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Customer Impact Analysis



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June 1, 2009 2:22 pm

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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.

Action Items
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?

Dean

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4 Comments

  1. By:gburg

    Dean,

    Are you satisfied with these outcomings? And can you be more specific on – GroupWise 8 current information and issues? What info, what issues? Like you explained about the Admin issues…

    Another item, does this reflect the questions of the US or is EMEA and Asia/Pacific included? If not, what are the stats for those areas?

    Gert
    GWCheck.com

  2. By:dlythgoe

    There are a couple of perspectives we take. We ask ourselves how these numbers/statistics compare to other releases/other products/etc. We are very satisfied with where things are in comparison to the GroupWise 7.0 release. A lot of things indicate that this is a much higher quality release and that many of our quality objectives are paying off. GroupWise also scores well compared to other Novell products. Given that GroupWise is one of the very few end-user centric products in Novell’s portfolio, we do expect there to be a lot more exposure, feedback, and use as compared to a data center application – for example.

    For your reference, the TID # for ‘GroupWise 8 current information and issues’ is 7001971. It is a reference TID that points to several other pieces of information and questions that users have asked about GroupWise 8. I hope that helps.

    The NTS data is world-wide. The statistics from each geography are combined in this report.

    Great questions!

    Dean

  3. By:jwalls2007

    Dean,

    Looks like one issues that was resolved in GW8HP1 slipped back into GW8HP2. Please reference TID 7001968, that is titled, “Locking out old snapins puts an incorrect date in the box”. It states that the issue has been resolved in GroupWise 8 Hot Patch 1. Well, I just installed GW8HP2 into a customer site, and when I locked the snapin versions to 8.0.0, and took the default date that was provided from ConsoleOne on Linux, I was no longer able to manage the system from ConsoleOne on Windows. I got the same result described in the TID. When I set it to 8.0.0 and the date back to May 1st, 2009, it worked on both platforms. Looks like the snapins for the different platforms have different dates embedded in them.

    Hope this helps someone else running into this issue…

    Thanks,

    John Walls
    Engineeer
    Novacoast Intl., Inc.
    jwalls@novacoast.com

    • By:dlythgoe

      John,

      Thanks for your post. I asked our engineer to take a look to see if we missed a code change or use case. We double checked the change log on the source files and the change was made properly to all code branches…both the 8.0.1 and the HP code branches. We expected then that this problem was resolved. So we did the following test…

      from the engineer:

      Yesterday I downloaded GW8HP1 and GWHP2 and tried them both and they worked correctly for me. These are the steps I used to test the problem.

      – I made a backup of the domain database that did not contain any snapin lockout information.
      – Using the GW8HP1 snapins I logged into the domain and went into Tools | GroupWise System Operations | System Preferences. On the Admin Lockout Settings tab I selected the setting to lockout older snapins and took the default values. I then saved the settings.
      – I restarted ConsoleOne and was able to access the domain without any problem. The original defect would cause the snapins to error out during the next run because it was not comparing the lockout date correctly.

      I then restored the backup of the original database and used the GW8HP2 snapins to repeat the test and I did not have see any problems which is what I expected.

      So – we still believe this is resolved in HP1 and HP2. Are we missing something? Please let us know what else to try and if there is something we have missed? If there is still a problem, we certainly want to address it before we ship 8.0.1…thanks for your help!

      Dean

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