Case Study: Bottomline Technologies

A conversation with Bob Love

Bob Love
Bob Love
Bottomline Technologies
Director of Information Technologies
We had a minute to sit down with Bob Love of Bottomline Technologies recently to discuss his perspective on managing IT service, the decision to move over from Microsoft Support, and his experience thus far with US Cloud.
US Cloud

First off Bob, thanks for your time. Let’s start high level, tell us about your approach to delivering IT services to your customers.

Bob Love

Sure, well we realize how valuable timely response and remediation to a problem is because it affects the quality of service that we’re delivering to our customers. We can fool ourselves, because we work in technology, that we’re all about the bits and the bytes, but at the end of the day it has nothing to do with that and has more to do with the people.

US Cloud

So you mentioned timely support for your customers. What was your experience previously in getting that same timely support from Microsoft, to in turn help your customers?

Bob Love

I can remember multiple versions of this with Microsoft Premier, but it was the same story over and over again. We needed a subject matter expert in a particular technology, I’ll just use SQL Server as an example, right? And we had SLA’s in place, but they were really superficial. They didn’t have any meat on the bone. The only one really that they adhered to and paid attention to was first response.

So for a critical Level A ticket, that was disrupting your customers, they would immediately contact you within two hours, which is their SLA and that’s great. But you are contacted by a non-technical subject matter expert. All they did was just punch the ticket and say yes, ‘we called the customer and left them a message’ or ‘we talked to him’ and then that ticket would sit and decay or wait for a subject matter expert, sometimes for days before we got the right resource on the phone.

US Cloud

I can understand the need to make a change there, but there must have been some anxiety about switching over from the OEM to US Cloud?

Bob Love

When it comes to anxiety about changing providers, we felt like it was a pretty low risk decision because we were going to move to somebody else, and we were gonna start with a one year commitment, you know, and see if it worked out. So, in my opinion, that is a low risk because as long as the service was in the same quadrant as what we were already receiving, we were going to be ok.

I was worried that, you know, maybe US Cloud didn’t have the same kind of talent on the bench as Microsoft. I mean, look who they are. They’re one of the largest software companies in the world. So that was a concern, but in my presales meetings with the US Cloud team they helped reassure me on those two very important points when I was able to actually talk to some of the engineers during those meetings.

US Cloud

Ok, thanks for that. And what has your experience with US Cloud been like so far? Maybe give me a recent example or ticket that you had resolved.

Bob Love

Sure. So we had outage with our Azure tenant that was affecting a host, impacting several of our healthcare customers that we provide services to. And it just so happened that when the outage occurred the traditional people who would jump on it, what we call a SEV, (we’re an ITIL framework kind of company so we follow incident management response which we have on-call rotations and people jump on bridges and we get the problem remediated). Anyway, so it just so happened that when this incident popped the persons who were supposed to be able to support that outage weren’t available for whatever reason. It was a combination of somebody was unexpectedly sick and another person who was on PTO. There were a whole bunch of reasons, but at the end of the day, the team didn’t have the right resources.

And that’s when they reached out to me. And they said, ‘do you know anything about this Microsoft support that we need’? And I said ‘yes, we have a contract with US Cloud. I can ask an engineer to join’. So I went on the portal and popped a ticket for a critical customer outage.

And within an hour, within an hour, US Cloud responded with, I wanna say, 4 engineers. So not only did they bring the right guys to the call, but they brought the cavalry. And it was great because we needed that diversity because it was unique problem, in the end, and the root cause was a combination of like a firewall rule change and a load balancer that sat in the cloud combined with some ACL’s. So we needed a couple of different subject matter experts and they got to it, remediated it, and the service was up.

And I just felt like, wow, that was amazing. That was unlike anything I had experienced with Microsoft in my eight years of being with Premiere, so I was like…we made the right choice.

US Cloud

What would you say to another IT executive who is sort of grappling with this decision to move away from the OEM? Move away from Microsoft?

Bob Love

I don’t wanna go back to Microsoft yet. [So we just inked our new renewal with you guys and instead of doing one year, we committed to three. ]

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