A Little Philosophical Thought: The SoftLayer Family Tree

June 24, 2008

Somewhat picking up on the theme of the blog, “Here’s to you, that nerdy Sysadmin”, this is a sort of, “Here’s to you, our family tree of customers.”

I find it very interesting how everyone in the world has customers. Our customer’s, customer’s, customer’s, customer’s…and so on…depend on us here at SoftLayer. It is a sort of bottomless pit. Does it begin anywhere…or end anywhere. Does anyone NOT have customers?

For example:

Our customers have customers, who have customers, who have customer, who have customers, etc. We are the customer of INTEL, AMD, Seagate, etc. They are the customers of those that provide the material to make the hardware that they manufacture. The natural resources used to make the hardware are purchased from someone. That someone purchased the rights to those resources from someone, who purchased the rights from someone, who purchased the rights from someone, etc. I suppose somewhere upstream someone’s country went to war and took the rights to those resources from someone else. And, I suppose if you go far enough back, no one had “rights” to those resources before the land was “claimed”. As recent as 2005, the race was on to claim the land of the Arctic Circle. I suppose you could say that all customers began with a gift of land containing resources from God. And, SoftLayer gives free stuff to customers all the time…so…I guess God gave the land containing the resources to people…His customers!

Anyway, this necessity of life that we have termed “customers”, has been, and will always be, I suppose, the most important aspect of life in terms of survival. Without customers, basic necessities like food cannot be purchased. In other words, without customers, you cannot be a customer. And, if you are not a customer, you must, therefore, be dead. So, in terms on everyone being dependent on being a customer and having customers, we all depend on each other like a family of customers. And, we must take care of our family.

We know that our survival, here at SoftLayer, depends on our customers (our family) and that their survival depends on us. We take this responsibility very seriously and work very hard to provide for our family the way that we would like to be provided for.

In conclusion, I feel that we, here at SoftLayer, do a pretty good job of taking care of our “family”, and in turn, our family of customers do a great job of taking care of us. As we continue to grow together, our success will benefit each other for years and years to come.

*If you do not understand any of this, just write it off to the insane ramblings of a tired CSA at the end of a long, challenging, and yet satisfying day at Softlayer working for his family.

-David

Comments

June 30th, 2008 at 2:09pm

The client/customer model for the hosting industry is often a poor descriptor of what underlying operations. Even the most simple of online operations involves dozens of companies. I prefer to think of the hosting industry as a complex ecosystem - with many customers and providers.

A case ....

We (rackAID + Softlayer) have a mutual client that runs a flash video game site. This site requires many participants to assure its continued success. There is the site owner, who's creativity and programming skills result in millions of flash games being played every day. There are the site visitors, who help pay for the site through their ad clicks. There are the advertising networks that simplify the process of ad placement. There is the IT manager (us) that assure the servers and systems run smoothly. There is the IT infrastructure provider (SoftLayer) that delivers the hardware. And behind each of these players is a host of other players in non-technical roles such as financing, banking, legal services, etc. So there is a huge ecosystem of participants just to let someone play that 3 minute flash game at lunch.

In this example, you may think the person playing the game is the ultimate customer, but they are also a supplier - a supplier of clicks that generates the revenue which let flash developers produce games and employ the services of companies like ours.

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Comments

June 30th, 2008 at 2:09pm

The client/customer model for the hosting industry is often a poor descriptor of what underlying operations. Even the most simple of online operations involves dozens of companies. I prefer to think of the hosting industry as a complex ecosystem - with many customers and providers.

A case ....

We (rackAID + Softlayer) have a mutual client that runs a flash video game site. This site requires many participants to assure its continued success. There is the site owner, who's creativity and programming skills result in millions of flash games being played every day. There are the site visitors, who help pay for the site through their ad clicks. There are the advertising networks that simplify the process of ad placement. There is the IT manager (us) that assure the servers and systems run smoothly. There is the IT infrastructure provider (SoftLayer) that delivers the hardware. And behind each of these players is a host of other players in non-technical roles such as financing, banking, legal services, etc. So there is a huge ecosystem of participants just to let someone play that 3 minute flash game at lunch.

In this example, you may think the person playing the game is the ultimate customer, but they are also a supplier - a supplier of clicks that generates the revenue which let flash developers produce games and employ the services of companies like ours.

Leave a Reply

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