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The Art of Software Support: Design and Operation of Suport Centers and Help Desks Paperback – Facsimile, 15 Nov 1996


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Product details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (15 Nov 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0135694507
  • ISBN-13: 978-0135694503
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 2.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,241,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover


56945-9

The first complete, real-world guide to building and running help desks and software support centers.

Quality software support is now a fundamental differentiator in satisfying both your external and internal customers. And in today's high-pressure, heterogeneous computing environments, it's more difficult to deliver quality support than ever before.

The Art of Software Support' gives you proven, best-in-class integrated tools and techniques for structuring and operating a customer-focused support organization—and for overcoming the crisis mentality that's so common in support organizations. Whether you're starting a software support or help desk organization, or seeking to improve the one you already have, you'll find invaluable guidance on:

  • Choosing and implementing the call management model that's right for your organization.
  • Selecting tools—including phone systems, fax systems, knowledge bases, customer tracking applications, and other software.
  • Measuring support center performance.
  • Packaging support programs that can make your organization a profit center.

Learn when to outsource—and when not to. And discover practical, easy-to-implement ideas for every stage of the software lifecycle, from new product planning and testing, to managing software bugs and fixes. The Art of Software Support also gives you time-and-money-saving tools you can use right now, including:

  • A sample user's guide.
  • Call resolution checklists.
  • Worksheets for determining staffing levels and justifying budgets.

Perhaps most important, The Art of Software Support offers practical help with the tough challenge of supervising support people. You'll learn how to determine staffing levels, hire the right people—and keep them, even in difficult times.

Whether you manage software support, or you're a support engineer working “in the trenches,” The Art of Software Support will dramatically enhance your effectiveness.

About the Author

FRANCOISE TOURNIAIRE is Director of Technical Support at Sybase, Inc., a publisher of client/server and Internet software. RICHARD FARRELL is Senior Manager of Technical Support at Sybase, Inc., a publisher of client/server and Internet software.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
For all the importance of Call Centers, Help Desks and Support Networks, not much attention is given them in industry literature. It's almost as though these functions are an afterthought, as though the first support call might come in and someone would say, "Oh, yeah. We need someone to answer these, don't we?"
This book is the first I've seen that looks at the building of a Support Center from the ground up, from budgeting to staffing, to training and retention, support software to development and dissemination of updates. It does so logically, step by step, providing sound reasoning and justification on each page, even to the point of including a complex and reasonable metric for determining staffing levels.
I thought Tourniaire and Farrell fell somewhat short of giving the Support field a complete analysis, concentrating as they do on larger call centers rather than giving weight to the whole spectrum of support providers, like Internal Help Desks or smaller tech centers. Their initial thesis, on the Front Line/Back Line vs. One Hand models of support, is sound, but limited, giving no attention to the possible hybrids or any other models of support center. On the other hand, their description of the call completion cycle is thorough and unlike any I've seen. I also like the idea of writing a "Support Agreement" for one's clients, so everyone knows up front what is and is not covered.
Overall, this is a very fine book and I would recommend it to Support professionals, especially to anyone just starting a new Call Center. Better to have all the info to start than to try and switch focus after ramping up.
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Format: Paperback
I'm am (slowly) reading this tremendous wealth of information in order to ponder and absorb as much as possible. So far, it's been like gold to me.
I manage a support organization for a US$40M/yr engineering software company and the advice and guidance found in this book is extremely practical and applicable to what I do every day. It's been helpful in the way it presents several options and objectively weighs the PROs and CONs of each. This has provided a good "sanity check" to confirm that many of my initiatives to-date are sound. It has also suggested practices I had not previously considered, but which make so much sense now that I've read and thought about them. I have already started to implement several such practices to improve my support organization and my staff is ecstatic. Finally, there are some useful tidbits that I cannot act on at this time, but which I will come back to later as we continue to grow and expand our business. I am sure to refer back to this insightful and well-written piece over and over again in the months and years to come.
If you manage or direct a software support group, this book will help you put in place the processes you need to provide effective and cost-efficient customer support. And if you help staff a support group, this book will get you noticed by giving you a lot of great ideas to propose to the boss and perhaps make that move to the next level along your career growth path.
I would definitely buy this book again and highly recommend it.
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By A Customer on 1 Jun 1999
Format: Paperback
This is not a paid commercial. I do not know or have any affiliation to the authors or publisher. This is the complete book for Software Support. Regardless if you are running a small, medium or large size call centers the fundamental structure and operation is the same. This book is the Software Support Bible. I have read most of the books on support and this one is the best. The authors (Francoise Tourniaire and Richard Farrell) are to the support field, what Yoda is to the force. Ok.. That's the only analogy that comes to mind. Well anyway you get the point. You won't be disappointed. Hats of to the Editor (Eileen Clark).
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