Re: system administrators and documentation

Subject: Re: system administrators and documentation
From: dmbrown -at- brown-inc -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 26 May 2003 11:07:47 -0700

Brian Das wrote:
> So, the strategy seems to be: Provide information that's
> only useful to people who already know the product well.
> Less experienced people will get frustrated and call us
> for consulting hours.

I wouldn't look at it so cynically. Try turning it around.

I assume that the system is complex, that setup is not a trivial task, that it's important for the system to be set up correctly, and that failure to set up the system correctly might well lead to dissatisfaction with the product.

Given those assumptions, you really don't want "just anybody" trying to set up the system and missing some crucial element. If that happens, the only solution is lots of frustrated calls to Tech Support. It's *much* better to get the system set up properly from the very beginning, so the customer gets the most out of the product and has a totally positive experience.

For the customer with a mature, experienced IT department, the highly technical information in your admin docs will be perfectly appropriate. (Make sure it is!)

For the customer without the necessary in-house expertise, the complex nature of that material may be just the "push" they need to contract with your Consulting group for assistance, rather than trying to do it themselves.

The benefits of this strategy:

* The customer gets a properly configured system, helping
ensure their satisfaction with the product.

* Set-up is properly documented--that's important, even
for the members of your Consulting group.

* You contribute (visibly!) to your company's success,
because Consulting is a profit center, whereas Tech
Support probably isn't.

* You demonstrate that you can understand and document
highly technical material, increasing your acceptance
by the developers and your value to your employer.

* You may get to learn about previously unfamiliar
technologies, like database configuration and network

Sounds like a win for everyone.



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system administrators and documentation: From: Brian Das

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