Monthly Archives: February 2009

e-Surveys and the Winds of Change

sounds of silence

Have you ever contacted ESRI Support Services (ESS) and received an e-Survey, either during the handling of your incident or after the incident has been resolved or closed? For those of you who have, thank you for your feedback. For those of you who have not, below is a screen shot of the e-Survey that is sent out by ESS.survey screenshot

ESRI Support Services main focus has always revolved around being customer centric and gathering feedback from you, the customer.  One way ESS accomplishes this is through the distribution of e-Surveys.

e-Surveys provide a method to deliver and return information quickly and easily to help ESS improve support, workflows, and overall practices. The content of the e-Survey also helps ESS pinpoint specific areas in the software that may need fixes and helps to drive the implementation of new products, therefore creating a better product for you.

While moving into 2009, we have worked towards improving the e-Survey process and the content in order to continue gathering your feedback in a more conducive fashion.

Improvements include:

  • Making the content in the e-Surveys more specific to your overall experience and satisfaction with ESRI Support, the analyst that provides you support, and the area of the product you are using. Better distinguishing your feedback allows ESS to consistently work towards improving all areas of your ESRI Support experience as well as the product being used.

  • Providing customers with multiple surveys. In the past, e-Surveys were only sent to customers after an issue had been resolved. With the implementation of our new internal escalation process, e-Surveys are now sent when an issue is escalated and when an issue is resolved. Having your feedback throughout the life of the incident helps ESS ensure that the new e-Survey process does not affect your customer experience.

Gathering feedback from you, the customer, is essential for the growth and overall success of ESRI Support Services. We hope to continue this growth in the future with your help and look forward to hearing from you.

— Josh B., Desktop and SSR Unit Manager, ESRI Support Services

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ArcGIS 9.3.1 – Beyond the Buzz

ArcGIS 9.3.1
There has been a lot of buzz lately in the ESRI Community about ArcGIS 9.3.1; hopefully answering the following FAQ’s will clear a few things up for you.

  1. What will ArcGIS 9.3.1 include?

    • It will include many bug fixes that were submitted by users just like service packs do, but will also include many new features that will have a significant positive impact on many users. To see the targeted list of bugs to be included view the 9.3.1 Announcement (Note: the downloadable PDF contains the list.) For more details on what features are going to be included in ArcGIS 9.3.1 for all products, please see ‘What’s coming in ArcGIS 9.3.1’.

  2. Will there be a download for 9.3.1 available on the ESRI Support Center Website?

    • ArcGIS 9.3.1 will automatically be shipped on media to all customers that are current on maintenance for the respective products. There will be an “Upgrade” DVD that will take your existing 9.3 or 9.3 SP1 products and upgrade them to 9.3.1 (no uninstall of 9.3 required).

    • For new customers purchasing an ArcGIS product, there will be a full 9.3.1 installation disk.

  3. When will ArcGIS 9.3.1 be available?

    • ArcGIS 9.3.1 is scheduled to be available in the second quarter (Q2) of 2009.

  4. What about backwards compatibility?

    • ArcGIS 9.3.1 is compatible with ArcGIS 9.3 for all aspects of ArcGIS, including geodatabases, maps, and API’s; so you will be able to easily migrate or work in mixed environments of ArcGIS 9.3 and ArcGIS 9.3.1 within the same organization.

  5. Where can I post feedback about the upcoming 9.3.1 release?

    • Check out the Upcoming Release Announcement Forums, these forums are here for you to discuss, ask questions, suggest additions, and give us feedback specific to future ESRI Products. These forums will be monitored by ESRI.

  6. Is there going to be a Service Pack 2 for 9.3?

    • No, the next release of ArcGIS Software is going to be ArcGIS 9.3.1. This is a minor maintenance release, and is recommended for all users.

The following is a link to a related article that was published in the Winter Edition of ArcNews Magazine: ArcGIS 9.3.1 Is the Next Release of ArcGIS.

—Mike H., User Advocacy Group, ESRI Support Services

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Support, Support, Wherever You Are…

bi-coastal support centers

We’re not only in California anymore:

Hi! It’s Melissa and Hanna – group leaders at ESRI Support Services Charlotte office. We both worked at our Redlands headquarters for a few years and were excited to get the opportunity to move to North Carolina – the summers are a little more humid but there are actually four seasons here and it’s green and…well…we could go on about the area but of course we have more important things to tell you.

Did you know that ESRI Support Services has support staff located in Charlotte, North Carolina? Y’all can just keep using the same methods to contact ESRI Support & the routing to our various locations will happen automatically.

In August of 2006, ESRI started establishing the Support location in Charlotte to be more available for those of you who are in the Eastern and Central time zones. Recruiting skilled analysts on the East Coast allowed for staffing to the point where our Charlotte office is now covering all technical areas. In addition to new recruits, we have also acquired a few transplants from Redlands in the process. Starting in May of 2008, ESRI extended the Support Services business hours to 5AM – 5PM PST (8AM – 8PM EST). Many of you may have been pleasantly surprised when calling in early and getting to speak to someone before lunchtime (EST)! In addition to these two main locations there are several Support Services staff sprinkled across the US, as well.

We collaborate between locations on a regular basis via phone, conference call, and even video conference meetings! So don’t be afraid to contact Support earlier in the day as you will get the same quality of support no matter what location you reach.

Take advantage of our extended hours! Having Support staff on East and West Coasts can be beneficial depending on your business needs or hours. Every once in a while it might be necessary to get an analyst from a specific location to assist you on a call due to time zone differences. A good example of this would be if you need assistance for an upgrade after East Coast business hours, but still within California business hours. And of course, Charlotte analysts would be available to you if you are having an issue in the early morning hours, when California is still asleep.

ESRI is so committed to serving you that we have placed a Support office 2,410 miles away from the headquarters in Redlands! If this is the first you are hearing of our bi-coastal support centers, we hope that this post helps you to better utilize the extended hours of service that we provide.

Don’t forget – you can still use the same methods to contact us, and we will route you to the analyst best able to help you. We hope to work with y’all soon!

—Melissa B., Desktop Group Lead & Hanna S., Implementation Group Lead, ESRI Support Services, Charlotte, NC office

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Focusing On Support With A Global View

Introducing Jim Risley

Hello, my name is Jim Risley and I manage the International Support Program in ESRI Support Services. I came up through the ranks of Support, starting as an Arcinfo Workstation (back then, it was just called ARC/INFO) analyst for over three years. I moved into my current position in the fall of 1997. Over time, the role has changed and grown.

ESRI is represented internationally by a network of over 80 distributors. Each distributor is our official agent in their country or region and is responsible for sales, maintenance and of course, support for their client base. ESRI Support Services works as the second and third tiers of support for our distributors.

Back in ’97, our main job in the International Group was to make sure that the support process was working smoothly for our distributors. The role of our group has grown over the years to include managing global accounts, working with the User Advocacy Group (UAG) to help prioritize bug fixing, and working with our Development and Quick Fix Engineering (QFE) teams to identify critical issues and to provide software patches and hot fixes for individual international clients.

The International Support team works closely with our analysts and group leads on the operation side to ensure that the support process runs smoothly and that critical issues get the attention they need. We meet regularly with the UAG and Development teams to discuss hot issues and out-of-cycle bug fixes. We also work closely with our counterparts at ESRI’s International Distributors to ensure that our international users are getting the best support possible.

If you have comments or questions regarding the International Support program, please leave them in the comments section.

International Support Council

With this post, I’d like to introduce the International Support Council (ISC). This council is comprised of ESRI Support Services Management and Support Professionals of the ESRI International Distributor community who have a common interest in improving the technical support experience of our customers. Involvement with the International Support Council provides a collaborative forum for expressing ideas and opinions to help guide the future of International Support.

ESRI Support Services will be conducting regular meetings with representatives of the International Distributors’ Support Units. In these meetings, members of the support community from ESRI and our international distributors will discuss Best Practices, support workflows, challenges and successes in support, and how we can work together to improve the support experience for ESRI’s international clients.

In addition, we have begun a collaborative program where analysts from our distributors will help staff our Technical Support Island at conferences, such as, the ESRI International User Conference in San Diego, our Business Partner Conference, and Developers Summit in Palm Springs. Our first effort along these lines took place this past August in San Diego and was a great success. We had participation from 12 different distributors and for the first time we were able to provide multi-lingual support at the Technical Support Island. This past summer, we had representatives from Germany, Poland, South Korea, Columbia, Chile, India, France, and The Netherlands. We hope to continue to expand this program and our language coverage for future conferences.

If you have any questions about the ISC, please leave them in the comments section.

—Jim R., International Support Manager, ESRI Support Services

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