Michael Kinnear, IT Manager, on his experience with 4D:
Was 4D your first supplier of colocation and connectivity services?
We had a hosted solution for our DR environment but we were looking for a new DR site with an alternative supplier when we were recommended to 4D. The approach of bespoke, tailored solutions worked well for us. Our requirement for this particular element of our systems was small, so getting a supplier who could give us a competitive quote for what we needed was harder than you may think.
In terms of our connectivity, it was never about changing suppliers but adding more suppliers into the mix to allow us to have more resiliency within our connectivity solution so we could send data securely and reliably. The idea of having a colocation and connectivity provider within one organization so that you only have to call one person is novel, it saves time and effort, allowing me to focus on the things I need to. This particular offering seemed unique.
Why do you need these additional services?
Unlike some customers who may come to you – we were happy with our primary location, our suppliers offer a good service. What we wanted was a DR site, and connectivity which worked in addition to our current set up to give us a “just in case” scenario so that we never had to worry if something went wrong.
In IT these days you always need to have a back-up plan and a reliable DR solution.
How does 4D compare with other providers and what advice would you give to someone looking at colocation or connectivity services?
If you truly want both colocation and connectivity as part of an IT solution it is best to start to look for providers that can give you both. Getting two providers to marry up and work together seamlessly is hard and it’s the customer who ends up suffering.
Thinking that two separate providers will be cheaper than putting both services with one is also not necessarily true. Not only are 4D competitive with their prices, the effort saved by having one provider to contact and question is so much easier. It saves me time – which in a busy environment is definitely worthwhile.
In terms of connectivity looking at lots of different providers is good - almost essential - to guarantee redundancy in your network.
What was the installation experience like?
We could have gone through one of two routes, either to have set up the servers in our office or to have installed them from scratch while they were in the data centre. We eventually chose to set the servers up in our office and then move them across to the data centre. We had a lot of data to transfer, so for us that seemed the simplest option.
When we were ready we just put the servers in the car, installed them in the rack and switched the power on. Within 2 hours the data was replicating, we continued to test the servers for the next three weeks to ensure the hardware was stable.
I can’t fault the process, it was easy and hassle free. I doubt if other providers could offer that service.
Are there any services we’ve provided that went above what you expected?
There were certain aspects of the service which we were surprised with, we could not believe that we had 15 minutes of remote hands each day. This is something, combined with the quality of your support staff that we felt was of real value to us. We’ve used it 2 or 3 times already and it’s been great.
How is the on-going service?
It works and does what it says on the tin! We are happy.
What is your account manager like?
Our account manager has been great. He is always open and will find time for you, not just pre-sales but post-sales too. He keeps us up to date and informed, he even negotiated on our behalf to sort some temporary services while we were waiting for our connectivity solution to be installed. This saved us money and allowed us to finish the colocation install on-time and on-budget, which is so important.
Why do you stay with 4D?
Well obviously we have a contract! But on a more serious note there isn’t a reason to move – we have improved services, improved DR and less hassle.
Pemberton Greenish is a central London law firm which specialises in Real Estate, Private Wealth and Corporate Clients. Founded in 1775, the business has operated in a continuing partnership ever since. While the name has changed several times over the last two hundred years, the firm has always practiced in central London. Their continued success is built on long term relationships, using small and experienced teams to deliver a high quality and personal service.