Flexibility: An Essential Principle of Managed Hosting and Services
If you’ve spent any amount of time on the SingleHop website, you’ve probably noticed the frequent appearance of the term “flexible.” And that’s for good reason — flexibility is core to our identity and value proposition as a service provider. But what, substantively, do we mean by it? What areas of our business does it affect?
To find out, I sat down yesterday with TJ Waldorf, SingleHop’s Director of Sales.
Ryan: There are many cloud and managed hosting service providers that tout their flexibility, but what makes SingleHop different in this regard?
TJ: You’re right, we hear the term flexibility thrown around a lot in this industry. I think the general concept of cloud computing carries with it a model of flexibility — the ability to spin virtual servers up and down as the need dictates. But this is an insanely basic application of the term. SingleHop believes there’s more to it than that.
Ryan: So let’s dive into the “more.” If you were to describe how SingleHop thinks of flexibility in only one sentence, what would that be?
TJ: I love questions like this because it forces you to be specific and focused. In a sentence, flexibility to SingleHop is: Delivering our service in a way that adapts to how our customers want to run their IT operations as opposed to forcing a particular model onto them.
Ryan: Conceptually that makes sense, but don’t service providers typically own the responsibility of managing their customers’ IT environments? And if that’s the case, how exactly does flexibility manifest itself to the customer in this model?
TJ: Sure, I can see how that might be a little confusing on its face. Traditional managed services and managed hosting companies do, in fact, like to own the entire process and responsibility from start to finish. And there are some valid reasons for that. But we’ve found that this really limits the customer and potentially hinders the way they operate their business. So we’ve taken a different approach and we’ve had a wonderful response from IT leaders.
Ryan: Walk me through the approach.
TJ: We start with the problem the customer is trying to solve and then work backwards to deliver the best solution. When you think of our industry from this perspective, you realize that pre-defined service packages simply don’t make sense. Some customers have IT staff that want to maintain control over things like software updates, firewall rules and general maintenance. They may want root access to have a more hands-on approach to their servers and applications. And if that’s the case, we’re completely okay with that. On the other end of the spectrum, we have customers who don’t want anything to do with those things and instead want us to wholly own the responsibility. We’re okay with that too. Or, if a customer wants to take on some specific tasks and have us take care of the balance, co-management is a great option for them. We’re not limiting them to one or two rigid operating models. We give them the choice, and in turn, flexibility, to adapt our service to the way they work. This ability to adopt managed services that are tailored to their specific needs is unique in the industry .
Ryan: So that speaks to how flexibility drives our managed hosting and services solutions in terms of the different degrees of support customers need, but what other dimensions of the business does this principle affect?
TJ: The important thing to understand is that we’ve embedded the concept of flexibility into all aspects of our value chain from our service design process to our solutions offerings. So when we launch products or implement new processes, we’ve thought long and hard about how we adhere to this important principle.
Beyond our managed services approach, I’ll highlight a few other core areas where flexibility plays an important and tangible role. The first, and perhaps most recognizable, is solution breadth and flexibility. SingleHop offers a wide range of flexible solutions from managed or unmanaged dedicated servers, virtual and dedicated private clouds, colocation, backups and disaster recovery. So we ‘fit’ our customers with the best solution for their needs as opposed to forcing them into a one-size-fits-all platform.
Also, we’re passionate about enabling customer control via new technology.
A perfect example is SingleHop’s new software platform, AI, which provides a new level of flexibility in server management. AI extends our proprietary automation platform to IT administrators through an incredible portal that provides oversight of the entire server inventory along with the ability to take and assign actions. Customers will be able to leverage the monitoring, patching and remote execution tools within AI to manage physical and virtual servers anywhere in the world, and if they ever need to access SingleHop for support, we’re just a click away. We’re really excited about how this will completely change the way IT departments manage their assets.
Finally, I think SingleHop’s relationship with our channel partners truly embodies our commitment to flexibility. Sometimes customers want to engage SingleHop through one of their trusted partners, and sometimes they like to work with us directly. We’re not biased toward either model. We want customers to engage us in the way they feel most comfortable. And since we don’t force our customers into using our management services, we have a lot of MSP partners that leverage our infrastructure, and then provide their own management services to the end user.
Our goal is that whenever a customer starts working with SingleHop, they understand flexibility isn’t just a simple value-add or marketing angle, but an essential component of a positive B2B relationship.
If you like this post and want to learn more about SingleHop’s flexible IaaS and managed hosting options, schedule a free consultation with a solutions engineer.
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