Help us Help you - Tips for technical support requests

We have done our best to make our products easy and straightforward to use.  Unfortunately, since the environment they work in and the functions they accomplish are neither easy nor straightforward, resolving issues can sometimes be complicated. 

While working with you on a support request, some of the steps we go through may appear unrelated to your issue or unimportant in solving it. Despite this, due to the complex nature of the software and the environments it runs in, a step-by-step approach to troubleshooting is invaluable.  With so many different components interacting at different levels, seemingly inconsequential settings can have a major impact and need to be checked.

By reading and following our instructions carefully you can help us get you up and converting again quickly.

We have incorporated extensive logging into our products, that along with the logs provided by the various hosting applications, make the process of troubleshooting as efficient as possible.  In order to ensure we can review these logs properly and in the proper context, following a few simple steps will help us help you faster.

 

Before Contacting Technical Support

  1. If possible, install the latest version of our software.  One of the major benefits of having a current Maintenance and Support Agreement is access to all the latest updates to our software. We regularly release new versions that not only contain fixes to known issues, but provide additional functionality.  Simply download the latest version from the product page on our website and follow the 'Upgrade' section in the Administration Guide.
  2. Consult our Administration and User guides for your particular product.  They are designed to provide you with all the information you need to install and use our software.
  3. Consult our Knowledge Base.  We are continually adding new articles to our Knowledge Base - not just fixes, but also code examples and more.  Two good places to start when you have a problem are:

 

When Contacting Technical Support

  1. Use support@muhimbi.com to contact us. Please do not email, or cc, anyone else at Muhimbi that you may have been in contact with previously. Our support desk is fully automated and automatically contacts the correct Muhimbi person to deal with your request.
  2. Please do not phone us unless you are encountering an urgent production issue that needs to be escalated. Experience shows that reading out error messages over the phone is counter productive.
  3. Provide us with a concise explanation of you problem.  You don't need to write a novel, but something more than 'Word won't convert to PDF' will give us a leg-up in getting your problem solved quickly.
  4. Please include all Windows Application Event Log entries with Event ID 41734 that are logged at the time of the problem. 
  5. Please include a copy of documentconverter.log as well.
  6. Send us details of your environment:
    1. The name and version of our product that you are using.
    2. The version of Windows (including service pack level) running on your server(s).
    3. The version of SharePoint (including service pack level) running on your server(s).
    4. The version of Office (including service pack level) running on your server(s).
    5. The basic structure of your environment - WFE, Application servers, Conversion servers, etc. and the role of each server. If there are (transparent) proxy servers or firewalls present between the servers then we would like to know that as well.

 

After Contacting Technical Support

  1. Be prepared to answer some technical questions about your environment and what you are attempting to accomplish.  If you are unsure about something or don't understand what we are asking for, please tell us and we can guide you through the process. Alternatively you may want to involve someone senior in your team or your Infrastructure Team.
  2. We will most likely ask you to run through the process that is causing you problems and provide us with the log files created.  Please follow these steps completely and in order.  Log files tell the story of how our application is running, if we get the chapters out of order, or are missing some, the story just doesn't make sense.
  3. Please don't add additional issues to your ticket while we are working on it.  If you encounter another problem, please open a new ticket by sending a completely new email (don't respond to an existing one).  It's the only way we can keep track of your tickets and ensure we solve all your problems.
  4. Our response time is 1 business day from the last interaction (24 hours on weekdays excluding public holidays). Please do not chase tickets, open new tickets for the same subject or try to chase our very hard working and dedicated support team in any other way unless there is an extremely urgent, show stopping, production issue that is affecting your users. You will find that most of the time you receive answers a lot quicker, frequently within a few minutes, but that does not mean you should expect it to always be this quick.

 

When It's All Done

  1. Please keep a record of your problem and the solution.  You may encounter it again and, if not, you'll have a handy reference for the kinds of questions we ask and where to find the answers.
  2. When your solution has been solved, please don't use the same ticket to address any other issues.  Just contact us again by sending a completely new email and we can open a new ticket for you - this helps us keep track of your tickets and ensure we solve all your problems.  If you need to re-open the same issue, then by all means, re-open the same ticket.

 

Muhimbi Technical Support is dedicated to providing you with the best support we can.  By following these tips we will be able to provide you with a faster and more efficient service.  You will spend less time answering our question and will be back to converting files all the sooner.

 

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