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Proiv tech support & the future of proiv


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#1 Rob Fantini

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Posted 18 September 1999 - 11:25 AM

Has anyone noticed that Pro-iv's tech support is worse than ever?

Unless there is a very basic question asked, there is no immediate response.

Is it this way just in the US?

Even direct e-mail to Marc Diffy does not get a response..
[I assume Marc is just too busy....]

For example I have a question regarding C-ISAM variable legnth fields. I've called MDIS, posted onto the forum at proivinc.com, sent e-mail directly to tech support. In all cases I received NO response.

I wonder if proiv will be around long term. I develop applications for our company only. I've written over 1500 pgms over the last 8 years.. I'm thinking of porting the software to some other software system like Oracle, which may be around for longer to support the system and have other programmers available in the future. It'd be a mutiple year project to convert the software, but our company should be around atleast another 50 years....

#2 Rob Donovan

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Posted 19 September 1999 - 12:57 PM

Hi,

Yep, I also have great problems trying to get PRO-IV support (from the UK), but then I guess everyone does.

I just takes forever!

I currently have a LARGE list of outstanding bug with thier support dept. but they just don't seem interested in fixing any, or they just argue that 'thats the way it works' or 'we will change the documentation'.

Rob

#3 Rob Fantini

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Posted 19 September 1999 - 05:35 PM

What I really like is using undocumentated/unsupported features or workarounds which are corrected in subsequented releases!

#4 Guest_Mark Woolveridge_*

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Posted 21 September 1999 - 02:45 PM

Do you get PRO VISION the QUARTERLY MESSENGER from PROIV , well if you do and you use the PRO-IV support desk then the bottom half of page 15 is the funniest thing in ages. The UK support sit in the same building as me and I cannot get a response. They have also put a lock on the door so we cannot just walk down there.

Mark

#5 Rob Donovan

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Posted 21 September 1999 - 03:25 PM

Yep, that got us lot too!!

You've got to laugh.... or is it cry!!!

Rob

#6 Joseph Bove

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Posted 21 September 1999 - 04:31 PM

Actually, I've found that US support has improved over the last several months.

Requests for documentation take a day or two. Requests for software keys is down to a couple of hours. (From weeks!)

However, I have to give some caveats.

1) Never email Marc Diffey. You won't get a timely response (or necessarily a response at all). If you email Lisa Duong, (lduong@proivinc.com) response times are better. Lisa is the support manager now. Marc oversees about 10 departments (including support).

2) If it's a kernel issue - you have to create a workaround. In one instance, we found that deleting from sorted paging screens had the ability to delete the wrong records. Worse, it only effected the primary file - so no auditing of the incorrect deletion took place. Sending a sample to ProIV still took 4 months for a solution. I can't imagine a much higher priority issue.

3) Be the squeeky wheel!

Joseph

#7 Ralph Gadsby

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Posted 21 September 1999 - 06:11 PM

My experience of PRO IV support on two recent occasions is 'Oh yes, we know that doesn't work in that version - you need to run version x.xxxx x.x.x'. Of course having loaded the new version you then experience some new and wonderful bug, which of course has already been fixed in the next release [along with a cunningly concealed new bug include free, gratis]. Great job creation scheme for the staff of PRO IV Ltd!

#8 Chris Pepper

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Posted 22 September 1999 - 06:49 AM

Yes, I always said that getting a new release is exchanging the bugs you know about for ones you don't!

#9 Guest_Mark Woolveridge_*

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Posted 22 September 1999 - 11:26 AM

I was obviously having a bad day yesterday and I was very harsh on PRO-IV. I have had quick responses on serious issues in the past. I think one of PRO-IV main problems is one of it's greatest strengths - portability. The combination of different platforms and databases must be very difficult to support , it is easy to be flippant like I was previously but maybe we should try putting ourselves in their shoes.

Mark

#10 Dan Shannon

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Posted 22 September 1999 - 07:02 PM

Come on Mark, your e-mail address says you WORK FOR MDIS...

Did someone tell you to stop being rude about your employer????? Bit worried?

#11 Rob Fantini

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Posted 23 September 1999 - 02:01 AM

Mark
I think that there are recurring issues which need to be fixed, like undocumanted features, documented non-working features etc.. It takes awhile to realize that the problem is not something I'm doing wrong [my 1-st assumption, usually correct is that I've done something wrong and look to fix it]. This can be frustrating...

The purpose of this forum is I think to exchange ideas and solutions. But before getting to solutions the problems need to be identified.

Proiv's support has improved in the last year. Lisa usually does pass on answers when she has them. I'm afraid that there are alot of things that tech support just does not have an answer for.

I hope that more MDIS people become involved here. It would be bad if there were some rule or attitude which prevents the people who really know from helping out.

#12 Joseph Bove

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Posted 23 September 1999 - 03:54 PM

I wanted to clarify my last post.

There have been several times in the past where Marc Diffey has proved invaluable to my company. We have come to appreciate the efforts that he has personally expended in making ProIV a better company. Within the past year or so, Lisa Duong became the manager for US ProIV support. (She answers to Marc.) The US ProIV support system works best when issues are sent to support before raised directly to Marc.

I had not known about this management change until recently. Once I appreciated the US support structure and used it, I found that response time improved dramatically. When response time on a specific issue is bad on an issue that I have logged, I do follow up with and get good response from Marc.

#13 Joseph Bove

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Posted 23 September 1999 - 03:55 PM

I wanted to clarify my last post.

There have been several times in the past where Marc Diffey has proved invaluable to my company. We have come to appreciate the efforts that he has personally expended in making ProIV a better company. Within the past year or so, Lisa Duong became the manager for US ProIV support. (She answers to Marc.) The US ProIV support system works best when issues are sent to support before raised directly to Marc.

I had not known about this management change until recently. Once I appreciated the US support structure and used it, I found that response time improved dramatically. When response time on a specific issue is bad on an issue that I have logged, I do follow up with and get good response from Marc.

#14 Ralph Gadsby

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Posted 27 September 1999 - 03:21 PM

We all write things in the heat of the moment that we later think better of [I might regret writing this 5 minutes after clicking on the button below!]. Some of us write responses to attempt to soften the blow that we have struck, others accept the consequences, if any. Mark is not the only one to have retracted a statement made on this forum - there are some comments elsewhere about problems getting PRO IV support in the states.

As an employee of MDIS Mark has no greater or lesser access to the resources of PRO IV Ltd. than anyone else outside of PRO IV Ltd. PRO IV Ltd. operate as an autonomous unit and dissociate themselves from direct contact with PRO IV users within MDIS. This fact is borne out by the lock described by Mark. I imagine that it is doubly galling to Mark that PRO IV Ltd are in the same building as him and that he has no priviliged rights of access. As a part of the MDIS Group an outsider would expect PRO IV Ltd. to be biased towards helping other members of the group and grant priviliged access, however this is not the case.

#15 Dan Shannon

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Posted 27 September 1999 - 06:29 PM

Of course my apologies if what I say is wrong, but last time I saw the revenue numbers for MDIS as a group, PRO-IV licences and support were pretty small beer compared to the big application revenues they were generating. It MAKES SENSE TO ME that PRO-IV Ltd should be granting MDIS better access than the rest of the world, it's all about competitive advantage isn't it?

I've been on the board of small parts of a similar group to MDIS before, we would never have been allowed to deny access to support to the rest of the group as that's insane - why be part of the group in the first place if not to leverage the skills and tools therein? The 'locked door' defence doesn't make sense (unless they have no phones and no network and all their carrier pigeons are dead and the mailroom is on strike and they're living in the 1930's) - it just sounds like bad business practice and doesn't make me any more comfortable.

Having said all that, I don't have a crystal ball and can't see what happens inside MDIS, but sometimes the view from out here makes me wonder...



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