Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A trip to Austin

Providing outstanding service and support to customers requires constant attention to detail. Zerowait’s staff is dedicated to our customers’ success and last week our engineering staff got complimented from a customer in Australia on the quality of our service and the dedication of our engineering staff to solving problems. Often our staff has to weigh the risks of a change against the advantages of the change for the customer and we do this based on past experience, and the benefits to the customer.

The technical expertise that our staff possesses was acquired by years of learning on the job, but it also requires a record keeping system that is flexible and adaptable to the changing requirements of our business. We built our own systems over the last two decades to manage our customer’s contracts, inventory, production, and engineering tickets. As our business has grown the databases and programming time have increased and now we are looking to add programmers to our staff to handle these critical aspects of our business. Our customers require our staff to be able to access their technical and contractual information with a few clicks of the keyboard or mouse. So we are looking for folks that can be part of our team which is dedicated to providing our customers perfect service. We want someone who can think outside the box, and yet create a bulletproof and adaptable program that provides Zerowait competitive advantages. 

This week I traveled to Austin, TX to meet with a customer and I learned some interesting information on how they are managing their data explosion with new file systems and the issues they are running into. It was the first time I had run into BTRFS in a production environment. I have been watching the evolution of BTRFS for quite a while and I am very interested to see how it works in their environment. These folks are technologically savvy, and they recognize that they are accountable for making certain that their own customer’s service is not interrupted. They were confident of their systems and choice of their File System. 

Everybody measures their own risk tolerance a little differently. At Zerowait everyone understands that we are accountable to each other and our customers. I remember in 2006 when we started to expand globally I was warned about the risks involved in global expansion. It seemed worth the risks to me. And yet, in order to provide perfect service to our customers we rely on proven technologies and file systems based on our engineering team’s recommendations. Are file systems more risky than international travel, or a custom built CRM system to Zerowait’s business continuance? 

 It is interesting how we all measure risk every day in the different aspects of our lives.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A great trip to Australia

Michael Linett
Laurence Jones and guest at VFX functionI returned from a trip to Sydney, Australia last week and it was great seeing all of our customers there. We held an event for the VFX group and it was well attended and  a lot or our customers and friends were there.  Laurence Jones put the event together and we got a picture with him and one of the guests in one of our T-shirts. Laurence got a picture of me also. We have a lot of customers in the VFX business niche in Sydney and  our business continues to grow in the  Australian VFX business, Science, and insurance business as customers in all sectors look for ways to get more value out of their enterprise  storage investments.

Michael Linett and Peter

I also got to see an old customer and friend  from Wilmington, Delaware that has moved  to Newcastle, Australia. I had not seen Peter since 2003 and it was great catching up again. Peter worked with one of our largest NetApp customers when he was in Wilmington and one of our engineers used to work for him on many of his big network and storage  integration projects. The enterprise storage world is a small world but it is a global business for Zerowait. 

Michael Linett and VFX engineers in Sydney March 2013

Laurence also arranged a lunch with the 'Power players of Sydney VFX" for us and we had a great conversation about storage issues and the similarities between the VFX business and the oil and gas exploration business in the use of storage. Everyone  is trying to figure out how to get more value out of their storage expenditures and these are some of the sharpest engineers I know.  Every time I go to Sydney I learn something from these folks. And we try to integrate their ideas into our service and hardware offerings.

Based on the suggestions  from our customers in Australia our engineering and operations teams are working on upgrading some processes and hardware to help all of our NetApp and SimplStor customers.  It was a great trip, and I look forward to going back in a few months.