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Novell Enhances Support Web Site To Increase Ease of Use, Delivery of Information

Articles and Tips: article

01 Aug 1997

New Features Make it Easier To Access and Customize Technical Information from the Novell Support Connection Web Site

Novell recently announced the addition of several new features to the Novell Support Connection Web site ( to enable customers to connect more easily and effectively to Novell's networking expertise.

Changes to the site include the addition of information push and auditorials that package and distribute information more effectively and format adjustments that make it even easier for customers and partners to access technical information from Novell.

"The features added to the Novell Support Connection Web site make it an even more effective one-stop shop for networking support for our customers and partners," said Richard A. Nortz, senior vice president, Novell Customer Services. "Push technology, in particular, has tremendous application for delivering Novell's networking expertise, helping our customers and partners quickly and easily develop the solutions they need to be successful. We are providing true interactive support, live on the Web."

"The changes Novell has made to its support Web site indicate a commitment to maintaining a state-of-the art electronic support delivery mechanism," said Christopher Hoffman, Software Services Research Manager, International Data Corporation. "Novell has improved upon an already high-quality site, delivering the features customers and partners want in a support Web site. These improvements demonstrate that Novell is at the forefront in providing innovative technical support services over the Internet."

Push Technology Increases Site Functionality

The addition of push technology increases the interactivity and personalization of the Novell Support Connection Web site. Push technology allows customers and partners to select categories of information in which they are interested and receive notification of updates that match their selections. The site uses Intermind Communicator from Intermind Corporation to deliver the push technology.

"Push technology is an increasingly powerful tool for information-based Web sites," said David Strom, President, David Strom, Inc. "The implementation of this feature on their support Web site establishes Novell as the leader in use of technology to address customers' needs, and the selection of Intermind technology provides the greatest ease of use for site visitors."

Intermind's push technology has distinct advantages over other similar technologies. Customers pre-select the categories of information on which they want updates. When any new information matching a user's selected criteria is added to the Novell Support Connection Web site, the customer is notified electronically. Then the customer can scan the headline of each update before deciding whether or not to download the document.

Increased Ease of Use

The format of the Novell Support Connection Web site home page was changed to make it easier for customers and partners to access important information from the site. The home page includes direct links to the site's Top 20 Downloads, Minimum Patch Lists, On-Line Incident Submittal, and new features. The format allows for easy updates and additions to meet the needs of customers.

Links to the main pages of the site are included on each page with Java script graphics providing descriptions to clarify the content of main pages. The Java scripts increase space available for other information on the home page and increase the ease of navigating the site.

Data within TIDs has been reorganized to allow customers and partners to quickly identify the problem resolution described in the document. Previously, the main points of the TID could only be found by scrolling down several pages. The new organization shows key information on the first page, saving time in identifying the usefulness of the document.

Other Features

Other new features to the site include:

  • Auditorials: Using Real Time audio, the Novell Support Connection Web site now provides an audio tutorial of the site, increasing the ease of use for first-time or infrequent visitors to the site.

  • Solution submission: Authorized customers and partners can submit solutions they identify to Novell for consideration. After review and approval by Novell support engineers, the information will be published as TIDs. Solution submission takes advantage of Novell's knowledgeable partners and customers and provides additional expertise to make the site a centralized resource for support needs.

  • Enhanced Incident Tracking: A new version of the electronic incident tracking system allows users to view a list of all incidents assigned to a PIN number then select from the list for details of incidents. Previously, users could view individual incidents only by incident number. The ability to see all incidents submitted allows users to better manage their overall support relationship with Novell and saves time by only using one number to track incidents.

Novell also will announce additional enhancements to the site in the near future. Planned features include support forums, enhanced search features, the ability to get feedback from the authors of TIDs, a page dedicated to Premium Service customers, and reorganized product pages to further increase the ease of use.

Since it opened in July 1996, customers and partners have accessed the Novell Support Connection Web site more than 242,513,115 times, downloading more than 24,472,161 files.

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


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