Topic: Recorder Support Model Feedback

Sam Story from Dorset Software is meeting with JNCC on the 20th December to discuss the whole Recorder support model. He's asked if I would like to provide some feedback so I though this the ideal place to ask. Your thoughts/suggestions/rants need to be posted here by the 19th at the latest if you want them discussed at the meeting.

My own thoughts are that JNCC need to be sharper with answering emails and generally need to be more

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Re: Recorder Support Model Feedback

I agree that the support model need to be tighter. Here are my thoughts, and thanks for passing these on as I'm on leave next Monday until the new year, so would have missed this chance.

1) Define a central point where users with support issues can get information. Maybe the proposed Recorder web site?

2) That information to act as a filter to steer a user to the right level of support .

End user with "how to" questions - Post to user forum, read support pages or buy in support from reseller/expert.

LRC IT staff or technical user - Post to a tech forum (Dorset on same channel)

Bug Report - Enter bug in bug tracker. Write/Read by commuinity, Modify/Nofity by Dorset. Put bugs in the open as it may help people decide if it's a local systems problem or a global one.

Development - usability issues, feature suggestions, addins, announcments etc supported via consultation on a seperate channel with Dorset, but community read only to help build up the "big picture". Users could be encouraged to provide feedback of what they need by a simple voting system. In turn this could help form priorities.

3) Community generated support documentation - wiki? e.g. Howtos, FAQ, experiences, workarounds. Maybe compile the knowledge already on the smartgroup into howto form. (I'd be happy to compile that next year). Extract the most common problems from the help system and put in onto the support section of the (proposed) website.

Thanks.

Re: Recorder Support Model Feedback

Thanks for that Dave, great suggestions.

Re: Recorder Support Model Feedback

Charles

I agree with the points you made can I pick up on something that I find rather bizarre - thats the whole thing of resellers

You wrote:
"Perhaps instead of (or in addition to)

Sara

[email protected]
Acting Centre Manager, The Wildlife Information Centre

Re: Recorder Support Model Feedback

I think it's worth pointing out that there is still a real need for resellers/experts - we certainly rely on ours and have had a successful relationship with them. I think it would be wrong to simply pull the rug from under the reseller system as these people have put in an awful lot to the Recorder project for very little thanks and, of course, their livelyhoods depend on Recorder.

I get the feeling not everyone has had a good experience (or had no experience) with their reseller, and this is where the 'ramshackle' feeling you mention might come from. There's inconsistency in what each reseller offers, or, to put it in a more positive way, each have their own strengths, weaknesses, prices and styles of operation. This is why we have 2 resellers, and will likely use the services of yet more in the future; different people for different services. Surely it would be better to promote the various resellers/experts loudly and clearly (via the new website) giving a clear indication of the types of services they offer and their prices. Also, there seems to be little awareness of the existence of resellers once the product has been purchased.

Ultimately, rather than diminish the role of resellers, I believe they need to be promoted; but the model needs a little tweak. I'm not sure if there's much money to be made from actually selling Recorder, but there certainly is in the support of it and development work surrounding it. Many open source projects work on this model: software for free, support for a price. It would be interesting to hear some actual resellers points of view on this.

I should say finally that we've been lucky and had the opportunity to work with two great resellers; I just wish everyone had that opportunity too.

Charles

Re: Recorder Support Model Feedback

A few points relating to support.
During my own learning curve, I relied heavily on Hannah via phone calls, as I was without internet, which I consider was invaluable, but probably vastly time-consuming for her. Subsequently, since having access to the Smartgroup has been a huge boon to find similar errors, bugs & solutions. However, I am getting increasingly frustrated with the search function with this otherwise good forum. It is taking far too long to locate specific issues or to isolate error codes. So an interactive search function within either a bug forum or specifically troubleshooting would be immensely useful.

Another other suggestions are mirrored by what Dave has already mentioned.

Have a good Christmas together with an even better New Year,
Cheers now! Rob

Rob Bradley
Edinburgh