5 Tech Support Factors to Look for When Choosing a VM Solution

Derek Hampton

In my experience running Technical Support for Tenable, I’ve gained valuable insight into what makes a strong vendor/customer relationship. Here are my five tips for making the most of Technical Support. 

As November approaches, marking two years since I joined Tenable, I’m reflecting on what I’ve learned as our Technical Support organization has grown to become a leader in the Vulnerability Management space.

When you make any large scale technology purchase, Technical Support may not be the first thing you think about. But, after making a critical decision for your security infrastructure, after the product is installed, Technical Support is where the rubber meets the road. Over the long term, Technical Support is the place you'll turn to again and again to find ways to make the most out of your technology deployment. 

Choosing a vendor is never easy. But choosing a vendor that is unable to provide you with strong Technical Support throughout the length of your relationship could derail your whole project.

5 Tech Support Factors to Look for When Choosing a VM Solution

Based on what I’ve seen and heard from our customers over the past two years, here are five things to look for when considering the Technical Support aspects of any vendor relationship:

  • Response times.  When you contact a vendor’s technical support organization, you want answers and you want them quickly. Look for an organization where your calls are answered in less than 30 seconds. Make sure the TS organization is staffed globally, not just in one region or time zone, so you can be assured a Technical Support Engineer (TSE) is always ready and available to help.
  • Full-time technical support engineers. Look for vendors that operate technical support in house. When TSEs are full time employees of your vendor, you’ll experience globally consistent processes and 24x7x365 response times.
  • Committed relationships. There’s nothing more frustrating than having your technical issue bounced amongst various support engineers, putting you in the position of having to constantly repeat your issue and explain it multiple times to multiple TSEs. Ask your vendor whether you’ll get a dedicated engineer who will take your issue and own it throughout the customer support lifecycle and stay with you until it’s resolved. 
  • Rich and extensive Knowledge Base and Community. Choose a vendor that gives you the tools you need for self-education. Does your vendor have world-class technical knowledge publications? Is there a community portal where you can turn to your peers for advice about making the most of your deployment? If not, you may want to look elsewhere. 
  • Engineers who aren’t afraid to be human. Is the vendor you’re evaluating providing its team with ongoing training in so-called “soft skills”? There’s more to technical support than resolving technical issues. A support team that lacks the emotional intelligence to understand your organization’s broader challenges will only be able to take you so far. Make sure you’re choosing to work with organizations where TSEs are fully trained in understanding the customer’s perspective. 
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    Published on Aug 5, 2019

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