TL; DR: Summit Hosting, a customer-focused company serving more than 20,000 users worldwide, aims to deliver outstanding performance, security, and customer service to keep customers happy and their businesses growing. The company meets client objectives through a devotion to individualized, around-the-clock support. As Summit Hosting continues to grow, it will maintain a laser-like focus on its overarching mission: to provide IaaS solutions that save customers time, money, and unnecessary headaches.
As counterintuitive as it may seem, one of the best ways to boost employee productivity is to relinquish control. Research has shown that employees are 67% more willing to put in extra effort when they feel empowered on the job, and companies that empower their employees, in turn, experience 50% more loyal customers.
Summit Hosting, a prominent cloud-based hosting company in the U.S. and Canada, takes pride in mastering this concept. In 2016, after a merger between NovelAspect and myownASP, CEO Stan Kania and COO Warren Patterson turned their focus toward creating a winning culture at the newly combined, multimillion-dollar company.
“He and I were well-aligned in what we were trying to achieve, which was an outstanding customer experience as well as a really great place to work,” Warren told us. “So we set out to recreate the company in that image.”
The new plan included unlimited paid time off, the best healthcare they could find, sabbatical leave, customer service bonuses, and the opportunity to work remotely. “We cut out the bureaucracy and allowed everyone to operate as adults, which created this organization of individual, entrepreneurial-type thinkers,” Warren said. “Everyone’s empowered to do their best work.”
The strategy paid dividends, with customer retention nearly doubling. Today, Summit Hosting provides cost-effective cloud solutions to more than 20,000 users globally. The customer-focused company aims to deliver the highest level of performance, security, and customer service to keep customers happy and the business growing. With ongoing product development and 24/7 support, Summit Hosting is on a constant journey to meet clients’ technical objectives so they can focus on what matters most: running their businesses.
Dedicated Servers Ensure Flexibility, Performance, and Reliability
Summit Hosting’s unique customer service strategy comes backed by a robust infrastructure that has evolved as a product of the company’s experience and expertise. Every client enjoys the performance and reliability of their own dedicated server, as there are no shared environments.
“We moved from a multitenant environment, where we would have 10 companies with 30 individual users per server, to the dedicated server model,” Warren said. “The cost to run an operation like that is much higher, but you reap the rewards in service.”
As an IaaS provider, Summit Hosting takes the pressure off businesses that would otherwise have to navigate the process of buying and setting up expensive hardware. “Typically, they’ll go out and spend $20,000 on a server, devote a few months’ work toward setting it up, and about 85% will just sit there going to waste,” Warren said.
Summit Hosting, on the other hand, provides customers with dedicated servers set to the exact specifications they need — and that’s all they’ll have to pay for. In addition, the company can get customers up and running in just a day. “We make it so they don’t have to deal with third-party installations and configurations,” he said.
At the same time, the dedicated model allows clients to “tinker with their servers,” as Warren said. “As an admin, they can get in there, reboot the server, and install some of their own applications,” he said. “That sounds like something customers wouldn’t want, but it’s exactly what they do want. They don’t enjoy submitting a ticket for every little thing like they have to in a shared environment.”
Customized Solutions Keep Customers Happy and Businesses Growing
Summit Hosting helps clients avoid the costly and troublesome — yet sadly common — “break-fix” model. “Customers often have someone install their software, connect it to all their printers, run their service, troubleshoot, and then from there on, every time it breaks, they pay someone to fix it,” he said. “Our model is the complete inverse of that: We don’t get paid if your server isn’t working.”
Warren likened the approach to a car lease. “If the car breaks, it’s the manufacturer’s problem,” he said. “That’s how we are. Clients work with a fixed, predictable payment to avoid spikes and valleys in terms of cost.”
Summit Hosting also tailors custom solutions based on individual business goals and hosting needs. Clients looking to host financial applications take comfort in the fact that Summit Hosting is one of the largest Sage ERP and QuickBooks hosting companies in the U.S. and Canada. In addition, the company will host most third-party applications. “We solve for a lot of individual problems, whether based on optimization, security, or accessibility,” Warren said.
The group uses customer feedback to inform internal development and adapt to the latest trends. “Many of our recent developments were directly tied to listening to our customers,” Warren said.
For example, Summit Hosting introduced two-factor authentication, a method of verifying a user’s identity through trusted devices, based on customer feedback. “This helps protect individual companies from unauthorized access to their server,” he said.
Avoid Downtime with a Redundant Backup System and 24/7 Support
Downtime poses a significant threat to businesses in our increasingly online world. Many sell products and services online, and those that don’t still need a virtual storefront to increase credibility and share information.
But customers can’t place orders or locate your contact information if your site is down. Gartner estimates the average cost of network downtime is $5,600 per minute or $300,000 per hour. Downtime may also negatively impact intangible considerations like reputation and customer loyalty.
Fortunately, with 99.99% uptime, fully redundant servers, and nightly encrypted backups, customers have little to worry about. “Our servers are fully redundant, meaning that if one fails, the other one picks up the workload, ensuring maximum uptime,” Warren said.
Backups are redundant as well. “We currently maintain backups, so each night, backups are encrypted and copied into our storage vault for disaster recovery,” he said.
In the rare case that problems do arise, clients can rely on Summit Hosting’s determined support team, which is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a week and boasts an average response time of fewer than 10 minutes. Warren said he oversees the support system on a daily basis using a detailed dashboard to ensure operations run smoothly. “We see everything that goes on within the company in terms of customer support, response times, resolution times, revenue — all kinds of great stuff,” he said.
Ongoing Product Development From an Actively Growing Company
Never satisfied to rest on its laurels, Summit Hosting is once again in a period of growth. “We’re very much like a startup in that we’re not here to just maintain what we’ve got,” Warren said. “We’re actively acquiring new customers and working with new partners.”
In terms of new product development, the company is eager to release a new login portal that will streamline redundant client processes. Currently, users must log in to Summit Hosting’s dashboard and all of their SaaS platforms individually.
“Our new platform will connect them to everything on one dashboard with a single sign-on,” Warren said. “They’ll be able to sit down, log into our dashboard, and have access to everything else they’ve ever connected to without the need to enter their password. So if they want to jump on Bank of America, they’ll go right to that page and be connected to our financial software.”
This service will come at no additional cost. Much like the company’s employee empowerment strategy, the idea is to serve customers so well that they’ll feel it’s only natural to stick around.