Genii Weblog

Staffing for the peaks - support flexibility

Wed 24 May 2006, 10:57 AM

by Ben Langhinrichs
Years ago I read an intriguing article about power plants, and how they had to have the capacity to handle peak loads but normally didn't use most of that capacity.  We are seeing something of the same issue here with support CoexLinks, except taken to extremes.  Much of the time, there are few support calls.  CoexLinks just chugs away, doing its thing, and the only support calls are pre-sales support when people have questions about initial setup.

But we have a lot of customers by now, and we want to make sure that they always get the support they need.  And recently, we hit one of those rare times when three large customers were all having problems at the same time.  It turned out to be a memory management problem which led to regular crashes, not due to a memory leak, but due to a conflict between processes.  Most of our customers didn't see it, but these three saw it on a regular basis, so we got quite a few support calls.  Eventually, with lots of clues, we found the problem, fixed it and released Version 2.7 which eliminates the problem.  Now, we are back to crickets chirping in the support center, but the experience led us to decide to expand our support capability and separate out some of the pre-sales and post-sales support.  We will soon send our customers a letter along the lines of the following, although we are still setting up the appropriate phone number and e-mail addresses and such.  I just wanted to give you all a heads up and explain the reasoning a bit more fully:

Due to explosive growth in our coexistence tools, Genii Software has announced that its partner, Granite Software, which has been providing both pre and post sales support as well as being a full reseller of our CoexLinks product, will refocus entirely on sales and pre-sales support.  Post-sales support will be taken over by The Turtle Partnership Ltd in England, which will provide telephone, e-mail and database support.  This move will provide better coverage for our many European and Asian customers, while freeing up Granite Software to handle the many simultaneous prospects for CoexLinks, as well move forward with its award winning spamJam and ZMerge product lines.  Genii Software will continue to provide second line support for all coexistence customers, but also focus more heavily on its research and development into advancements in its existing and new product lines.

All three companies are members of Penumbra, a unique international consortium of highly trained ISVs and consulting firms working with IBM Lotus Notes and Domino and other technologies.  All members are separate companies, but collaborate on occasion to provide a synergy and breadth that benefits their mutual customers.
I am excited by the prospect of working more closely with the Turtle Partnership, and am pleased that this sort of arrangement allows them to meet whatever level of support we may require in a given week, since they already provide administrative support to a number of companies and have the size and flexibility to handle any peak times.  I'm also pleased that Granite Software will continue to fill the invaluable role in pre-sales support.  As always, Genii Software will focus on on-going research and development, as well as second level support.

Copyright 2006 Genii Software Ltd.

What has been said:

458.1. Wild Bill
(26/05/2006 01:10)

Wow. Very very cool.

---* Bill