It's time to recognize and laud LogMeIn for continuing a critical service when it purchased the GoTo suite of collaboration products from Citrix.
Anybody can visit https://status.gotomeeting.com/ and sign up to receive status updates on service availability of the various GoTo platforms. You can select which products you want to see updates about - For instance, you may not care about instances that only affect GoToTraining if you are a GoToMeeting user.
I subscribe, and I am always impressed by the rapid response by the company. For instance, in the early hours of this morning I received the following emails in my inbox. Note the time stamps:
- 5:33am - We are investigating reports of login problems
- 5:34am - We have confirmed the issue and are working on a resolution
- 5:45am - We continue to work on resolving it
- 5:56am - We have corrected the issue and are confirming service functionality
- 5:59am - Full resolution confirmed and all systems are 100% operational
Those times are US Eastern, when they hit my inbox. The GoTo engineering team has their primary base of operations in California, where it would have been 2:30 in the morning for them. They may have additional engineering staffs in other locations… I'm not sure. But that's one reason to consider support and response times when considering a web conferencing vendor.
I know many smaller vendors in this space with wonderful engineering and support teams, but they work on their own local business hours. If you run into a problem at a time that isn't part of their work day, you may be out of luck until they can get to it on their schedule. Even if they have an emergency response protocol, it may involve getting someone out of bed to sleepily review an incident report that has been flagged as high priority.
You may enjoy hating on the big, evil corporate monsters (I'll join you sometimes!), but in an industry where customers rely on centralized online hosted services in support of global communications and collaboration, those companies are best equipped to run the inconvenient and expensive round-the-clock support that business users demand. No startup is going to be able to match that.
LogMeIn is the only provider I am aware of that lets you sign up for these "push notifications." A few others have status pages you can visit if you suspect something might be wrong, but even that is rare.
I understand the hesitancy… Highlighting service interruptions and problems can give a negative psychological impression. Vendors don't really want to "air their dirty laundry." And I can tell you that I get a fair number of those incident emails from LogMeIn. Most affect limited numbers of users on limited products, sometimes only running on a particular server in the hosted service network. They are usually extremely short-lived before successful resolution.
I can see where a person getting these emails might think, "Ugh. I don't want to use a product with that many problems!" But any SaaS (Software as a Service) provider is going to face operational glitches when supporting large numbers of hosted accounts. It's inevitable. I truly appreciate having the notifications sent to me, rather than letting me scramble around in a panic during my live webinar, frantically testing and trying to troubleshoot to see if a problem is local to me or is a vendor issue. Adobe Connect, Cisco Webex, ON24… All the big hosted conferencing providers have these things going on behind the scenes. They just don't provide the same level of transparency as LogMeIn. I wish they did.