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Ask the Expert: AMA - Ask Our ATE Program Manager Anything

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Welcome to our Ask the Expert conversation. On this occasion you will have the opportunity to ask questions, provide feedback or open up to make your thoughts available about this, your Ask the Expert program. During this discussion we aim to give you the power and allow you to let us know how we can improve. For the last 4 years this program has steadily been growing and we attribute the success to you our community members. Ask the Expert discussions are forums that allow community members and SMEs get on the same level and exchange information that can potentially help solve issues bypassing traditional EMC Customer Service offerings.

Our SME is available to answer any question in relation to this program. Additionally, we would like to know what to do to better serve you, have you found solutions to your issues on an existent ATE thread? Who would you like to see hosting an ATE event? Does our format work for you? What ECN communities do you feel isn't taking advantage of this program? Share your thoughts with us, help us help you!

Meet Your Experts:


Roberto Araujo

Project/Program Manager

Roberto is the program manager in charge of the Ask the Expert program on ECN. Three years ago he joined the Social team of EMC Customer Service to champion the creation of the Spanish Support Community and for the last couple of years he has also been involved in the coordination and promotions of ATE events coming from a variety of teams throughout the federation. His program is currently seen as "one of the most successful community-focused programs .. at EMC" and he's aiming on taking it to the next level by its 5th year anniversary in 2017.


This discussion will take place May 2nd - 27th. Get ready by bookmarking this page or signing up for e-mail notifications.

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Re: Ask the Expert: AMA - Ask Our ATE Program Manager Anything

Greetings! This discussion is officially open. Your questions, feedback and comments are welcome.

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Re: Ask the Expert: AMA - Ask Our ATE Program Manager Anything

Hi Roberto Araujo!  I am looking forward to this great ATE with the ATE Expert himself!  Can you please tell us the top 3 things we can do to make sure our ATE is successful?

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Re: Ask the Expert: AMA - Ask Our ATE Program Manager Anything

Thanks for the excitement. So this question comes from the requesting team, who is asking us to help them organize their ATE event, perspective. This is actually a common questions and one I'm greatful that you ask as many could benefit from this advice. It is however difficult for me to norrow down my answer to the top 3 things. As in with any type of virtual community events there are many factors that could potentially influence to the success of an Ask the Expert event. With that said, here is my take on what I believed has worked with us in the past.

Topic - As with any type of event, most people are interested in getting something out of the event they chose to attend. Either by learning something new, being able to solve a problem they had in the past or simply by getting the chance to be heard and acknowledged by an expert in the subject, the topic of your event needs to be interesting and trending. Coming up with a topic that is current and proven to be of interest for your audience is pivotal to the success of your ATE event. Something to consider is to observe any common themes on questions posted in your community. Later, once you figure it out you could broaden the topic a bit and make that the topic of your next ATE event. The way you present this topic on your title is also important, so be sure it portrays the essence of the topic while making it worthy of people’s attention.

Expert Selection – People follow their idols, those individuals who they heard from in the past at a conference, a blog post, or even the ones whom they received helped from in the community, someone they recognize and respect. When selecting the SMEs for your next event, be sure to select the ones who are socially active and are known for what they do. These SMEs are also most likely to be active on the thread, provide proactive content and give their own special secret ingredient that everyone loves in the discussion.

Advertising – This is the area where many may just rely on the premises of their community. Obviously, if your community is rather new and does not yet have enough followers you know you will need to be a little more inventive as to where to promote your ATE event. Even those communities that are well stablished need to go outside of their comfort zone to advertise the event. Advertising outside of your comfort zone isn’t only using social media to promote, but also email and lots of WOM are necessary. Once the event is live it should be featured in multiple communities and at least once you’re community followers should receive an invite on their inbox.

I hope this helps.

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Re: Ask the Expert: AMA - Ask Our ATE Program Manager Anything

Thanks for the excellent info Roberto!

Following up on this, from a participant's perspective, what are the three things/tips a participant can do to ensure they get the most out of the event(s) they are attending?


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Re: Ask the Expert: AMA - Ask Our ATE Program Manager Anything

Interesting question Bob., the reality is that most participants come to our Ask the Expert events from a variety of backgrounds and depending on the topic of  the event discussion they will expect a diversity of responses. Most people, I would say, expect a direct answer to their question as most questions posted state a problem they’re trying to solve. People who come to ECN are usually technology savvy and expect technical experienced SMEs responding to their questions. Someone who is familiar with their inquiry and who’s able to come up with a complete and solutions driven reply is what most members of the audience will expect. With that in mind, when people participate on an Ask the Expert thread they need to ensure to do the following.

  • Review the thread on its entirety – A lot of times users come ready with a question in mind and don’t’ bother to read the information previously provided on the thread and want to just post their question. This is definitely okay and understandable as most users come for support on how to solve an issue and not for leisure. However, a lot of times in the description of the event we post useful information like videos, links and assets that point people to helpful material that they can use to inform themselves about the topic in hand. Additionally, people tend to have similar issues on the same topic, so by reading what has previously been discussed on the thread they may find the answer they needed and even gather the experience from an unusual perspective. Therefore, it is highly recommended to review the tread completely and base questions on what they have learned from what has been shared and the specifics of their inquiry.
  • Provide full details from the get-go – Providing full details on the first reply will ensure our SMEs will be well informed of the situation and will enable them to provide a complete answer without the need of a follow up. Some of the details to consider when asking a question are: an observation in detail of the issue, name the product, version or even the SR number if available, write specifically what is expected to receive and the potential outcome if this is provided. Finally, it is always important to include any historical inquiries with the system that could potentially be relevant with the current experience.
  • Follow up and ask for additional resources – Yes, the goal is not to get to this situation if the customer provided with what I mentioned on the tips above. However, considering that they have the unique opportunity to directly engage with an expert it is best to take full advantage of this opportunity. You never know what you will encounter in the future and the reality is that this SME is only available for a limited period. For this reason, even after the question has been answered, follow up, request additional material, ask for helpful links, provide hypothetical scenarios and even ask how to get help after the thread gets closed. By doing this you will not only solve the current issue, but pave the way to solving inevitable future situations.

Thanks for your question.

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