4 Replies Latest reply on Dec 10, 2012 10:10 AM by Asle Frantzen

    Tech Support Community

    Ahmad Fattahi

      I'd like to revive the "Tech Support Community" discussion here. There are considerations about that as we speak. What do you guys think about the idea? What are the main features you would like to see in such a community. The current vision is for the community to handle Tech Support-like conversations and discussions. Is it something that interests you as vCampus members? How about other customers that you deal with? Sharing your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

        • Re: Tech Support Community

          I think this is a wonderful idea at various levels.


          Principally, the community stands to gain from the pooled repository that would result from implementing it. Many of the arguments set forth in John Wilbank's "Let’s pool our medical data" TED talk also apply to this initiative. Consider that currently, because of similar privacy arguments and defaults, our support customers only have access to their calls (personal, site, organization) and thus in principle customers can only know the solutions for the problems they have already experienced. In practice, this knowledge is complemented with KBs, best practices, and other such works but that can really only take you so far. Ultimately, I see this as an extension to that access progression with various extras that potentially increase its utility.


          Some guidelines and sanitation may be required though and perhaps not every would-be-support-case is amenable to/viable with this approach. For instance, you wouldn't want to lay out in public your whole infrastructure and/or credentials. So one would probably only opt-in in certain cases... However, I think that there is a sufficiently large amount of cases in our call database that are variations on the same topics and that are generic enough that discussing them in the open would be beneficial. 


          Such a community could supplement the KB repository and tech tip newsletter. It may even help increase the churn rate of these. By this I'm not proposing that the posts therein be used directly as KBs per se but rather I'm suggesting that its existence would make it easier for our knowledge managers and documentation folks to gauge interest and/or identify areas where more elaboration is required.


          Then there is the whole self-service paradigm... The more customers can leverage a common repository or even a common set of discussions (or alternatively the more comprehensive and accessible these become), then the more resources can be allocated to unique situations (i.e., situations where the regular solutions don't apply because of whatever extra constraints).


          Of course, we still have the onus of mining our call database and generate curated material. We're continuously doing that in one way or another but that is reactive rather than proactive and takes time, effort and resources to grow. So I think that a community such as the one you're proposing can help speed things up: it stands to free-up resources and hopefully speedup things and it stands to increase knowledge globally.


          Now one caveat: depending on how this is implemented and which guarantees are implied, we may run the risk of tragedy of commons [ref1].

            • Re: Tech Support Community
              Rick Davin

              For years, I've been hoping for more a fusion of tech support alongside the vCampus Integration issues.  I think its a good idea, but to me the big question is does the tech support stay in the vCampus realm, or go more public under community.osisoft.com, or find a happy place in both?

                • Re: Tech Support Community
                  Ahmad Fattahi

                  @Luis: I appreciate your insight. Most of the points you are raising speak my mind and heart. We would be very careful to preserve privacy when it's due; no question about that. However, there are many cases where folks have no problem or even are willing to ask the whole community about a certain topic. Imagine hundreds or thousands of pairs of eyes on your question instead of one or two. Bottomline, we never get enough of making it easier for our PI Community to get value out of their PI Systems.


                  @Rick: Ideally we don't want to see our whole PI Community (end users, partners, developers, architects, power users, enthusiasts) have to think hard where to go among multiple different communities. So, I would like to turn the question around and ask you, as a very active and valuable player in the community, what would make sense to you. I would let the requirement drive our practice.