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3 Posts authored by: Patrick Hubbard Employee

Over the years, I’ve had a chance to help staff the SolarWinds booth and represent the gamut of IT needs in nearly 100 trade shows. From networks to applications, from storage to security, and most recently hybrid and cloud, it’s been a pleasure to meet thousands of sharp admins from the THWACK community. In all of those conferences, and in all the interesting technical questions you’ve asked about the expanding product line, there’s only been one question I didn’t have a great answer for:

 

Does SolarWinds offer advanced support?

 

But if you see me at GITEX in Dubai or MS Ignite in Orlando this year, I’ll be able to answer differently. Because SolarWinds now offers three support options: Professional Support, Premier Support, and Premier Enterprise. That’s right, advanced support, direct from SolarWinds.

 

The offering formerly known as Premier Support is now called Premier Enterprise. We listened to your feedback and Premier Enterprise now offers even faster Service Level Guidelines and top-of-the-queue preference. We’ll provide you with a named contact familiar with your specific setup—and system quirks—to help you take a proactive view of your ecosystem with full health checks. It’s designed for the largest and most complex environments, with more urgent support needs.

 

Premier Support is a new support tier providing decreased wait times, upgrade guidance, and additional health checks to help meet the needs of our customers with setups needing a little extra love.

 

I’ve recommended many SolarWinds Partners over the years—and will continue to do so. If you’re looking for on-site training, customization, integration with third-party systems, tune-ups, and other services, one of our authorized Partners is a great choice. Customers who work with resellers (especially outside the U.S.) have enjoyed great local support for years. The new Premium Support option doesn’t replace these services—it extends the options available to help customers ensure they’re getting full use of their SolarWinds tools.

 

When customers ask about additional support, it’s usually after they’ve been using our products for a few years and they’ve gotten the monitoring spirit. They’ve seen happier users, easier operations, and more efficient use of their IT investment. They’ve built out comprehensive dashboards, integrated with other systems, and have shared access to their performance data well outside the monitoring team. In other words, they’ve realized monitoring is a tier 1, business-critical system they depend on day in and day out. They’re using SolarWinds not just to help keep IT running, but to become proactive.

 

Premier Support is designed specifically to help you do this. Very large customers—those with hundreds of thousands of elements and remote pollers scattered around the world—have had an enterprise support option to help with upgrades and planning, provide named support contacts, offer Service Level Guidelines, include system checkups, and more. And now, SolarWinds is offering a similar level of expert support to all customers, including those who aren’t multi-national in scale.

 

Check out this link for details. Premier Support helps keep your SolarWinds system running as designed. You get system checks, upgrade planning, accelerated issue resolution, access to advanced product experts, SLGs, and more. If you think you might be missing a host of new features, but haven’t upgraded in a while, Premium Support can be an extra hand. And if you inherited a heavily used SolarWinds platform, Premier Support is a great way to start becoming an expert admin for the system your team depends on every day.

 

I’m looking forward to the upcoming conferences this year for a lot of reasons, but especially because after a decade I have a new answer to a great customer question.

 

“Does SolarWinds offer Premier Support?”

 

“Yes, we most certainly do.”

Once again, it’s an honor to help celebrate IT Pro Day—a recognition of the women and men of IT, who do so much more than simply keep the blinkenlights on. If you follow SolarWinds even casually, you’ll notice among all the tortured taxonomies technology vendors transmogrify, “IT pro” seems to be unique to us. And this year, I’d like to offer my theory of why, here on THWACK, where so many IT pros connect every day.

 

You don’t have to go far in the world outside technology to see “pro” used in ads to suggest an association with power and capability. No [Heavy|Super] Duty 4x4 pickup ad is complete without mud-bog slow-mo, and diamond plate “PRO GRADE” bolted, welded, or riveted to the screen. “Pro strength” cleaners promise to get out stains amateur detergents apparently leave behind. The retail world is overstuffed with “prosumer” product lines, and the third column of many good/better/best product comparison charts is labeled “pro.” It would seem everyone, even technology civilians, knows what “pro” means.

 

Or do they?

 

Consumers aren’t supposed to stash more gear in a “pro” tacklebox—it just has chunkier corners. $100 of “pro” access points are usually better than a single router/AP stashed in a corner, but they’re no brace of Meraki. And worksite pickups are one-ton 350s or bigger, not ¾-ton 250s. In consumer land at least, “pro” seems not to be an actual rating, qualification, or demonstrated suitability to task, but used to evoke an essence. It’s “of the pros,” suggesting something a professional would use while professional-ing. So, the real question is, who is this mythical professional? This legend, who simply improves things?

 

In technology, you know a pro when you see one. Like a pro athlete, they make everything look easy, or at least for IT, easier. They’re dependable, tenacious, and see problems all the way through to resolution. They share their expertise and eagerly teach others how to succeed. Better, they always seem specially crafted to handle any situation. A pro is someone who walks into the room and says, “I’ve got this,” and everyone is confident they do.

 

So, when you hear me talking about IT pros, this is what I mean. They don’t “play with technology” on the businesses’ dime—they use technology to achieve business goals. They don’t “spend time in IT” while they look for greener grass—they build rewarding careers keeping evolving tech hype and promise in check. And most of all, they don’t run from Ops—instead, they dive in, company after company, seeking to understand the nuances of system performance from the bottom of infrastructure all the way up to end users.

 

Perhaps the real IT meaning of “pro” is the same as its Latin roots in late Middle English, meaning literally “for, on behalf of.” Only with IT pros, the “for” is related to users, not just to craft. IT pros—the THWACK community—are working on behalf of end users. They work tirelessly, with a smile, on behalf of everyone who counts on them. IT pros are a skillful lot, but more than that, they woke up one day to decide helpfulness would be their profession, and technology merely their tool of choice.

 

So, here’s to all of you on IT Pro Day 2019. Thanks for deciding to not only be a part of IT, but making IT a profession, not just an occupation. It’s always a pleasure to work with you.

 

Happy IT Pro Day,

 

Patrick

If you’ve been watching SolarWinds over the last 18 months, you’ve probably noticed we’re even further extending monitoring and management to cloud and related technologies.  If you’re a regular viewer of SolarWinds Lab, you also know I’m spending a lot of my time these days working with AWS, Azure, Alphabet, Docker, and Kubernetes. It’s not a matter of if managing these technologies will end up a part of your job as an admin, it’s a matter of when.  And we’d like to know more about how the THWACK community is leveraging containers.

 

If you don’t mind, please take a minute, (and grab a quick 500 THWACK points*), to complete a quick survey and let us know if and how you’re taking advantage of containers in your IT environment.  We look forward to your feedback.

 

Thanks as always- see you Wednesday on SolarWinds Lab!

 

Take Survey Now

 

* Survey closes Friday, July 21, 2017, and your points will be applied the following week.

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