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Adding Social Media to your Product Support Toolkit

By Archive User posted Thu August 02, 2012 04:14 PM


Originally posted by: ScottPeluso

The Internet is changing the face of product support. It is an undeniable fact that the manner in which we attempt to resolve problems, be they complex software applications or finding the closest Italian restaurant, is entirely different than 10, 5, or even 2 years ago. In all facets of our daily lives, how we search for answers to even the simplest of problems have been forever changed through online technology and capabilities. The Internet permeates all aspects of our lives; how many readers of this blog post do not understand the phrase "Just Google it"?
Nowhere is this more apparent than the emerging use of social media in the business environment. Over the past few years, social venues like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others have transformed from purely social offerings to bona fide business tools. For additional insight into IBM's approach and use of social business in the enterprise, I highly recommend following Sandy Carter, the IBM Vice President of Social Business.  Sandy is an acclaimed author, expert, and evangelist in this business context.
While one might argue social business is still maturing and that the social media landscape is still quite dynamic and reminiscent of the Old West (anyone still have a MySpace account?). the commitment to social business has seen tremendous growth in the halls of IBM Software Support. This acknowledgement of the import of social business is in no small part due to the explosion and popularity of these mediums as a viable means to resolve issues through a collection(s) of peer users. Community based, or to use the cool kid's lingo, crowdsourcing, allows you to move far beyond traditional support models. Prefer a concise and direct notification system? There is a Tivoli Support Twitter page. Want to engage in a dialogue with your peers? Check out the just released IBM Tivoli Support Facebook page. If you want to do more than just "like" the FB page, join the Tivoli Support Facebook group. Are you a visual learner? The IBM Electronic Support Channel on YouTube have generated over 50,000 views! There are hundreds of online instructional videos also available at the IBM Education Assistant site.
Two of the most prominent IBM online offerings dedicated to problem resolution are the Support Portal and Service Requests systems. The Support Portal is the gateway into resolving your product issues. You can configure the portal and add any and all IBM Software products your organization utilizes. From the portal, you can search our extensive knowledge base, download product documentation, review deployment and configuration best practices, and obtain product updates and maintenance.  Service Requests (SR) is the system where you can easily create new PMRs, view existing tickets. Two years ago, less than 20% of all new PMRs were created through the use of the SR system. Today, almost 50% of all PMRs originate electronically from the SR system..
I could go on and on about our IBM eSupport initiatives and will continue to focus and highlight online tooling in future posts. For now, I hope you take the time to review some of these tools and systems. I'm confident you will realize immediate value from these offerings. I welcome all comments on any aspect of Tivoli product support delivery. What works for you, and just as importantly, what's not working or what's totally missing. Our constant and driving objective is to continually improve the consistency and caliber of support we provide and your feedback in these forums is crucial to these goals.