Re: Do you ask the question: How do I work with Oracle Support....?

I have watched this thread from the sideline, but I'd like to add my 0.03 euros (inflation picking up).


I have been on both sides of the fence. My work is usually performance work, and I have very few opportunities to log an SR. I did it twice, some years ago, once for a problem of hanging database with shared servers, the other one when testing an earlier version of logical standby. In both cases the problem was in fact fixed in the next version of Oracle and there was a work-around (not using the feature yet ...). In one of the cases I had an analyst on the phone, rather sympathetic and enthusiastic, with an industrial-strength Welsh accent that few of my (French) colleagues would have been able to understand. I have done some support a long, long time ago, when the joke was that the standard answer to customers was "ior i"; things have much changed since then, but I'd just like to point out that the brilliant analyst of one person may also be the hopeless analyst of another; having already met the problem or a similar one is mightily helpful and you may give a less flattering impression the very first time that you are confronted to it. There is also the fact that support people are the front line, and that if nothing moves behind there is nothing they can do. A customer had a problem on Apollo (a brand of workstations later bought over by HP, that was running "Domain", an OS that was to Unix what chimpanzees are to gorillas); the guy I had on the phone was obviously technically quite competent, the problem wasn't obvious, it lingered on for month, nobody at Oracle had any interest in Apollo/Domain (which was justified, as it turned out), when I left Oracle it was still pending and I assume that it still is today. And yet I had learned to by-pass the official "entry point" in the US for Oracle France support, whose only quality was that he spoke French, and I had two correspondents in the US who were both responsive and competent, and had *some* access to developers that I hadn't (we didn't have the code in France then).

Support is a difficult and boring job; not something you want to do for a long time, especially if you are creative. Besides, it is true that all customers aren't perfectly lucid when explaining their problem. In my time, we had customers on the phone, some kind of personal relationship was building on and over time you knew who was the chaff and who was the straw, which was helpful. I am not sure that it's so easy today. Some customers, who have little idea of how everything works, establish completely fanciful causality relationships (with the best intentions). Trying to gain time was also a game we played, to have the opportunity to search while looking responsive. Customers also tend to forget that their problem isn't the only one you have to solve.

IMHO, the real problem is how much Oracle charge for support; they don't quite share the views of Chris Anderson. The number of times I have seen on this list people posting "I have already raised an SR with Oracle but I usually get answers faster on oracle-l" is telling.



Stephane Faroult
RoughSea Ltd <http://www.roughsea.com>
Konagora <http://www.konagora.com>
RoughSea Channel on Youtube <http://www.youtube.com/user/roughsealtd>

On 04/15/2011 12:54 PM, Peter Hitchman wrote:
Hi,
I am in progress the a "severity 4" SR, it is rare that I log these,
but I am having issues with a materialized view and I figured that I
would do the system/hang dumps and send them to Oracle.
Its the apparent "I don't want to hear this" attitude that in this
case and others that gets to me.
I work in a support team, I know people do not like to hear about
problems, but sometimes you do need to know. Often I have team members
sighing about problems reported with our data, but if we don't sort it
out one way or another we will loose customers. In a way, I think that
with a SR like this I am doing Oracle a favour. I am pointing out to
them that there is a problem with a certain type of configuration,
they should want to know so they can find out if a future release
fixes it or if work needs to be done. Not just asking the same
questions over and over. Sometimes I find it very hard not to post
sarcastic comments with SRs like this, but I stop myself by
remembering the very good support I have had when I really needed it.

Regards
Pete
--
http://www.freelists.org/webpage/oracle-l



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