It didn’t matter whether I was talking to Blackboard users, co-workers or our partners, there always seemed to be a lack of understanding of what our hosting organization was all about. Are we really an ASP? If not, then what are we? Does it really do us justice to just say we are hosts to Blackboard applications? While we do set up and maintain the servers on which applications runs, this is such a small fraction of what we do for Blackboard users.
I’ve found one of the main reasons our clients stay with us year after year is that we provide a fully managed hosting solution. This means we have people available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, monitoring servers, performing upgrades and troubleshooting any problems.
In addition to those more task-related duties, we have teams of engineers working on the “next big thing.” A few of the types of experts we have working behind the scenes to improve our solutions and optimize performance include:
- Test engineers ensuring our devices can handle the load we are taking in
- Database administrators learning and deploying Oracle best practices
- Networking engineers designing the most robust network possible
- Solutions engineers researching and implementing innovative technologies like virtualization
These experts help ensure Blackboard users can focus on their true goals: teaching and learning. And this reason is why I was excited to be a part of the effort to rename our solution.
While we discussed many possible names before deciding on the “right” name, we kept coming back to the simple, yet effective, name of Managed Hosting.
This name fits perfectly with the service we provide and really conveys the idea of an entire team of people supporting each client. It also makes more sense to the growing number of Blackboard users located outside North America, for whom the term “ASP” didn’t have a direct meaning.
So, now we are happy to be called Blackboard Managed Hosting. The quality of the service and the guarantees are still the same, only the name has changed. Oh, and I no longer have to explain to people what my job is all about.