Kabbee opts for Rackspace ahead of Google, Amazon, Microsoft owing to emphasis on customer service

By Sooraj Shah
29 May 2014 View Comments
kabbee

London minicab booking and price comparison firm Kabbee has selected Rackspace as a partner over alternatives from Google, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft because of its superior customer service. 

Kabbee, which has its own app for iOS, Android and BlackBerry, launched in June 2011 and has been growing ever since. The company recently closed £3.8m in funding.

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The app allows customers to book a cab using different variables such as arrival time or price. But the company's expansion has now exceeded the capacity of its hosting provider, OVH.

Dave Walker, chief technical officer at Kabbee, told Computing that many of the big hosting companies that it looked at were interested only in selling the firm a commodity.

"No one was interested in selling us a service, being a partner of Kabbee and taking on some of the load of Kabbee," he said.

Walker said that the company looked at "the usual suspects" of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft with its Azure platform.

"The company's biggest hurdle was to manage and handle its scaling so we could operate with these vendors," he said.

"But the amount of extra effort we have to put in would detract from our ability to grow as a business, as we would be supporting an internal team of people that we just don't need."

According to Walker, Kabbee would have needed a minimum of six people on eight-hour shifts every day throughout the year.

"We'd need six bodies full-time to support a 24-7 business that's tech based," he said.

"We currently have 24-7 staff to handle customer service, complaints and to manage our minicab partners, but they are minicab experts not technical experts so we would have had to grow another team."

When Walker first came across Rackspace, his expectations were of "yet another commodity provider", but this quickly changed.

"It became apparent that these guys really value their ability to deliver good customer service," he explained.

"For the minimal cost we can outsource 90 per cent of our infrastructure requirements to their support guys, and our team has regular contact with them.

"They are very engaged in Kabbee's business model, the product, and our technical requirements, and that allows us to focus on what we do rather than having to be an infrastructure specialist as well.

"That is the fundamental driving force behind choosing Rackspace over any other provider."

Walker added that when the company first decided to go for a new provider, it had doubled in size, and it continues to recruit.

"Because we're a fairly young company, we're hiring new people all the time with the skills that we need," he said.

"In the early days we started realising how big a technology investment we had to make at Kabbee to solve our issues. We had to hire very senior developers, and these guys have been able to mentor and train newer recruits that we've had."

 

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