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1 kolban commented Permalink

Many thanks for the posting. I am personally not convinced that IBM support shouldn't be the one to raise the requirement on the customer's behalf if requested. Here is my thinking:

 
There are two steps to getting a product changed. The first is to raise the requirement so that it becomes "logged" as something that a customer would like to see changed. The second is "pushing" the requirement request to get it accepted for an actual change in a future release. I see these as independent. If a customer says "X" is broken and defect support responds "X" is working as designed ... why not go ahead and raise the requirement that "A customer says 'X' is broken". The "requirement id" (assuming such a thing exists) can be returned to the customer with an explanation that it can be "pushed" through their account rep. What if a second but independent customer comes along and says "X" is broken? What about a third or a fourth? Maybe the knowledge that "X" is broken isn't a "huge deal" to just one customer ... but if ten customers report that "X" is broken ... wouldn't that mean it may become more important to address? If there is a "discontinuity" in the process where the "work" is pushed back to the customer, it just doesn't "feel" right especially as defect support have already performed work to determine the nature of the request in the first place. I would also imagine that when new PMRs are submitted, defect support could perform a search against this requirements database and be able to respond quicker if the requirement is already logged. I am also thinking that a customer who raises a requirement may be satisfied that the requirement has been made known to IBM without any expectation of "when" that requirement may be (if at all) satisfied in a future release.

2 RayTseng commented Permalink

Hi Neil, thanks Neil for your detailed and astute comments.

 
It looks like there are some gaps that I may have missed in my article, and I'll take some time to help clarify some of your concerns..
 
First, in the course of the PMR, Support or development already will often report back that there is an existing enhancement open, rather than ask a customer to open a new PMR. If the customer wishes to add their specific situaton and weight to that enhancement, this still can be done through their IBM Rep.
 
When Support requests customer to open an enhancement request, this is not an excessive burden pushed on the customer.
The only task for the customer to do is to get in touch with their IBM Sales Rep who will take ownership of the issue from there. The Sales Rep can internally contact Support if they require the technical details of the issue. But most frequently, the customer maybe able to just provide the PMR or forward the PMR email thread to their rep which will provide sufficient details on the situation.
 
The prioritization of enhancements is highly important as there are always more enhancements than can be implemented. Therefore, there is a high importance for the IBM Sales rep to get involved sooner rather then later to accurately champion the enhancements that have the most business and financial impact. Only the IBM Sales Rep can accurately measure these impacts, as compared to Support Engineers who are indifferent to financial aspects.
 
I agree with you that having the customer contact their Sales Rep is a barrier for customers to jump over, but this is a very *minimal* barrier.
 
In some sense, if a customer is not willing to take this minimal effort to contact their IBM rep, perhaps this is a sign that this "enhancement" really is not as vital to have as compared to others.
 
Thanks again for the comments!