Posts Tagged 'The Planet'

November 25, 2010

Introducing B3

The last 2 months have been full of surprises and a little stressful for all employees involved. The Planet and Softlayer have been merged into a giant, yet powerful organization. SoftLayer’s CEO Lance Crosby has taken control and he has been very clear on his vision. Yesterday in Houston was “Introduction to Softlayer” and Lance was very open seems to be a person who holds no punches. He stated the vision and path the company has chosen and gave us an overview of what it takes to be the leading IaaS provider.

During our 2.5 hour meeting Lance was clear and to the point on how his "family" is growing and I agree this will feel like a very large family soon. Lance gave us an open forum and the ability to throw out any question we saw fit, and we did with no holds barred. He never once dodged a question, he just answered them. This is how Softlayer is and will continue to be, we will be straight shooters to you and all our customers alike. This is what makes me excited to be part of Lance's team.

We covered everything from upcoming services to be offered, to a global footprint being key. He said sales and support need to follow the sun; so no matter where you are in the world you will have the same level of support. He talked about how the "family members" are the driving forces with new innovations and bleeding edge technology. Where else can you be told your hardware will be ready in 4 hours. (Rackspace, I say nay). So our competition needs to look out because we will not be touched, why?

Because, we are BIGGER BETTER BADDER!

-Lee

November 24, 2010

Bigger, Better, Badder!

Part of the branding exercise that we are going through post-merger revolves around the tag line “Bigger, Better, Badder”. And it is true. Every word of it.

Bigger: We will have 75,000 servers under our control. That is more than Rackspace (63,996). We are the largest dedicated hosting provider in the world, possibly the galaxy. That is kool.

Better: We have all of these servers and yet we have less than 20% of the people that Rackspace do. Automation (sorry, automagic) and innovation rule the SoftLayer world. We are better at this than anyone else.

Badder: Our CEO is Lance Crosby. He is 6’6”, tips the scales at 350, drives an F250 and rides an Iron Horse. Need I say more?

-@quigleymar

November 23, 2010

Merger Anxiety

It seems like just yesterday I was writing a blog about my confessions of being a new Planeteer. After being laid off after 13 years with the same company, rumors of a merger were feeding my anxiety. I know change is inevitable, just like taxes and picking the slowest line wherever I go, but I was not ready for more shake ups just yet. I am still getting to know everyone and getting used to the company. I pride myself on avoiding office politics and gossip as much as possible, but the water cooler mongers were relentless! Should I look for a job? Will I be let go? Will I have to pursue the Wal-Mart greeter job that I am convinced would be stress free? The months since the announcement were hard. Our leaders did a great job of keeping us informed, but there was only so much information that could be shared. I continued as I always had, focused on my work and trying not to worry about what would come. There is a great saying, it is what it is. I could not stop this train and my freaking out would only bring stress to me and my family. So I took a deep breath and waited.

Last week when the signatures were in place and the “new world” was official, I found out that I was fine. My job was not impacted. I breathed a sigh of relief and immediately begin to wonder what was around the corner. It has been a hectic week. Some of my Planeteers have chosen to move on to other avenues, and some were informed they had to. With any type of business merger, there is always sorrow and joy mixed into your day. I am excited about the changes. The more I hear about what SoftLayer has to offer, the happier I am to be part of day one. The biggest focus was not to impact our customers and everyone has done a fabulous job. So as mail servers are merged and phone systems are integrated it is fun to get to know our new colleagues. We have come together as a team long before the ink was dry and I feel that each tomorrow will bring more and more excitement.

I will always think fondly of The Planet, but I will wear the SoftLayer colors with pride. After all, I have almost 12 more years to go!

-Tracy

November 18, 2010

Tweet Tweet ... Tweet?

If I've timed this submission right, I'll be the first person with a byline on the SoftLayer blog from the new SoftLayer office in downtown Houston. I'm part of an esteemed group of new employees who had The Planet business cards until last week, and I'm excited about the opportunity to subject a new group of readers to my abundant arsenal of esoteric references and feeble attempts at humor. I've joined SoftLayer's marketing team, and I'll be focused on our social media outreach.

Don't worry, this post isn't going to feature any of those "I like long walks on the beach, red wine and dinner by candlelight" introductory tidbits you usually get when you meet a new person on a blog. We're diving right into the good stuff. Today's topic: SoftLayer on Twitter.

If you've been around for a while, you already know a lot about SoftLayer's official Twitter accounts, but because a new crowd of customers might be checking out the InnerLayer for the first time, let's step back and look at each account. By sharing our purpose for each of our accounts, you know what to expect when you click the "follow" button.

@SoftLayer: http://twitter.com/softlayer
This is the big kahuna. The @SoftLayer account is your primary company contact on Twitter. If you have a question, send it to @SoftLayer. If you want information about a ticket, send it to @SoftLayer. If you want a haircut ... you should probably go to a barber. Because @SoftLayer account has the widest reach, you'll learn more about the company and our offerings here, and when you need a response from SoftLayer, this is one of the first places you should look.

@SoftLayer_News: http://twitter.com/softlayer_news
Now that the merger is complete, we have more than 76,000 deployed servers in 10 data centers with more than 1,500 Gbps of network connectivity. Wherever we go, we'll be making waves, and the @SoftLayer_News account will try to keep up with all of our coverage. When we post a press release or announce a product, followers of @SoftLayer_News will hear it first.

@SoftLayer_Sales: http://twitter.com/softlayer_sales
@SoftLayer_Sales is where we teach the art of bonsai tree trimming. Actually, that's a lie ... Unless you can think of a server sales-related question involving bonsai tree trimming, you won't read anything on that topic. It's actually your one-stop shop for SoftLayer server specials and your Twitter contact for anything and everything sales-related.

@SLChat: http://twitter.com/slchat
A new addition to the SoftLayer Twitter team, the @SLChat account is designed to help us communicate directly with users. With more than 24,000 customers, we might have several simultaneous conversations going at a given time. Previously, if you reached out to us on Twitter, we'd reply to messages from one of the accounts above, but as our user base grows and our Twitter follower count increases, we don't want to spam those primary channels with updates that may only be relevant to one customer. By adding @SLChat, we're improving the signal-to-noise ratio on all of our other accounts.

SoftLayer is built around a social media culture. If you know where to look, you'll see our executive management team checking in at the office and retweeting great press coverage we've gotten. Those updates can be fun and interesting in their own right, but they point to an even more important truth: As a company, we want to be engaged with our community so we can learn from it. If you've got something to say, we want to hear it. Post a comment, send a DM, tweet an @ reply, leave a wall post, send a carrier pigeon ... We're listening.

-@khazard

November 17, 2010

SLAyers 'R Us

Mergers are a true test of a company’s mettle – the stress involved with working an integration process with the need to continue to drive the business is almost overwhelming at times (CBNO!). The activity that is going on around me at present is awe inspiring – everybody is pitching in to make this work. It is great to see that we are making it happen – just rewards for all the effort expended.

Mergers also mean change. And I don’t just refer to the fact that we are welcoming new colleagues to the SoftLayer team. I am also referring to the fact that we are changing how we do business. We are bringing together two different organizations and combining the best components of each to drive the most value for our customers.

This inevitably means that customers are going to see some change in how they interact with SoftLayer. For example, the portal is going to morph into something that is much better than what SoftLayer or the Planet were doing separately and new product additions will arrive by combining The Planet offers with SoftLayer’s automated (automagic from now on) implementation and service delivery. We think these things are big wins for the existing and new customers.

A tangible example that I can talk about now (we need time to get portals and new products to market!) revolves around SLAs. The new SLAs will work to the benefit of existing Softlayer and the Planet customers as well as new customers.

The SoftLayer SLA is improved upon by changing the SLA for hardware and hardware upgrades. The old world considered a 4 hour promise before credits started to accumulate; the new world moves that to 2 hours. In addition, service outage credits start accumulating after 30 minutes of down time versus 43 minutes under the old 99.9% uptime guarantee.

The Planet SLA is improved upon by introducing a hardware SLA across the board versus just for customers of a managed services product. In addition to the 100% uptime promise that we are keeping, we have erased the need for a customer to raise a ticket before the clock starts ticking. Once there is a problem, we start the clock running.

At the end of the day, the reason we have SLAs in place is simple. Service credits on next month’s invoice are of less value to you than the fact that the SLA is driving SoftLayer to deliver on a service promise. If it’s broke, we are going to fix it. Think of the service credits as a bonus – the real value is getting your stuff up and running again.

-Steven

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