We (us old timers on the old forum) all started as a group of "field triallists", that were part of the original decoder testing team, when much of the technology around DTH was being developed and digitised. We were hooked, we were part of the development, it was exciting, "bleeding edge" stuff. Many of the basic installation methods were developed "on the fly".
It became a way of life. MC technical was deeply involved and very active on the forum. It was a partnership. We dealt with mainly DIY issues, supported by a steady flow of accurate and reliable information.
Then MC got this idea that DIY installations are bad, and that they must get "SAfricans" off this habit, and cut off (or try to) the flow of information, feeding it only towards "accredited installers". It became a challenge, to see if we could sus out what was going on. Now it is a case where some of us are regularly called upon by installers to help them with "sticky" installation problems.
I would welcome increased involvement by MC direct. But I have many examples on the old forum, where the advice given was "get hold of an accredited installer". Hardly ever a "real" solution offered. All because the persons responding do not have the in depth technical knowledge that the previous MC persons had.
Now there are many persons who do not have easy access to installers, ALL OVER the African continent who get no help at all, and if it was not for us, they would be high and dry.
The first post by MoM was that this forum would be different, that DStv would be more involved, that there would be a place to keep information easy to access by users.
At the moment, the community is still a long way from there. The platform is nowhere near ready to provide that sort of high level support.
Official older decoder support on the old forum was almost non existent. If it was not for us "die hards" there would be no one for persons with these decoders to call on for help.
At the moment, I am in a learning phase about this new platform, trying to understand what MC sees in it, and why it is supposed to be better than the old forum. After seeing how other large organisations messed up their customised Lithium platforms, I am fascinated to see if this one will actually work, purely from a technical point of view.
I have the distinct impression so far that Lithium "sells" the platform by convincing a company's management that "they" will do everything, provide full support via the "App" and that management will have a "fancy dashboard" and that will be all management will have to look at when trying to see "how happy the customer base is". Management then gets the idea that the "Community" will act as a buffer between them and those pesky customers that actually want to get what they pay for.
None of this is a new idea. It goes back to the very early days of "computerised network management and control". It was the original ideal --- "Design us a system that will give us a "dashboard" that will tell us if the "network" is working and therefore that the customers are happy". It never worked then and it still does not work. NOTHING will ever replace direct management hands on involvement.
The very first lesson we had (and we were the very first in this country to try this idea on the Telkom Microwave network), was how completely misleading that fancy dashboard can be.
I once got to work one morning after a weekend of extra-ordinary peace (no middle of the night calls telling me the microwave link to Gatkoppieslaagte was down), to find that the "dashboard" showed "green" everywhere. Now that was impossible with an analogue network of valve systems, poor power supplies and very remote sites. When I got to the "control room" the techies were all sitting around rolling snot balls. NO ONE had bothered to see if this fancy computerised monitoring system was actually working. And it was not! The normal weekend chaos was out there all right, but no one was being dispatched to fix anything and no one had been sent out over the weekend either.
That is where MC is at the moment with this "computerised customer relationship system" called the Lithium powered Community. It is broken, it is not working and the only component that did work has been shut down. .........
NOTHING will ever replace direct and active management in an operating company such as MC is running, a lesson every new generation of management insists on re-learning the hard way it seems.
And the developers of "Computerised Network Management Systems" are still sucking millions out of large companies, flogging/selling their latest bottle of snake oil .......
Octo LNB - 2 x splitters - 2 x [2 x 6]MS's, powered by SD PVR PSU - UEC 4T HD PVR and PACE 4T HDPVR
I wish I can give this post ^^^^ 100 Kudos.. Not a single thing that was promised to us by switching to this platform has been delivered.
Quad LNB Explora switch 5.1 | Explora (Primary) Pace 4Tuner HDPVR (Secondary) | Xtraview - decoders same room | 3 distributed HDMI endpoints via 2x4 Matrix and Cat6 | 100/50 Fibre (OpenServe/AH Capped) | DSD1110 in holiday mode |DSTV Mobile via Drifta WiFi