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Notifications when servers are migrated


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#1 TruBD

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 10:42 AM

It would be very useful if notifications are sent out to clients who are on specific servers that are being migrated to a different server.

My website went down because we were on a server that was unstable and moved to a new one with a different IP. And I received no email confirmation that this was occurring before hand. I checked my SPAM, I logged into my account to check under "My Emails" and no information regarding the change was sent. Situations like this usually the company will send out numerous emails leading up to the day of the change.

This is pretty unacceptable, not sure if I was somehow excluded from an email blast, but please incorporate this if you do. As clients, we shouldn't need to be proactive on the forum to know when a change is being made.

Thanks.

Edited by TruBD, 11 August 2011 - 10:43 AM.

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#2 Shamisen

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 11:44 AM

I'm with you. I have 2 accounts here and haven't seen a notice... I just found the thread about the move but had I not stumbled upon it I might have been in the same boat... of course my servers are TBD so I have no idea ATM what the new IP's will be...

Hopefully emails got ate by the electronic dog?
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#3 Nikita

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 12:14 PM

According to the thread the server I' on is still TBD, but my site has been down for 2 days? :blink: really irritating...
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#4 -ASO- Dan

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 02:16 PM

I posted a response regarding this issue in another thread, however will bring it here as well:

An announcement of the upcoming migrations were posted in our forums here: http://forums.asmall...g-1st-aug-23rd/

When announcements are posted here they also post notifications to our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Additionally these forums are available with RSS feeds and if you subscribe to the forums, you can receive email alerts when a new thread is posted.

As you are already a member of the forums you can follow the below process to subscribe.

  • Visit the forum you wish to subscribe to
  • In the upper right corner of the forum click the "Watch Forum" button.
Once you have clicked the button it will present you with several options to receive alerts when a new announcement is made in that particular forum.


According to the thread the server I' on is still TBD, but my site has been down for 2 days? :blink: really irritating...


Please let us know your support ticket ID so that a support tech can look into your issue as soon as possible. If your account is on a server that has yet to be moved then your issue is unrelated to the recent migrations.
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#5 Nikita

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 02:33 PM

Im on Colleen, I had a support ticket yestarday explaining that there was a problem, As i was panicking i thought i broke something :P

EDIT: I just read the link you posted it says colleen is being changed today.. I thought it was monday was still on TBD on a previous post i read.. My site works on smartphone for me and other members but not on the computer.. strange.

Edited by Nikita, 11 August 2011 - 02:46 PM.

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#6 TruBD

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 10:06 PM

I posted a response regarding this issue in another thread, however will bring it here as well:

An announcement of the upcoming migrations were posted in our forums here: http://forums.asmall...g-1st-aug-23rd/

When announcements are posted here they also post notifications to our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Additionally these forums are available with RSS feeds and if you subscribe to the forums, you can receive email alerts when a new thread is posted.

As you are already a member of the forums you can follow the below process to subscribe.

  • Visit the forum you wish to subscribe to
  • In the upper right corner of the forum click the "Watch Forum" button.
Once you have clicked the button it will present you with several options to receive alerts when a new announcement is made in that particular forum.



According to the thread the server I' on is still TBD, but my site has been down for 2 days? :blink: really irritating...


Please let us know your support ticket ID so that a support tech can look into your issue as soon as possible. If your account is on a server that has yet to be moved then your issue is unrelated to the recent migrations.


I don't want to sound rude or anything, but do you seriously think that you need to have your clients go through all these steps to figure out that their server is moving?
I am only a member because I joined ASO back when Tim (i think that was his name) started this company and was very active on neowin.net.

But this is not the way you should have your clients read alerts. I barely ever come to the forums ( you can check the history on this account ).

I still think you guys need to alert your members via email. ASO needs to be proactive in telling their clients a change is occurring, I shouldn't need to do that, I am paying you guys for a service, not the other way around.

I have an account with a different company as well, I don't mean to compare, but they proactively tell me when something is going to change 2 weeks prior to, and continuously do so in a timely manner all the way up until the change is about to occur. That is how things should work.
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#7 35209

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 05:04 PM


I posted a response regarding this issue in another thread, however will bring it here as well:

An announcement of the upcoming migrations were posted in our forums here: http://forums.asmall...g-1st-aug-23rd/

When announcements are posted here they also post notifications to our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Additionally these forums are available with RSS feeds and if you subscribe to the forums, you can receive email alerts when a new thread is posted.

As you are already a member of the forums you can follow the below process to subscribe.

  • Visit the forum you wish to subscribe to
  • In the upper right corner of the forum click the "Watch Forum" button.
Once you have clicked the button it will present you with several options to receive alerts when a new announcement is made in that particular forum.



According to the thread the server I' on is still TBD, but my site has been down for 2 days? :blink: really irritating...


Please let us know your support ticket ID so that a support tech can look into your issue as soon as possible. If your account is on a server that has yet to be moved then your issue is unrelated to the recent migrations.


I don't want to sound rude or anything, but do you seriously think that you need to have your clients go through all these steps to figure out that their server is moving?
I am only a member because I joined ASO back when Tim (i think that was his name) started this company and was very active on neowin.net.

But this is not the way you should have your clients read alerts. I barely ever come to the forums ( you can check the history on this account ).

I still think you guys need to alert your members via email. ASO needs to be proactive in telling their clients a change is occurring, I shouldn't need to do that, I am paying you guys for a service, not the other way around.

I have an account with a different company as well, I don't mean to compare, but they proactively tell me when something is going to change 2 weeks prior to, and continuously do so in a timely manner all the way up until the change is about to occur. That is how things should work.


I would have to agree with the comments above. An ASO Proactive set of emails should have gone out in advance of server moves to new hardware/and IP Address. This was a Major change of service and absolutley needed to be Better communicated to the end users. To expect every user to use Twitter or read the Forums on a daily basis is Not the way to do business for a Major change to the end user's environment. There should have been emails with information about the changes, timeframes and Links to Forums for updates/issues out standing and how to get support if issues are encountered. I know ASO can do this, they have sent out emails before for other Major changes they were deploying. With Major changes it should Absolutely be the Policy to Push commuincations out to the end users and not expect the end user to Pull that type of information in via Twitter.

It took over a day to realzie what had happed as upates to web sites were not occuring as expected, unable to log into CPanel because.... Well the IP and URL changed - and when log in ticket to support and they give you the run around. I am not totally confident that the new servers are any better, any attempt to FTP files is Slow. And until I placed a support ticket - FTP was Non functional to the new server.

Major changes should NOT be communicated via social media as the only source of getting the info out there.

http://forums.asmall...g-1st-aug-23rd/

So, was this change Seemless - No!
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#8 -ASO- Dan

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 11:44 AM

Greetings,

Im on Colleen, I had a support ticket yestarday explaining that there was a problem, As i was panicking i thought i broke something :P

EDIT: I just read the link you posted it says colleen is being changed today.. I thought it was monday was still on TBD on a previous post i read.. My site works on smartphone for me and other members but not on the computer.. strange.


The server Colleen was moved to be migrated on Thursday due to the multiple hardware issues it was experiencing earlier in the week. We felt it was best to move the accounts off of the failing hardware right away rather than hoping nothing bad would happen over the weekend.

I would have to agree with the comments above. An ASO Proactive set of emails should have gone out in advance of server moves to new hardware/and IP Address. This was a Major change of service and absolutley needed to be Better communicated to the end users. To expect every user to use Twitter or read the Forums on a daily basis is Not the way to do business for a Major change to the end user's environment. There should have been emails with information about the changes, timeframes and Links to Forums for updates/issues out standing and how to get support if issues are encountered. I know ASO can do this, they have sent out emails before for other Major changes they were deploying. With Major changes it should Absolutely be the Policy to Push commuincations out to the end users and not expect the end user to Pull that type of information in via Twitter.

It took over a day to realzie what had happed as upates to web sites were not occuring as expected, unable to log into CPanel because.... Well the IP and URL changed - and when log in ticket to support and they give you the run around. I am not totally confident that the new servers are any better, any attempt to FTP files is Slow. And until I placed a support ticket - FTP was Non functional to the new server.

Major changes should NOT be communicated via social media as the only source of getting the info out there.

http://forums.asmall...g-1st-aug-23rd/

So, was this change Seemless - No!


Unfortunately without knowing the cause of your problem I am unable to comment on why your particular migration was not seamless, however as you mention the IP had changed I assume you were utilizing an outside DNS service for your domains. All domains that utilize ASO's DNS service would have seen only about an hour of downtime maximum, however if customers are utilizing an outside DNS service the IP address would need to be updated with that other company, which unfortunately isn't something ASO is able to do ourselves.

There have been many times in which the staff here either working for ASO or other companies have used the notification method of sending emails out to customers. However past experience has proven that sending 20,000 emails is not a good idea. I do understand your point of view in which you want to also receive an email regarding the changes however notifying users via these methods cause a large amount of new problems over what problems it does solve, and actually increases the wait time in which real issues are resolved.

If you are still encountering issues or have any questions, feel free to contact our technical staff for further assistance, or reply to this thread (however replies may be delayed in the forum).
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Dan M.
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#9 4173

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 02:37 PM

However past experience has proven that sending 20,000 emails is not a good idea.

Sending 20k emails at once might not be a good idea, but breaking the 20k into smaller packages and sending them out at varying intervals should not pose any problems. I'm curious how many of those 20k users actually prefer NOT to be notified via email. How about making a poll? :)
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#10 Nepherim

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 02:49 PM

As you are already a member of the forums you can follow the below process to subscribe.

Once you have clicked the button it will present you with several options to receive alerts when a new announcement is made in that particular forum.

Whilst I tend to agree that sending out an email is the way I'd prefer to be notified, I do think that Dan's proposal of subscribing to the forum is a very close second, for those who already visit the forums.

A poll is only going to work for those of us already on the forum, and for those who care... which is likely to be biased in one direction of the other.
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#11 Oblivion.

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 06:42 PM

Chiming in... not to be awkward, but this has been an issue for me in the past. (To clarify - Nameserver IP's have changed twice without me getting any notification)

'Back in the day' we were sent useful information, through the medium that most people actually check daily, their emails.

20k emails are an issue for you? Come on you lot are supposed to know the ins and outs of servers, 20k isn't that big a number - sending out invoices via email has never been an issue...

Edited by Oblivion., 14 August 2011 - 06:45 PM.

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#12 -ASO- Frank

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 08:29 PM

20k emails are an issue for you? Come on you lot are supposed to know the ins and outs of servers, 20k isn't that big a number - sending out invoices via email has never been an issue...


What Dan is speaking of is more than just the logistics of sending out 20K emails, he is speaking of the ramifications of doing this on a more general level.
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#13 TruBD

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 10:53 PM

The server Colleen was moved to be migrated on Thursday due to the multiple hardware issues it was experiencing earlier in the week. We felt it was best to move the accounts off of the failing hardware right away rather than hoping nothing bad would happen over the weekend.


Unfortunately without knowing the cause of your problem I am unable to comment on why your particular migration was not seamless, however as you mention the IP had changed I assume you were utilizing an outside DNS service for your domains. All domains that utilize ASO's DNS service would have seen only about an hour of downtime maximum, however if customers are utilizing an outside DNS service the IP address would need to be updated with that other company, which unfortunately isn't something ASO is able to do ourselves.

There have been many times in which the staff here either working for ASO or other companies have used the notification method of sending emails out to customers. However past experience has proven that sending 20,000 emails is not a good idea. I do understand your point of view in which you want to also receive an email regarding the changes however notifying users via these methods cause a large amount of new problems over what problems it does solve, and actually increases the wait time in which real issues are resolved.

If you are still encountering issues or have any questions, feel free to contact our technical staff for further assistance, or reply to this thread (however replies may be delayed in the forum).


Sending out 20,000 emails should be a piece of cake, come on please don't even use that as an excuse. My company sends out mail blasts of half a million weekly...You guys should invest in email service from companies like Lyris or EmailVision, Mailchimp, etc.

As for new problems, you are telling me that you rather have angry clients with inactive websites, rather then notifying them? This is by far the worse type of server administration I have ever seen. First, the server I was on was having issues, we weren't even notified of that (1st mistake), then you guys went ahead and opened up a time bracket to change the server without notification (2nd mistake). What kind of service are you guys running? What if your clients had scheduled tasks in place for the period of downtime, they wouldn't have known and could have ran into big issues. I used to think these types of steps where common knowledge in hosting environments, but I guess I was wrong. This is real bad service.

Chiming in... not to be awkward, but this has been an issue for me in the past. (To clarify - Nameserver IP's have changed twice without me getting any notification)

'Back in the day' we were sent useful information, through the medium that most people actually check daily, their emails.

20k emails are an issue for you? Come on you lot are supposed to know the ins and outs of servers, 20k isn't that big a number - sending out invoices via email has never been an issue...


I agree, you guys can send thousands of invoices per month, but you cant send out an email notification...

What Dan is speaking of is more than just the logistics of sending out 20K emails, he is speaking of the ramifications of doing this on a more general level.


What ramifications? Please list them so that I have a better understanding of why you guys believe not notifying us was a better option for ASO.
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#14 -ASO- Dan

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 11:24 AM

What ramifications? Please list them so that I have a better understanding of why you guys believe not notifying us was a better option for ASO.


To start off, assume that only 25% of the customers we contact reply back asking questions. This results in a sudden influx of around 5,000 new tickets. This is a great increase in workload and prevents our staff from resolving technical issues for other customers in a timely manner.

Additionally past experience has proven that once a service affecting email is sent out, any and all issues the customer has (even before the migration has occurred) is immediately blamed on the announcement message, and as such again increases the workload.

And a third item from experience shows that the vast majority of customers who receive the emails never actually read or take into account what is written in the message. I've seen it many times in the past where even after several sets of emails were sent out, customers still would contact the company wondering what was going on.

The migration process is designed to be as smooth as possible in which a large percentage of customers will only experience around an hour of downtime. If customers are utilizing outside services for their DNS which is outside of our control, then naturally this would require a manual update by the customer to update the IP address.

The problem isn't with not being capable of sending messages to the affected customers, but rather the ramifications of sending such messages actually outweighs the positives of doing so. I realize that it may not make sense to you, however I can assure you that past experience has proven this to be true, and many of our staff have been involved in major changes for ASO and other companies, thus this entire process is not new to us. No matter how much planning goes into something and how many announcements you make, there will always be customers who encounter problems. It is an unfortunate side effect of any change for any company.

At this time any problems with the migrations have been limited to less than 1% of our user base and so far this process has proven to be a success. I do realize that some customers have had issues with the migration, as is unavoidable, however our team is working diligently to resolve these issues as soon as they arise.

If you do encounter any problems with your account please feel free to contact our 24x7 technical department.
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#15 IBBoard

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 02:06 PM

Maybe it needs to be put in the "welcome" email? Just a little note saying "here are the name servers, but if you use external name servers then please subscribe to [X, Y or Z] to get any notifications affecting servers"? It'd only be useful for new customers, but it'd catch the people who care and stop the Techs getting flooded with the "I don't know what's happening, therefore it must be the server move" tickets.
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#16 -ASO- Frank

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 05:28 PM

Maybe it needs to be put in the "welcome" email? Just a little note saying "here are the name servers, but if you use external name servers then please subscribe to [X, Y or Z] to get any notifications affecting servers"? It'd only be useful for new customers, but it'd catch the people who care and stop the Techs getting flooded with the "I don't know what's happening, therefore it must be the server move" tickets.


We actually discussed this a bit in a recent meeting. It is something we're looking into. Ideally what I'd like to see is not only have the information in the welcome email, but also a link in the signature of every support reply as well.
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#17 TruBD

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 04:12 PM


What ramifications? Please list them so that I have a better understanding of why you guys believe not notifying us was a better option for ASO.


To start off, assume that only 25% of the customers we contact reply back asking questions. This results in a sudden influx of around 5,000 new tickets. This is a great increase in workload and prevents our staff from resolving technical issues for other customers in a timely manner.

Additionally past experience has proven that once a service affecting email is sent out, any and all issues the customer has (even before the migration has occurred) is immediately blamed on the announcement message, and as such again increases the workload.

And a third item from experience shows that the vast majority of customers who receive the emails never actually read or take into account what is written in the message. I've seen it many times in the past where even after several sets of emails were sent out, customers still would contact the company wondering what was going on.

The migration process is designed to be as smooth as possible in which a large percentage of customers will only experience around an hour of downtime. If customers are utilizing outside services for their DNS which is outside of our control, then naturally this would require a manual update by the customer to update the IP address.

The problem isn't with not being capable of sending messages to the affected customers, but rather the ramifications of sending such messages actually outweighs the positives of doing so. I realize that it may not make sense to you, however I can assure you that past experience has proven this to be true, and many of our staff have been involved in major changes for ASO and other companies, thus this entire process is not new to us. No matter how much planning goes into something and how many announcements you make, there will always be customers who encounter problems. It is an unfortunate side effect of any change for any company.

At this time any problems with the migrations have been limited to less than 1% of our user base and so far this process has proven to be a success. I do realize that some customers have had issues with the migration, as is unavoidable, however our team is working diligently to resolve these issues as soon as they arise.

If you do encounter any problems with your account please feel free to contact our 24x7 technical department.


Thanks for the info, good to know that in ASO hosting methodology, 1% of their clients are not considered important.
I will be taking my business elsewhere once once my billing cycle is over.
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#18 -ASO- Jen

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 04:28 PM

Thanks for the info, good to know that in ASO hosting methodology, 1% of their clients are not considered important.
I will be taking my business elsewhere once once my billing cycle is over.


That's not what Dan was saying at all. :(

There's a number of reasons that things are done the way they are. The first reason is that not every method of alerting people will work for everyone - while many like email, some don't. Some folks are so against hearing anything from their hosting, they filter our emails. By putting it out there publicly, and via RSS, people can get the information any way that they want, in the method they want, and it is entirely transparent - we don't have to worry about one solution not working for everyone since it's a flexible solution that anyone can tailor to what they prefer.

Another is that those 1% are exceedingly important to us. So important that we want to hear from them, immediately, and get to that ticket absolutely as fast as possible. Mass emails, even in chunks, will contain customer response emails asking if this applies to them, contain emails upset that we emailed them, contain responses that it be explained again. We have to get through all of those to get to the people that need help right now.

The forum is more effective and efficient because we can answer once, and folks can read that answer, and groups of customers can even discuss that answer to the benefit of everyone else - while we're always happy to answer any questions you have one on one, for especially high volume situations like server migrations, we try and be as efficient with the information, notices, and use of our admins time as possible, and try to prioritize people that need help.

All of our customers are considered important - it's precisely why we try to insure that the communication is out in the open, available to anyone, and that you can have it sent to find and alert you in whatever *your* way is your preference.

We know we can't make everybody happy, but we do try really hard to do so.
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Posted 16 August 2011 - 06:04 PM


Thanks for the info, good to know that in ASO hosting methodology, 1% of their clients are not considered important.
I will be taking my business elsewhere once once my billing cycle is over.


That's not what Dan was saying at all. :(

There's a number of reasons that things are done the way they are. The first reason is that not every method of alerting people will work for everyone - while many like email, some don't. Some folks are so against hearing anything from their hosting, they filter our emails. By putting it out there publicly, and via RSS, people can get the information any way that they want, in the method they want, and it is entirely transparent - we don't have to worry about one solution not working for everyone since it's a flexible solution that anyone can tailor to what they prefer.

Another is that those 1% are exceedingly important to us. So important that we want to hear from them, immediately, and get to that ticket absolutely as fast as possible. Mass emails, even in chunks, will contain customer response emails asking if this applies to them, contain emails upset that we emailed them, contain responses that it be explained again. We have to get through all of those to get to the people that need help right now.

The forum is more effective and efficient because we can answer once, and folks can read that answer, and groups of customers can even discuss that answer to the benefit of everyone else - while we're always happy to answer any questions you have one on one, for especially high volume situations like server migrations, we try and be as efficient with the information, notices, and use of our admins time as possible, and try to prioritize people that need help.

All of our customers are considered important - it's precisely why we try to insure that the communication is out in the open, available to anyone, and that you can have it sent to find and alert you in whatever *your* way is your preference.

We know we can't make everybody happy, but we do try really hard to do so.


I can assure you the 1% of the clients that did not get the email announcement of the server migration, are not happy. Service level expectations were not met. (That does not represent that service tickets were not responded to, Expectations were not met.) The Forum is still somewhat vague in what the end user needs to be prepared in advance, and post migration. There is only a notation of Server XYZ moving on 08-XX-11 date. ASO's Clients (that is us) were impacted because we were Un-informed in advance, then to add fuel to the fire, it is implied it is our fault that we were uninformed. So, When I can't log into CPanel, FTP is not working as expected, Cron Jobs are failing, filling up log files & Cron sending me email error notifications, Fist thing I thought about is we've been hacked - then Support tickets go in and they lead us down the wrong path as the servers have Changed. Now frustrated, we found out, Oh, yea the servers were migrated.

I am not one to suggest how you solve this issue, but, so far I have not seen a Real plan that sets out to meet the Client’s needs. So, here are a few suggestions:
#1) ASO has the responsibility and do-diligance to communicate to their clients regarding Major changes - that includes email, which may include a link to a forum with Status updated. To communicate to clients ASO needs to use ALL avenues and if someone Opted out of an email that is their choice.
#2) ASO does know who is on each server - Right? that can generate a smaller list to have email sent to. Emails in all cases should be targeted to the Server(s) upcoming migration. Not the total mass of ASO clients that does not care - This seems to be the failure point. Fix this, and things may be better.
#3) Pilot a Server Migration and see how the process of the migration goes, and see how the Client response was. - change process as needed based on Client Experience.
#4) Start out slower to avoid a higher the norm number of support call, and I have no doubt that you are seeing trend on the types of Support issues - very valuable for next phase of Post Pilot migration. Communication to the clients requires Lead Times - Build that into your plan. The Speed (and lack of info in the ticket) by which ASO closes tickets (with no validation) tells me that you are over capacity on Support tickets.
#4B) Slow the number of migrations down (per day/week) so that ASO Support don't become overwhelmed with call volume at one time.
#5) Options / Ideas: use your Billing email to Notify clients of pending Major Changes.
#6) Add an Opt out to having emails sent regarding Major Changes - Setup in Profile as a Check box.
#7) And Most important Better information on what the Major change is, what is the potential impact, what I need to do to be prepared in advance, and post migration.

More often now, I see less and less info about why a server had an outage despite specifically asking for Cause of the outage. Or as I mention above information in the forum about the migration change.
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#20 -ASO- Jen

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 11:37 AM

I appreciate your perspective, and I understand where you are coming from.

We did communicate the issues quite far in advance, and in most cases there were no specific issues for people to be aware of other than those that hosted their own DNS and who may need to re-point their IP addresses, which was mentioned as far as what people would need to do. That's why there are so very few issues in the forum - thousands of sites have been moved already, and very few had issues.

We are looking at putting the hosting status feed for the forum on FeedBurner, which would allow us to hook it up to email delivery and place a button within the customer area and in other places around the site, which will make an email feed much easier for people to sign up for vs. having to set it up themselves.

One of the issues in your perspective, though, is that it's your perspective - and not that it isn't valid, but just that it honestly isn't universal. I wish it was! If everyone wanted things the same way, this would be much easier. :)

You have a very specific way that you think you should have been contacted, and while I understand that for you, you didn't set up an email feed and we didn't email and so it was disappointing, I have heard from many other customers that have asked for different specifics and demanded that we do things a different way. The crux of the problem with alerts is that no one way works for all people, and attempting to force one way on people can aggravate the others that disagree with it, or it doesn't get to who it needs to get to - for example, the company accountant gets the billing email but the developer needs the tech alerts..

Having said that, we are exploring ways to alert people to how to sign up for the alerts in a manner they want to get them, make it easier for them to be aware of the options they have to get them, as well as looking at services that will allow us to feed the alerts into them so people will have a minimum of time/issues signing up.
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Jen Lepp
Director of Customer Service
A Small Orange LLC
http://www.asmallorange.com




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