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This page outlines a proposal for Enterprise Support Release (ESR) Firefox support documentation.
We believe that by hosting a centralized support channel for ESR deployment, we can simplify the tasks for IT admins by providing generalized answers to the most common questions. This will reduce the number of support discussions in the existing Enterprise mailing list. By hosting this support channel on SUMO (support.mozilla.org), we share the underlying platform with our end user support offerings, with benefits such as a powerful localization capability, and robust tagging and searching features.
We also hope that this effort will enable IT admins to help themselves and share experiences and pitfalls, and as a result, we can extend the reach of Firefox ESR to many more enterprise deployments by growing our Mozilla support community.
- Provide a centralized support channel for IT admins of Firefox ESR
- Reduce the number of support questions in the Enterprise mailing list by providing written solutions to the most common questions and tasks
- Grow a larger community of IT admins by creating an environment that encourages experience sharing and helping others
Launch the support channel in two separate phases, where phase 2 will only be implemented on an as-needed basis.
Target website: support.mozilla.org (SUMO)
We believe the best place to host the new ESR support channel is SUMO. It offers the following benefits:
- ESR articles can be tagged and isolated from other content on the wiki -- on wiki.m.o, it's a completely flat hierarchy
- Search would actually work (i.e. be capable of searching through ESR articles only) -- on wiki.m.o, you'd search the entire wiki
- l10n support is built right into the system, complete with notification systems -- no support for l10n on wiki.m.o
- Common software instructions like paths, keyboard shortcuts, and menu paths have their dedicated markup and style
- We already have an active support community on SUMO and there is a chance for participation and help from it
- SUMO was built from scratch as a customer support wiki platform -- ongoing investments in the platform mean ESR support would benefit from future improvements to the infrastructure, such as better navigation/taxonomy, search, forum integration, etc
Phase 1: Self-service documentation in Knowledge Base
The self-service documentation will consist of:
- A set of knowledge base articles that answer the most common deployment questions and issues in the form of how-to's and FAQs.
- An Enterprise Support landing page, listing all or the most common support articles.
- Optionally with a search box, if the number of articles exceeds what can be listed on the landing page. The search box would be filtered to only search through "enterprise"-tagged articles.
- Prominent links to the Enterprise mailing list should be visible on the landing page. The purpose of the mailing list remains discussing and answering questions that are not already answered in the Knowledge Base.
Integration with SUMO
Because ESR support targets a different demographic compared to the mostly end user-focused support that otherwise exists on SUMO, the ESR support should not be included in the shared website navigation and should be accessible through external links only. The most notable referral links should be the ESR download page and the Enterprise mailing list -- both targeted specifically towards our intended audience.
To ensure that IT admins searching on the end user-focused part of SUMO can find the Enterprise support, we will provide one generic article that captures common search keywords around enterprise deployment and acts as an internal link to the Enterprise Support landing page.
Phase 2: Dedicated support/discussion forum
After successful implementation of phase 1, we will evaluate the support channel based on the following criteria:
- Reduction of support questions in the Enterprise mailing list
- Number of people participating in the writing and editing of ESR support articles
- Number of people getting helped by the support articles
If determined to be necessary, or if specifically requested by the IT admins using the support site and mailing list, we will proceed with phase 2 and implement a dedicated discussion forum for Enterprise Support on SUMO. This will ensure that support mostly happens within the same platform, and it will also enable us to grow and strengthen a dedicated Enterprise support community on SUMO.
This discussion forum would be living under https://support.mozilla.org/forums and as such, the discussions would be isolated from the general support questions for the end user demographic. The discussion forum also works better for the Enterprise Support purpose because, unlike user-to-user support, where there is typically a 1:1 correlation between questions and answers, in enterprise deployment discussions it's more common that the answer depends heavily on the IT environment, so the is rather a 1:n correlation. This makes a discussion-focused environment more suitable.
- We need your help getting this project started, as no one on the Support team has hands-on experience with enterprise deployment of Firefox! If you're interested in getting involved, please email David Tenser: djst [att] mozilla [dawt] com!
- Things we need help with include ideal structure of content, initial list of common howtos/questions, and actually writing the articles.
- Please add your comments and thoughts here as bullets and signature. -djst