So a few of the business groups in CSS have their own blogs on our internal server with tons of content about who they are and what they do. Luckily the Product Quality and Online (PQO) blog is sharing some of their work so this post, and a few more over the next few days, features "guest" posts by their team. Bonus: PQO is hiring like mad! Current openings are below, but keep your eyes peeled for upcoming Dev, PM, and Test opportunities which are on their way! If you have any questions about these - you can comment here or at our Facebook page. Very soon we'll also have a much easier way for you to get in touch with us, but we're still ironing out the details.

    1. Operations Engineer (job code 258633)
    2. Operations Engineer (job code 255508)
    3. Program Manager (job code 257467)
    4. Project Manager (job code 257468)

You can also become a fan of PQO on Facebook! Away we go! 

Press and Analyst Tour – The PQO Story 
I’ve had the pleasure of telling the PQO story to press and analysts for the last week with more to come over the next 2-3 weeks.  It has been a real pleasure because there is genuine excitement and enthusiasm around the industry leading efforts that we have underway.  Most of you have probably seen the press attention that Fixit has gotten, well you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

The key message that I am sharing is how we use innovative technology alongside smart people to truly listen to our customers and take many different actions based on what we hear. I’ve explained how we listen to those who call us AND to those who do not by mining community forums, search queries, field employee input, and open verbatim feedback and how all of that input is used to drive improvements to our products and services as well as to prioritize and influence the design of our solution asset development and online self-help experience. 

 

The product quality story is one that is extremely well received because our work in this area proves that we are industry leading at transforming the role of support within the industry, such that support has a “seat at the table” during product design.  The inclusion of the Action Center in Windows 7 is a very visible proof point of the influence of support into product design.  There were plenty of other examples  to show how the product quality work done within PQO has resulted in true value for Microsoft, our partners, and our customers.  The only “ask” was for more transparency of the results of the feedback and we have a great answer for that as well, MS Responds!

 

The online self-help story is one of transformation and innovation that moves us from an entry point to search for knowledge base (KB) articles along with a web form to submit your contact information for MS technical support, to one that combines diagnostics, automated fixes, and the power of community with customer profile/audience specific presentation of information, and an end to end workflow that maintains state and history from the start of issue troubleshooting to the point of issue resolution.  That workflow can connect the customer to Microsoft assisted support, but also to community and partner based resources for assistance.  Using technologies such as the Action Center to move from purely reactive to more proactive, and eventually predictive paves the way for a bright future of issue avoidance as well as even better self-help results for customers.  In particular, the focus on automation, integration of community, end to end workflow approach, and exposure of other “people” who can help at the end of the workflow were the highlights of the story, based on feedback from the press and analysts.  In other words, everything that we are doing the press and industry analysts are excited about!

 

A favorite quote from the Gartner analyst (in the draft of a story that he is working on):  “…it must be recognized that in taking the position that they have they are providing their customers with increased options that offer lower cost alternatives to traditional support models.  A fact that will help differentiate Microsoft and its products in the current economic climate where total cost of ownership is becoming more and more important during the procurement process.”

 

When I started preparing for these interviews I knew that the PQO story was a great one to tell, but I underestimated how interested and excited the people that I was talking to would be about the positive customer impact.  When you add in the FY10 planned deliverables, the story just keeps getting better and better!