This is Mike Hogan again with some information about the ESRI User Advocacy Group (UAG) within ESRI Support Services. If you’ve been involved with Support Services over the past few years, you may have heard the acronym UAG and have been wondering what we are talking about! It’s been quite some time since you’ve heard from members of the UAG, such as, when Beth Guse was interviewed in our initial Support Center News Blog post, ‘More At The Door’, providing a sneak peak of the UAG as it was starting out in 2007.
As the new Program Manager for the User Advocacy Group, I wanted to take some time to reintroduce ourselves on this blog and let you know how we are actively networking with users just like yourself through our relationships within Support Services and Development.
Let’s start with our mission statement:
“The mission of User Advocacy Group aims to enhance the productivity of the user community by actively engaging with ESRI customers and providing feedback to shape the direction of products and enriching the quality of ESRI software and services.”
In order to accomplish our goal of helping you enhance your productivity in using our products, we have specific Support staff collecting, communicating, and prioritizing customer issues. Much of your initial communication with a Support Services Analyst will be delivered to members of our group internally in the form of software defects or enhancements. This is where all of the work of the UAG really begins!
There are Development Technical Leads (DTLs) for each technical area of the software who work on your behalf, advocating and pushing for fixes on defects/enhancements identified by customers. This is all done through the collection of information, active communication/collaboration, and lastly, the prioritization of your request. By using the feedback you deliver to Support Services while working with Support Analysts, these members of the UAG can deliver valuable feedback to the ESRI Development team members that will be taken into consideration for future software patches, service packs, and releases.
So, what can you take away from all of this? As a user of our software products, you hold the key to a lot of valuable feedback, and we want to know about it. Please let us know when you are running into a software defect/bug by submitting a support request through our website. This may be a newly discovered issue or may already be an issue that we have been tracking internally. The more users that are attached to specific items in our database, the higher priority it holds. Also, if you can tell us the Business Case behind a bug (for example, how it affects your organization on a daily basis, and why it is important to be fixed), it helps us to prioritize issues. The more we know, the more we can work on getting a fix for you.
The UAG is also spearheading a new project to collect feedback and ideas for new enhancements to ESRI Products. We just launched a new website called ArcGIS Ideas, http://ideas.arcgis.com/, where you can post your ideas, the ESRI user community can vote on them, and you can comment on and refine others' ideas. We are actively listening to this feedback and want to start incorporating your ideas into future releases.
We hope to hear from you soon!
Mike H., Program Manager
User Advocacy Group, ESRI Support Services