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  • Microsoft eOpen web site rant

    I've brought this discussion up with another person recently, but wanted to get a broader consensus about this. I despise the various administration portals for Microsoft licenses. eOpen is the figurehead for the debacle. Then there's the MVLS site at licensing.Microsoft.com and then the microsoft.com/licensing/servicecenter portion (the correlation between the two I have yet to discover). The SA benefits portal to manage TechNet subscriptions is another nightmare.

    Here are my main gripes:
    1. eOpen is an insult to paying customers: It is confusingly laid out and managing any more than a handful of licenses quickly becomes frustrating. It is awfully slow and unresponsive. My biggest gripe about eOpen is: it has unacceptably long and frequent service outages for "upgrades" and "maintenance". Wait... this is the largest software company in the world. The exams I take are stuffed full of questions concerning high availability solutions using MSFT products. Is it too much to ask to implement some kind of high availability system that reduces if not altogether eradicates these 24 hour and greater disruptions?? This very day, it takes about a minute for any link I click on eOpen to finally respond. The click-through URL to get to the SA benefits portal for one of my licenses died on me and was replaced by this error:
      Software Assurance Benefits. The purchase of Software Assurance as part of your license agreement provides additional benefit entitlements. Due to a system error, these benefits cannot be accessed at the moment. Please try again later if you would like to administer the benefits associated with this license agreement.
      Thanks Microsoft! That pushes out my Home Use deployment at least one more day. I've already spent over an hour today trying to get to figure out where the benefits administration page is and why I didn't get a PIN to manage the benefits.
    2. There are too many far-flung license management portals and sites. Between eOpen, the MVLS site at licensing.Microsoft.com and then the one at Microsoft.com/licensing/servicecenter, the TechNet license portal and who knows what other portals there are that I haven't found yet or forgot about. How are they all tied together? What are their correlations with eachother? Sometimes clicking a linkl in one sends you to the other (for instance getting to license keys through eOpen sends you to the licensing service center)
    3. Parts of the site are broken for long periods of time. For example, go to the Licensing service center, click the "Software Assurance" title at the top of the page and then click the "Click here to visit the SA Benefits administration system." link. It's broken! And has been for some time. Does anyone even maintain these sites? Is there one or two poor and overworked people scampering around trying to get a huge workload done? Is this how Microsoft manages the virtual gold that I've invested in licenses? Should my company be worried?
    4. Unpredictable results for the sites make me nervous. This is really just a re-hash of the first bullet point that mentioned "planned downtime" and the third point that mentioned broken links, but I'll rehash it since I'm in a poor mood at the moment. Whenever I need to do anything with the eOpen site, I cringe. "Is it going to work today?" I think to myself. I'm always worried that there's going to be some strange outage or problematic workflow. "Am I going to be able to figure out how to do what I need to do?" I'm never certainif theres goin gto be some strange cat022 that I was heretofore unaware of when trying to do something with SA benefits or retrieving keys or whatever other license management tasks I need to do. Oddly, the Microsoft licensing tech support line is typically staffed by cheerful and helpful "North American Based" support techs. I would have thought they'd be answering irritated phone calls all day long. Maybe I'm the only idiot that has a problem with this situation.


    At the end of this rant, the one thing that looms largest in my mind is this: Does Microsoft care about their customers? They're bread and butter is selling software. Businesses buy larges quantities of it... but we then get treated to an antiquated, unfriendly, unreliable system to manage our potentially millions of dollars of licenses? Grrr...

    Anyone else agree with me or did I just wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?


    EDIT: 10 minutes after posting this, I was in the MVLS site and clicked the Resources >> Licensing Information link only to be greeted by this lovely error: "We apologize but the site has encountered an error. Please contact support." and a crumby HTML table of various help email addresses to use depending on which country I'm in. Nice.
    Last edited by Nonapeptide; 21st July 2009, 19:02.
    Wesley David
    LinkedIn | Careers 2.0
    -------------------------------
    Microsoft Certifications: MCSE 2003 | MCSA:Messaging 2003 | MCITP:EA, SA, EST | MCTS: a'plenty | MCDST
    Vendor Neutral Certifications: CWNA
    Blog: www.TheNubbyAdmin.com || Twitter: @Nonapeptide || GTalk, Reader and Google+: [email protected] || Skype: Wesley.Nonapeptide
    Goofy kitten avatar photo from Troy Snow: flickr.com/photos/troysnow/

  • #2
    Re: Microsoft eOpen web site rant

    I agree. We're an ASP and have an SPLA with MS as well as being a MS certified partner and I can't tell you how confusing and frustrating it is sometimes to find correct information regarding licensing and partner benefits. I've spoken many times with our SPLA account admin and let me tell you that speaking to them is not any better than fumbling through the web site.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Microsoft eOpen web site rant

      Two years ago our company was selected to do an eOpen survey. I sent them very detailed information on why the eOpen website sucks. I've seen nothing change since then.

      Symdogshitantec and Adobe's licensing portals are even worse.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Microsoft eOpen web site rant

        Originally posted by Nonapeptide View Post
        I've brought this discussion up with another person recently, but wanted to get a broader consensus about this. I despise the various administration portals for Microsoft licenses. eOpen is the figurehead for the debacle. Then there's the MVLS site at licensing.Microsoft.com and then the microsoft.com/licensing/servicecenter portion (the correlation between the two I have yet to discover). The SA benefits portal to manage TechNet subscriptions is another nightmare.

        Here are my main gripes:
        1. eOpen is an insult to paying customers: It is confusingly laid out and managing any more than a handful of licenses quickly becomes frustrating. It is awfully slow and unresponsive. My biggest gripe about eOpen is: it has unacceptably long and frequent service outages for "upgrades" and "maintenance". Wait... this is the largest software company in the world. The exams I take are stuffed full of questions concerning high availability solutions using MSFT products. Is it too much to ask to implement some kind of high availability system that reduces if not altogether eradicates these 24 hour and greater disruptions?? This very day, it takes about a minute for any link I click on eOpen to finally respond. The click-through URL to get to the SA benefits portal for one of my licenses died on me and was replaced by this error:

          Thanks Microsoft! That pushes out my Home Use deployment at least one more day. I've already spent over an hour today trying to get to figure out where the benefits administration page is and why I didn't get a PIN to manage the benefits.
        2. There are too many far-flung license management portals and sites. Between eOpen, the MVLS site at licensing.Microsoft.com and then the one at Microsoft.com/licensing/servicecenter, the TechNet license portal and who knows what other portals there are that I haven't found yet or forgot about. How are they all tied together? What are their correlations with eachother? Sometimes clicking a linkl in one sends you to the other (for instance getting to license keys through eOpen sends you to the licensing service center)
        3. Parts of the site are broken for long periods of time. For example, go to the Licensing service center, click the "Software Assurance" title at the top of the page and then click the "Click here to visit the SA Benefits administration system." link. It's broken! And has been for some time. Does anyone even maintain these sites? Is there one or two poor and overworked people scampering around trying to get a huge workload done? Is this how Microsoft manages the virtual gold that I've invested in licenses? Should my company be worried?
        4. Unpredictable results for the sites make me nervous. This is really just a re-hash of the first bullet point that mentioned "planned downtime" and the third point that mentioned broken links, but I'll rehash it since I'm in a poor mood at the moment. Whenever I need to do anything with the eOpen site, I cringe. "Is it going to work today?" I think to myself. I'm always worried that there's going to be some strange outage or problematic workflow. "Am I going to be able to figure out how to do what I need to do?" I'm never certainif theres goin gto be some strange cat022 that I was heretofore unaware of when trying to do something with SA benefits or retrieving keys or whatever other license management tasks I need to do. Oddly, the Microsoft licensing tech support line is typically staffed by cheerful and helpful "North American Based" support techs. I would have thought they'd be answering irritated phone calls all day long. Maybe I'm the only idiot that has a problem with this situation.


        At the end of this rant, the one thing that looms largest in my mind is this: Does Microsoft care about their customers? They're bread and butter is selling software. Businesses buy larges quantities of it... but we then get treated to an antiquated, unfriendly, unreliable system to manage our potentially millions of dollars of licenses? Grrr...

        Anyone else agree with me or did I just wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?


        EDIT: 10 minutes after posting this, I was in the MVLS site and clicked the Resources >> Licensing Information link only to be greeted by this lovely error: "We apologize but the site has encountered an error. Please contact support." and a crumby HTML table of various help email addresses to use depending on which country I'm in. Nice.
        eOpens ALWAYS been like this. Iv never figured out "why" there are soooo many service outages with it, why its always down for maintenance and why downloads just suddenly break.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Microsoft eOpen web site rant

          We're an MS Partner, but we do have to use eOpen occasionally to manage customer licenses. MS licensing is incomprehensible at the best of times, but eOpen really doesn't help.

          All I'll say is that even the worst MS website is a shining beacon of magnificence compared to the HP website or Symantec's licensing portal.
          BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
          sigpic
          Cruachan's Blog

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Microsoft eOpen web site rant

            Completely agree, eOpen has always been an embarrassment to the IT world.
            But let me ask this,

            why does
            http://eopen.microsoft.com - FAIL
            while
            https://eopen.microsoft.com - GOOD

            is it that hard to redirect to the SSL version.
            "...if I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I've said” - Alan Greenspan

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Microsoft eOpen web site rant

              Originally posted by Garen View Post
              Symdogshitantec and Adobe's licensing portals are even worse.
              Funny, I didn't think licensing.Adobe.com was that bad.

              Originally posted by cruachan View Post
              All I'll say is that even the worst MS website is a shining beacon of magnificence compared to the HP website or Symantec's licensing portal.
              I haven't had to deal with either of those. It really makes you wonder why these massive companies can't invest some money in these systems.


              So as not to turn this thread completely bitter, does anyone want to praise a good license management system that they've encounterd?
              Wesley David
              LinkedIn | Careers 2.0
              -------------------------------
              Microsoft Certifications: MCSE 2003 | MCSA:Messaging 2003 | MCITP:EA, SA, EST | MCTS: a'plenty | MCDST
              Vendor Neutral Certifications: CWNA
              Blog: www.TheNubbyAdmin.com || Twitter: @Nonapeptide || GTalk, Reader and Google+: [email protected] || Skype: Wesley.Nonapeptide
              Goofy kitten avatar photo from Troy Snow: flickr.com/photos/troysnow/

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Microsoft eOpen web site rant

                The DMV/BMV does a pretty good job. The lines aren't too long. Some states allow you to renew your license online, which is a big convenience.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Microsoft eOpen web site rant

                  I added a new agreement for my client, CompanyB to my eOpen site and then had to wait a while until I was allowed to download the software which CompanyB had paid so much for. Ok well, I suppose allowing instant-download-after-agreement-adding isn't allowed for some reason. Anyway, while I was waiting to download CompamyB's software for them, I realised that I also had to download software for CompanyA whose agreement I had added many months ago. No joy at all.

                  I emailed eOpen and they said that when you add an agreement, it blocks the downloading of ANY software for ANY company's agreement. I hadn't thought of that, and think it's an awful restriction to people who expect to have software available when they want it.

                  We have around 20 clients on the eOpen site so now we have to be very careful not to add an agreement without checking first "Does anybody need to download anything from eOpen in the next 24 hours? Anyone got a crystal ball?"

                  I totally agree that eOpen should be a "High availability" site. And their rules should change.
                  Best wishes,
                  PaulH.
                  MCP:Server 2003; MCITP:Server 2008; MCTS: SBS2008

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Microsoft eOpen web site rant

                    Sadly, I have little hope that anything positive will ever be done with the site. If such a negative response is nearly universal -- and you consider how many customers Microsoft has -- and yet nothing has been done about it, maybe it's just tough meat that we'll have to chew. *sigh*
                    Wesley David
                    LinkedIn | Careers 2.0
                    -------------------------------
                    Microsoft Certifications: MCSE 2003 | MCSA:Messaging 2003 | MCITP:EA, SA, EST | MCTS: a'plenty | MCDST
                    Vendor Neutral Certifications: CWNA
                    Blog: www.TheNubbyAdmin.com || Twitter: @Nonapeptide || GTalk, Reader and Google+: [email protected] || Skype: Wesley.Nonapeptide
                    Goofy kitten avatar photo from Troy Snow: flickr.com/photos/troysnow/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Microsoft eOpen web site rant

                      I started writing a rant yesterday lunchtime, but stopped when I realised that by the time I'd finished, I'd probably be told my post was too long, or my session would have expired. In short... why so many portals to what is essentially the same thing? I remember being happy in the knowlege that there was such a thing as a volume licence, but not needing to know what the different types were, where you go for each one, and why I should care. It was a simpler time... I'm at least thankful that my mother's business is too small to justify a VL. One less headache...
                      Gareth Howells

                      BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

                      Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

                      Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

                      "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

                      "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Microsoft eOpen web site rant

                        most funny part as we all know Microsoft employee's/sale's men are not even close to 65% clear about licensing.

                        When Microsoft launched Unified Communication in India some guys from MS.,USA showed interesting demo's but when we had discussion with Microsoft sales guy he said sorry sir, Unified Communication suit for India region has some restrictions from Govt of India,thus restriction on usability on it than what they showed in big launch event. Ultimately no use of deploying it in India. Rather they meant to say host in USA and purchase clients for India region. How disgussting. Again different SLA and MS legal boundings as region is different.

                        We now bought voIP solution from a telecom company itself like typical voIP set up.

                        Regards,
                        Amey.
                        All in 1
                        Solaris,Linux & Windows admin + networking.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Microsoft eOpen web site rant

                          Symantec is SH*T

                          MS is well I agree with all you lot its beyond hope...we have OVS agreeements with MS and open agreeements too. TBH their entire licencing structrue could be way easier...

                          I have never come across a useful licencing site so far !

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Microsoft eOpen web site rant

                            Maybe someone heard us? As of December 6th 2009, Microsoft volume Licensing customers now manage their license IDs and etc. via the Volume Licensing Service Center -- which IMO is an improvement. What does everyone else think?
                            Wesley David
                            LinkedIn | Careers 2.0
                            -------------------------------
                            Microsoft Certifications: MCSE 2003 | MCSA:Messaging 2003 | MCITP:EA, SA, EST | MCTS: a'plenty | MCDST
                            Vendor Neutral Certifications: CWNA
                            Blog: www.TheNubbyAdmin.com || Twitter: @Nonapeptide || GTalk, Reader and Google+: [email protected] || Skype: Wesley.Nonapeptide
                            Goofy kitten avatar photo from Troy Snow: flickr.com/photos/troysnow/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Microsoft eOpen web site rant

                              It's already managed to **** me off. It was supposed to be migrated over a weekend, it was actually the Tuesday morning before it was up and delayed me doing a migration. Then it was down again this morning when I needed a product key.
                              BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
                              sigpic
                              Cruachan's Blog

                              Comment

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