Thursday, January 29, 2009

IBM Support has changed, have you?

Keep in mind my original posting about how to work with Support.

I, like many of you, received an email(well at least 4 of them) saying that I will no longer have to endure waiting on hold when calling support.

They will now put remote technical software support for Lotus products (with the exception of Lotus Foundations and LotusLive) provided exclusively in call back mode and we get to wait for someone to reply to our request. Starting Monday February 16, 2009.

Huh?

Rarely do I ever wait on the phone when I call in with an issue and usually they let me know if it is in call back mode already and I am ok with it, unless it's a major server failure issue, category 1 and even then the wait is short. I must be one of the lucky ones I guess since I rarely sit on hold.

You will still be able to open support requests electronically as well via the Web-based Electronic Support Request (ESR/SR) tool.


By the way in at least one email the URL was incorrect for the ESR tool, it should be this http://www-01.ibm.com/software/support/probsub.html, the link above is corrected.

Great news and when I have been in a situation with Internet access and a browser not locked down it has worked well, BUT the next line says:

our new Web-based tool that will be extended to handle ALL software related electronic service requests over the next two years.


Hopefully all of the products we support are on there already.

Further along...
Our customers tell us that increased access to information and the ability to be self-sufficient in finding the solutions they need, when they need them provides the optimum capability to manage their IT infrastructure.


Yes, and we do appreciate everything IBM/Lotus can offer in this area, but if I am calling them it really is because I have already done the following (covered in my speedgeeking session, slides coming):

1) Wracked my brain of 15+ years of personal Lotus support knowledge and that of my coworkers
2) Searched with the IBM Support Toolbar(get it NOW! for Firefox or IE)
3) IBM Support Assistant
4) IBM Support Forums (and BP Forum), you can go direct to the forums from the IBM Support Toolbar
5) Lotus Self-Assist Support Site
6) Fellow Bloggers posts, usually searched from Planetlotus.org
7) Twitter / Facebook posts/questions
8) Bleedyellow.com pinging on Sametime other admin buddies
9) Pinging on Sametime IBM internal people I know if it's their area of specialty
10) Emailing other people I can't find online or on IM or any of the above
11) Posting to Linkedin Forums, like Lotus Software Professionals
12) Posting to l-Notes newslist or other similar ones
13) Google as a last resort, thus lucky #13

Edited 3/29/2009: 14) Brian's notes.ini add-on for Firefox and IE7
So there are at least 13 ways I can track down a problem, more if I use all the IBM self assist routes(the support toolbar covers 90% of them), before I call into Support.

So who has spent the time wisely or more efficiently? Now I must wait longer to get a reply? Hopefully not and this is just a formality to hand over a call to someone who will return my call within a few minutes.

Just remember when you call or get your call back, the people on the other end are just like you and me and have their own internal issues and deadlines and quotas and please try to work with them not against them. It makes everyone's life easier.