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Re: Support

In a message dated 3/27/99 9:24:18 AM Pacific Standard Time, ken@dieboldes.com
writes in answer to "when should customers upgrade?"

<< The answer to this is always "when necessary".  Whether it is necessary or
 not should be determined by the person(s) responsible for supporting the
 account. >>

My concern is that there appear to be plans shaping up that would have some
central support being responsible vs. a specific project manager.  If this be
the case, who is going to let customers know when it is time to upgrade or
when new functionality that will help them in their situation is available.
Frankly, do people in Dallas who have never layed out an Arizona or California
ballot understand the impacts of specific functions the end user might find
necessary or helpful?  It is clear that state to state requirements are very
different.  Unless you are laying out ballots out west, it is difficult to
know what the client might need. So how are they going to judge when it is

This is beginning to get frustrating, as we in the field don't know what the
plans are, and we are not being asked for input to the support plans.  But,
when there are problems with support, then all of a sudden it's the sales
person who is supposed to go in and resolve the problems.  

I've been involved in installing systems for almost 20 years, and seen
attempts at most every kind of support method.  Central support works to a
limited degree for software that is similar from account to account, and only
when the companies assign some of the best software talent in the company to
the task is it efficient or effective.  This approach requires strong
technical and field experience available to the customer on the "central" end
of the line.  

Customers are like all of us, they want a face and a name they know, and this
is the primary way to keep good customer relations.