Marc Siegel, IBM Rational’s community manager, has introduced the IBM Rational Discussion Facilitators in an article on IBM DeveloperWorks.
Many customers may have noticed that since Rational has been taken over by IBM some years ago, the communication between the customer (including the responsible IT and Development managers, and the actual users working with the tools) and IBM Rational (including sales and support) has changed considerably, not for the better in most cases. User to User communication is an emerging (support) strategy for customers, and it has proven its effectiveness for open-source software for many years.
However, User-to-ToolVendor communication has been difficult in the past and will become more difficult in the future due to cost-saving on service organizations. For that reason, I think that IBM has made a smart move to institutionalise the use of Discussion Facilitators for direct communication with Product Management, as they are not on the payroll of IBM (i.e. they are ordinary customers themselves) while they provide a bilateral service to the user community.
The IBM Rational discussion forums are the discussion forums for users of Rational products. The IBM website, including the DeveloperWorks website, are rather difficult to navigate through so you’d best go to it through the direct link.