Why Community Beats Support


  • Service Provider

    http://opensource.com/business/14/4/open-source-community-beats-tech-support

    Company's tend to like support because it gives them someone to blame, not because it actually provides support or makes them more money. It is generally about middle managers playing politics trying to protect themselves, not about doing what is best for the business - either in cost or in ability to support the products. How often do you see commercial support actually being worth the money (outside of hardware support contracts?)



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    http://opensource.com/business/14/4/open-source-community-beats-tech-support

    Company's tend to like support because it gives them someone to blame, not because it actually provides support or makes them more money. It is generally about middle managers playing politics trying to protect themselves, not about doing what is best for the business - either in cost or in ability to support the products. How often do you see commercial support actually being worth the money (outside of hardware support contracts?)

    I couldn't imagine running an LOB application or anything mission-critical without proper support. If it goes down, the company's losing thousands of dollars per hour. I'm not going to put a post up somewhere in hopes that someone'll give me the appropriate answer in a reasonable timeframe.


  • Service Provider

    That's what business repeat. But studies show that that support is often faster and superior. The question comes down to which is more important, finger pointing or uptime. The need to have a vendor to call is primarily about blame, not fixing the problem.

    The upside to most open source is that you get both. Closed source makes that basically impossible. And that is a key reason why so many closed source apps are so fragile. The vendor knows that they have you over a barrel and you can't turn to someone else.



  • As a small business IT provider I have found proprietary software to be troublesome. You must pay for support for any help via phone, email or web portal. There is no "Googling" for support either. Support for the products is not fast, and very generic. I have heard: well it works on our test machines; turn off the UAC and run as administrator; only for IE7 (I heard that one last year); not for W7 (W7 SP2 was what new PC's had at the time). One company's software has a little better support but in 2 years about 80% of the software upgrades are due to the clients requests (expected behavior of the product).


  • Service Provider

    @technobabble said:

    As a small business IT provider I have found proprietary software to be troublesome. You must pay for support for any help via phone, email or web portal. There is no "Googling" for support either. Support for the products is not fast, and very generic. I have heard: well it works on our test machines; turn off the UAC and run as administrator; only for IE7 (I heard that one last year); not for W7 (W7 SP2 was what new PC's had at the time). One company's software has a little better support but in 2 years about 80% of the software upgrades are due to the clients requests (expected behavior of the product).

    Agreed. And I've seen the same thing even coming from a big enterprise with deep pockets. Often vendors have obviously never installed their own products before and have zero support knowledge. Paying for commercial support guarantees nothing. I can't believe how often vendor support agreements result in zero support. Vendors make out like bandits seeing smoke and mirrors. The belief that that paid for support, no matter how bad, is worth anything is so ubiquitous that they make money no matter what they deliver.


  • Service Provider

    @scottalanmiller said:

    http://opensource.com/business/14/4/open-source-community-beats-tech-support

    Company's tend to like support because it gives them someone to blame, not because it actually provides support or makes them more money. It is generally about middle managers playing politics trying to protect themselves, not about doing what is best for the business - either in cost or in ability to support the products. How often do you see commercial support actually being worth the money (outside of hardware support contracts?)

    I used similar logic on Tuesday to sell a client on a new VoIP PBX. I flat out stated, "I am not an expert with system. I use it everyday, and know a lot about it. But I am not an expert because I do not have to be, because I know more than one company I can call to get paid remote support for anything I cannot handle."

    Everyone in the meeting from the client gave me the oddest look for about 10 seconds until that sunk in.


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