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Chapter 28 - Implementing an Ongoing Training and Support Program

After your users install Microsoft® Internet Explorer 6 and Internet Tools, you can begin implementing an ongoing training and support program. Because learning how to use Internet Explorer is an ongoing process, basic training and support during deployment, followed by an ongoing program customized for your organization's needs, is the best means for getting the most out of your investment in Internet Explorer. This chapter describes ongoing training and support options.

Related Information in the Resource Kit

  • For more information about developing your training and support plans, see "Planning the Deployment." 

  • For more information about testing your training and support plans before deploying Internet Explorer, see "Setting Up and Administering a Pilot Program." 

  • For more information about implementing training and support plans during your Internet Explorer rollout, see "Deploying Microsoft Internet Explorer 6." 

Overview of Training and Support

An ongoing training and support program can increase productivity by promoting, expanding, and enhancing your users' Internet Explorer knowledge and skills. If your organization employs an internal training and support staff, they can effectively implement the program by using their experience from the pilot program and Internet Explorer deployment.

Ongoing Training Options

Consider the following options for ongoing user training:

  • Offer follow-up training sessions for continuing education. Building on the content of your deployment training and feedback from your users, you might want to offer additional formal or informal training sessions. These sessions can cover some skills in more detail or provide training for different features and functionality, based on the changing needs of your organization and its users. You might also want to repeat training sessions as new users join your organization. 

  • Provide a Web page on the Internet or intranet for ongoing training. You can develop a training Web page on the Internet or corporate intranet and then use an e-mail message or memo to tell your users about the page and point them to the URL. To make the Web page most useful, you should update it frequently with new tips, hints, and answers to frequently asked questions. For ongoing education about features, benefits, and enhancements, users can also review Internet Explorer information on the Microsoft Windows Technologies Internet Explorer Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/

  • Periodically distribute a newsletter or other written communication about the features and functionality of Internet Explorer. You can produce and distribute an Internet Explorer memo, e-mail message, newsletter, or other written communication on a regular basis to all of your users. The communication can announce news that is relevant to your ongoing training efforts, including tips about new browser features and dates for additional training sessions. You also can ask users to contribute articles that contain helpful advice and convey information that they have learned. 

  • Supply users with additional publications and training materials about Internet Explorer. As part of your ongoing training and support program, you can supply users with additional publications and training materials, such as Microsoft Press books, for more detailed information about browser features and functions. For more information about Internet Explorer publications that are available from Microsoft Press, visit the Microsoft Press Online Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/mspress/. Microsoft Press books are available in stores that sell computer books. 

  • Employ Microsoft training services. Microsoft offers a variety of training services for educating computer professionals about Microsoft products. As part of your ongoing training program, you may want to offer these training services to your users. The following section describes Microsoft training services in greater detail. 

Microsoft Training Services

Microsoft offers different training services to help users become experts in Microsoft product solutions. These services include the Microsoft Certified Professional Program and Microsoft technical training courses.

Microsoft Certified Professional Program

The Microsoft Certified Professional Program offers an excellent way to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to build, implement, and support effective solutions with Microsoft products. To become a Microsoft Certified Professional, users must pass a series of rigorous, standardized certification exams.

Users who become Microsoft Certified Professionals receive many benefits, including access to technical information, use of the Microsoft Certified Professional logo, and special invitations to Microsoft conferences and technical events. For more information about the Microsoft Certified Professional Program, visit the Microsoft Training & Certification Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/trainingandservices/.

Microsoft Technical Training Courses

Microsoft technical training courses provide computer professionals with the knowledge to expertly install and support Microsoft solutions. Courses have been developed in close cooperation with the Microsoft product-support groups. They include in­depth, accurate information and hands­on lab exercises based on real­world experience. Microsoft technical training courses are designed to help users prepare effectively for Microsoft Certified Professional exams.

The Microsoft technical training curriculum is available in three forms:

  • Classroom instruction. Instructor­led classes are given by Microsoft Certified Professional trainers at Microsoft Certified Partners for Learning Solutions. As members of the Certified Solution Provider Program, the Microsoft Learning Solutions partners are independent businesses qualified to teach the official Microsoft curriculum. 

  • Online training. For a more flexible alternative to instructor-led classes, users can turn to online training. They can learn at their own pace and on their own schedule in a virtual classroom, often with easy access to an online instructor. Without ever leaving their desks, users can gain the expertise they need. Because this is training on demand, users can access learning resources 24 hours a day. 

  • Self-paced training. Microsoft's self­paced curriculum enables users to learn at their own convenience. For motivated learners who are ready for the challenge, self-paced training is the most flexible, cost-effective way to increase knowledge and skills. This self-paced curriculum includes a wide variety of comprehensive training kits, books, online resources, and CD-ROM-based multimedia—all developed or approved by Microsoft. 

For more information about Microsoft technical training courses, visit the Microsoft Training & Services Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/trainingandservices/.

Ongoing Support Options

Consider the following options for ongoing user support:

  • Use the built-in product support. Help files included with Internet Explorer provide users with a comprehensive set of topics, which they can view from within the browser. To view Help topics, click the Help menu, and then click Contents and Index. Also, users can find updates and technical information in the readme (.txt) files that come with Internet Explorer. 

  • Provide help desk services for ongoing user support. Depending on resources, an organization can staff a help desk or use existing help desk services to support Internet Explorer users on an ongoing basis. Your organization should encourage users to call the help desk with their questions. The staff at the help desk should monitor the types of questions that users ask and assess how well the staff provides accurate, timely answers. To help the staff respond to users' questions, this book also includes a series of chapters in the part "Multimedia, Accessibility, and Other Features," that provide information and procedures for using new Internet Explorer features. 

  • Provide a page on the Internet or intranet for ongoing support. Internet Explorer provides an Online Support command on the Help menu. By default, when users click Online Support, the Microsoft Product Support Services home page appears in the browser window. On this Web site, users can gain access to the Microsoft Product Support problem-solving tools and technical information, including the Knowledge Base, the "Ask Maxwell" service, and troubleshooting wizards, and download sites. Users can get up-to-date answers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

    An organization can also create its own customized Web site to provide online technical support that is tailored to the needs of its users. When the organization creates custom browser packages, the URL for this customized Web site can replace the default link used by the Online Support command. For additional information about using a customized Web site to provide online technical support, see "Preparing for the IEAK" and "Running the Microsoft Internet Explorer Customization Wizard" in this Resource Kit. 

  • Employ Microsoft support services. In addition to the extensive online Help and support services that users can use within the browser, Microsoft offers a variety of other support services for Internet Explorer. The following section describes these Microsoft support services in greater detail. 

Microsoft Product Support Services

Customers can choose from a variety of Microsoft personal and business support services that are available by telephone and through various online services.

Note For a complete listing of support services, including telephone numbers, pricing, terms, and conditions, visit the Microsoft Product Support Services Web site at http://support.microsoft.com/directory/.

No-Charge Assisted Support

If Internet Explorer users cannot find the answers they need by using the built-in product and online help resources, they can use one of the following options for no-charge assisted support:

  • If Internet Explorer and Internet Tools was part of the preinstalled software on a purchased computer, the computer manufacturer can provide support for Internet Explorer. For more information about manufacturer support, see the Support for Preinstalled Microsoft Products Web page. You can access this page by selecting your location at http://support.microsoft.com/directory/directory.asp and then clicking Assisted Support Directory

  • If users install Internet Explorer and Internet Tools from a CD-ROM or the Internet, they can contact Microsoft Product Support Services for support. Although Internet Explorer and Internet Tools does not include no-charge, assisted support, users can obtain personal assistance from Microsoft Product Support Services by using the no-charge assisted support that is included with their Microsoft Windows operating system. 

When users call for support or use the Web Response service, they can use their available support incidents that are included with retail versions of Windows. If users have an OEM version of Windows or if they have already used all of their support incidents included with their retail versions of Windows, they can use the paid support options described in the following sections.

Internet Explorer users can submit issues instantly on the Personal or Professional Support Incident Submission Web page at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;EN-US;ie. Or if they prefer, they can call Microsoft support engineers by using the telephone numbers listed on the Call Microsoft country/region Support Web page at http://support.microsoft.com/directory/phone.asp.

In the United States, no­charge assisted support is available between 5:00 A.M. and 9:00 P.M. Pacific time, Monday through Friday, and between 9:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. Pacific time on Saturday, excluding holidays (toll charges may apply). In Canada, no­charge assisted support is available between 8:00 A.M. and 11:00 P.M. Eastern time, Monday through Friday, and between 10:00 A.M. and 6:00 P.M. on Saturday, excluding holidays (toll charges may apply).

Outside the United States and Canada, users can contact Microsoft Product Support Services at the Microsoft subsidiary office that serves their area. For a list of these subsidiaries, see the Worldwide Support Web page at http://support.microsoft.com/directory/ww.asp. If no Microsoft subsidiary office is located in your country or region, you can contact the business from which you obtained the Microsoft product.

Users who call Microsoft Product Support Services should be at their computers and have the appropriate product documentation in hand. Microsoft support engineers request the following information:

  • The version number of the Microsoft product in use 

  • The type of hardware in use 

  • The exact wording of any messages that appear on the screen 

  • A description of what happened and what was being done when the problem occurred 

  • A description of the methods used in any attempts to resolve the problem 

Pay-per-Incident Support

By using pay-per-incident support, Internet Explorer users can pay to speak directly to the experts who can answer their questions. They can submit issues instantly on the Personal or Professional Support Incident Submission Web page at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;EN-US;ie. Or if they prefer, in the United States they can call Microsoft support engineers at (800) 936-5700; in Canada they can call Microsoft support engineers at (800) 668-7975. Microsoft charges a fixed rate per incident, which appears on the user's telephone bill (not available in Canada) or is billed to the user's VISA, MasterCard, or American Express card.

In the United States, pay-per-incident support on the Web and by telephone is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays. In Canada, pay-per-incident support is available between 8:00 A.M. and 11:00 P.M. Eastern time, Monday through Friday, and between 10:00 A.M. and 6:00 P. M. on Saturday, excluding holidays.

Business Support

Microsoft Product Support Services offers annual fee­based support plans. These plans are designed for expert users and businesses that require priority access to support engineers for business-critical needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These expert users and businesses anticipate a high volume of calls or require access to specialized information.

The following support plans are available:

  • Professional. The Professional support plan provides advanced support services for expert users and small to medium-size businesses that are developing, deploying, and maintaining business systems based on Microsoft operating systems, products, and tools. This support plan includes advance-purchase support at a per-incident rate for online and telephone assistance. Professional support customers can gain access to custom support sites, online information, technical resources, and responsive incident support from engineers trained to address their specific needs. 

  • Premier. The Premier support plan provides large enterprises with proactive access to the professional services and technical expertise that they need to help maximize the use of their business systems and minimize their total costs. This support plan provides the well-planned, managed systems support necessary to maintain large, enterprisewide systems that are running integrated applications. Premier support customers can gain access to a wide range of product and application expertise through priority technical support and custom support sites. 

  • Alliance. The Alliance support plan is designed to help very large enterprises successfully develop, deploy, and manage mission-critical business systems that are built around a broad range of Microsoft technologies and solutions for the server and the desktop. These enterprises need the maximum level of support to ensure the smoothest, most finely tuned operation of their enterprisewide business applications and solutions. Alliance support provides a fully personalized service with the highest level of attention available from Microsoft, including personnel dedicated to the enterprise, the creation and management of exclusive information resources, and executive-level contact between the enterprise and Microsoft. 

For more information about these priority business support options, contact your Microsoft account representative, or call Microsoft Professional Support Sales at (800) 936-3500 or Microsoft Enterprise Support Sales at (800) 936-3200.

Other Custom Support Resources

Microsoft offers a variety of other custom support resources to meet the unique needs of organizations and their users.

Microsoft Gold Certified Partners for Support Services

Microsoft Gold Certified Partners for Support Services (formerly Microsoft Certified Support Centers—MCSCs) are a select group of strategic support partners who offer high-quality, customized support services for each phase of system development, including planning, implementing, and maintaining multi-vendor environments. These partners are trained and certified to support the latest Microsoft technologies.

Services available from Microsoft Gold Certified Partners include:

  • On­site support 

  • Integration and implementation services 

  • Help desk services 

  • Hardware support 

  • Development resources 

A Microsoft Gold Certified Partner can provide comprehensive technical support and services to supplement an in­house help desk or a Microsoft support option. For more information about Microsoft Gold Certified Partners, visit the Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/support/partner/.

Microsoft Certified Partners

Microsoft Certified Partners are independent organizations that provide consulting, integration, development, training, technical support, and other services related to Microsoft products. The Microsoft Certified Partner program supplies partners with information, business development assistance, and tools that help create additional value for Microsoft­based software technologies. For more information about the program, visit the Microsoft Certified Partner Web site at http://members.microsoft.com/partner/partnering/.

MSDN

The Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN®) is the official source for comprehensive programming information, development toolkits, and testing platforms. A subscription to MSDN includes quarterly updates of information and technology. For more information about subscribing to this development resource, visit the MSDN Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/technet.

"Microsoft Online Seminars

"Microsoft Online Seminars delivers valuable media content over the Internet, including the latest information about Microsoft solutions, technologies, and products. Business professionals and developers can instantly gain access to technical topics, which are tailored to their interests and available at a time that fits their schedules. To view this media content, visit the "Microsoft Online Seminars Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/technet.

Microsoft TechNet

Microsoft TechNet is the comprehensive CD­ROM information resource for evaluating, implementing, and supporting Microsoft business products. A one­year subscription to Microsoft TechNet includes two CD-ROMs every month with over 150,000 pages of up­to­date technical information. The first CD-ROM includes current technical notes, reviewers' guides, background papers, Microsoft product resource kits, and the entire Microsoft Knowledge Base. The second CD-ROM contains the Microsoft Software Library with the latest drivers and service packs for Microsoft products. For more information about subscribing to Microsoft TechNet, visit the Microsoft TechNet Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/technet.

International Support

Microsoft provides support outside the United States through its subsidiary offices. To locate a subsidiary office near you, go to the Worldwide Support Web page at http://support.microsoft.com/directory/ww.asp. If no Microsoft subsidiary office is located in your country or region, you can contact the business from which you obtained the Microsoft product.

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