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Tier 1 Vs. Tier 2 Support


Howdy, all you gorgeous, internet wizards…

Lawrence here, with another informative article about the goings on behind the scenes at Canvas Host.

We’ve got a lot going on in the realm of streamlining and improving things throughout the company this year, and the Support department is no exception.

In this newsletter, I wanted to touch on something which you may or may (not) have noticed, but something I feel should be addressed none the less…

If you’ve opened a support ticket within the past week, you may have noticed the designation of “Tier 1” and wondered what that’s all about, so I wanted to take a moment to explain and hopefully allay any confusion and satisfy any curiosity about it.

From now on, when a new support ticket is opened (either by an email being sent to support@canvashost.com or being directly opened through your customer dashboard), the ticket is assigned to Tier 1 support. Depending on the complexity of the matter, the ticket will either be answered straight away by the support team on staff at that time, or, it may be escalated to Tier 2.

So what’s the difference and does one tier have priority over the other?

Firstly, Tier 2 tickets do not have higher priority over Tier 1. If anything, Tier 1 will be answered the fastest. Customers cannot open a Tier 2 ticket. The designation is decided by our staff at our discretion.

Basic Rundown…

* Tier 1: Simple, everyday questions/issues that can be answered/resolved quickly by anybody on the support team within under an hour depending on the size of the support queue, number of phone calls coming in etc. Missed call tickets are designated Tier 1. Any staff member who touches this Support queue is required to make sure Tier 1 tickets are answered/called back before their shift is over for the day/evening.

* Tier 2: Tickets that address issues which senior members of our staff might have to take over, issues requiring further research and development, internal discussion between staff members etc. These tickets will generally be resolved within 24 to 48 hours depending upon their complexity and other tasks being juggled as we all wear several hats around here.

The reasons for this new system have to do with managing the daily throughput of our support ticket queue as well as internal tracking and analysis which will help us to establish a clearer understanding of how and where our resources can be most effectively utilized.

As always, we hope this explanation serves as a continuance of our rule of transparency in business.

The Importance of Becoming a B Corporation

The following is a comment posted in support of the NYTimes.com article about B Corporations:
Canvas Dreams provides web hosting and e-commerce services from our downtown Portland, Oregon facility. We pride ourselves on delivering personalized, human service and support that is patient and anything but corporate. An established sustainability initiative has helped us past important milestones, including the use of 100% wind energy, a reduction of our electricity demand per web server by 60%, and community greening activities like tree planting. Our commitment to support those upon whom our company has been built — our employees — is omnipresent in our administrative operations. We did these things out of a genuine desire to make the world around us a better place. 

We first learned about B Corporations a local business and were intrigued by the notion that a company could adopt legal parameters requiring triple bottom line principles. Such a thing would ensure that regardless of managerial changes or unforeseen growth, the company would have to remain true to its core values and not be blinded by profit alone. As one of the co-founding owners of Canvas Dreams, I immediately recognized the importance for us to also become a certified Benefit Corporation. Through a rigorous evaluation process, we learned of the things we’re doing right, as well as where there is room for growth. By making a formal commitment to uphold B Corporation principles and instituting legal structures to our articles of incorporation, we became a certified B Corporation.

Certainly, we are a for-profit business, but not a for-profit-ONLY business. We have actively chosen to place the benefits to our employees, community, and environment ahead of profit, and in doing so realized a much more enriching way of doing business.  Becoming a B and working by the guidelines it mandates isn’t easy and hardly a marketing gimmick, and anyone thinking of doing it just to jump on the bandwagon is missing the point. For a company to operate as a B Corporation is to remain transparent and with an openly acknowledged embrace of a higher level of ethics and quality. At the same time, one of the greatest benefits to be realized is that to the company as a whole.

In a time when corporations are increasingly faceless and profit-driven, bringing humanity back to the business place is now more important than ever. Consumers are real people and want to know who they are doing business with and what those businesses stand for. The adoption of the B Corporation structure can help a business accomplish this and differentiate itself from the rest of the market, while holding itself accountable to the values it professes to uphold.


David Anderson
Principal, Canvas Dreams, LLC

The Elephant In The Boardroom: On GoDaddy’s CEO Shooting An Elephant

In the most forgiving sense, it could be viewed as an example of CSR gone horribly wrong. An act intended to be helpful but whose execution (in the literal sense) was botched, the way the video was documented, and how it was disseminated by the featured actor himself.I’m talking about the recent video produced by GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons in which he flew to Africa to shoot and kill an elephant purported to be destroying village crops. Bob’s Twitter feed on March 14 says it best.

“Just back from hunting problem elephant in Zimbabwe. Here’s my vacation video. Enjoy.”

The full link to the video is found here.

The video starts with subtitling noting, “It’s one of the most beneficial and rewarding things I do.”It then shows Bob surveying the damaged crops, then subsequently locating and shooting the elephant. The next scene is taken the following day and villagers are surrounding the animal, cutting it up to feed their families. The notion of such a thing in and of itself doesn’t trouble me. Many tribal peoples survive by mass hunting and it’s a necessary way of life. I have no problems with someone hunting to put food on the table. My own grandfather did it every year and literally kept his family alive.

But there are so many other things about this video that sicken me.

  1. For one, the video uses an AC/DC soundtrack, “Hell’s Bells”, with lyrics such as “you’re young but you’re gonna die”. I don’t listen to AC/DC, but their recent tweets and updates about offering support for the Japanese tsunami victims leaves me having a hard time believing they would turn around and give GoDaddy license to use a songs as the backdrop for a blatant elephant kill video.
  2. Next, the scene of the villagers cutting up the animal… well, many of them are wearing bright orange GoDaddy hats. Nice advertising, there. So now GoDaddy has gone from trashy advertising, to animal murder, as a way to promote their brand.
  3. The video makes no effort to talk about the other options that could have been tried. Non-lethal ways to discourage elephants from trampling crops, such as chili or tobacco repellents, which are widely used. Or that Robert Mugabe, the dictator in control of the land, is more to blame for crop decimation than a herd of elephants.

But hey, it’s all in the name of philanthropy, right?

After regurgitating it a bit, I’m left feeling the video is just what my pre-charged and anti-GoDaddy perspective felt it to be: a poorly constructed, horribly executed, and disgustingly promoted publicity stunt. I never, ever thought I’d say it, but I long for the days when all I had to worry about with GoDaddy was sexist, misogynistic advertising.

The result of all this is simple. If you use GoDaddy, you have a responsibility to decide for yourself right now whether you want your money to be spent on animal kills. I’m going to go so far to say that if you consider yourself “green”, “progressive”, “environmentally responsible”, or a “social leader”, then you have an obligation to do everything in your power to distance yourself from GoDaddy, and as fast as you can. Otherwise, you are greenwashing, pure and simple, because you are supporting a business whose ethics are contrary to those you claim to support.

Overall, I have a feeling this is just the tip of the iceberg, and there is a much bigger story behind this that will continue to develop. It is up to companies and people like all of us involved in the green economy to draw attention to this issue and help put a stop to GoDaddy’s behavior. Please get in touch with us if you have any feedback or insights.

Thank you,

David Anderson

Guest Blog: PearlCompass.com Goes Solar!

We’re proud to feature a very special guest blog by a long-time ally and friend of Canvas Dreams who just took their business solar!David Anderson

Sometimes, little acts can make a big difference.
In an effort to reduce our carbon footprint , my company, Pearl Compass, made the decision to go 100% solar. 

We did a lot of research on solar contractors and interviewed four companies, then invided them to bid on our project. A few months later and we had a system fully installed and operational.  Our conractor workled closely with our local power utility company, and made sure that we were in compliance and that we got the maximum rebate that we were entitled to.

As a member and supporter of Polar Bears International, I felt that  any improvement in the global carbon levels that we could make, no matter how small, would somehow help the Polar Bears and the Arctiv environment.

Our system went live on January 1 of 2011, and to date, we have been able to:

Avoid 715 lbs of CO2
Displace 36 gallons of gas
Replace 43 trees

It is a small start, but I am very proud of the small step that we have taken, and hope that it will make a big change some day.

– Rosie LoBrutto, PearlCompass.com

For Immediate Release: Canvas Host Acquires Taproot Hosting

Portland, Oregon, December 29, 2010 – Canvas Dreams, LLC announced today that it has acquired Taproot Hosting, a Portland-based Web hosting provider. As a result of the acquisition, Canvas Dreams welcomes Taproot’s users to its growing family of sustainably-hosted clients.

“Since its founding, Taproot Hosting has maintained a similar vision to Canvas Dreams”, said David Anderson, Principal of Canvas Dreams. “Bringing awareness to and educating customers about sustainable hosting services has been important for both companies. We both utilize 100% renewable wind power, offer non-profit discounts, tree planting for every new customer, telecommuting options for our employees, and caring 24/7 customer support.”

Anderson added, “We have built our business and reputation on a simple philosophy of doing what is right for our customers, our community, and the environment. In a competitive market, it’s not very common for like-minded companies to join forces, but when they do, it creates enormous potential to bring positive change. Everyone at Canvas Dreams is excited to honor Taproot’s legacy and work, as our own story continues evolving.”

About Canvas Dreams

Canvas Dreams is a sustainable Web host offering shared and reseller plans, virtual private and dedicated servers, and sustainably-designed E-commerce services. For more information, call 800.574.4299 or visit http://www.canvasdreams.com.