Tuesday, July 27, 2010

ZOMG, FYI - IM Informix Tech Support FTW

I work in a relatively small office where everyone is at most an 18 second walk away from each other.  Care to guess what the most common form of communication between us is?  Instant messaging.  Is it because we're too lazy to get up from our desks or we're nerdy introverts who resist human interaction (gasp)?  Well, that may be some of it, but the real reason is that IM is often the most effective form of communication for what we need to talk about.  Sure, if we need to talk about something that is going to involve a whiteboard then IM is not the best choice, but if someone is asking me about the command line arguments to start an application with verbose output and a user specified config file or the whereabouts of a log file on a server then I'm going to prefer to type that information out.

Informix Technical Support has a new support offering that can take advantage of the power of IM and render the Phonetic Alphabet obsolete.

Support over the Phone: Can you run onstat dash g as in Golf space r as in Romeo q as in Quebec m as in Mike?
Me: Did I catch a Niner in there?

Support over Chat: Can you run onstat -g rqm and email me the output?
Me: It is in your inbox.

The Informix Technical Support Chat web page describes the new offering like so:

Technical Support Chat allows you to quickly interact 1:1 with one of our Level 2 Support Professionals online instead of over the phone. You can discuss your request and conveniently share command strings and URLs. At any time during the chat, you or the Support Professional can choose to resolve the issue over the phone.

I recently had the opportunity to take advantage of this new service and the experience was as advertised.  My Support Enginer (shout out to my man Jay P., thanks for the help) was able to ask me to run commands and collect diagnostics info and I was able to give accurate feedback instantly either through the IM client or via email for the bigger output.  This was much easier than attempting to describe what I'm seeing over the phone to Jay and I'll definitely be using Technical Support Chat again.