What does Bytemark stand for?


#1

Hello Bytemark users,

We’re continuing to expand and if you’re reading this you’re following us closer than most of our few thousand customers. Right now @rajeshjoshi is buffing our brand a little, trying to tease out what’s best about Bytemark. It’s really hard to think about and put down on paper, even though I’ve been responsible for it until pretty recently, and you might think I have a very good idea :wink:

We might have ventured a “marketing” message over the years, but it’s been you lovely people who made something of it and built our brand through your kind & frequent recommendations. That’s why I want to hear what you think of us: what should Bytemark definitely (not) lose as we grow, what do we still need to work at, and what do we stand for today?

I clearly have my own ideas, and we will be sending out a 60-second “tickbox” survey to all customers very soon. But if you’re reading this and don’t mind giving a few more words I’d be really grateful. Over to you?


#2

Continuous Improvement

As a BigV customer I’ve been aware that it isn’t perfect, but whenever there has been a problem the attitude from Bytemark has been about putting it right. It might seem the obvious response but many support teams start from the position that the customer is wrong. I’ve not had that impression from you guys. The starting position has been we’ll see how we can make it better.


#3

@ShaneMcC - well said. Whilst there’s been some frustrations (hardly unique to Bytemark), I’m here because you communicate openly and honestly with your customers.


#4

Communications is also one of the reasons I’m still with bytemark. I remember some years ago, there was some network problems, and bytemark told more technical details about what the problem was, than I have ever seen from any other company, and also bordering on what I understood - and (working at a webhosting company) I do know things about networking.


#5

While many companies provide similar services it is rare to find a company where knowledgeable people are just as passionate about their product as they are about running a successful business. That shines through to the customer through every aspect of the service. The open approach and honesty are a breath of fresh air and the quality of support is second to none.


#6

Support for free software. Prompt and effective support. Continuous upgrade of virtual hardware at particular price points. High levels of uptime. Good information when you know things need fixing.


#7

The key thing from my point of view is that you try to grow whilst maintaining support staff who actually know and love the products inside out. It is such a rare treat in this market place to be able to ring or email your team and to always know that they will instantly understand what I’m talking about and know what steps to take to deal with any problems. I can hardly think of any other company where I never have to listen to someone asking me to click on the start menu, or whether I’ve turned it off and on again!
Also, don’t stop being honest. If something goes wrong, you tell us. That’s fantastic and immensely confidence building.


#8

I agree with all the points that have been raised.

Bytemark’s support is excellent. Your honesty and knowledge are key factors in treating your customers both with respect and as human beings.

Furthermore you support the wider FOSS community, e.g. London Perl Workshops, Debian, so I know the profit you make out of the money I spend with you isn’t wasted.

Plus your hunger to continually improve and widen your services is only constrained by regard for the stability of the new service - something that fundamentally puts customers needs first.

Kind regards

Lesley


#9

I think you’ve got some tough competition out there, most notably services like Digital Ocean vs BigV (I was certainly tempted when BigV heads and tails were falling over a bit too often…), so what kept me with you was how you distinguish yourselves from them.

For me, it’s not principally the technical stuff, at the end of the day as long as uptime, speed and price are good, I’m happy to leave to you the minutiae of networks and servers. It’s much more about the fact that you are not faceless - this means communications that are personal (emails, blog, Twitter, etc), being open about your plans and any changes, getting a named person when I open a ticket, being able to pick up the phone, seeing honest admissions on these forums when things go wrong, etc.

I like knowing what Bytemark’s ethics are, what sort of things you support, and what you are aiming for. Please keep this sort of communication up!

It’s also important for me that you don’t grow too fast - a temptation many companies succumb to and then they struggle with support, hire a load of less-qualified customer-facing people and become just like all the rest.


#10

Top of the list is reliability.

I have lost count of how many years I have been with Bytemark. In all that time I have only suffered one server crash which had my VM offline for more than a few hours. I was able to mirror my lost sites to another server while waiting for a new host to be provisioned.

Second to top is being able to install my own choice of software and not having servers break because someone ‘did something’ and let the hackers/spammers in through a back door.

And, while Bytemark are not the cheapest out there, those few extra pounds paid ever year are worth every penny compared with the reliability issues experienced with other hosts.


#11
  1. Technical competence
  2. Honesty (you admit fault etc)
  3. Support for free software (conferences, debian hosting etc)
  4. Independence (not some big nasty corporation with lines of support droids)
  5. Reliability (ignoring the bigv issues, DH boxes are rock solid and stuff just works).