Issues bigger than technical failures

skrishna
Specialist

Issues bigger than technical failures

Hi all -

 

So just wanted to make sure this concern got its own thread instead of being buried in issue based discussions. We in technology know that failures and challenges are an everyday thing. But what matters most is how it is responded to and how quickly. Our school has a Sunday - Thursday week schedule so the weekend concept gets mixed up with Sat/Sun weekend around the world. Plus, US timezones are 8-10 hours behind us so that adds to the complexity of any issue. Yes - we get it. There will definitely be a delay in turn around times.

 

But - a 24 hour window from the reporting of the issue is plenty for any global company  to at least write back and let the clients know a) what happened and what is being done and b) what timelines they are looking at for a solution.

 

I know the status.powerschool.com exists but it has failed to trigger a major back-end issue twice in just a few months time. This is a major red flag since it means that communication is definitely an issue. Both within PowerSchool and what it is telling schools. 

 

My frustration (and I am sure I am not alone in this) is not with the random errors (which in itself is a question all by itself. Why does this keep happening so often?) but the way PS has continued to deal with this. It takes them days to respond back with a clear message on what went wrong and what they did to fix it. We are techies too so a "hotfix" can be explained a little bit more so we have some data to give our teachers/students/admin/parents when things go south. 

 

As a growing company looking to find more stakeholders all over the world PowerSchool really needs to up its game and come up with some innovative way to get a 24/7 support line (even if its just an automated chat window that pops up on our domains) where people can trigger emergency issues and not have to wait for 4-5 school days for a fix. 

 

This week is perhaps the toughest one for us this year. Middle School is out week without walls so anxious parents are wondering why their children's photos and information isnt visible. Report cards went out so there is that. Teachers are trying out new things (like assessments, new forms of communication etc) and a failing tech doesnt help the cause.

 

This is not the first time and I know this isnt the last such things will happen. Such is the nature of tech. But please be on top of your game for communication. I sincerely hope PS does a much better job at being proactive about these basic things rather than being reactive.

 

Thanks.

 

Shashi

3 Replies
PowerSchool Champion
PowerSchool Champion

Re: Issues bigger than technical failures

Well said!

aciuffo
Achiever

Re: Issues bigger than technical failures

Well said @skrishna.

 

I well understand that there are  challenges of continually developing and running the massive infrastructure that makes a system like PowerSchool learning and Unified Classroom work. I also understand that the infrastructure is run by humans that want and deserve down time. It's also a fact that teachers don't keep regular work hours and that makes support more challenging.

 

When I have received direct tier-1 phone support from the Learning specialists, I've been extremely pleased. They have always supported us and offered excellent soluitons

 

I don't expect that PowerSchool offers 24/7 tier 1 support for every user and every ticket, but I would hope that PowerSchool would have an off-hours team that monitors the forums and support tickets for issues. It wouldn't take much to have a skeleton crew that does some triage on tickets submitted during the non-US work hours. That team could raise the red flag and shoot off some flairs when major issues crop up over the weekend or in the USA night-time hours. This would be an early-warning system for PowerSchool's North American clients as well.

 

Instead, we're left to shoot off emails into the abyss and post rants on this forum while we wait for someone in the US to wake up and realise that the non-north american crowd has been paying for a non-functional product for a weekend. 

 

I also find it VERY frustrating that posts here frequently to either go un-answered or receive a "thank you for the suggestion" copy-paste platitude. I'd hope that someone out there is actively listening to the PSL/UC admins that post here.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: Issues bigger than technical failures

Hi, @skrishna@aciuffo@DanM3

 

Thank you for sharing your honest feedback around this issue. We are monitoring posts and sharing your feedback with the PowerSchool team to make sure we are focused on improving your experience with our products. We strive to provide timely responses to all posts in our Community and are continuing to work on improving our weekend support and status updates. Please stay tuned for updates on this front and we thank you for your continued patience.

 

All posts in our Community receive a response either by our Community team or other members who have best practices to share.  We strive to provide proper research and the best response for each Community member.  We will take the time to review that we have not missed any posts in error and ensure similar questions and issues are not receiving repeated responses. I will address this concern in our team training. 

 

Thank you for your feedback. We’ll continue to share as we have additional updates.

 

Jbid

 

JbidK
PowerSchool Community Manager