Re: My note to Lotus Support
(As commented on Brian M Moore’s post)
I have been calling Lotus technical support for many years. In fact, back in the R3 and R4 days, I think everyone there knew me. At that time the support was structured differently with tiers and so often I would here “Hi David, What’s the issue so I can write it down. I already know if it’s coming from you, I’m going to be escalating it.” Through all of these years I have been very pleased with the support I have received. And trust me, I’ve generated more than my fair share of SPR’s to be solved in future releases.
One reason I have made so many calls is because of the stellar service that I have always gotten from IBM support. If you call expecting them to magically feed you the answer to your problem, you’re in the wrong business. If you call expecting to have someone work through the problem with you as an instant extension to your team, you will be successful. How well they can help you is actually very dependent on how well you communicate the problem. Use the opportunity to develop and refine your own troubleshooting skills. Pay special attention to what they ask and how they go about isolating and identifying the problem. The type of thinking required for troubleshooting is not the same as for say, following installation procedures from a manual. (Referred to as Navigational Thinking vs. Procedural Thinking.)
If I’m calling support, it probably isn’t going to be a quick fix, though with their access to internal resources, this does happen. At the end of those calls you’ll say “Wow, that was easy. Glad I called. You just saved me a lot of time.”
Another great thing about Lotus technical support is that they are here. They are in Austin, Atlanta, Cambridge. If I call today I am very likely to talk with someone who I have worked with in years past. They may even remember details about my system, making troubleshooting even faster. I’ve even had someone say “David, btw, I read your latest blog article. You were dead on.” There is a value to this longevity and continuity that cannot be measured objectively, but has immense value.
I echo Brian’s blog post. Joyce, please pass this on to Robert A, Adrienne D, Andrew L, Brian G, Brad H, Brian Y, Christopher M, Chesley S, Deronza S, Ed N, Erik S, Emily Z, Greg H, Harold M, Isaac B, Jacqueline C, James S, and many others on the support teams. You all do great work!