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Inside the IBM Support Process
Stephan H Wissel    

No software runs flawless (even if the product is named after a fruit), so from time to time you need to interact with support. The entry point for IBM support is the IBM Support Portal or the support call center. Behind that front is quite a bit a process that is designed to be predictable, repeatable, measurable and ensure that customers get the right level of attention from the right level of expertise. Scribbled on a napkin it looks like this:
IBMSupportSequenceNapkin.640.png
(click on the image to get a bigger picture
So you are just 2 degrees away from core development. Level 1's responsibility is to ensure that as much evidence as possible gets provided. This is often the most time consuming task and would tie down product experts quite a bit. It is often a point of contempt since you are not talking to a product expert yet (ironics would say: nothing can be called a process if it isn't broken"). The trick here: call in prepared to keep that phase as short as possible. Also be clear what support does: "Technical question support allows you to obtain assistance from IBM for product specific, task-oriented questions regarding the installation and operation of currently supported IBM software. Short duration problems involving but not limited to: "
  • Installation
  • Usage (how-to)
  • Specific usage/installation questions for documented functions
  • Product compatibility and interoperability questions
  • Technical references to publications, such as Redbooks or manuals
  • Assistance with interpretation of publications
  • Providing available configuration samples
  • Planning information for software fixes
  • IBM database searches
and what it doesn't:
  • Performance analysis
  • Writing, troubleshooting or customizing client s code
  • Extensive configuration questions
  • Recovering a database, or data recovery
  • Consulting
The IBM sales representative will happily discuss a service engagement for the above needs.

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http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Wisselnet/~3/QhgIpZzK694/SHWL-8T3K45
Apr 05, 2012
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Recent Blog Posts
137


Long Term Storage and Retention
Thu, Aug 14th 2014 6:14a   Stephan H Wissel
Not just since Einstein time is relative. For a human brain anything above 3 seconds is long term. In IT this is a little more complex. Once a work artefact is completed, it runs through a legal vetting and it either goes to medium or long term storage. I'll explain the difference in a second. This logical flow manifests itself in multiple ways in concrete implementations: Journaling (both eMail and databases), archival, backups, write-once copies. Quite often all artifacts go to medium term [read] Keywords: domino ibm notes application archive database email office wiki xml
139


Time stamped encrypted archives
Wed, Aug 13th 2014 9:12a   Stephan H Wissel
Developers use Version Control, business users Document management and consultants ZIP files. From time to time I feel the need to safeguard a snapshot in time outside the machine I'm working with. Since "storage out of my control" isn't trustworthy, I encrypt data. This is the script I use: #!/bin/bash ############################################################################ # Saves the given directory (%1) in an SSL encrypted zip file (%2) within # the personalFiles folder. The name [read] Keywords: connections ibm linux network wiki
232


Designing a REST API for eMail
Sat, Aug 9th 2014 11:12a   Stephan H Wissel
Unencumbered by standards designed by committees I'm musing how a REST API would look like. A REST API consists of 3 parts: the URI (~ URL for browser access), the verb and the payload. Since I'm looking at browser only access, the structured data payload format clearly will be JSON with the prose payload delivered in MIME format. I will worry about calendar and social data later on. The verbs in REST are defined by the HTTP standard: , PUT, and DELETE. My base url would be http://localhost [read] Keywords: ibm email wiki
197


Running vert.x with the OpenNTF Domino API
Wed, Aug 6th 2014 1:11p   Stephan H Wissel
In the first part I got vert.x 3.0 running with my local Notes client. The mastered challenges there were 32 Bit Java for the Notes client and the usual adjustment for the path variables. The adoption of the OpenNTF Domino API required a few steps more: Set 2 evironment variables: DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/ibm/notes LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/ibm/notes Add the following parameter to your Java command line: -Dnotes.binary=/opt/ibm/notes -Duser.dir=/home/stw/lotus/notes/data -Djava.library.path=/opt/ib [read] Keywords: agent domino ibm lotus notes notes client applications eclipse java openntf
228


Workflow for beginners, Standards, Concepts and Confusion
Thu, Jul 24th 2014 10:12a   Stephan H Wissel
The nature of collaboration is the flow of information. So naturally I get asked about Workflows and its incarnation in IT systems a lot. Many of the question point to a fundamental confusion what Worflow is, and what it isn't. This entry will attempt to clarify concepts and terminology Wikipedia sums it up nicely: "A workflow consists of an orchestrated and repeatable pattern of business activity enabled by the systematic organization of resources into processes that transform materials, pro [read] Keywords: collaboration ibm applications email google openntf soa wiki
219


Warriors of Light
Sun, Jul 20th 2014 11:15a   Stephan H Wissel
Inspired by Paulo Coelho's manual for the Warrior of the Light: Warriors of Light We were born from the stars Descended from the heavens Armed with compassion Determined to end the suffering Subjected to the human condition Battling ignorance with wisdom Laying our lives for the liberation from illusion When you look in the mirror - remember! You are one of us. [read] Keywords:




203


Adventures with vert.x, 64Bit and the IBM Notes client
Thu, Jul 17th 2014 8:12a   Stephan H Wissel
The rising star of web servers currently is node.js, not at least due to the cambrian explosion in available packages with a clever package management system and the fact that "Any application that can be written in JavaScript, will eventually be written in JavaScript" (according to Jeff Atwood). When talking to IBM Domino or IBM Connections node.js allows for very elegant solutions using the REST APIs. However when talking to a IBM Notes client, it can't do much since an external program ne [read] Keywords: connections domino ibm lotus notes notes client application development eclipse google java javascript oracle python wiki ubuntu
214


Cycle where?
Sun, Jul 13th 2014 1:12p   Stephan H Wissel
I like to cycle, I do that often and from time to time I have fun with traffic participants. One of the interesting challenges are multi-lane crossings (note to my overseas readers: Singapore follows the British system of driving on the left, so cyclists are supposed to cycle on the left edge of the road - which makes me edgy in some situations. So for right driving countries, just flip the pictures) where the outer lane allows more than one direction. Like these: Road rules do require the [read] Keywords: google wiki
287


From XML to JSON and back
Fri, Jul 11th 2014 8:12p   Stephan H Wissel
In the beginning there was csv and the world of application neutral (almost) human readable data formats was good. Then unrest grew and the demand for more structure and contextual information grew. This gave birth to SGML (1986), adopted only by a few initiated. Only more than a decade later (1998) SGML's offspring XML took centre stage. With broad support for schemas, transformation and tooling the de facto standard for application neutral (almost) human readable data formats was established [read] Keywords: application java javascript server wiki xml xslt
220


The folly of root cause analysis
Wed, Jul 9th 2014 6:12a   Stephan H Wissel
IT support's dealing with management is a funny business. Whenever something goes wrong, support teams engage in "defensive blaming" and the elusive quest for a root cause. I've seen this quest (and blaming god and country along the way if it doesn't appear) taking priority over problem resolution and prevention. The twisted thought is: "If I'm not sure about the (single) root cause, I can't neither fix nor prevent it from happening again". Why is that a folly? It paralyses: If a pe [read] Keywords: application database google wiki




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