Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Deltek support website enhancements

Deltek's e-support website was a welcome upgrade from the previous "phone in only" options. The site, however, drew a few complaints during Deltek's "Meet the management" session at this year's annual user conference. An email today announced that a new support website will be available this summer and it looks like Deltek has responded to user complaints. Many of the initial complaints have been addressed. The email, however, does not say whether one of the major gripes - not being able to enter tickets after business hours - has been addressed. Click on the link below to read about the new features and add comments about other features you would like to see.
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The new features announced in the email include:
  • A state-of-the-art, knowledge-base "search engine" that allows "natural language" and other searches.

This is a welcome addition! The current search engine was woefully inadequate and required the users to specify simple keywords and browse through hundreds of hits.

  • Knowledge-base articles with embedded screen shots and attachments.

Another big plus - screen shots will increase usability.

  • A single search location for knowledge-base items, documents, and corrections.

These are currently different search options and I find myself performing multiple searches to find out all the information about a specific executable. This will also be helpful.

Other features not addressed in the email:
  • Being able to upload screen shots and log files while entering a ticket to allow faster troubleshooting by support staff - I try to upload as much information as possible to cut down on the number of contact cycles required to solve a problem. Very often the first call or email back is simply: "Can you send us more information?" and this can be eliminated with a more feature full ticketing system.
  • Being able to enter tickets outside of business hours - The current system lets you enter all your text into the description box before letting you know that tickets can't be submitted after 5:30pm EST! I understand that support may not be available outside business hours, but having the option to submit the ticket would cut down on overnight post-its.
  • Being able to submit a Costpoint configuration report for the entire system - A number of troubleshooting steps start with tech support wanting to know what choices have been made in various configuration screens. Having a canned report that would provide all this information in a single step would cut down on resolution time as well.
I have also noticed that support now uses WebEx sessions more often, making collaborative troubleshooting easier and synchronous.

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