Ten Reasons why Melbourne is your Managed Hosting Partner of Choice
In a really over-crowded and highly competitive industry, we feel that what sets us apart from the majority of our competitors is the fact we genuinely care about our customers, we look after our people, and we provide an incredibly high level of service at an affordable price. So when we sat down and came up with the ‘ten reasons why we’re your hosting partner of choice’ concept, we really wanted it to show where we’re a cut above the rest.
1. Friendly support. Round the Clock.
Don’t ask us – ask our customers…It’s been confirmed by our customers that we offer quality support and a top-notch after sales service. In our latest customer survey, 97% of customers said they’d recommend us to a colleague.
The technical experts who answer the phone have the knowledge and authority to solve your problem. That’s because we don’t employ traditional first-line support. All our support staff are industry qualified (Microsoft, Cisco, Redhat) and proven.
People make up the lifeblood of a company, and are not an “off-the-shelf” item. Our support team has been carefully selected and have the passion and enthusiasm of a Formula 1 Pit Crew, to keep your servers up and running.
All our technical support is delivered in line with our UltraSupport™ Charter. This is not marketing mumbo-jumbo, but a real set of guidelines by which our support team deliver support.
2. We only provide what you need.
We’re not sales people, we’re technical consultants. And there is a real difference. Many of our competitors have high-pressure sales teams who over-sell solutions which are badly architected and prove ultimately costly. We dislike this just as much as you do. You can be confident that our staff are honest, ethical and above all, technically competent, and won’t sell you something you don’t need.
Our pricing is also transparent and consistent, and not based on how much we think you can afford to pay.
Every customer has a dedicated account manager who they can contact to deal with any aspect of their hosting account with us. Our customers find it quite refreshing to deal with a company that values their custom, and knows who they are when they phone us.
3. We design, build and run our own data centres.
Because we own and manage our own data centres, we’re in full control, and can confidently stand behind our SLAs. How can a hosting company offer you a guaranteed service level agreement (SLA) when they’re not in control of their infrastructure? As a member of the iomart Group, the UK’s largest cloud company, with access to 10 UK and 6 International POP’s we’ve put significant time, effort and money into making sure our data centres are state of the art, with resilient power, air conditioning and security in-place. Watch out for other hosting companies pretending to have their own data centre, when in fact they’re simply taking space in someone else’s.
|Figures are rounded to 3 decimal places and based on independent, external monitoring|
4. Our network is very fast, and very reliable.
Our sophisticated self-healing network looks after itself when network conditions change.
We aggregate bandwidth access from the world’s major suppliers. Our 10Gbps Manchester fibre network spans ten iomart UK data centres, including three we manage for the group in Manchester and Nottingham.
We monitor our network 24/7, from multiple countries, resolving issues before they affect our service.
We’re willing to prove our uptime. Externally hosted monitoring results are published on our website to ensure you can be confident that we’re telling the truth.
We don’t hide behind a false ‘100% network SLA’ which is achieved by excluding certain things from the calculations. We guarantee 99.95% network availability and regularly over-achieve as can be seen from our current network uptime statistics.
5. We deliver on our promises.
We’ve already talked about our power and network SLAs. But there’s more to a hosting service than just numbers. We put a great emphasis on our support promises.
During office hours (8am – 6pm), support telephone calls will be answered immediately by a second line support technician. Your call will not be put in a queue. Outside of these hours your call is routed to the on-call technician.
We promise to respond to emergency tickets within 15 minutes during office hours, and within 1 hour outside office hours. We define ‘respond’ as replying to your ticket with a solution or an action plan of how the issue will be resolved, and not simply acknowledging your ticket.
If there’s any doubt as to which component in your server is failing, we’ll happily transplant your data to a completely new server. Our priority is to get you back up-and-running. That’s why we keep not only spare parts, but also complete spare servers. We do not rely on manufacturer warranties to provide our hardware guarantee.
If we screw up (and everyone does sometimes), we’ll tell you what happened. Without spin or lies.
Our full set of service promises can be found in our Support Charter.
6. We use branded hardware. What’s more, we keep it in stock.
We only use Industry leading branded hardware for our servers (Dell, IBM, HP etc). We find that the additional cost, compared to nasty self-built servers or ‘pizza boxes’ as we term them, is far outweighed in reliability.
What’s more though, we keep a full complement of spare parts in stock, meaning that we can confidently and quickly rebuild a failed server, without relying on an outside warranty from the hardware manufacturer.
By doing the above we can confidently guarantee a 2 or 4 hour hardware swapout on all our dedicated servers (dependant on the service level you take from us).
7. We’re ethically and socially responsible.
We’re a pretty caring bunch of people. We are, and always have been, committed to reducing our impact on the environment, long before it became the hot topic it now is.
We are big believers in taking practical steps to make sure we minimise waste and power consumption. An interesting challenge when you’re looking after over 3,000 servers!
A lot of server hosting companies are simply ‘going carbon neutral’, and proclaiming this as a catchall answer to the environmental challenges faced by data centres. At Melbourne, we’d rather take pragmatic steps to tangibly reduce our energy consumption on a real basis.
Here’s a flavour of what we’re doing:
- We use and recommend virtualisation to save power and equipment wherever appropriate.
- Our standard hosting solutions revolve around low-voltage (energy efficient) server models.
- We take practical steps in our data centres to reduce the need for cooling, including the use of blanking plates and cold aisle containment.
- We use the most efficient UPS and air conditioning possible.
- We use e-billing, and operate a ‘no paper’ policy wherever possible in our offices.
And of course for the little that we do print, we recycle paper, and buy recycled paper.
8. We’re here to stay.
It’s important that you know that your hosting provider is financially stable. You trust your most sensitive data to your hosting provider, so you need to be sure that they aren’t going to get into financial difficulties or disappear overnight.
As a member of the iomart Group of companies we are backed by a London Stock Exchange quoted company. This enables us to deliver our clients a personal, bespoke service but with the added benefit of offering economies of scale across a range of hosting and data centre services that are usually the preserves of technology giants.
9. We love Tech!
There’s not much we can say about this one other than its true. Every one of us at Melbourne gets the world in which we now operate. We love using technology, we’re passionate about the benefits it brings both socially and economically and we absolutely love that we’re supporting many of the companies that are leading the way in its use – be it software, web design or marketing campaigns.
10. We’ll beat you at pool!
The reason we mention this, is that customers regularly compliment us on our hospitality when they come in for a data centre tour, or just to come chat with us about a project or idea they have.
We love to show customers, and prospective customers, around our facilities in Manchester. Rather than flashy sales spin, you’ll see hard-working, knowledgeable technical staff, who enjoy their jobs.
Our techies also like a chance to beat a customer at a game of pool on our office pool table. This is, of course, optional, but recommended.