Once the custom work has been implemented within the customer’s timeware® system, any customisation queries will end up on the timeware® support desk. Matt Wilkinson manages the support team and takes this opportunity to answer customisation questions:
Matt, please outline the different types of customisation queries that your team receive?
There are basically two types of query: the first relates to customisation that has recently been implemented, the second relates to a new requirement that may be a potential sales opportunity.
How do you process a new customisation requirement?
We work with the customer to create a detailed description of the requirement which we bring into the 4 p.m. team meeting where Nathan Price will provide an estimated number of days to complete the work. This information along with the detailed description is passed to Sales to provide a quotation.
As Mike mentioned earlier, under certain circumstances, Simon Birchall may decide to apply a reduction to the costs.
How do you handle a completed customisation project that requires modification due to a change of rules?
It really depends on how much revenue the customer creates over the year. Many of the SLA2 & SLA3 customers are spending over £3K per year on support so they would normally get minor changes for free. SLA1 customers would normally pay for any modification work unless there were mitigating circumstances.
How do you handle a completed customisation project that requires modifying due to an incorrect specification?
The incorrect specification could be the fault of the customer, the timeware® specialist involved in the project or a combination of both. We try to handle this type of situation as positively as possible. As this scenario happens very rarely, we would probably not charge the customer to correct the work. Simon Birchall would advise us on what to do if this did occur.
Matt, do you need to be able to understand coding to support customised sites?
I get asked this question regularly by timeware® partners and the quick answer is ‘it would help’. As an increasing number of customers implement customised features, it makes sense for support team members to understand the basics behind scripting. What we don’t want to do is to have to bring every support problem into the 4 p.m. team meeting. Understanding the basics behind scripting is fairly straight forward and helps us to describe the problem more efficiently when passing support problems back to the development team.
OK, so how do you start learning about scripts and basic coding?
From the scripts themselves! Take a basic daily overtime script and look at how it works. Next change something and re-calculate. Slowly the code becomes readable and with practise you will begin to understand how the basics work. Remember that you are not learning how to create your own scripts, just learning enough to be able to provide a higher level of support!
Finally Matt, is it best to log the faults verbally with the team or directly into vivantio?
When possible, the trade should log all types of faults using the online facility in vivantio as this reduces the chance of human error and encourages the partner to actively use vivantio to check on the progress of their faults.