Community Manager kgroneman Community Manager
Community Manager
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New Support Policy: Reality & Myth

Hey guys. I'm sitting here reading through the "upcoming support changes"
thread with some consternation and some amusement. (I laughed out loud at
the leeches reference. 😉

I understand the frustration of what you believe to be happening, but I
also want to ensure the facts are known because there is a lot of info
being tossed around that isn't exactly "truth". No, you definitely won't
need maintenance to attend BrainShare (that one made me laugh too!) If
you've been around here a while, you know me and know I'm straight up with
you.

Here's the deal, and feel free to ask me questions about it.....I'll find
the right people to answer them:

From what I'm reading, most of you are OK with the patches for enterprise,
non-open source products being available only to customers with
maintenance. I don't think many argue with that change. Let's talk about
the knowledgebase.

FACT: Only about 8% of the TIDs in the knowledgebase will be closed off
for entitled customers. Those are the TIDS for the products under "General
Support" ( Product Support Lifecycle ). All other TIDS will
remain open to the general public. As products move from general support
to extended and self support, all TIDS will become public.

FACT: If you have a maintenance contract on *any* product, you will have
full access to the knowledgbase without restriction.

What specific questions can I help get answered for you? Comon
now...serious questions. They can't include the word "braindead" 😉



--
Kim (9/22/2009 9:27:32 AM Mountain)
--
My computer used to beat me at chess all the time, but then I changed the competition to kick boxing.......
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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: New Support Policy: Reality & Myth

kgroneman;1859723 wrote:
Hey guys. I'm sitting here reading through the "upcoming support changes"
thread with some consternation and some amusement. (I laughed out loud at
the leeches reference. 😉

I understand the frustration of what you believe to be happening, but I
also want to ensure the facts are known because there is a lot of info
being tossed around that isn't exactly "truth". No, you definitely won't
need maintenance to attend BrainShare (that one made me laugh too!) If
you've been around here a while, you know me and know I'm straight up with
you.

Here's the deal, and feel free to ask me questions about it.....I'll find
the right people to answer them:

From what I'm reading, most of you are OK with the patches for enterprise,
non-open source products being available only to customers with
maintenance. I don't think many argue with that change. Let's talk about
the knowledgebase.

FACT: Only about 8% of the TIDs in the knowledgebase will be closed off
for entitled customers. Those are the TIDS for the products under "General
Support" ( Product Support Lifecycle ). All other TIDS will
remain open to the general public. As products move from general support
to extended and self support, all TIDS will become public.

FACT: If you have a maintenance contract on *any* product, you will have
full access to the knowledgbase without restriction.

What specific questions can I help get answered for you? Comon
now...serious questions. They can't include the word "braindead" 😉



--
Kim (9/22/2009 9:27:32 AM Mountain)


Kim,
Thanks for starting this thread. I will be monitoring this and making sure we provide answers to posts in a timely manner.

Mike McKenzie
Services Management & Operations
Novell, Services
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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: New Support Policy: Reality & Myth

I, for one, am *not* OK with patches being available to only those with maintenance. Available *First*, well, OK. But *never*? Not OK.

I don't like that, in any industry, from any vendor, for any reason.

OK, I get there must be incentive to "entice" people to purchase maintenance, but, ain't "upgrade" and "support" enough? Hey I might even be OK with a (reasonable) fee for patches, for non maintenance customers. But, don't we deserve some reciprocal loyalty? Continued loyalty, over years, decades, in some cases?

As for "stand alone" security patches being available to all . . . well, it does not take a paranoid to see how that could play out.

joe a.

kgroneman;1859723 wrote:
Hey guys. I'm sitting here reading through the "upcoming support changes"
thread with some consternation and some amusement. (I laughed out loud at
the leeches reference. 😉

I understand the frustration of what you believe to be happening, but I
also want to ensure the facts are known because there is a lot of info
being tossed around that isn't exactly "truth". No, you definitely won't
need maintenance to attend BrainShare (that one made me laugh too!) If
you've been around here a while, you know me and know I'm straight up with
you.

Here's the deal, and feel free to ask me questions about it.....I'll find
the right people to answer them:

From what I'm reading, most of you are OK with the patches for enterprise,
non-open source products being available only to customers with
maintenance. I don't think many argue with that change. Let's talk about
the knowledgebase.

FACT: Only about 8% of the TIDs in the knowledgebase will be closed off
for entitled customers. Those are the TIDS for the products under "General
Support" ( Product Support Lifecycle ). All other TIDS will
remain open to the general public. As products move from general support
to extended and self support, all TIDS will become public.

FACT: If you have a maintenance contract on *any* product, you will have
full access to the knowledgbase without restriction.

What specific questions can I help get answered for you? Comon
now...serious questions. They can't include the word "braindead" 😉



--
Kim (9/22/2009 9:27:32 AM Mountain)
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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: New Support Policy: Reality & Myth

Oh Mike, Kim must not have warned you about me. 🙂 I have an earful for
you about support. Same stuff I've been complaining about for the past few
years. But I'll tackle you on that later.

As for what Kim's said so far, I'd say he hit it on the head with regards
to patches, but I'd still prefer to see the KB open for products in general
support...especially with what's been done in regards to SR's lately.
Considering we're debugging AFP for you at the moment there should be some
give and take. ALA's are different than most other customers...how exactly
will these changes affect ALA customers and those of us in the MHEC
consortium?
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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
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Re: New Support Policy: Reality & Myth

joea;1859742 wrote:
I, for one, am *not* OK with patches being available to only those with maintenance. Available *First*, well, OK. But *never*? Not OK.

I don't like that, in any industry, from any vendor, for any reason.

OK, I get there must be incentive to "entice" people to purchase maintenance, but, ain't "upgrade" and "support" enough? Hey I might even be OK with a (reasonable) fee for patches, for non maintenance customers. But, don't we deserve some reciprocal loyalty? Continued loyalty, over years, decades, in some cases?

As for "stand alone" security patches being available to all . . . well, it does not take a paranoid to see how that could play out.

joe a.


Joe,

Restrictions apply only to products that are in the General Availability phase of the product life cycle. As products move out of this phase all patches and knowledge content will become freely available. So "never" is not correct.

Mike McK
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jmarton2 Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: New Support Policy: Reality & Myth

On Tue, 22 Sep 2009 15:37:44 +0000, kgroneman wrote:

> As products move from
> general support to extended and self support, all TIDS will become
> public.


Considering the number of outdated and incorrect TIDs that exist today,
as well as the number of product features/bugs which aren't added/fixed
due to a lack of resources, I don't see how Novell will have the
resources to continually update TIDs as products moved out of general
support.

Plus there's the grey area of TIDs applicable to multiple product
versions, some in general support and some not. If a TID is applicable
to GroupWise 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, and 8.0, will it require maintenance or
not?



--
Joe
Does this washcloth smell like chloroform?

Joe Marton Emeritus Knowledge Partner
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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
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Re: New Support Policy: Reality & Myth

kgroneman,

> Hey guys. I'm sitting here reading through the "upcoming support
> changes" thread with some consternation and some amusement. (I laughed
> out loud at the leeches reference. 😉


Thanks! I take a lot of time with my humorous metaphors; I'm glad
they're appreciated. 🙂


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jmarton2 Absent Member.
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Re: New Support Policy: Reality & Myth

On Tue, 22 Sep 2009 16:16:01 +0000, mmckenzie wrote:

> Restrictions apply only to products that are in the General Availability
> phase of the product life cycle. As products move out of this phase all
> patches and knowledge content will become freely available. So "never"
> is not correct.


"We created a product. We are happy you purchased it. Unfortunately we
made mistakes when we created the product, introducing bugs. Do you want
to download the fixes? Sorry, that will cost you extra."

I guess if you buy a car that has a steering wheel, you shouldn't expect
the steering wheel to turn unless you pay extra.


--
Joe
Does this washcloth smell like chloroform?

Joe Marton Emeritus Knowledge Partner
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Community Manager kgroneman Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: New Support Policy: Reality & Myth

Hey Joseph Marton:

>I don't see how Novell will have the
>resources to continually update TIDs as products moved out of general
>support.


We're going to be moving TIDs out of our current Knova system and into a
new Autonomy system and believe it or not, yours truly is tasked with the
overall content in Autonomy. Have I ever let you down in the forums? 🙂

>Plus there's the grey area of TIDs applicable to multiple product
>versions, some in general support and some not. If a TID is applicable
>to GroupWise 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, and 8.0, will it require maintenance or
>not?


That's a really good question....I dunno. I'll find out and post what I
can find.

--
Kim (9/22/2009 10:18:22 AM Mountain)
--
My computer used to beat me at chess all the time, but then I changed the competition to kick boxing.......
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rand68 Absent Member.
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Re: New Support Policy: Reality & Myth

mmckenzie;1859750 wrote:
Joe,

Restrictions apply only to products that are in the General Availability phase of the product life cycle. As products move out of this phase all patches and knowledge content will become freely available. So "never" is not correct.

Mike McK


Maybe you can explain to me how this helps your customers? This change won't directly impact me since I'm under an ALA, but for commercial accounts I can't see how this can possibly help them.

It may be argued that for customers with contracts this will be transparent but I can almost guarantee you that someone won't be able to get what they need because somewhere someone forgot to check some checkbox that indicates that they get access to the downloads. It's happened to me more than once.
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zeffan Absent Member.
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Re: New Support Policy: Reality & Myth


Restrictions apply only to products that are in the General Availability phase of the product life cycle. As products move out of this phase all patches and knowledge content will become freely available.


Mike,

I've been supporting Novell loyally for 17 years. I've worked for a couple different Novell partners (including Platinum) and have even done some subcontracts for Novell Consulting. I'm so Novell-loyal my blood is red!
That having been said, all of the consulting firms in our area have turned away from Novell for one reason or another. I'm now working on a contract for a government agency (who is in the process of migrating away from Novell). I'm not happy about it! I didn't sleep well the first couple of weeks of this project, in fact.
I have been running my own consulting firm on the side for 4 years doing almost exclusively Novell work. Most of my customers are K12 schools who don't have the budget to buy maintenance. They're getting pressure from their teachers and Boards to migrate to MS, but have held the line....so far.

What your company's support policy change is going to do is either drive them away from Novell completely (which will pretty much put ME out of business!) or encourage them to stick with products that are getting quite old and NOT upgrade because they can't afford the maintenance that goes with them.

I don't like either option, but in the face of Novell's HORRIBLE decision I don't see any other. Please....tell me I'm missing something. I really don't want to start searching for Microsoft bootcamps, but you're pushing me that direction.

Thank you,

A Downs
Master CNE
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grimlock1 Absent Member.
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Re: New Support Policy: Reality & Myth

kgroneman wrote:

> FACT: Only about 8% of the TIDs in the knowledgebase will be closed off
> for entitled customers. Those are the TIDS for the products under
> "General Support" ( http://support.novell.com/lifecycle ). All other
> TIDS will remain open to the general public. As products move from
> general support to extended and self support, all TIDS will become public.


So it's only 8% brain damaged in that part of the plan then. Why Novell
would even go through the trouble of making part of a knowledge base
private is beyond me. Knowledge bases exist usually because of problems
with software. It's both because of bugs, as well as things that
usually aren't clear enough in the documentation and thus require
clarification. You want customers to be able to use your product easily
and effectively. That way they will recommend it to others. If it's a
hassle and you have to open up your wallet every time, you're going to
breed unhappy customers. Case in point, the thread that's currently
running. Worse, you're breeding unhappy partners and dealers, and now
they won't be advocating your products.

Lets look at some of the last set of new tid's released (courtesy of the
forum that tells you when they come out)

http://www.novell.com/support/search.do?usemicrosite=true&searchString=7000778

Problem introduced by Novell, and a fix is available from Novell.
Great, my problem is fixable and I don't have to pick up a phone and
wait in a queue.

http://www.novell.com/support/search.do?usemicrosite=true&searchString=3576410
"ConsoleOne - Universal Passwords not updating"

Problem with C1 that's fixed in 1.3.6h Would that require a contract
to get the update? Would that require a contract to see the TID to know
there's an update fixing the problem that I need a contract for?

http://www.novell.com/support/search.do?usemicrosite=true&searchString=7940698
(Issue with secure login)

Simple registry edit to fix it, however not one that anyone would
possibly know about if Novell didn't tell them. I could be wrong that
that's in the documentation for the product, but I highly doubt it.

http://www.novell.com/support/search.do?usemicrosite=true&searchString=7004457

Issue with ZAM. Reported to Engineering, aka bug

http://www.novell.com/support/search.do?usemicrosite=true&searchString=3109599

Daylight savings switch in part of Australia.. That's an arguable
one.. Sure Novell isn't obligated to provide those fixes to older
products, however it makes good customer service for them to do so if
the product is still in mainstream support.


Look, this is pretty simple. If You sell a product and it's defective,
you have an obligation to fix that defect for free for as long as you
are supporting that product (at a minimum). You don't get to charge for
fixing bad code.

Support subscriptions should be for when I need to call you because I
can't figure it out and I need help. I'm paying you for your time as an
expert to show me the things I don't know how to do. It's no different
than calling a consultant in and paying them because you don't have
knowledge in that area. If it turns out to be because of a bug, it's free.

Now there's an interesting dynamic that develops if you start hiding all
or parts of the KB. You now remove my ability to find out of my problem
is a bug and there's a patch available. I can't really be sure because
I can't see the whole thing. Perhaps there is a simple registry fix,
perhaps not.

Ideally software should be so good that you don't need complex support
forums and tons of patches, but in the real world that's not the case.
We've come to expect bugs and documentation deficiencies and sometimes
long waits for them to be fixed. We don't expect to have to pay for
that "privilege".

That being said, Kim, thank you for jumping in on this. We appreciate
everything you've done and do around here and I know you aren't the
person who makes these decisions but you're expected to try and quell
the storms from them. It's not fun to be you some days I'm sure.
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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
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Re: New Support Policy: Reality & Myth

kgroneman;1859723 wrote:

<snip>
From what I'm reading, most of you are OK with the patches for enterprise,
non-open source products being available only to customers with
maintenance. I don't think many argue with that change. Let's talk about
the knowledgebase.

<snip>


nope -- not ok with it. The "enterprise" closed source material is what many smaller customers are still clinging to, but without staying current on maintenance. If you close them out from support resources (patches and knowledge base) then you are doing two things:

1)alienating the customer themselves -- leaving them in the lurch.
2)alienating the customers support vendor

The announcement makes it seem like we (VARs) should be happy as punch to go to the customer with a "well now since you won't get any support access unless you stay current, let me take your order for maintenance". The reality is that many of us will cringe and ... avoid that conversation like the plague it is.

If you want to convert these smaller non-maint-paying customers into paying customers of some sort (and gain small bits of mind-share along the way) you would find ways to provide INCENTIVES for folks to pay cash. Part of that is making payments more aligned with reality. Part of it is ... just being creative in this process.

This is a heavy-handed not well thought out DIS-INCENTIVE to re-up with Novell ...

Sad to say, though -- I am not surprised not really anymore do I care. I am now a passive observer, interested to see to what extent and how soon Novell will whither ....

Novell should be in "startup" mode -- scrambling for business and aggressive about keeping and gaining every customer and building mind share.

Instead, Novell is in a position that it primarily is working to keep shareholders happy, at the expense of doing what makes most sense both from a technical and a marketing perspective. Grow mode -- recover mind share mode -- rather than pay investors mode.

I wish someone would buy the company and take it private.

Or I wish that Novell would DUMP ALL PROPRIETARY software licenses and go exclusively open source with everything they have ...

One of the two strategies has a chance to succeed. This approach is a withering on the vine....
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jchriste Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: New Support Policy: Reality & Myth

I'm one of those who works for a school district that can't afford maintenance on everything. I am in the process of rolling out two Linux labs & after much fretting, decided to use SLED over openSUSE, Ubuntu or Fedora because of eDir & AD support in the product. We are not able to pay the per seat cost for SLED support.

I thought I could live with just getting SPs when they were released, rather than the more timely updates available with maintenance. With this news it appears that I won't be able to get the SPs until after they leave GA. If I understand correctly, when something is no longer GA, it is because there is a newer version available & the old product is nearing EOL.

I'm going to have to rethink this decision regarding deploying SLED w/o maintenance. Ubuntu or Fedora will most likely be the distro deployed. I was the only school that was going to use SLED, all others were going with Ubuntu.
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jmarton2 Absent Member.
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Re: New Support Policy: Reality & Myth

On Tue, 22 Sep 2009 16:34:50 +0000, Patrick Farrell wrote:

> We've come to expect bugs and documentation deficiencies and sometimes
> long waits for them to be fixed. We don't expect to have to pay for
> that "privilege".


If anything, the customer should be reimbursed. I was on a recent United
flight on which there were instrumentation problems prior to departure.
The airplane traveled back-and-forth from the gate to the runway several
times until the issue was finally resolved, introducing a nearly two hour
delay prior to departure. United's response? I had my choice of a $150
e-certificate or 7,000 bonus miles for my inconvenience. If Ron
Hovsepian, John Dragoon, and Jeff Jaffe ran United I probably would have
been forced to pay a fee in order to remain on the flight after the delay.

> That being said, Kim, thank you for jumping in on this. We appreciate
> everything you've done and do around here


Ditto. Kim is one of the few people left at Novell who truly cares about
the customer.

Thank you Kim.



--
Joe
Does this washcloth smell like chloroform?

Joe Marton Emeritus Knowledge Partner
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