By Greg Papadopoulos, Director of Customer Operations and Product Support
Building and maintaining hyperscale data solutions is the ultimate team sport. It’s collaborative work that is like running a long-distance race with no finish line.
One insight that we hear from customers all the time is that while technology always presents challenges, it’s the people that always make a difference between success or failure of a project.
In my role at Ocient, I lead a team of skilled and experienced customer support engineers. We are one of the teams behind Ocient’s Managed Services offering, and we’re here to make sure that our customers’ hyperscale data solutions run smoothly after initial deployment.
There are a lot of different ways you can approach managed services. We run what I call a zone defense, with each team member available to help any Ocient customer within a few areas of expertise. Given that Ocient is a global organization, that allows us to follow the sun – when a customer on the other side of the globe has an issue, someone from my team will be available to help immediately, no matter the time zone.
Being ready to address customer issues requires my team to have a deep understanding of the Ocient Hyperscale Data Warehouse™ (OHDW), as well as each customer’s specific solution. It is a challenge we all embrace. In fact, we find that helping our customers helps us understand the product better, and resolving issues helps us identify better ways to work. That’s why communication is key. Not only must the members of my team communicate with one another clearly, specifically, and frequently; we must also communicate with other departments in the company.
For example, when Ocient is deploying a hyperscale data analytics solution for a new customer, my team works closely with our sales engineering team to understand the engagement. What solutions have they used in the past? What kind of growth do we anticipate? What are the customer’s most pressing needs? That way, once the deployment is complete, we’re deeply familiar with the customer’s situation, and we’re ready to hit the ground running with managed services.
Before go-live, we run through countless what-if scenarios, developing contingency plans for virtually anything we can imagine, but there’s always a chance something unexpected will happen. When it does, we’re not afraid to roll up our sleeves and get down to work. With enough creativity and teamwork, we can always find a way to provide value for our customers.
In addition to keeping us on our toes, production environments provide us with all sorts of interesting metrics. Recently, we completed an exercise aimed at maximizing the performance and availability of Ocient solutions. It involved taking a close look at performance metrics and system health information, making sure that we were measuring all the right things and reviewing the measurements to make sure they were in line with our goals. The exercise required us to be proactive and do all sorts of testing to maximize availability. I’m proud to say that we successfully brought up our numbers while remaining customer focused and providing top-notch services.
No two days are the same for the customer operations teams. It’s a dynamic and challenging environment, and I am honored to lead a team that is consistently up to the task.
Thanks to all our customers and future customers for being such great partners. If you want to talk data or learn more about the people behind it, get in touch today.