Each quarter, the Novell Technical Support (NTS) team meets with my staff to review support statistics and information about supporting GroupWise. We want to know just how GroupWise is being received by our customer base. I thought it would be a great topic and something we could share several of these statistics and background.
Indicator of Quality
There are several ratios, statistics and trends that our NTS organization tracks that allow us to focus our efforts on certain areas of the product or measure the effectiveness of the work that we have been doing. The first statistic we measure is the amount of Server Requests (SR) as compared to the number of defects. In other words, how many of the calls that come into NTS are converted into a defect that engineering must resolve. More importantly, are we trending up or down. NTS reported recently on Q1 2009 data. Over the last year, the number of service requests have remained fairly steady, while the number of defects inched up slightly during the quarter - about 2%. Releasing a new product in November of 2008 most likely contributed to this change.
What are our Customers calling us about?
Most calls that come into NTS are categorized under 'Admin'. About 61% in Q1 of this year. The next largest generator of calls is the Windows Client at 13%, then GWIA at 9%. We debate whether the call is really about 'Admin' or it is chosen because alphabetically it is the first option in the list :) However, as we look a little deeper, the sub-components in Admin are User Moves, GWCheck, ConsoleOne and Message/user restoration. So we do know that a large number of calls have to do with this area of the product. So far, these components are still consistent between GroupWise 7.x and GroupWise 8.
What technical information are our customers requesting?
As part of our meeting, we also review the most popular Technical Information Documents (TID). We review how many times they were accessed. Here are the top 5...
- GroupWise 8 current information and issues
- Installing GroupWise WebAccess on SLES 10
- Security vulnerability (Cross-site Request Forgery) with GroupWise WebAccess
- Manual Migration: NSBS 6.x to NOWS SBE with GroupWise 7.0 or GroupWise 8.0
- Moving a Post Office to Linux
The top TID was requested 3.5 more times than the 2nd most popular TID. 10,762 times compared to 2nd place of 2,955.
Critical Situations and Hot Issues
We also discuss the number of Critical situations and Hot issues that NTS is dealing with. We compare this data with other products in similar release cycles. In the quarter we reviewed, there had been only 1 Critical Situation reported and 4 Hot Issues. This is also an indicator of enterprise quality and how reliable our products become as they are rolled out into data centers and enterprises. 1 Critical Situation out of 10,000 customers in a quarter is very encouraging. In some cases, although GroupWise is the product that registered the critical situation, there is some underlying infrastructure that is actually causing the problem at the customer site. It is simply manifested in GroupWise or in a GroupWise component.
We take action items and discuss ways to improve these statistics and make progress on any specific requests made from NTS. We discuss things like...if there was one thing we could do to reduce support calls - what would that be? We review the critical situations and hot issues to make sure they have received the attention required. We discuss the TIDs and if there is something we could do in the product to mitigate the reason our customers need to refer to this documentation.
NTS is a strategic member of our development team. Along with IS&T, they provide a much needed perspective on real world situations, enterprise configurations and many small to large deployments. Their help, feedback and advice is key to our overall quality, features and product.
Questions? or Comments?
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It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test, test, test before you do anything drastic with it.