The Full Circle
Technical support was always part of Kerio’s offering. Even in the old days of WinRoute Pro, support was available over the phone and email to pretty much anybody who asked. All was very simple back then – the product, the support questions and the answers. The entire support operation was three of us in one office.
As we added a new product to the portfolio and introduced new licensing, support had to adapt. The product got more sophisticated, the questions more complex and support work richer. Kerio opened offices in the US and UK and started providing support locally. Still, working in support was simple – each to their own. Local engineers, local customers, local issues.
When we made the decision to start developing two new products, it was obvious that support also had to evolve. With five offices around the world and a global team of 15 engineers, we knew that providing support locally was no longer sustainable. We were facing the challenges of distributing our forces equally, keeping the same standard across all offices and also sharing the experience among all our engineers. It would happen so often that an engineer was trying to crack a problematic case not knowing that one of their colleagues had already solved the very same issue for a different customer in a different part of the world.
Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the best. We evolved by going back to the basics and let go of providing local support. Instead, we created one global distributed team of engineers, who contribute to just one support queue. It was rough at first, as each local team had their own habits and suddenly it wasn’t just a bunch of “mates” in one room. But it definitely solved our problems with efficiency, keeping standards and sharing experience.
The change also had a very sweet aftertaste, though. We only needed one thing to happen to grant the wish of so many customers and partners - to provide support after business hours. And that one thing happened. With the opening of Kerio’s Sydney office, the last piece of the chain was placed and the time-circle closed. The combined opening times of our offices now span across full 24 hours on workdays. And as all our support staff speak English, it is simple to allow call routing between our offices for anyone who needs help migrating their server to new hardware in the middle of the night.
We put Kerio Operator under a stress-test and deployed a sophisticated setup of several VoIP servers in individual offices that connect support calls to our engineers, wherever they are. It’s fully automatic and does not cost our customers extra.
I remember from my early days at Kerio being woken up by the ring on my mobile at 3 am with a guy called Kevin on the other end begging for help. That call would haunt me for many years after that as I tried to figure out how to best serve customers needing our help outside business hours. I am proud that we are now able to help all Kevins worldwide and not leave them stranded when they have a problem. Kerio Technical Support has evolved together with the rest of the company and our products. The circle is closed. For now.