How Support Works
Before Contacting Technical Support
In many situations, you can find answers to your technical questions without calling Technical Support. Sybase's electronic support services can help you isolate a problem, solve it, or determine if you have encountered a known bug. By checking sources like MySybase you may also find an answer to your situation. The chart below suggests where to check before you call.
Determine the Nature of the Problem
Before calling for assistance, try to determine the cause of the problem by answering the following questions:
- What behavior are you experiencing? What behavior do you expect?
- When was the last time the software worked properly? When was the problem first observed? What was changed in your environment in the interim? (installing software, changing configuration, etc.)
- When did the problem occur? When does the problem not occur? What is different between those situations?
- How extensive or localized is the problem? What is the difference between the elements that exhibit the problem and those that don't?
- How critical is this problem to your development or deployment? Can you work around it until a fix is found?
- Is there a better way to implement the software that would make the problem disappear?
Isolate the Problem
After determining the problem, take steps to isolate it as specifically as possible.
- Determine the precise steps required to consistently reproduce the problem.
- Remove all the variables, objects, tables, relationships, etc., that are not essential to the existence of the problem.
What Is a Case?
Sybase tracks every question or request for assistance that your technical support contact makes to the Technical Support Center as a case. A case is a single technical question or instance of a problem. For example, if you call with questions relating to both the PowerBuilder Window Painter and another relating to PowerBuilder Database Painter, we will approach them as two separate cases. Each case receives a reference number, called a case number, which allows us to prioritize and track your problem effectively. Be sure to record the case number of your question or request for assistance so that you can reference it for future calls.
Case priorities are assigned based on problem urgency and the effect on your business. The priority of the case determines the targeted initial response time. Please explain the impact that the case has on your project, as it will allow your Technical Support contact and the Technical Support engineer to best address the problem for your organization. Properly prioritizing cases also helps balance the workload appropriately within Technical Support, ensuring that our entire customer base enjoys efficient resolution to technical issues.
P1 (Priority 1) - The software is not operational and no workaround is possible, or a workaround exists but is unacceptable because of its impact on your business. Development or production is halted, or the problem is having a severe impact on your ability to continue development.
P2 (Priority 2) - The software is operational, but its functionality is seriously affected. There may be a workaround, but implementing the workaround is time consuming and will adversely affect your project.
P3 (Priority 3/Default) - The software is usable, but development or production is impacted. Development/production can continue for a reasonable amount of time before the problem becomes critical. A workaround is available and acceptable.
P4 (Priority 4) - The software is usable, but you have a question or would like to submit an enhancement request.
Who Can Log A Case
Depending on your support contract, your company may register one or more authorized Technical Support contacts. These contacts are the only people authorized to contact the Technical Support Center with questions. Authorized technical support contacts are established to protect your company and your software, ensuring that only people you authorize can request that we investigate or make modifications to your system.
If an unauthorized person calls, we will ask that person to contact your authorized Technical Support contact instead. However, in an emergency, we will begin working on a case with an unauthorized support contact on an exception basis, subject to later verification.
Adding Technical Support Contacts
The number of Technical Support contacts you are allowed depends on the support plan your company has chosen. You may add more support contacts, purchase the option of additional support contacts, or upgrade to a higher level of support that offers more contacts. For more information, contact the Technical Support Center nearest you.
Changing Technical Support Contacts
If your Technical Support contact needs to be changed for any reason, mail or fax a letter on your organization's letterhead to the customer service group at your Technical Support Center. The current Technical Support contact or manager should request this change. Include the following information:
- Your organization name
- Name of Technical Support contact to be replaced
- Name, address, and phone number of the replacement Technical Support contact
- Signature of the Technical Support contact to be replaced or of the department manager
Logging Your Case
BEFORE LOGGING YOUR CASE: When you need to log a case with Technical Support, please have all pertinent information in hand to expedite case resolution. You can use the Technical Support Checklist to organize your information.
Log your case electronically using our online services. Or phone your case in to your nearest Technical Support Center or the center included with your support information.
Once your case has been logged, it will be assigned a case number and an appropriate Technical Support engineer. Be sure to record your case number on your Technical Support Checklist. This case number is your quick-reference number to all information about your question.
Resolving Your Case / Response Times
When calling Technical Support, we will first verify your support ID and record background details on the case, including the priority. Response times vary according to the priority of the case and the terms of your support agreement.
Sometimes resolving a case during the initial call is not possible. Additional information may be needed, or the initial discussion may indicate that different expertise is required to resolve your case or verify a potential product defect. If this different expertise is required, the Technical Support engineer will transfer the case to an engineer with the appropriate knowledge base and will inform you of the change.
Customers entitled to 24x7 support may open or continue business-critical P1 cases after normal business hours. Customers with regular business day support may open and receive support cases during normal business hours. To open or continue P1 cases that have severe business impact, these customers may purchase emergency after-hours support.
Support Priority Response Times
|* Alliance response times are based on a direct call to your Alliance Support Team and on the hours of Alliance coverage you have selected. If you log your case through Electronic Case Management or via the Technical Support Center, response time will be based on the Enterprise plan times.
If you have additional information about your case, you can update your case at any time by logging into MySybase and looking at your Case Activity under the My News section. If you have additional information about your case, you can update your case here or by calling the Technical Support Center nearest you. Please provide your case number to expedite your phone call and to make sure the additional information is recorded accurately.
Reporting Product Defects
If you are reporting a potential product defect, the Technical Support engineer will check to see if your problem has been reported previously and if a fix is available. If it is not a known bug, the Technical Support engineer will attempt to replicate the problem. This duplication may require the engineer to log on to your system (with your approval), obtain code from you, or use the error message and other information you provide to resolve the problem. Once the problem is duplicated, Technical Support will send the information to the appropriate software business unit for final verification that a product defect exists. Your support engineer will notify you when a product defect has been confirmed and will let you know what the next steps will be toward resolving your case.
If you are on the Incident Plan and are reporting a bug you would like assistance with, this call will count as one of your cases. If you want to only report the bug and do not require assistance on it, no case will be used.
If at any point while your case is open you are not satisfied with the current plan of action, you may also request escalation through your Technical Support engineer. Escalation requests will be addressed by the Technical Support manager responsible for the team supporting the case. The Technical Support manager is responsible for researching a customer escalation request and developing an action plan. This plan will be proposed to the customer and appropriate status updates made, per agreement with the customer, until closure of the case. If an escalated situation requires an even higher level of attention, a report will be made to the support center director or support manager who, in turn, will report any cases that need further assistance to the vice president of Customer Service and Support. Customers may also request escalation to a higher level whenever they feel it necessary.
Closing Your Case
A case is closed when you and the support engineer agree that a resolution has been reached. Your case may be closed because:
- The information and/or software provided by the Technical Support engineer has answered your question
- You tell the Technical Support engineer that the case is no longer an issue
- You and the Technical Support engineer agree that your problem is a result of a problem that cannot be isolated