You are not alone…

… but for your customers, it may appear that you think you are. Few technology products exist in isolation but many support organizations act as if they do.

  1. Too many support cases start with a lengthy checklist, the purpose of which may suggest a strong desire to encourage the customer to contact a third-party vendor and leave the support organization alone — and the troubleshooting process may also feel that it’s designed to throw the blame onto another layer of the environment.
  2. Or else, the support engineer really, truly wants to help the customer, but is only completely comfortable with the product he or she supports, and lacks expertise with the other layers, even to the point of making a precise diagnostic.

This is not a new problem. Indeed, TSAnet was founded 20 years ago (almost to the day, October 5th, 1993) as a non-profit organization meant to bring together its members to help them provide better support to their joint customers. I was graciously invited to join TSAnet’s 20th annual meeting last month (thank you Paul Esch) and I can report that multi-vendor support is more alive and more essential than ever. If you are not a member, think about the possibilities that would open to you if you could: exchange knowledge with other members (500+!) collaborate online with other members to resolve customer issues route customer cases directly from your case-tracking system to another member’s and all that without having to set up custom collaborative support agreements (CSAs) with each and every vendor you need to interact with… TSAnet is planning to do all that in the coming quarters. Check them out at

Already a member? Tell us how’s it’s working for you!

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