I have opened 29 incidents so far in 2016, with most of them triggerring a new defect entry. So any help there would be useful not only for us users, but also for worldwide SAS offices who can do little but relay information back and forth between Cary Tech Support, developpers and back.
I raised the issues mentionned here it and the incident may be opened for weeks with exchanges adding little value. That developpers use this forum to do the same thing would streamline the process tremendously.
Furthermore I reckon that developpers should be very keen to do this and that they should be looking for and using any information that can improve their software.
Having SAS employees actively participate on this forum is of great value to its members.
But, I must agree with @ChrisNZ's last point. Instead of the user being asked to signal a problem to Tech Support, I would expect SAS employees to do that on their behalf, especially when the problem is well defined and reproducible.
Is there an internal policy at SAS preventing employees from raising issues with Tech Support?
SAS Tech Support is widely acclaimed as one of the best in the imdustry. They have a process to track reported defects and ensure that you, the user, have a workable solution quickly. Each Customer Reported Problem (CRP) gets a Tracking Number and these are monitored at a high management level. Problems reported as CRPs get significant management support for faster fixing.
The main purpose of the Communities Forums is to get free advice from other experienced users willing to share their time and knowledge like many of you. We in development are not required to participate in these conversations but we chime in based on available time and resources where we can help. For some items, a workaround can be suggested. Other items may not get resolved in the discussion and no one person is responsible for tracking it. But that is not the case for a CRP.
When a problem such as this is found in the code, we do open ourselves a defect which will get fixed in due course of time based on corporate priorities. But if it is a problem is critical to your useage, and you need a fix or workaround based on your priorities, the best way is to report a CRP.
SAS employees in customer-facing roles often open Tech Support tracks on behalf of customers. This works well when the employee has been working directly with the customer and can convey whatever details are needed to help solve a customer issue. We don't have a process (today) to take a communities thread and turn it into a Tech Support track. Instead, we ask that the customer initiate that step, as it often requires more detail than is appropriate to share on the public community.
@Jay54, @DanH_sas and many others are exceptional in that they are R&D staffers who volunteer their time on communities -- even though "customer facing" isn't intrinsic to their job descriptions. Unlike SAS Tech Support or chat operators or our social media folks who work on the SAS Cares program, these folks aren't set up as a "support track" intake channel. I always advise customers this way: if you have a problem that needs a tracked solution, contact SAS Technical Support. If you're looking simply to learn, get advice, or see what other SAS users might suggest, then the communities is the right place for you.
When planning features for his corner of SAS software (ODS graphics), I know that @Jay54 and his team use customer-reported problems (via tech support) as well as exchanges that happen here, on SAS blogs, and in person at conferences. All of these, plus industry/technology trends, help to shape what gets prioritized in the next releases. For my part, I really appreciate the discussion that happens here -- it often helps to "ground" the many ideas that make it into the software development queue.
Well said Chris,
This topic is a textbook case. It involves:
It could provide the basis for a Getting Started Community topic.
I am just stating the fact that "any help there would be useful not only for us users, but also for worldwide SAS offices who can do little but relay information back and forth between Cary Tech Support, developpers and back".
All that's needed is that there be a way for SAS staff to say "A dev has picked up this issue and added it to his defect/idea/improvement/change list." No need to make the forums into incident threads.
As long as this is not possible, what happens instead is that I have to open an incident with SAS OZ and manage it. I must explain the issue, tech support staff work on it, I answer questions, then they contact Cary and do the same all over. That's all time and work and paperwork that could be saved.
The worst waste is not when all the duplication happens, but when it doesn't happen, and the defect/idea/improvement/change doesn't reach the devs' ears because reporting it is not the user's priority or because they can't contact tech support.
That's all. If this can't happen, so be it. The suggestion stirred a few good people into sharing their thoughts at least, so that's a start. 🙂
Registration is open! SAS is returning to Vegas for an AI and analytics experience like no other! Whether you're an executive, manager, end user or SAS partner, SAS Innovate is designed for everyone on your team. Register for just $495 by 12/31/2023.
If you are interested in speaking, there is still time to submit a session idea. More details are posted on the website.