“Support is great, hardware is great, network is great, speed is great and for dedicated servers the price is pretty darn good for the total package of quality.”- says this online review by techjr on a web hosting forum.
“I believe what sums Hivelocity up best is what happened when we outgrew our server setup and asked for advice on an upgrade. Rather than try to sell us a more expensive package like most companies would do, we got techs assigned to us who went through, extensively, optimization procedures to try to get even more out of our current server without costing us a penny,” -says another one by Iain.
A cursory glance on the web shows unanimous praise for Hivelocity’s service not only on their website but also on on discussion forums well outside their control. But then again, every single web hosting company boasts this claim. What makes Hivelocity miles ahead of competitors is the simplicity and ease of use they bring in even the most complex of the processes. Be it dedicated server solutions, affiliate programs, cloud solutions, customer care portals or reseller services, one cannot help but be in awe of how streamlined, flexible and customer friendly their services are. Very recently Hivelocity announced the introduction of a new live order tracking feature within their myVelocity customer portal which allows customers to follow along and know exactly where Hivelocity is with their new order as well as watch live within the data center as their new server gets deployed. A bold, exemplary and benchmark setting move indeed.
Now before this begins to sound like an adulatory post written by the staff at Hivelocity itself, over to Mr. Steve Eschweiler, General Manager, Hivelocity who gave us an opportunity to interview him in light of the recent developments in his company. But before that, let’s have a look at this jaw-droppingly cool video tour of Hivelocity’s Data Center:
We don’t want to simply be a monthly bill and faceless company to our customers. The “Hivelocity Experience” is a customer service and customer experience initiative we introduced internally about 1 year ago. The goal is to provide our customers with an exceptional, unique and gratifying experience with every interaction they have with Hivelocity, whether it be our staff, our site or our portal.
– Steve Eschweiler, General Manager, Hivelocity.
Q : What is your name and role with Hivelocity Hosting? How long have you been in this role?
A : My name is Steve Eschweiler and I have been the General Manager of Hivelocity for about 6 years.
Q : For those who don’t know what Hivelocity Hosting is, can you please brief it a bit?
A: Hivelocity provides dedicated server, colocation, cloud and infrastructure services to customers in over 130 countries out of our data centers.
Q: The newly launched ‘live order tracking feature’ on myVelocity customer portal puts you in a different league altogether when it comes to customer service. What was the thought process behind coming up with this audacious and unprecedented initiative?
A: I appreciate the way you put that. We agree that we are in a different league with our customer service and we plan on widening the gap in 2013. Just like our customers are not simply a number to us, we don’t want to simply be a monthly bill and faceless company to our customers. The “Hivelocity Experience” is a customer service and customer experience initiative we introduced internally about 1 year ago. The goal is to provide our customers with an exceptional, unique and gratifying experience with every interaction they have with Hivelocity, whether it be our staff, our site or our portal. The new order tracker and camera feed are just another way we connect with our customers and build on the Hivelocity Experience.
Q : Here is something we’ve been most curious about. Showing a live camera feed where a customer can watch his servers being mounted up the rack can be a herculean task considering the multitude of orders that get placed daily. How do you plan to complete the whole server deployment process within 4 hours AND show it to the customer in real time?
A: Hivelocity has been fortunate to have sold a lot of servers every day for many years. At this point our team is very practiced at getting custom server orders deployed efficiently. We have always had an internal system that allowed our staff to see where new orders were in the deployment process. Now we just make that system viewable to our customers, albeit with a little more flare and beauty.
Q: Can you please throw some light on recently launched cloud solution SparkNode? How does it differ from the gazillion other cloud solutions out there?
A: If you spend any time checking out those many other cloud solutions you will likely at some point find yourself very confused. Everyone refers to compute nodes in a different way or they allow you to scale but if you add RAM you are forced to take CPU cores as well. By the time you finish “customizing”your cloud you end up with resources you don’t want or need and a bunch of so called “nodes” in your cart that you aren’t even sure what they represent. SparkNode offers a simple and intuitive experience. Pick your exact resources and pay. Within seconds your Cloud VM is online, or sparked up as we like to say, and you are in the UI setting up your node(s). Our goal with SparkNode was to take very complex technology and make it simple to use and understand.
Q: How has the response to Sandy Bridge servers been so far?
A: Our E5 and E7 Sandy Bridge as well as our E3 Ivy Bridge processors are definitely our best sellers. Our clientele demands the latest and greatest technology always. When a new generation of processor is introduced we try to be one of the very first data centers offering them to our customers. Sometimes customers like to give new technology a little time to work out the kinks but this was not the case with the Sandy and Ivy Bridge chips. From day 1 these processors have been a huge seller.
Q : This one is regarding the Hivelocity affiliate program. What makes it the simplest system in the industry? Unlike any other affiliate system, the Hivelocity affiliate program proposes to pay 10% of every dollar that the referral spends…for life. How profitable is it in the long run?
A: We studied our competitor’s programs and found that the commissions either change over time or differ depending on what server you sell or end after a few months. Each one was more confusing than the next. Our system is as simple as it gets. We pay you 10% every month your affiliate customer stay with us. We sell Intel Quad E7 Octo-Core systems here that go for $1000 to several thousand per month. Depending on the configuration someone wants, 10% of one server can be a car payment. 10% of 10 servers is a mortgage payment. 10% of 20 servers is a livelihood. What’s more is with the effort we put towards customer service our customers tend to be very loyal and therefore that 10% commission usually just keeps coming for years.
Q: How has the expansion of Tampa, Florida data center been going?
A: There is a crew in the new space right now putting hammer to nails getting Phase 2 ready. We plan on introducing the new space with a big party and technology meet-up sometime in April. We will be sending out a press release as we approach that date inviting anyone who wants to come take a tour and celebrate with us. The new space is going to be a show piece and where every data center tour starts and ends.
Q: As of now, Hivelocity services customers in over 130 countries around the world. What plans do you have in store for 2013?
We will be introducing our new site in just a couple of months that will continue to push our “Hivelocity Experience” initiative. The new site is incredible and unique to our industry. Second, we will continue to provide our customers with 100% uptime as we have in 2011 and 2012. The addition of Phase 2 will allow us to continue to be one of the fastest growing companies in Tampa Bay. We have a few surprises in store that I can’t divulge. What I can say is we will continue to be innovative with how we connect with our customers and the service we provide our customers today is just the tip of the iceberg.