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jlingg
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Why no support forum?

Post by jlingg » Mar 08, 2011 5:03 pm

I read the post that this is not a support forum and we shouldnt post technichal questions here. My question is "why not?" It seems to me that Veeam would benefit from users helping each other.

Gostev
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Re: Why no support forum?

Post by Gostev » Mar 08, 2011 6:11 pm

Because the users will not be able to help each other with 99% of all encountered issues, so this is simply not going to work in the first place. This will only make people frustrated because of not hearing back from either other users, nor Veeam staff (as again, we cannot really help in most cases without investigating full logs and/or webex - arbitrary log snippets are never enough). But then people start posting how Veeam ignores them, how Veeam sucks as a vendor, etc... not pretty at all... I've seen this happen too many times in the past 3 years.

Additionally, support issues trash the forum with tons of topics talking about environment specific issues, which makes people unsubscribe from RSS feeds and email notifications, miss really interesting topics they would otherwise be able to contribute in tons of support issues, thus effectively making them drop off the community. We have been receiving feedback about this, and this was one of the reason behind the current forum rules. Very few people would like to actively participate in something "that smells much like support forum" (that is exact wording from one of our community members I heard couple of years ago). In fact, we were seeing negative trends in newly registered users coming back to the forum to participate. New rules have really fixed this, for example in just 2 last months, over a half of all registered forum users have logged on to these forums at least once. People come back again and again because the content they see is now relevant and interesting.

On the other hand, if you'd mainly like to be able to submit support issues and get answers via forum (potentially from other users) instead of going through regular process, please feel free to submit feedback to our support organization directly. When we close each support case for you, there is an option to receive a callback from support manager - this is the easiest way to get to our support management. I will also talk to them about this directly, in fact our Director of Support is coming to my office next week anyway. Thanks for your feedback!

tsightler
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Re: Why no support forum?

Post by tsightler » Mar 08, 2011 8:43 pm

It is certainly a tough issue. The current forum has devolved into people with the same mundane topics over and over (how do I setup virtual labs/AIR, which NAS should I use, how should I architect my backup, etc, etc). I'd rather see people's support issues. This probably comes from my OSS background where issues are almost always discussed in forums (well, really mailing lists, but similar concept). I used to think of the Veeam forums as an excellent resource, now it's largely devoid of any useful information. All the good stuff is locked up with "support" and not shared to the general user community.

The idea that most problems require Webex/Full Logs is typically a crutch for a lack of skill in most support organizations, but I'll give Veeam the benefit of the doubt here because their logs actually contain useful information with usable error messages.

Gostev
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Re: Why no support forum?

Post by Gostev » Mar 08, 2011 9:49 pm

tsightler wrote: I'd rather see people's support issues. This probably comes from my OSS background where issues are almost always discussed in forums (well, really mailing lists, but similar concept). I used to think of the Veeam forums as an excellent resource, now it's largely devoid of any useful information. All the good stuff is locked up with "support" and not shared to the general user community.
Sounds like all you are missing is external KB that lists all newly discovered issues applicable to the current release version? Good news is, our support is working on it already. This should be even better, because previously you would have to crawl through multiple threads to see who is having what issue, and pull all the new information together. Sure, this worked when we had 2-3 new topics per day, but these days we have 2-3 pages of new topics and this would be challenging to do anyway ;)

Besides, we are not by any means preventing users from posting about the issues they are experiencing. We are not trying to hide anything, but if you do not follow very simple rules when posting a support issue, your topic will get killed (sorry). This is explained in more details when you click New Topic (been there for years), but essentially all we ask for is that you reference your support case ID when posting about a technical issue on this forum. This is required to:
a) Give us access to full information on issue including full logs. We cannot really do much and help you with that generic "Server: End of file" error from job session's summary... you know what I mean?
b) Be able to update the topic with resolution (because OPs almost never do). How many times every week you see people saying "I have the same issue, what was the resolution", and we cannot pull up the resolution because no support case number is available? Well, this is exactly one of the reasons!

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Re: Why no support forum?

Post by tsightler » Mar 08, 2011 11:42 pm 1 person likes this post

The KB might be OK, but IMHO, it's the "discussion" where all the value is. Many KB's leave out the details/background for an issue so it's difficult to determine if the issue applied. The quality of KB information varies wildly from one company to another. If your KB is basically just a bunch of answers from the manual, like Watchguard, then that's not really of any value. If it's truly culled from support cases/solution from issues "in the wild", well, that would be useful.

I didn't mean to imply that your trying to hide anything, only that only talking to support does hide things. You can say that most of the issues support handles are "environment specific" and perhaps that's true, but being able to rule out other peoples environment issues from your own can be very useful.

In the OSS space (and in others, Cisco NetPro forums -- http://supportforums.cisco.com -- are a good example), people post their issues and others guide them through steps that lead them to a solution. The guidance doesn't just help them fix a problem, it teaches them and others along the way. They learn about how the product works, how the pieces interoperate, etc. This helps them to perhaps not need support the next time since they learn something in the process, and, in the symbiotic relationship that is providing support, the people making the recommendations many times learn something as well. Calling support just gets you a Webex session and someone to "fix" your problem. Nothing wrong with that, for probably 90% of people in IT these days that's all they want (sad, but unfortunately true), but for that other 10%, taking the time to post their issues is an indication that they really might be in this to learn something, and the community allows that learning process to be shared.

I don't think the OP was stating that support questions has to be allowed in the main forum, but perhaps a separate, "Community Support Forum". Once again, I understand Veeam's reasoning, and it's perfectly valid, but that doesn't keep me from disagreeing with the current forum approach (so much so that I almost posted a rant when the hammer first came down :D ).

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Re: Why no support forum?

Post by Davd » Mar 09, 2011 8:49 am

I totally agree with you Jason and Tom. A separate, "Community Support Forum" would be really good. I have been using Veeam B&R for almost a year now and this support forum gave me a lot of guidance and solutions during that time. For that reason, in a lot of cases, I didn't need to contact Veeam support since the answer was in the forum. And from Veeams perspective that should be considered beneficial since their support personnel don't need to spend time in all those cases.

For every new Veeam version release there is plenty of new stuff that the forum covers and provides information and solutions about. Allot of the times the problems one might experience are not caused by Veeam but are instead in VMware or OS and this information is often in the forum. A Veeam KB would most likely not cover those cases so you would need to spend hours and hours trying to find the cause and then still not being able to share the info with other Veeam users due to lack of Community Support Forum.

So even though I can understand Gostevs standpoint that some users have high expectations on Veeam to reply in this forum, a separate community forum would be good where Veeam Users/Expert users can share knowledge. An external KB that you suggested Gostev would then be complementary.

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Re: Why no support forum?

Post by spgsit5upport » May 16, 2014 10:55 am

Most of any issues I had would have been experienced by somebody else. Solutions were usually simple (tick this, edit that, do this)
Nothing ground breaking.

Dealing with support was mostly unnecessary, if one could find a simple guidance in forums.

Technical forums full of Support case ID only are TOTALLY pointless. Anybody can have a different opinion, I just expressed mine

Seb

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Re: Why no support forum?

Post by User0815 » May 16, 2014 5:05 pm

but just deleting simple questions like "why get credentials saved so anybody can use my account" is the soluting... great...

Gostev
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Re: Why no support forum?

Post by Gostev » May 18, 2014 7:00 pm

We are not deleting questions, and your question was not deleted either. But as explained when you click New Topic, the first post of every newly registered user is held for manual approval by moderator to keep the forum clean from spam bots. While the post is sitting in the moderation queue, it does not appear in the forums.

Once your first post is approved, all the following posts and topics go straight in, without pre-moderation.

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[MERGED] Why would I post on Forums if I had a case with Vee

Post by unusedname » Mar 26, 2015 1:23 pm

So essentially this is saying that Veeam will never be able to figure out your problem, so after you create a case, then you can ask other users? Is there a forum that I can actually ask Veeam questions on?

Vitaliy S.
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Re: Why no support forum?

Post by Vitaliy S. » Mar 26, 2015 1:48 pm

Yes, there is and we are ready to help with any design, configuration or deployment best practices questions on these community forums, however all technical issues which require debug logs review should be addressed with our technical support team.

Support case ID in the forum post is also required for us to be able to look up the resolution in future, as most people never come back to update the topic they have created with the resolution.

Thank you for your understanding.

larry
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Re: Why no support forum?

Post by larry » Mar 27, 2015 12:19 pm 4 people like this post

What I find with a forum is sometimes you just need a different person to tell you the same thing. You read the manual, talk with staff that made the manual but the third party rewords the same information and a light goes on. I do think the way Veeam weeds out support issues by needing a support ticket keeps the forum from filling with issues others are not seeing. If I open a ticket and still can’t get the light to go on I can just post the question to all.

Gostev
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Re: Why no support forum?

Post by Gostev » Mar 27, 2015 4:08 pm 3 people like this post

larry wrote:I do think the way Veeam weeds out support issues by needing a support ticket keeps the forum from filling with issues others are not seeing.
Spot on. This was exactly what triggered introducing this rule 5 years ago, when this forum really started to get out of hand with people using it as a replacement for support, even though we had 10x less customers at the time. I can't even imagine what would it be now with over 130,000 customers.

However, we found many additional benefits of this approach later on, such as:
2. Quickly drive common issues to resolution (first thing devs and QC ask us when we approach them with any issue is support case ID and debug logs).
3. Ability for us to look up the resolution for future readers (as I've said, people rarely come back to update their issue topic with the resolution).
4. Protection from bots (we had a few issues with hired agents posting nasty things about Veeam and claiming to be our customers when they were not).
5. Keep the forum threads clean from debug log snippets, which are useless to devs anyway - as they always want to see full log package.

I've seen this community grow from 0 to 30,000 registered users - and I've learned many things that I did not know about forums as a regular member. You would not believe how different it looks "from the other side", and what kind of totally unexpected issues you get to deal with. So trust me, every rule that we have in place, was put in place after really struggling with a certain problem.

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