Several years ago I was on vacation in Southern California and had the opportunity to take in one of the tours conducted at Universal Studios. It was a great deal of fun, seeing how movies are made, how television shows are produced, viewing the stage sets, and learning about the use of lighting, backdrops, sound, and special digital effects.
As much of a good time as it was to see all the “magic” behind the scenes, as I later reflected on the trip I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed in my newly found information. I haven’t really looked at television or movies in quite the same way since. Knowing more about how they’re produced – even with such a small glimpse “behind the curtain” – I came to realize that most of what was at one point entertainment had lost its luster, and suddenly some of the sitcoms, television dramas, and movies seemed mechanical and less believable.
In contrast to this experience, I was recently allowed to tour restricted parts of one of the datacenters that Axcient uses as a part of our product offering. I had the chance to go to the roof to view the large diesel engines, power generation gear, HVAC systems, and additional infrastructure not normally accessed in my regular interactions with the location. Unlike my Hollywood experience, I was not disappointed! The power, the redundant systems, and the processes were all impressive and well thought out, right down to the fuel storage systems.
Most people never get the opportunity to see behind this particular “curtain”. They simply rely on their systems to continuously run, without incident, to send their backup data to the cloud. They take comfort and security in knowing their data is safe, stored, and readily accessible.
The truth is, it takes quite a bit of technology, manpower, and process to make all of that happen seamlessly for the customer. And that’s exactly what operational excellence demands—a seamless, transparent, reliable experience that can be successfully reproduced time and time again.
The old adage is appropriate here: “no news is good news”. If we’re doing our job right, things work as they should, data is backed up and protected, and the customer experience consists of the three “P’s”: positive, predictable, and praise-worthy.