When I last spoke with Amy Tower, who leads the ongoing transformation of the EMC Online Support site, her team had just completed the June Release in collaboration with IT. One of the hallmarks of the June release was the introduction of proactive support capabilities. This month, the Online Support site continues to improve with new and enhanced capabilities, so I met with Amy to get her insights on what’s new and what it means to Online Support users.
Q: Since the transition from Powerlink-based support to the EMC Online Support site early this year, there have been regular updates that improve the online support experience. What can users expect from the November 10 release?
A: This release delivers some nice enhancements to the proactive support functionality. For example, customers can now view capacity information for select products, sort the install base list by hardware vs. software, view status reporting on connectivity and contracts, and save the view settings. We are also really excited about the new company administration functionality that puts the control of company information in the hands of customers. This functionality can be accessed from Service Center by clicking on the “View and manage company administration” link on the lower left. It replaces the previous “Administer a site” and enables customers to centrally view and manage all of their company information.
Q: What kind of information can be viewed and managed?
A: All users can view and manage the list of sites they are related to within their organization. For a given site, they can view details related to products, contacts, service requests, contracts, and both view and manage environment information. Customer users with administrator privileges can also manage the details related to products, contacts, service requests and contracts.
Q: That sounds like a substantial improvement in the level of control users have. Were these changes driven by customer feedback?
A: Absolutely! The tool provides many features that are specific to an Administrator. The administrator privilege is something we had to build in our tool to ensure that only administrators had the ability to modify critical information within their company. The level of access allows customer administrators to view and control who should have manage rights.
Q: What were some key challenges you faced in delivering the new customer administration functionality?
A: We never had a self-service tool around company management on Online Support. It was important that we understood our customer’s demands by gathering feedback from our Customers, EMC’s helpdesk, account managers, and field resources. Equally as important, we had to build an intuitive interface to meet the demands. This required multiple iterations of user interface designs, and usability studies to ensure the tool would be easy to maneuver and navigate around. Building the new company management tool involved a great deal of effort, including Customer Service, IT, and Marketing.
Q: How can users learn more about the changes to the Online Support experience delivered in November?
A: Well, first, I would like to invite readers to join me for an upcoming Ask the Expert discussion I am hosting November 18-22. During this event, participants are invited to post any questions they might have about the new administration and proactive support functionality and I will work with my team to quickly respond.
For a quick rundown on the new features and enhancements refer to the November releases overview, which users can also access under Tips & Hints on the support site. We also just published the Company Administration Guide which provides a lot of detail about the administration features, including step-by-step instructions. The My Support > Products FAQ has been refreshed to include the new proactive support enhancements. Lastly, you can also ask questions on our Twitter account @EMCsupport or post your questions here in the Support Community Blog and we’ll get back to you with answers!
Social Media & Community Strategy, Customer Services Innovation Team
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