Kaseya Community

Support and Services update

  • It has been way too long (as noted by some of our customers) since I put my head above the parapet and communicated, for which I apologise. It isn’t because there’s nothing to say, in fact for those of you with the staying power to read on, I’ve been so busy changing and growing the support services that I’ve neglected the most important part of being a customer facing organisation. I’ll endeavour not to leave it so long next time.

    First, a K2 update.
    With K2, we support running the KServer on 10 different flavours of Windows and 8 different flavours of SQL (which includes 32-bit and 64 bit versions). Depending on volume, some customers run the KServer and SQL on the same box, and others run SQL on a separate box. We leverage IIS, MS Message Queue (MSMQ) and MS SQL Reporting Services. In many cases, customers choose to introduce new equipment and migrate to new versions of Windows and/or SQL while they are upgrading to K2. All of this Microsoft platform software can be installed in many different ways with many different combinations of parameter settings and different combinations of 32-bit and 64-bit components. We have over 4500 customers around the globe running different languages on their systems. Millions of Kaseya agents are deployed globally. Now add to the mix all of the different network infrastructures in use across this diverse customer base (firewalls, net filters, etc.). Finally, consider that many of our customers leverage virtualization technology to host their Kaseya Server and SQL Server adding yet another layer of complexity.

    Because of all this, Kaseya embarked on its largest beta program both in terms of size and duration. Over a period of 18 months, development, assisted by support, expanded the beta program to over 200 live production sites (in addition to 1000+ test servers). Admittedly, there have been bugs in K2, the Kaseya product line is large in scope; moreover, the OS platform and related software environment that Kaseya operates in is constantly changing as software vendors patch, change and upgrade their products.
    We use our hotfix mechanism to resolve the issues that are reported. In many cases, hotfixes are issued within one or two days of isolating a problem. In some cases, it takes a while to diagnose a difficult problem, but once a problem is isolated, the hotfix is never far behind. The standing imperative within our engineering team is that customer issues are Priority #1 over new features for future releases.
    Where a server is down, our well honed Severity 1 process has been serving customers well and ensuring they are down for the minimum time possible. It is true that some issues take time to resolve and that many have required dev involvement which inevitably and unavoidably introduces delays. I am committed to ensuring we improve communications regarding status as we work through these issues and I am aware that a few days silence while an issue is being replicated and resolved is frustrating.
    I am seeing fewer and fewer issues resulting in some sort of code change and we have been working on adding defensive code in order to battle harden our installer from experiences in the field. This in itself has dramatically reduced migration issues and resulted in a better customer experience.

    From a customer support standpoint, our engineers cover a broad range of queries on a daily basis, ranging from how to’s to configuration issues, which in many cases end up having nothing to do with Kaseya per se. It is a daunting challenge, but we are committed to helping our customers using all of the resources at our disposal, and we are constantly adding more. Without preaching to the choir since you face the same challenges, support is a numbers game. More customers = more tickets = more support staff required, and one must come before the other and it is often a step behind. The support hiring process is rigorous and therefore time consuming; the benefit of that though is that I have retained every one of the new staff over the past 3 years. This ensures that I am not constantly training new starts but building on skills with real world experience. It takes a special breed of technician to deal with the diversity of issues, environments and characters under extreme pressure, day in and out and I hope you will all agree with other customers who say that the support staff are awesome once you get engaged with them.

    In order to free support staff somewhat from the more repetitive questions and make them more available for the more complex or urgent issues, we host a knowledgebase. This is constantly updated by the specialists and developers to ensure that customers have fast access to known issues and top tips.
    Since the beginning of the year the support team has grown by 60% (on target for 100% by August) and some significant changes have been made which I hope you will have noticed. The support lines are now staffed globally from 3am to 9pm Eastern Monday to Friday (and more soon), no more hold messages, no more voicemail just fast access to great support staff. There is still a requirement to raise an incident on our new portal prior to calling and of course I would request you give us a reasonable time to respond; however, if the issue is urgent or you don’t think we are progressing, please call us.
    I have recently introduced Tier 1 staff in all the support centres, a policy aimed at preventing lengthy back and forth at the Tier 1 level. Tier 1 now sits with the specialists and in many cases developers too so escalations are faster where required, but more importantly, because they are now situated regionally they can pick up the phone and call customers where clarification is required. I’m seeing and hearing more and more customers noticing and enjoying the fact that support has called them back.

    As you also know, Service Desk is now implemented in customer support and is helping to improve our response times by way of some automated processes and procedures. Support is the biggest customer for Service Desk currently, serving circa 15000 users and processing around 30 to 40,000 tickets per year. It was a big change for the support and development staff, closing out the old system while bringing up Service Desk was a challenge given the timing, but everyone worked out of their skins to minimise the impact to our customers – whilst the transition was 100% successful, I realise there were a few bumps along the way and I’m grateful for the patience you extended to us.
    There is a second iteration coming in the next few weeks which addresses some of the feedback from our customers, the ability to email responses was addressed a month or so back and we will continue to improve the experience.

    On the Professional Services and Education front, my global services team, in conjunction with regional services teams has been working flat out to build an entire new suite of free CBT content. These consist of video, lab sessions and quizzes on every aspect of K2. The videos are far more engaging than anything we have delivered previously and more modular, to enable us to change fast with the product. There is also a host of new Education Workshops available together with a new line up of Professional Services offerings, all served up through our new Learning Management System on the customer portal. Many of our customers benefitted from the K2 content prior to upgrading to K2, some unfortunately chose to just hit the button and rely on support when encountering difficulties.

    Thank you for taking the time to write or call in with your experiences, your feedback is invaluable to me. Let me know what’s good and I’ll do more of it, similarly I’ll work hard to address any concerns.

    Best regards
    Alan Davis

    Legacy Forum Name: Support and Services update,
    Legacy Posted By Username: alan.davis@kaseya.com
  • Alan,

    Thanks very much for the detailed update, and thanks for your continued efforts in improving technical support for Kaseya. It is greatly appreciated.

    I can tell you that I personally have seen some of the improvements that you mentioned.

    Please be sure to periodically give us further updates - of problem areas successfully addressed, problem areas still being worked on, and any new problem areas that may have popped-up.

    Lloyd

    Legacy Forum Name: Announcements,
    Legacy Posted By Username: lwolf