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Questions for Iain, Joe and Jake

What topic/area are the most common questions asked by librarians and publishers?  

The majority of librarians tend to experience issues with either user access to a resource or problems and questions within their admin area. Resource access takes up a lot of our service desk time. 

Our service providers are going through a transition of migrating from our old service provider product to our new Keystone product. Those still using our old product may have issues with local install, whereas Keystone users tend to have more questions than problems as the Keystone software is a more reliable service. 

 Where can I see data on my organisation’s service desk tickets? 

If you’re a direct customer of OpenAthens you can access previous ticket history by pressing on the speech mark in the top right corner/ going to and clicking on the ‘Advanced report’ button in the top left corner.  

If you’re not a direct customer then your support partner (EBSCOTDNet etc) will be the team to turn to about previous tickets. 

Service Desk support – is this what EBSCO will be using when I have an issue or can I contact you directly?  

Direct OpenAthens customers have access to our support team. But if you purchase OpenAthens through a 3rd party like EBSCO, they will be the team to offer support. 

Can you explain the different ‘proxy’ services? You mentioned proxy forward as the only option for customers?  

OpenAthens hosts its own proxy service for customers. This allows customers to access content on publisher sites that don’t support ‘federated’ access.  

We recently released a product called ‘forward proxy’. In the past we may have provided you with an IP address for your organisation to supply to publishers. With the forward proxy, the hardware is handled onsite. This gives our customers a number of advantages, mainly faster speeds and using an IP address local to your campus.  

If you’re in the United States or Asia Pacific region, using the forward proxy will enable your users to connect to the proxy service that’s closest to them and this will speed things up a whole lot more. 

Where do customers go to see the product roadmap?  

We don’t have a publicly available roadmap yet but we hope to launch one soon. 

How do you prioritise between different customers’ enhancement requests?  

We aim to strike a balance between being responsive to customer requests and spending our time developing exciting new features. With any customer enhancement request we try to understand the root cause of the problem and design any solution around that. We then prioritise it alongside all other requests taking account of its impact on customers, development time and a range of other factors. 

 Is there one voice that is louder than the rest?  

Inevitably some voices are louder than others but we aim to make sure all stakeholders are represented in our product development process. Infact one of the main roles of the product manager is to make sure everyone feels like they have input into our product roadmap and can see things on there that will benefit them. 

Where do we go for user feedback?  

When we launch major new features such as the changes to usage reporting last year, we pop a feedback widget directly into the page. Outside of those times the service desk will take any feedback and pass it to the relevant people.  

Here at Swansea University we’re trying in terms of our own service development to share our priorities with stakeholders giving them access to our development list. Any plans for this?  

Yes, we plan to make our product roadmap public and will enable stakeholders to feedback on it. 

How close are we to the aspiration to be market led rather than dev/sales led? 

We are getting closer all the time, the next big challenge I see will be articulating and prioritising product development in terms of the problems we want to solve (for ourselves and customers) rather than focusing on specific solutions. This will go a long way to making sure we are focused on customers real problems rather than what is the most technically possible or what is needed to close a sale.