Productivity Month: Self-evaluation gave Internet and Telephone perspective

Posted by Manny Veiga on Sep 22, 2014 8:00:00 AM

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It’s natural to want to savor victory in the days after saving your client from a data disaster, but it’s also important to make some time for reflection.  Immediately reviewing the effectiveness of your disaster response approach can reveal opportunities for better planning, productivity, and client communication.

One Intronis partner discovered the value of self-evaluation after a recent client disaster. Massachusetts-based Internet and Telephone had to respond quickly when one of its newest clients, Eastern Yacht Club, suffered a three-alarm fire in June.

The fire could have been a fatal blow to the yacht club because it came at the start of their crucial 13-week busy season. Fortunately, Internet and Telephone’s technicians had already created a backup and were able to recover the client’s data to a server in the payroll manager’s home.IT_Logo_crop

Pete Peterson, Vice President of Sales at Internet and Telephone, said his team was happy with its speedy response time, but also valued the opportunity they took after the disaster to evaluate how effective their response was.

“There are a number of steps we intuitively followed and a couple others we thought made sense when we reviewed it afterward,” he said.

This type of evaluation can reveal areas of strength and weakness in your team’s disaster response process. The minutes and hours following a disaster can be hectic, but when your team responds successfully – as in the case of Internet and Telephone – reviewing what went well offers perspective on what to do in future disasters.

Maybe you’ll identify ways to speed recovery. Or maybe you’ll find out you’re doing everything right. Either way, it’s a worthwhile exercise every MSP should think about.

Regular reviews can also serve as the foundation for building out documented processes. While you may have faith that your existing team is experienced enough to handle any client situation off instinct alone, committing some of your processes to writing creates consistency and a new employee training tool.

That way, if a technician leaves or is unavailable to help with a particular data disaster, your remaining team won’t miss a beat.

Internet and Telephone’s review also helped them keep their yacht club client in the loop.

"After the process was over we sent the CEO our review of all the steps we took to recover their data," Peterson said. "And it was useful to them to see how effective we were."

Alongside regular reviews, being prepared is also a key part to ensuring a speedy and productive recovery process, explained Zach Leffler, Internet and Telephone’s Sales Administrator. As a first step with every new customer, the company’s technical engineer immediately creates a backup.

"Even before our customers get sent a bill, we're working on getting them seeded into Intronis as a first step," said Leffler. "That way, if they go down tomorrow, we have some way to recover their files. I would suggest that the second you get a new customer, think of how you can recover them."

This strategy is also a great way to start delivering immediate value to the customer before you’ve even engaged their business, he adds.

"It's also a great sales tool to be able to say 'Hey we understand your backup as currently configured sucks and we're working on it immediately.' It helps us to build confidence with the customer to be able to say we’re thinking about their data on Day 1," Leffler explains.

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