[Marketing-Public]informal support proposal

Tristan Nitot marketing-public at mozilla.org
Tue, 30 Mar 2004 17:14:25 +0200

Hi all,

I was just about to writre a similar message to the list.

Percy Cabello wrote:

>I think MF is looking for a liable support provider. Better suited for
>companies where IT staff needs "īt's not possible to do" kind of answers to be
>presented to their bosses when something goes wrong. 
>The difference is more about image and to some degree liability: legal or
>moral. It just sounds different if you say "I get it at some Mozilla
>newgroup/forum/IRC". As mentioned, whatever support provider could live and
>resell the info to their customers, but as long as the liable one is him and
>not me, it could be OK for me.
>As for visibility, I agree it should be easier to get to valuable resources
>like Champions, the Mozillazine forums and others. Guess this will be solved
>when support.mozdev.org is launched.
>Also, there's a major concern about revenue for MF here. I understand the
>contract will be between th MF and  the support group, with some split of
>profits. I only hope and really don't expect the MF to "prefer" and better
>promote paid support services over free ones. I believe they are targeted to
>different users (end- and corporate) so there shouldn't be a conflict of 
I think that Champions should get more visibility (we think we will do 
that for www.mozilla-europe.org )

I understand that Bart needs some revenue to be made for the Foundation, 
and does not have time to build a solution from scratch on his own time, 
therefore expects a business to answer the problem while sharing revenue.

I understand that phone (or anything more interactive than Usenet) 
support is needed by our user base.

Other than that, I have read Pike's article [1] on this very topic, and 
I agree that an open, shared knowledge base is a must, so that support 
quality will increase over time, harnessing the community's knowledge 
while the support cost will be lowered for the vendor, enabling this 
company to share more of its revenue with the Foundation.

My 2 cents,



>As for the ticket service, there's and OS solution available:
>Looks well done.
>--- Moz Champion <moz.champion@sympatico.ca> wrote:
>>         I think you missed my inference. I shall try again.
>>You have a viable, self-sustaining, scalable high quality support option 
>>available.  You even call it a wonderful service, and then you claim you 
>>would be happy to work with such.
>>Yep, we are mainly in newsgroups... but not one user newsgroup on 
>>mozilla.org servers, is that 'happy to work with us'?
>>You want the service to be more accessible, but the link to us is hidden 
>>away on a community links page. Is that 'happy to work with us'?
>>We dont even have a forum in which to discuss private matters relating 
>>to what we do, is this 'happy to work with us'
>>So we may not be your 'ideal' solution  (we dont have a 'pay' option) 
>>but does giving us a page and recognizing us all the support to be 
>>expected?  You have one of the best online support options available to 
>>you and you arent even using it.  Is that 'happy to work with us'?
>>When Netscape was in full swing, and had over 40 percent of the market, 
>>what did it have?  Online support via the Netscape Champions, and a per 
>>use pay telephone service (interestingly enough via Decision One).   And 
>>that was with a corporation that sold for 4.8 billion dollars.  
>>The Mozilla Champions are the best solution for at least 16% of internet 
>>users (those who use newsgroups), yet there is little 'support' from 
>>Mozilla.org.  We dont have newsgroups on mozilla.org servers to work 
>>in,  we are 'hidden' away on a community support web link,  we cant even 
>>get a clear idea of what you would like to see,  is this happy to work 
>>with us?
>>There are elements within the Mozilla Champions that can extend into web 
>>forums or other forms of online support, but to date, Mozilla.org doesnt 
>>seem 'happy to work with us' in the least.    Nope, we aint a total 
>>solution, so we should just be satisfied with a pat on the head and go 
>>away?  We are the best you've got until something better pops up, but it 
>>seems you dont even want that.
>>Bart Decrem wrote:
>>>Mozilla Champions is indeed a wonderful service for users, but it's 
>>>not a complete solution.   For one thing, newsgroups can be 
>>>intimidating to beginning users.  Also, many users want some SLA - 
>>>some guarantee that their question will get an answer from a 
>>>professional in some predictable amount of time, knowing that there's 
>>>a 'supervisor' involved so that their are some quality controls.  
>>>Therefore, in my opinion, the appropriate set of support options 
>>>should include more than one technology, focus almost obsessively on 
>>>making the experience as user-friendly and approachable as possible, 
>>>and offer a mix of free and paid services.  
>>>Moz Champion wrote:
>>>>         You already have one such. A scalable, self sustaining, high 
>>>>quality option for users. And best of all its free.
>>>>Its called the Mozilla Champions.
>>>>          Yes, we have our own page on the mozilla.org site (thank 
>>>>you) and we have even been 'recognized' by mozilla.org (thank you).  
>>>>We even have our own discussion forum (thank you).
>>>>Alas, that is all the 'support' extant to date.  We still have no 
>>>>user orientated newsgroups on mozilla.org servers (we use secnews). 
>>>>The last discussion regarding this, our minimum list of 10 newsgroups 
>>>>we were informed we had to minimize down to five ( which simply isnt 
>>>>possible considering we support three products, on three platforms 
>>>>and multimedia as well)
>>>>Our mozilla.org discussion forum is open to all so is not useful for 
>>>>some of our discussions. We have no mandate for even managing decorum 
>>>>and posting policies on those groups which we assist in. (see the 
>>>>apparent discrepancies between the mozilla.org posting guidelines and 
>>>>those of the Champions (listed on our website))
>>>>          Decision One phone support, which users have the dubious 
>>>>honor of paying for, routinely monitor the newsgroups for answers, 
>>>>which they sell back to customers.  Yet Decision One has a listing on 
>>>>the mozilla.org home page,  but to find the Champions you have to 
>>>>search through multiple pages to even find a mention.
>>>>          Yet, even in the face of this, we carry on and do what we 
>>>>can.  We are a self-sustaining, scalable, high quality  support 
>>>>option for users, yet it does not seem that all elements of 
>>>>mozilla.org are happy to work with us.
>>>>        Bart Decrem wrote:
>>>>>One of the reasons we floated the RFP for support offerings on 
>>>>>Mozillazine (http://www.mozillazine.org/talkback.html?article=4529) 
>>>>>was to follow up on the discussion on this list last week.  We are 
>>>>>looking for scalable, self-sustaining, high quality support options 
>>>>>for all of our users, ideally including a range of both free and 
>>>>>paying support options.  If a group of people on this list wants to 
>>>>>work together in putting together a proposal, we'd be happy to work 
>>>>>with you.

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