Hosting & Support
Our hosting facilities are base in the North West and provide fully secure and redundant capabilities. All off-site backups that we produce are encrypted and all physical access is secured and logged. All remote administrative access is limited and secure from our offices. The backup process is automatic and securely distributes to a number of physical locations before validating the integrity of the backup.
Within our hosted infrastructure we have redundant hardware ready to replace any failed servers. All of our hosted servers have redundant backups ready to replace them running in our office in case of catastrophic failure. The data centre provides a huge array of redundant power solutions to ensure 24/7 running of both our hardware and critical network infrastructure that we rely on. Our ISP also provides a number of alternative routes for access from the internet.
A regular upgrade cycle maintains the performance and uptime of the systems and enables us to provide the best experience possible. It is not unusual for servers to run for several years continuously and only to need powering down to perform preventative maintenance and upgrades.
One aspect of hosting and security relates to your own internal IT staff. By removing the application from your physical network you can also be sure that access by your own IT team is also fully logged and auditable. The system can, however, produce data extracts for loading into data warehousing solutions so you can still have the flexibility to leverage existing knowledge and skills for bespoke reporting, auditing and disaster recovery.
The final benefits of hosting are monitoring and performance improvements. A variety of monitoring software constantly feeds updates back to the office on the state of the systems that we host. Audible alarms, emailed alerts and a large screen in the office all give immediate warnings if systems are behaving unusually. Additionally, these systems highlight any performance problems that customers may be having and allows us to rapidly improve performance long before any customers are even aware that there may be a problem.
We have customers geographically distributed from Inverness to Bristol, Liverpool to Hull. This allows us to quickly diagnose regional problems or problems with specific routing through core national infrastructure. Both the office software and PDA solutions have be optimised to reduce bandwidth and maximise speed. This means you can usually access our hosted systems more quickly and more reliably than existing systems within your offices. There is certainly never a need to upgrade internet connectivity just to access our system.
We pride ourselves on the level of support we provide. If a user telephones the office with a problem we will usually resolve the matter whilst they are still on the phone. We do not operative a queuing system and all calls are taken directly by our own technical staff who are intimately familiar with our systems. If the person who takes the call cannot solve the problem it is rapidly referred to the correct developer to deal with.
By using our developers to handle support we have built rapid feedback into our development process. The developers also have expert knowledge of the processes and systems affected and can immediately produce fixes for individual problems.
When developing new features we are always aware of the support burden they may add. To reduce the support for our products we are constantly working on design patterns and solutions that may affect support. The result of this it that on average only 8% of our development team's resource is consumed by support activities.
Our products have a regular maintenance release scheduled each month to roll our any non-critical fixes to all customers. Further changes required to continue to improve the performance and fit of our product to your needs will be discussed throughout our relationship.
Full logs from our internal systems of all your support issues are available on request. Over the last 10 years only one customer has felt the need to request these logs – and in the end most of their problems were resolved with some additional end-user training.