Time to stop promulgating the "Contact sales for a fix" myth
Initially, I wrote this about Backup Exec, because that's where I ran into this problem. I'm also a SAV & SEP veteran but don't recall seeing this heinous language in their KB articles. So maybe it's a Veritas thing. But, whatever...
...then it occurred to me that while BE may (or may not) be the only Symantec enterprise product to which the symptom applies, the cure is universal. Because it bridges a huge gap between the goals of Symantec Sales, Support, Connect, Knowledge Base, and Product Managers. So I've taken the unusual-and-hopefully-not-presumptuous step of tagging it to all available products. It is global.
That kinda makes it Ideas spam, I know. Never done it before; probably never will again. Hope you can forgive me!
Don Quixote Battles Symantec
Two KB articles I've browsed recently contain variations on this boilerplate (emphasis mine):
"There are currently no plans to address this issue by way of a patch or hotfix in the current or previous versions of the software at the present time. This issue may be resolved in a future major revision of the software at a later time. However, this particular issue is not currently scheduled for any release. If you feel this issue has a direct business impact for you and your continued use of the product, please contact your Symantec Sales representative or the Symantec Sales group to discuss these concerns."
We'll ignore amusing marketing-speak redundancies like "currently...at the present time" and "a future major revision...at a later time", because they brighten our days of dealing with Symantec software bugs. The specific articles that prompted my diatribe are:
But a quick Google search shows me there are many, many more.
OK, call me Don Quixote: Just because no-win battles are so much fun, I recently pursued the Sales appeal in the second article, which, as it happens, "impacts [me] and [my] continued use of the product". Even posted an Idea about it a while ago, which, for your voting pleasure, is:
And my experience with Sales was EXACTLY what I expected (paraphrased, here):
Initial response: "Hunh? What are you talking about?"
Subsequent response, after long explanation, including all those geeky TLAs non-nerds like salespeople people hate: "You're kidding! They said to contact Symantec Sales??? No, you really need to contact Symantec Technical Support."
Classic Catch-22: Support (via KB) refers me to Sales. Sales does not understand the problem, much less the KB article, and refers me to Support. No one does anything, so backups keep failing.
I have been in IT for over 20 years, and know good and well that Sales (Symantec or otherwise) has NO technical competence, and NEVER cares or listens to what the customer needs. It's not their job. They're hired to push product, and that's all they do. Once you've fallen for the sales pitch and have a license, you're Support's problem. Just give us a call at renewal time.
Sales is a COMPLETE AND TOTAL waste of time for technical people.
And (at last!) my Idea
The "Contact Symantec Sales" boilerplate must be ruthlessly exorcised from every single KB article that contains it. That's an obsolete, failed policy from the bad old days that sounds, in theory, like it should work. Because who is more tuned in to customer needs than sales...right? Well, if sales really had any technical savvy and valued customers' need for bugfixes instead of new and improved icons, maybe. But they don't.
It needs to go away. And in its place:
- Agree/Disagree buttons, just like Ideas threads here on Connect, and with equal impact on product development.
- A button that automatically creates an Idea thread, or opens an existing Idea thread, linked to the KB article, for those who want to expand on the issue, including making a business case.
- Policy that Symantec product managers are required to heed data thus generated--and are provided the dev budget to implement them.
One could suggest that perhaps all that's needed is for it to be sales' responsibility to listen to the customer. And perhaps it should. (Sales listening to the customer: What a concept!) But we all know that has never worked in the history of computers. And maybe in the history of the analog world, too.
Passing our real-world input through the filter of Symantec Sales is lip service. If, instead, Symantec really intends to do what's important to us, then making communication between enterprise customer and product manager as short and direct as possible will be essential. The detour through sales must be removed.