Editor’s note: This is part two of a five-part series profiling a handful of INAP’s talented NOC employees who are responsible for delivering “Better Engineered Support”.  At the bottom of the profile, find links to explore more interviews.

Name: Jeffry Bass

Jeff Bass headshotTitle: NOC Manager

When did you start at INAP? November 3rd, 2008.  I remember the date because I was excited to start.  I was there to apply for a tier 1 support position which admittedly, I wasn’t overly qualified for.  But I really liked the company and really wanted to work there.  I think that came across in my interview.  So I didn’t get the tier one position, but they did give me a shot at an entry level position to prove myself. 

Most rewarding customer story: There was a customer who had a poor experience with downtime with another provider when they were conducting maintenance.  They were very sensitive to it and wanted to know what we would do when we had to do a similar maintenance procedure.  We had a plan in place which involved a tech on-site at the cage and a member of our team live updating everyone about what stage we were in and what was next. The maintenance and updates went fine, and afterwards the customer took the time to tell me how impressed he was that we had a plan and were proactive about making sure they were up. That meant a lot to me personally as it was my plan.

Where do you live? Tacoma, WA

Where did you grow up? Grew up and went to school in Tacoma, WA

Any hobbies? Video gaming, martial arts, used to be big into comics. 

Favorite Movie? Clerks

Favorite Musical Artist? The Black Keys

What part of NOC support is challenging? The hours can be challenging, but you have to be flexible.  Our customers don’t care what time it is if their servers are down. You have to be able to work any shift and be flexible for the customer.  It’s a culture here. Just last Friday I had two team members proactively volunteer to stay late to help cover for someone who was sick.  It’s a cultural thing I think.

Who contributed to your success?  Honestly, I have to start with myself. I don’t want to sound egotistical but I put in the hard work and hours to succeed. Norman Simms made the call to bring me in and nurtured my development.  After that, I’d have to say Mike Palladino who believed in me and provided me with an opportunity for more responsibility and has supported me 100% and provides great feedback.  The bar is set very, very high by all of those guys but that’s a good thing.

What other job would you like to do at INAP? I like working with our customers, so maybe I’d also like to try getting into the data center side of the house, facilities management working with the customers on-site.

Married?  Yes, to my wife Megan.

Kids? Yes, two—Connor my boy is eight and Elly my daughter is 13.

Pets? Dog named Frankie and a cat named Kitty.

Did you seriously name your cat “Kitty”? I know…

Outside of INAP, what is important to you? My top priority is my family.  I try to be a good father, a good husband and commit time and energy to that. I’m very thankful that we are a very, very close and happy family. I spend time investing in doing things and keeping active.  You won’t find me parked in front of the TV too often.

What do you wish people knew about INAP? INAP is a great company to work for.  They saw my desire and drive and rewarded me.  I started as a CCA [Customer Care Associate], then Tier 1 support, then Tier 1 Lead and now as a Manager of the NOC. I don’t know many places that allow you to do this.  This is your career if you want it.  This company has been very supportive of me and I appreciate that.

If you were to speak with someone considering Colo with INAP, why do you think they should go with us? The support team across the board is fantastic.  Our guys on site are great too.  You have to talk to the NOC to get the techs out, but both are dependent upon each other.  Stuff happens, but we do drills whenever there are events that happen.

That’s a big difference than other places.

We do drills as if a specific part of the data center goes down, a chiller here or a power feed there—that sort of thing. We do this from the NOC to the field and make sure everyone knows what to do if that event ever happens.  If we had to wait until something actually happened to train people, folks could be on staff for a year or two before they came across something and wouldn’t be prepared. Many companies have procedures, but we actually test them and try them.  When things happen we need to be fluid.  The DC Ops guys put SO much effort into make sure their ship is run tightly and everyone genuinely cares and that’s contagious.  We care and they care.  High expectations with both of the teams. 

We don’t send out form emails to our customers.  Our time to own [time which an INAP NOC member has claimed an inbound query and has started working on the solution] was five minutes last month and I think we might be even better this month. When we get the emails we investigate and personally respond to our customers. Everyone has specific challenges and situations. We think our customers deserve a personal response to their communications, not just an acknowledgement that we’re working on it.

 

Want to explore other “Our NOC Rocks!” interviews?

Click a name below to learn more.

Mike Palladino (part one)     –     Jeffry Bass (part two)     –     Lisa McClellan (part three)     –     Terryn Moser (part four)     –     Brian Jones (part five)