You’ve worked hard to grow your clientele, donor base, and community of supporters. They trust you with their contact information and more. Investing in the long-term security and support of your CiviCRM system is critical to your organization’s success.
With a Service Level Agreement with Wanna Pixel, let us worry about the technical details so you can focus on what matters most: building relationships to grow your organization’s impact.
One: Uptime (including optimized site speed)
Your biggest IT support costs come from downtime, according to the “True Cost of IT Support” by Imagine IT. And that’s not just when your site is inaccessible for five hours. Downtime includes any lost staff time. For instance, if your site takes an extra five seconds to load each time staff clicks “Save” or “Next,” and you have three staff members clicking 250 times a day . . . that’s over an hour of frustrating downtime every single day.
That’s why we take site performance seriously. If we see that page loading is significantly slow, CPU is maxing out at certain times of day, or storage space is more than 75 percent used, we’re going to be proactive about that. We closely monitor uptime, and even a small bleep triggers a notification so that we can take immediate action if necessary.
We offer our SLA clients VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting, so that you’re not sharing a slice of the same cheap pie everyone else gets. VPS hosting allows us to configure your environment based on your needs, so that performance and stability are never compromised.
A majority of our CiviCRM clients opt for our Performance VPS package (4GB RAM, 2 Cores, 48GB SSD) paired with a content delivery network (CDN). The CDN is a term many of our clients aren’t familiar with, so to put it simply, it’s a system that makes use of multiple geographically distributed servers working together to provide consistent, high-speed delivery of your internet content anywhere in the world.
In our monthly reporting, we let you know what your site’s performance has been like, and if we have recommendations for even better performance measures, we get in touch with you.
Our clients value their SLAs because they know we have their backs if anything goes wrong. While we keep their website tuned, they are freed up to focus on social good efforts, which is a full-time job already. And knowing that we’re only a phone call away assures them of the help they need if an emergency were to occur.
Two: Security (and that includes daily backups)
What is one of the most dreaded headaches of any nonprofit that keeps a database full of people’s personal data? A website that’s been compromised by hackers, assaulted by spam-bots, and otherwise damaged by internet thugs. Cyber attacks are rampant, and we take that seriously, using only the best and most up-to-date website firewalls to protect you.
All of our clients to date are using either the Drupal (predominantly) or WordPress CMS, and both systems take security seriously. While Drupal is touted as a security-focused system and has managed to successfully keep vulnerabilities at bay, WordPress does well too. In fact, due to the higher usage of the WordPress platform, cyber-attacks are more often focused on their system, which keeps WordPress on its toes and up to date.
Another important aspect of security is daily backups of your site. Accidents happen. Remember the good old days before auto-save? Unfortunately, I was one of those that got bit. I remember being in my 20s (yeah, way back when) and writing up a long, thoughtful article on a topic I felt passionately about. Too passionate, it turned out, because I didn’t pause and save. The whole thing was irrevocably lost in cyberspace. We’re here to make sure your passion is preserved. Regular backups can make all the difference.
Here are some of the regular steps we take to make sure your security is not compromised:
- Website and hosting security audits
- Critical plugin and CMS updates and security patches
- Daily website backups
- Hardening of site and server access from outside networks
- Active monitoring of DDOS or Brute Force attacks
Three: Emergency Response (by a real person with hands-on knowledge)
In a perfect world, we could skip this section. But as we all know, we live in a fallen world, and sometimes, despite our best efforts, catastrophes happen. That’s why we offer emergency support as part of our SLA package. We will quickly set to work recovering your technology environment from backups and even move to another technology environment if necessary.
What’s more, we’re not going to make you wait on hold for 45 minutes, only to talk to someone who knows nothing about your system’s setup. When it’s time to pinch-hit, we’re not going to farm you out to some foreign IT support.
When our clients sign on with us, we make sure they have clear instructions on how to get in touch with us and receive timely help. You, as the client, give us the names and emails of key personnel, so that our system immediately recognizes and prioritizes their requests. In case of an emergency, we always ask that you send a short, descriptive email to the address we have provided, followed by a phone call to our support desk. This way, we are on the alert and proactively addressing your issues by the time you pick up the phone.
Four: Personal Technical Support (advice when things don’t work the way you wish)
Sometimes you have questions that have nothing to do with downtime or emergencies. You need some advice about your recurring donations, memberships setup, or permissions configuration. Our help desk staff are glad to field your questions, give you helpful pointers, or provide you with an understanding of advanced options or upgrades.
Again, we don’t outsource you. Our staff knows nonprofits, databases, CMS platforms, and especially CiviCRM.
Most of our clients find that three “incidents” a month covers their typical needs. An incident is any question / help request outside of emergency support that requires 30 minutes or less of help-desk time.
This feature is probably the one our clients love most. Why? A lot of the other stuff is important, but it takes place in the background. Support for your day-to-day processes is where service stands out. So remember, we’re here rooting for you! Our goal is nonprofit advancement.
Five: Training (documentation, visual on-screen walk-throughs, on-site training)
There are times when your organization is onboarding an employee, and you want to make sure they get trained properly on data entry. Or perhaps you’ve just added the Cases extension to CiviCRM and need a couple of basic how-tos to get you up and running.
Sometimes we can offer a brief visual walkthrough or some step-by-step docs as one of your monthly “incidents.” Other times, more in-depth training is needed. In such cases, we’ll work with you to set up a quote for extensive documentation or training. If needed, we’ll even come on site and do a series of trainings.
Processes make or break your database. And many of our clients have found there’s a learning curve to CiviCRM and other contact management platforms. You have to feed data into the machine in just the right way, or your reports could get scrambled, memberships lost, and contributions logged in the wrong account. Training for new staff or new software packs a big payoff.
Six: New Features (access to a reduced rate for new feature development)
Okay, so I said there were five reasons. Here’s a bonus. We do website design and development for a broader base than just our SLA clientele. But for those who maintain an SLA with us, we offer discounted rates.
For one thing, it’s our way of giving back. You’ve invested in us, and we want to honor that. Also, it just makes sense. You’ve given us the opportunity to learn about your unique needs as an organization by coming to us when you have questions. You’ve allowed us to host your site and maintain it.
This makes a difference for us and for you. We have spent days trying to get permissioned access to a remote server so that we can safely update a site that we don’t host. When we host the site, the same work can be done in a matter of a few hours. These kinds of scenarios can cause frustration to all involved on the one hand, or make it a cleaner process on the other.
Summing It Up
There is not one long-term support solution to fit everyone. We’ll work with you to identify your primary needs and draw up an SLA contract that you feel is right for you. Once we’ve established your needs, you can be sure we’ve got your back. Our team of system engineers, developers, online marketers, SEO experts, designers, and support staff will handle anything you throw at us. That means you can focus on running your business.
If you’re interested in chatting with one of our account managers about what’s worked for others and what could work for you, feel free to reach out to us. And now, whatever you do, wherever you are, be secure, be timely, be strong.