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November 06, 2009

Is your data protected?

When it comes to securing your data against losses, many people have a knee jerk reaction to think about hackers or other insider threats.  This is somewhat natural these days due to legislation like HIPAA which mandate various controls for the confidentiality and integrity.  What many people don't think about these days is a full scale breach of availability (as well as total data loss).

This video shows what can happen in minutes.  While not every organization needs a full scale disaster management plan, this is the prime example of why you have current off-site backups.  Usually the fire isn't what destroys your server farm, it is the water damage after...



November 03, 2009

Customer Service?

Over the past year I have been thinking a lot about customer service, or the lack of it with many organizations.  You wait on the phone, usually wasting your time, to get the status of when your cable TV will be back online.  You wait to get a return e-mail with an RMS number so you can send defective crap back.  You get the idea, there is a lot of wasted time.  I was becoming accustomed to this until we started dealing with baby product vendors.  You see, they have to deal with a a difficult market, that of mothers that don't have time for some company's crappy excuses.  Bad service results in a lot of bad word of mouth. 

(Photo Courtesy of Monstro on Flickr)

The first experience that I had was with Medela, who manufactures lactation supplies.  We had an issue with a pump, called their 800 number and expected the worst.  They dealt with these frustrated parents and fixed this situation right away by sending out replacement parts via priority mail.  They didn't even ask for a serial number, proof of purchase, or anything other than our name and address.  We've had similar experiences with products from Graco, in which they didn't bother to argue on the phone, they just sent our replacement parts or a completely new unit.

I could get used to service like this...  The only service that I have seen like this is the Targus lifetime warranty on some of their computer bags.  My sad computer bag had seen seven years of service in six countries and 9 states.  Wear, tear and rips abounded, but they still sent me a completely free replacement bag.