CloudTech, our on-demand premium support service, has reached its one year mark! Since its official launch at HostingCon 2013, the CloudTech team has helped thousands of clients, deployed massive campaigns with major super stars, and won a few awards (including a 2014 Gold Stevie® Award) in the process.
We talked with some key members of the CloudTech Team and interviewed the visionary mind behind CloudTech’s success, Rob Gregory. Watch this video to see who’s powering CloudTech and read the interview with Rob below for insight into how CloudTech was built.
Rob Gregory is the VP of Customer Support at Media Temple. From his time on the support floor as a tech agent to leading the entire Customer Support team, Rob has dedicated a sizable amount of his time to solving customer issues both directly, and by developing customized business solutions. Here he addresses questions regarding CloudTech’s maturation and future.
Why did CloudTech come about? What was your core inspiration?
Our customers. We were tired of saying no to their requests for help with issues that were not listed in our Statement of Support for their products. With CloudTech, now we can say “yes” and use what customers are requesting the most to improve the overall user experience and take care of their every hosting need.
How did you start building CloudTech? Did you start with the team or select customers?
Media Temple’s Director of Customer Support, TJ Stein, and myself read through chats, tickets, and listened to phone calls to identify what we were saying no to. From that research and talking to some customers, we created on-demand premium support services called “CloudTech On-Demand,” which then led to a subscription-based version, “CloudTech Always-On.” The subscription service propelled us into the managed space, where you receive priority support, security pack, proactive monitoring, and five monthly credits from our on-demand catalog.
The catchy name “CloudTech” combined with the popularity of the subscription service helped us turn CloudTech into a product, which then led to our recent Managed Hosting launch – not to mention the thousands of customers we have helped with our CloudTech On-Demand (“On-Demand”) services.
Who is a typical CloudTech client?
The On-Demand customer is usually someone who has a symptom and needs a solution. They value their time and look to CloudTech to perform the sys admin type service, while they handle the other 50 things they need to take care of to grow their business online.
The same can be said for the Always-On customer in regards to allocating their critical time toward running their business. The difference is those customers need the On-Demand services every month, in addition to the peace of mind that comes with the security scans, site monitoring, and priority support (dedicated phone line).
What are CloudTech’s most popular services and why?
Advanced Performance Analysis & Front End Site Review. Both are FREE and they provide performance data that customers can take to their teams or ask CloudTech for additional help with a solution.
Always-On – For all of the reasons mentioned above.
What were some of the bigger barriers to success?
Product Awareness was the biggest barrier. We knew that we would have greater success if our customers knew of CloudTech and its benefits prior to needing help. We also had to train our customer support team to be more proactive in offering these solutions to make up for any lack of awareness.
What are some of the biggest successes the CloudTech team has achieved?
Stevie Awards: Getting official recognition as a stand alone service product was a big internal acknowledgement for the team as a whole. Which is why we are really proud to have won a Gold Stevie® Award this year.
Meetups and Hangouts/Ask CloudTech: Drawing on audience engagement to cover in-depth, complex issues with hosting is a big undertaking. We’re constantly exploring new media to inject knowledge into the community.
Is there a lot of competition for CloudTech in the hosting market?
There is a lot of competition for the subscription piece, but not many other hosting providers are offering the On-Demand model. It’s a hard commitment to make to deliver on-demand, high-end support and consulting. The margins on that type of service are not great, but, ultimately, investing in the experience is.
How is CloudTech doing it differently? Does that mean (mt) is not providing self-help support like other web hosts do?
This is what we offer:
Do it with you – Customer Support helping others with honesty, integrity and respect
Do it yourself – KnowledgBase and Forums, 3rd party help
Do it for you – CloudTech (every CloudTech service has a corresponding KB) but customers value their time
Self-help – we have thousands of articles in our current KB, and over 35K+ forum users with 38K+ posts. It will get even better later this year with a brand new self-help community and platform. More on that in the coming months.
What’s on the horizon for CloudTech? What can customers expect in the coming months?
CloudTech is going to put more time and effort into making sure we are hitting the mark with our On-Demand services. This means evaluating our current offerings with customer data/feedback/usage, and adding some new features, based on the support data from the interactions with our Customer Support and CloudTech teams. On the subscription side, we are going to improve our monitoring by doing checks for resources (RAM, Disk Usage, etc) for our Always-On/Managed Customers, and then offer that as a standalone subscription if you don’t need everything that comes with Always-On/Managed. In other words, stay tuned for more, exciting CloudTech news.