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Vipre Enterprise Lenovo Laptop Issues

This is a posting not about failure, but about the importance of excellent customer service. 

Last week one of my clients had several Lenovo laptops fail (BSOD) due to a bad anti-virus definition file in Vipre Antivirus.  The definition file considered the drivers for the hard drive to be rogue security software and quarantined them, causing the boot drive to be unreadable by Windows.  There’s a full write-up about the problem here and a solution thread here.

For us, the problem wasn’t wide-spread – it only affected a handful laptops (other users clearly don’t reboot that often!).  Of course, this happened at the worst possible time for the client – during a due diligence meeting.  At least two of the laptops involved belonged to people who were in those meetings.  Unfortunately some of the other laptops were in other remote locations and had to be shipped back to Vancouver, but that’s another story.

From this major failure, we have two different heroes. 

First, our IT consultants for the Seattle office, IS Outsource, came to the rescue and had someone on-site to look into the problem within 30 minutes.  Our normal on-site consultant was busy with other clients (apparently they were experiencing a major surge in issues), but another technician was available to help out. 

The second is actually Sunbelt Software.  Writing security software (for Windows especially) is an incredibly complex task and problems will occur.  The most important thing is how you handle the problems that occur.  Sunbelt did this admirably.

When I called in with the problem, I was connected with a technician within 5 minutes.  Having dealt with Symantec, Trend Micro, and McAfee’s support teams, I don’t think I could have even been routed to a human in under 5 minutes (or even figured out their phone menus!). 

The support person I dealt with, while slightly roughed up from the countless calls he had been managing, still maintained a great attitude and was very knowledgeable.  Sunbelt had worked hard to create an automated fix to the problem which worked for most our systems.  Where we did have issues, IS Outsource was able to talk to a technician quickly and efficiently work through them. 

I have dealt with Sunbelt for other products, including their Ninja anti-spam products and also been very happy with their support team.  They even helped with non-Ninja, Exchange related issues!

In the end, our client is happy.  Yes, there was a major failure, but the amazing reponse from “IT” and our anti-virus support team for providing a solution quickly.  Users expect issues to happen – they always do.  It’s how you respond to them that matters.  This issue was handled quickly, the clients expectations managed well, and the resolution was reasonable. 

Note: Before this came up, I never thought to post up our impressions of Vipre.  We converted from Trend Micro several months ago and have been quite happy with it.  Performance is great, the management console is simple and straight-forward, and installation was a breeze.  Best of all their support team is 100% behind the product!

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