Ryan, thanks so much for spending a little time with me today to talk Microsoft Support. Let’s get right into it, give me the elevator speech on Aegion?
Sure, Aegion offers infrastructure protection for oil and gas and water/wastewater. We build equipment, paint it, line it, coat it, sleeve, etc. I think we’ve got about 170 offices and we’re in about 18 or 20 countries with a presence. We’ll do about 1.6 billion this year in revenue. We’re mid-size in terms of total users, but it’s a complicated organization. Some things can be challenging because you know it’s a small crew of people managing every single time zone on Earth, including Antarctica.
Well, I would think at over a billion dollars, that Microsoft would put a high premium on serving your account.
You would wish. But that is absolutely not the case. The problem is there’s no partnership with Microsoft. I’m paying it like I pay the power bill and I don’t get anything else out of them. If I call Microsoft, they bring 18 people to a meeting and spend the entire time talking about Power BI or something. They’ve got metrics that they need to sell to and at the end of the day it’s impacting their customer service because it’s a sales-based organization.
Well, let’s talk a little bit about your switch to US Cloud, especially because I know that you were one of the earlier customers of the company.
I was a happy Premier customer for a long time, but we would run into issues at the end of the year with hours that were being left to rot. We would try and book professional services engagements with them and they would tell us, ‘we’re booking six or seven months out for that type of service’. So then I lose the hours.
At the time of my renewal, I was paying about $80,000. They wanted about $140,000. So, I started making some phone calls to see what else was out there. I find you guys, and then got a quote for about 27k. And I thought, ‘It’s worth a shot, right?’ So we tried it.
We did a couple of PS engagements. We implemented Microsoft Labs as a PS engagement and US Cloud had every PowerShell script completely prewritten for my entire organization and we just stepped through the entire thing. We went from demo to production in 48 hours with the solution and it’s been running ever since. We make the transition, and everything worked the way we wanted it to work.
Glad to hear it! Ok, tell me contextually what the break fix support experience is like with US Cloud in relation to premier.
I just had a case the other day. I turned off a server that we all thought wasn’t doing anything, and it had a small role that got missed. Unfortunately, it wasn’t something that was easy for me to recreate and, there was a little bit of documentation, but it was woefully out of date. So, I called you guys.
Open the ticket, and I got a call back in like 15 minutes with somebody saying, ‘hey, there’s not a lot of documentation on this, but we might have a couple ideas. I’m going to go ahead and fire it off to Microsoft to get the escalation going.’ So he starts that ball rolling. I get another call back 20 minutes later from US Cloud with an idea they want to test. Then, less than an hour later, I got a call saying that it’s all successful. They’ve tested it. Everything’s good.
So, we knocked it out together and it worked perfectly. Six hours later, I got a call from Microsoft. I could barely hear the guy. He was asking for my permission to close the ticket because he couldn’t get permission from his manager to close it. Then he said that we needed to sit down and have a conversation around it. I just hung up on the guy, because, you know, I didn’t care about it.
He then called me back three separate times, before finally calling me from a working phone. He brought the manager into the loop and at that point we were able to successfully close the ticket, that they didn’t have anything to do with, which was solved by US Cloud five hours previously.
Wow, so that would have been the guy solving your ticket?
They’re all V dash, trash. It’s all just consultants on the Microsoft side. Every time you work with Microsoft, the emails say V-, and then their name. And that means it’s a third-party consultant that is doing the work on Microsoft’s behalf. They are historically garbage and most cases take two or three weeks until they find a guy on the product team that actually knows how to fix the problem. But it’s a lot of work to get to that point.
So for me, why would I pay four times what I’m paying today to throw a bunch of money for a third-party contractor? But I can just pay what I’m paying today for a third-party contractor to solve my Microsoft problems.
Well, we appreciate it. Thanks for your time, Ryan. And thanks for your business.
Yep, thank you.