Scheduling Work

Must I Schedule in Advance?

Yes. All work by Percona consultants is via pre-scheduled appointments.

How Long Must I Wait For Help?

Simple tasks often begin in a few hours, complex tasks in a few days. We try to schedule first come, first served. But our availability can vary during our busiest times.

How Do I Schedule An Appointment?

Visit Percona's customer portal and create a new issue -OR- Contact live anytime a 24x7 Shift Captain

Always propose a few alternative times. Include your full contact information (email, phone, Skype) and an outline of what you need done. We’ll get back in touch with you quickly.

Am I Billed for Unused Time?

Yes. We devote our consultant’s time 100% to your needs during scheduled time. Please plan ahead and make complete use of this opportunity.

Am I Billed for Cancellations?

No - if you cancel two full business days (> 48 hours) in advance.
Yes - if you cancel with less advance notice. Contact Percona the same way as when scheduling an appointment.

What Are Tips for Successful Appointments?

Arrange and test online access for Percona in advance. See our Remote Access Checklist.

Keep your technical staff online and accessible. Short, focused interactions minimize delays.

See also our Customer Quickstart.


Billable time

What Tasks Are Billable?

Anything done by Percona's consultants for the customer’s benefit is billable time. This includes:

  • Kickoff calls and general orientation
  • Project management work by Technical Account Managers
  • Establishing logins
  • Monitoring, research, and experimentation
  • Consultations with other experts
  • Composing emails, editing documentation, and drafting reports
  • Status update calls with customers
  • Orienting substitute coverage by another consultant during absences

How Is Billable Time Reported?

Customers receive weekly timesheets detailing all work done for them.

Are Pre-Sales Calls Billable?

No, but pre-sales calls with consultants are limited to 15 minutes.

Is Learning Time Billable?

If a consultant refreshes himself on a topic in which he should be expert, it is not billable. However, time spent learning obscure, infrequently seen, or undocumented topics is billable.

Is On Call Time Billable?

Yes, at a reduced rate.

Are Mistakes by Percona Billable?

No. Our mistakes are few, but when they happen we do not bill customers for wasted time we cause.

Is Billable Time Rounded?

Yes. For any work done outside of pre-scheduled blocks of time, time is billed in 15-minute increments rounded once daily. For example if two units of work were done, one for 5 minutes and one for 35 minutes, 35 + 5 = 40. This would be rounded up to 45 minutes billable that day.

Am I Billed for Unused Appointment Time?

Yes. We devote our consultant’s time 100% to your needs during his scheduled time. Please plan ahead and make complete use of this opportunity.

Am I Billed for Cancelled Appointments?

No - if you cancel two full business days (> 48 hours) in advance. Yes - if you cancel with less advance notice. Contact Percona the same way as when scheduling an appointment.


Roles and definitions

Technical Account Manager (TAM)

This is a consultant focused on fitting your needs into Percona’s consulting team and maintaining a smooth workflow between you and our consultants.

Consulting Projects Coordinator (CPC)

This is an administrator who schedules your appointments with consultants.

Shift Captain

This is a technical expert, one of whom is always on duty to oversee customer issues. You may contact them for any manner of help anytime 24x7 here.

Customer Portal (Zendesk)

Email communications with consultants are managed through our Customer Portal. All customers have accounts and can login to manage your issues.

Login Preparations

Prepare for our consultant’s login using our Remote Access Readiness Checklist.

Timesheets

The work details from the preceding week, emailed on Wednesdays.


Remote Access overview

In normal cases Percona engineers will access your systems by logging in from our bastions servers with their individual SSH key. This is a simple, secure, and fast way for us to reach your servers.

Alternative Remote Access

If you have different access requirements we will gladly comply where possible, however this may cause our work to take longer and hence cost you more. This is particularly the case when we have to use:

  • A proprietary VPN
  • A browser-based or graphical remote access protocol
  • Any tool without a commandline interface
  • A custom virtual machine to satisfy your VPN

Emergency Assistance

If access is restricted or limited to a small number of Percona experts, it is possible that Percona will not be able to service your emergency in a timely manner if remote access is required and those specific Percona experts are unavailable.

Percona Consulting services do not cover emergency service. Emergency service is handled by either Support or Managed Services.

Please note that Percona will not share individually granted accounts among other consultants. Percona Consulting does not operate a 24x7x365 on call rotation. If there is a desire for 24x7x365 availability with remote access, Percona Support or Managed Services can assist. Click here for more information. Time spent on maintaining and documenting individualized accounts is billable.

Known Access Times

Our consultants are instructed to schedule all time on your systems whenever possible . We will endeavor to ensure that you always know in advance who will access your systems, when they will do it and approximately when they should be finished.


Time limits

Sometimes customers ask us to limit or cap the hours we spend on a task. We are glad to do this, but ask customers to understand the ramifications.

  1. Percona's acceptance of a cap is NOT a promise to complete your task in the amount of time you’ve allowed us. Rather we are agreeing to do everything we reasonably can within your limit.

  2. The time limit is applied to the entire process. Time spent communicating with you, arranging logins, studying your situation, and documenting outcomes all applies against your cap.

  3. In some situations we cannot know the scope of the work needed until we actually begin, so a cap would be like asking a surgeon to remove a brain tumor in a fixed amount of time. The surgeon may encounter things after the operation has begun that simply cannot be skipped. In such cases Percona's initial "exploratory surgery" might be capped, but the "actual surgery" cannot be capped.

  4. All caps represent Percona's good faith intent but are not strictly binding. For example, Percona will disregard any cap in situations where stopping work would render your production system non-functional. We will finish the job despite the cap and expect full payment for it.

Minimum Limit Allowed

The minimum hourly limit or cap allowed by Percona is four hours.

Managing Time Limits

You can specify a limit or cap to Percona's sales team at the outset of your contract. You can also instruct your consultant later on to impose a cap, but this request must be clearly stated in writing via an email in our Customer Support Portal (CSP).

The CSP sends automated notices when caps are nearly exhausted. You can then decide whether to extend your cap or to discontinue work. Again all instructions regarding a cap must be in writing via the CSP.