Re: system administrators and documentation

Subject: Re: system administrators and documentation
From: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 28 May 2003 08:20:29 -0400


Here's a similar scenario that may apply. Our product is large and feature-laden. We thoroughly document the whole thing, including installation, upgrading, administrative functions, ....

Nonetheless, our customers--the people making the spending decisions, not the people installing or using the application--have NEVER asked us to just ship them the CD and let their guys take care of it from there. They've given us grief about plenty of stuff, but they are more than delighted to have our implementation people install, configure, train their administrators, train their key users, etc. And yes we get paid for all those services.

In our customers' calculus, it's more cost-effective to have our experienced people holding their hands for the first month or so than to pay their own people to flounder and flail.

Once we've trained their key users, administrators, and trainers, they become much more self-sufficient. But we still have to walk them through software upgrades as often as not.

Yet every bit of what we provide in the form of instruction, guidance, system configuration, etc., is thoroughly and clearly documented. We have never found a reason to leave something out in order to encourage customers to ask for our help. They're happy to ask anyway; it costs them less than reading and following instructions.


Brian Das wrote:

Hi Gene,

You wrote, "If a customer inquired about any of the un or semidocumented
features, the reply they got was "I can connect you to a Product Support
Engineer for a quote on a custom application.""

I'm confused!: ) How it that scenario is very different from mine? I think
in both cases, documents are designed to leave certain users' needs unmet,
and consultants are available to meet those needs.


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Re: system administrators and documentation: From: Andrew Plato
Re: system administrators and documentation: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: system administrators and documentation: From: Brian Das

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