It can be hard to think about having a personal relationship with a room full of servers, but the right data center partner just might change your mind.
When you’re choosing a data center partner, think about how you want to be treated. Too many companies approach colocation like it’s a commodity — just a series of faceless vendors with little differentiation. For a partner who will end up providing the backbone of your infrastructure, you really ought to know the name of the person who’s going to be responding to your urgent ticket.
Data center customer service isn’t just about a quick response and pleasant demeanor, though yes, those should be table stakes. It’s about finding a partner who can think and act as an extension of your team. At Deft, we take the time up front to get to know why a company is asking for a particular set of specs. It helps us make sure they’re getting the infrastructure that will ultimately serve them best, and it gives us enough insight into their business to know when a trend or tool might be meaningful. By taking a customer-centric approach, we’re able to keep your business running and help you run it better. If that’s the kind of support you’re looking for, keep reading to learn how to pick the right data center for you.
Look for data center onboarding that goes beyond the “what”
At Deft, we strive to get to know you and your unique needs and challenges before we provide your business with data center services. Our five-point assessment is essential in the discovery process, allowing us to get to know you and unearth the best solution to help you reach your business objectives.
Our 5-Point Data Center Onboarding Assessment
- What are your needs?
We assess your current setup and determine what you need to get where you want to go. We will ask questions. Lots of them. They’re not just for our benefit, though. By continuing to ask questions, we’ll make sure we both have the full picture so we can cover everything with our initial plan.
- What are the barriers to those needs?
If you’re looking for a new infrastructure solution, it’s likely that something in place now won’t work going forward. Understanding what’s keeping you from meeting your needs today underscores any risks and how to avoid them, and is the way to identify better solutions overall.
- What are your current business challenges?
Infrastructure runs under the entire business — meaning that pretty much no matter where your challenge is, an optimized infrastructure solution can have an impact on it.
- What are your goals for business outcomes?
A good data center will make your business goals possible. A great data center will bring your goals closer. The more customer-centric your data center partner, the more likely they’ll be able to suggest solutions with your end results in mind.
- What would you consider your ideal circumstances?
Most of our partners can’t skip straight forward to the best solution. If we know what that should look like though, we can make sure the good and better solutions we develop first all build toward that north star.
Make sure your data center has the best infrastructure and tech talent
Setting up a storage cabinet might seem like a quick, turnkey operation from the outside — just define the specs and flip the right switches. To be fair, that approach can work. It just wouldn’t optimize anything for your particular business or goals.
Deft pulls in the right mix of technical talent early on for every engagement. They’re the ones who will ultimately be building and managing the infrastructure a client will depend on, and they can find the opportunities that allow your company to operate more efficiently on less money.
During discovery, our tech team will look for ways to optimize to ensure we have the right infrastructure in place. We’ll recommend improvements and work closely with you to pressure test and validate our thinking, making sure you have the ideal infrastructure that works better and lasts longer.
Without clear communication, they’re a data center provider, not a partner
If your partner can’t describe things to you in a way that makes sense, there’s a good chance they don’t understand your business. At Deft, we want to make sure everyone can contribute to the conversation, because it’s how the best solutions get built. We have a wide range of know-how on each team, from the deep-in-the-weeds technicians, to people like me, who come from a user experience and strategy background. No matter who is on your team, we’ll pair you up with the people best suited to talk your language.
Approachability and humility are bedrocks of great customer experience, and good communication is necessary for absolutely everyone we bring on our team.
For infrastructure to inform your strategy, you need to measure what matters
We want our clients to get actionable information out of their infrastructure. That means taking a different approach to measurement.
It’s easy to spit out a report — select the option to make a few pie charts and bar graphs and it can even look impressive. Without analysis though, it’s just a collection of colors and numbers.
Instead of providing snapshots of what’s going on right now, the team at Deft looks at the data in context. It’s the trends — whether utilization is increasing or decreasing, and how fast, for example — that tell us what needs to change.
Those insights, in combination with a deep understanding of your business goals, allow us to make recommendations that bring you closer to the ideal infrastructure you’re hoping to achieve.
How to choose a data center? Look for the one where everyone knows your name
OK, it’s not quite like Cheers at a Deft data center. You shouldn’t know everybody’s name. But you should have a sense of who’s going to pick up your ticket on the other side, and the confidence that they know enough about your business to interpret the request as efficiently as possible.
Infrastructure is always changing, even when we’re talking about bare-metal servers in temperature-controlled rooms. By finding a data center partner who knows what success looks like for your business, you’ll have an advocate to help you stay ahead.
For us, the best relationships with our customers are the ones where we truly become an extension of their team. These relationships can develop over a series of years, but they all start the same way: With a customer-centric approach and a deep understanding of your business.