic, reliable way is our duty. We call this delivering intelligent outcomes. Our responsibility extends beyond hardware, software, and customer service to managing actual IT and business outcomes.
”NFINIT goes above and beyond, even tackling problems in areas that are not their issue to make sure that we get back to fully operational.Customer feedback from Satisfaction Survey
Streamlined Problem Resolution
“At the NOC we are the triage and the operating room. Everything is filtered here and dealt with here,” explains James.
Sometimes NOC technicians answer calls where the problem is established and the request is to perform a known fix. Other times, they have to dig in to identify the problem and devise a possible solution.
Incidents, or issues to be resolved, become service tickets that enter a systematic incident management process and escalation matrix, prioritized by incident type and urgency.
Tickets most commonly require remote hands tasks where a NOC technician interacts with the client’s hardware onsite in an NFINIT data center. Most are minor, such as performing tests, running a power cycle, or installing new software or hardware. However, others are major, like resolving an unexplained hardware failure.
Regardless of the problem, NFINIT’s NOC technicians are prepared to resolve it.
According to James, “When you call in to NFINIT’s NOC, the first person you talk is equipped to resolve the issue.
You won’t get transferred around to different people in different places before your issue is addressed. The experts are right there on the other end of the phone walking you through it.”
“In case you’re curious, the issues they don’t resolve often have authorization or compliance constraints requiring hand off to a team member with specific permissions.
Otherwise, our NOC technicians would handle them too. Less than 1% need to be handed off to a chief engineer because the problem is too complex.”
Not all NOC activity is in response to a call. NFINIT’s proactive approach to IT management means many problems are solved before the client even knows there’s an issue.
24 hours a day, NOC technicians keep a close eye on network health and performance. They assess utilization rates, identify bottlenecks, monitor security threats, modify configurations, and investigate alerts. Rich dashboards display key metrics and critical data in real time, at all times.
The idea is to catch problems early and troubleshoot them before they become significant.
In the event of something like a server alert – such as a hard disk running out of space – NOC technicians act as an alarm bell and first responder all in one, fixing a potential problem before it becomes an actual problem.
”Instead of a panic-inducing call requiring someone to bolt out of bed in the wee hours to respond to an emergency, clients often simply read about a solved problem as they drink their morning coffee.Kevin JamesNFINIT Director of NOC Operations
Building Unique Expertise
The NFINIT NOC team is armed with both experience and expertise that comes from hands-on work and knowledge sharing.
“We build, we deploy, we update,” states NFINIT NOC supervisor Jeff Florentin. “So we know the equipment inside and out.”
For Florentin, that knowledge gives NFINIT an advantage over other, outsourced tech support options. “A third party is never going to work as well as the people who built the equipment, maintain it, and work with it every day,” he says. “We know the answers because we are the closest to the source.”
This expertise is strengthened by intentionally building a process of continual improvement within the team.
Team members across different locations are in constant communication, and information is maintained through a rigorously updated central knowledge base. Documentation on uptime, bandwidth usage, and system utilization, and more are reported on a weekly and monthly basis. Most importantly, update meetings occur twice daily to ensure all team members are in strong communication, always in the midst of learning and bettering their approach to the next day’s work.
“Those twice-daily meetings are mostly positive, but to be honest I like going over the negative stuff too, because that gives us an opportunity to show how much we care,” explains James.
He adds, “we need to respond to that small percentage of cases where we could have done better. We always go over how we could have made a quicker decision or how we could have solved a problem more effectively. If we are going to maintain our high level of trust with people and our strong reputation, we always need to be analyzing how we can be better. Any adversity is a time to show how bright we can shine.”
”We build, we deploy, we update. So we know the equipment inside and out.Jeff FlorentinNOC Supervisor
Some customers who now entrust the NFINIT team to fully manage their IT environments started out just hosting some hardware in NFINIT’s data centers. They bought basic space and power. Somewhere along the way, they encountered a hiccup, had staff turnover, or needed specialized expertise that the NOC team was able to easily provide.
“We often have follow-up discussions with people the day after an incident,” explains Florentin. “They’ll say something like, ‘Last night was rough, but we loved when you stepped in to help. Can you do that every time?’ And fortunately, the answer is always yes, we definitely can.”
”We just foster a culture of being caring and honest, and that carries through into the way we interact with clients.Kevin JamesNFINIT Director of NOC Operations
NFINIT’s sterling record of customer satisfaction is no fluke. It comes from an intentional, unified effort to foster an organizational culture of respect and collaboration.
“In terms of client interaction, there isn’t any specific script we teach and there isn’t an approach that we train,” says James. “We just foster a culture of being caring and honest, and that carries through into the way we interact with clients. If you’re a client then you’re part of us; we want to make sure we’re getting it right.”