Premier Support from SentryOne
SentryOne technical support has been something special since inception. Most support cases are straightforward with a quick turnaround. The other 20% of support cases require more attention. It is refreshing to know you're working with people who have been where you are, speak your language, and want nothing more than to see you succeed. Read these TrustRadius reviews to get a feel for what it's like to be supported by our team. As our business has scaled over the years, our technical support operations have also scaled, and we are excited to now offer a premium service tier.
What Is Premier Support?
SentryOne Premier Support provides additional benefits to customers who need a close relationship with our Customer Success organization and/or require more predictable response times and 24x7 access to technical support. Details on services included with our Standard and Premier Support offerings are available here.
Why Do I Need Premier Support?
I'll start by saying that you might not need Premier Support. "But, Jason, aren't you trying to sell us on Premier Support?" Without a doubt, I would love for everyone to subscribe to Premier Support. At the same time, our mission is to improve quality of life for data professionals and their customers. Working to sell you something you don't need is not improving your quality of life, so let's take a closer look at who really needs Premier Support.
If you answer "yes" to any of the following questions, you should consider talking to your customer success manager or sales executive at SentryOne about Premier Support:
- Do corporate policies govern that your vendors provide 24x7 technical support for critical problems?
- Do you believe your environment is more challenging than most and that you'll need priority case routing with more live interaction?
- Do you want a vendor relationship with more frequent check ins and assessments?
- Do you often have the need for consultative assistance, but the need is not large enough in scope to engage in a Professional Services contract?
- Do you expect rapid and/or extensive growth of your team or environment in the future?
These questions should help you think beyond your initial SentryOne deployment and well into the future in terms of support needs. If you're already a customer and are just now discovering you need Premier Support, don't worry. Your customer success manager will make upgrading your support agreement easy.
What Happens If I'm Not on Premier Support?
With the introduction of Premier Support, there are now two support tier options:
All SentryOne subscriptions or purchases require a support contract. Subscription licenses include support in the subscription fees and purchases have it as a separate line item on quotes. This means that if you are not on Premier Support, then you are on Standard Support.
Premier Support provides the same type of service our customers are used to with the following differences:
- Onboarding and adoption assistance
- Premier Support subscribers will be provided with direct setup and deployment assistance that continues beyond deployment to ensure your team is deriving value from SQL Sentry.
- Premier Support delivers 24x7 critical incident response (whereas Standard Support covers business hours for North America and EMEA).
- This is provided through a special "break-glass" email channel and monitored by three levels of escalation. If you have to use this channel, you will have the attention of the engineers on call as well as the entire Customer Success leadership chain.
- APAC customers are provided exceptional support by our APAC provider Theta. Learn more about that relationship here. Because of this fantastic partnership, APAC customers receive Standard Support during APAC business hours rather than NA/EMEA business hours.
- Dedicated Customer Success Manager and Success Engineer
- Premier Support subscribers build strong personal relationships with the SentryOne team by working with the same people each time. You can trust all of our representatives to help you out, but there is something special about working with someone who knows your history and your environment. It can also shortcut a lot of the "standard" questions that result from working with an engineer you haven't worked with before.
- On Standard Support, requests for custom development and configuration result in self-help guides or a referral to Professional Services, depending on the scope of the request. With Premier Support, you'll be able to work through smaller projects with your Customer Success Engineer without accruing additional fees.
- Professional Services is the pinnacle of service at SentryOne. Our consultants are not only technically proficient, but they understand your business needs and are prepared to consult with your executives and C-levels. This service comes at an appropriate project-based or hourly premium. It is not cost efficient for customers to use Professional Services in the same manner they would use Premier Support, but Premier Support customers will be afforded more consideration in this area.
- Joint Technical Reviews (JTRs)
- JTRs are conducted regularly by SentryOne success managers and success engineers. They review the state of SentryOne in your environment and provide a preview of upcoming product additions and changes. These JTRs frequently result in time-saving assistance from success engineers on smaller projects and opportunities to help guide our product roadmaps. Premier Support subscribers enjoy annual JTRs in addition to their regular customer success health checks.
Example Support Scenarios
The list above outlines several "hard" differences between the Standard and Premier support tiers. It is a little more difficult to relay the "soft" differences between the two support tiers, so I'll provide a couple of examples instead.
It was Sunday on a holiday weekend. A portion of my work is done when inspiration hits versus on a schedule, so I happened to be at my desk working on some website content when I received a frantic email from one of our field operations team members. A customer was upgrading, ran into an environmental problem, and really needed a hand to get past it. I acted right away and we were able to help, but later I discovered the customer had encountered the problem several hours ago. In addition, I considered what would have happened if I hadn't been randomly working that Sunday. It is very likely the customer would not have any monitoring until sometime on Monday, and in this particular case, monitoring was critical to their entire business model.
This scenario is greatly simplified with Premier Support. The customer would send one email and the on call engineer would be paged. They would then contact the customer to triage the issue. After confirming that the issue is critical, the engineer would immediately work to resolve the issue. This would all happen over the course of approximately 2 hours, and the number of people involved would likely be two—the user and the support engineer.
Here is another example scenario. It's Tuesday morning and you've identified a query in Top SQL that must be tuned. Your day is packed with meetings starting just after lunch, but for now you have some time to dig into this task. You go to look at the query plan in SQL Sentry, but there was no plan collected for the query. Why isn't there a plan and what else can you do to get one? Why not ask the SentryOne Support team?
With Standard Support, it is not likely you'll hear back on your support case before your meetings start, but you will most certainly still experience a superior service interaction. Your case will be queued FIFO style, and you'll probably receive a response in about 4 hours.
With Premier Support, however, your case is routed to a priority queue. In the priority queue, the caseload per engineer is managed to remain lower, and the engineers working the queue are more experienced with both SentryOne products and the work our customers are trying to accomplish. You'll receive a response much quicker. If the case happens to be among the 20% that ends up needing more attention, you'll be skipping one escalation tier from the beginning, and your resolution time will shorter.
What Is Not Covered with Premier Support?
Premier Support is a great new option for those SentryOne customers who need it. At the same time, there are a few limitations worth noting.
- Engineers will address cases for Premier Support customers during off-hours (24x7), but they will act to resolve only critical severity cases defined as, "Large numbers of users are unable to use SentryOne in any way, or monitoring is degrading performance of customer applications." The following are examples:
- The SentryOne database is offline
- Monitoring service(s) are offline
- The SentryOne client or SentryOne Portal fail to start or crash
- Users are unable to access client
- We will still refer larger-scoped customization needs to the SentryOne Professional Services team
- If the scope is greater than 2 hours, you will be referred to Professional Services. The support specialist or engineer will first ask if you are interested in learning more about Professional Services. If you answer, "yes," they will refer you to your Customer Success Manager, who will guide you through determining if Professional Services is right for you.
- Initial responses times will be a bit faster on Premier Support and unchanged on Standard Support.
- Premier Support cases skip one escalation level due to priority queuing
- Support engineers on the priority queue have experience supporting SentryOne products for at least two years
- Critical severity cases don't have to wait for the next business day
- **If you are already happy with your response times on Standard Support, they will remain the same. Premier Support will be quicker, but Standard Support will not be slower.
Additionally, there are some things we won't be able to directly resolve regardless of your support tier. The following are a few examples:
- Environmental errors with your network, operating systems, or non-SentryOne applications and devices
- We do have some Support team members who are very familiar with various computing environments, and they'll always help when they can, but we will let you know as early as possible if we're up against a problem for which help is needed from another vendor.
- SQL Server bugs
- If the problem is with SQL Server, we'll try to help you discover a workaround and we'll help with your Microsoft support case, but we won't be able to resolve a bug in SQL Server ourselves directly.
- Administration of your systems, databases, or security
- Although these areas might need adjustment during support interaction, your SentryOne support specialist or engineer will not perform these actions directly.
As you can see, there are not many exclusions. We will exhaust all other avenues of assistance before we refer you outside of SentryOne to a vendor or partner.
Will There Be Another, Higher, SentryOne Support Tier?
There are no plans for another support tier. With Premier Support, we let the needs of our customers guide our timing. If we do add another tier in the future, we will let our customers be our guide again.
Premier Support from SentryOne is here. Do you need it? It depends on your business requirements and expectations for how close you want your partnership with SentryOne to be. If this blog post didn't help you decide if you need or want it, your SentryOne Customer Success Manager would be happy to answer any questions you might have.
Jason has worked in technology for over 20 years. He joined SentryOne in 2006 having held positions in network administration, database administration, and software engineering. During his tenure at SentryOne, Jason has served as senior software developer and founded both Client Services and Product Management. His diverse background with relevant technologies made him the perfect choice to build out both of these functions. As SentryOne experienced explosive growth, Jason returned to lead SentryOne Client Services, where he ensures that SentryOne customers receive the best possible end to end experience in the ever-changing world of database performance and productivity.