IBM Support Family Enhances Support Line Service
August 13, 1996
Announcement Number: 696-021
Document's Table of Contents:
At a Glance
Enhancements/Changes to IBM Support Line include:
- Addition of new services
- IBM Customer Technical Advocate
- IBM Business Critical Operational Support
- IBM Customer Technical Advocate
- Addition of new features
- Withdrawal of services
The IBM Support Family Support Line service for customers with licensed and supported IBM software products has added new services and features.
- New services include:
- IBM Customer Technical Advocate, which provides an assigned
specialist who offers "how-to" support and problem
- IBM Business Critical Operational Support for AS/400(R) and Personal Systems (PS), which helps keep your mission-critical business operating
- IBM Customer Technical Advocate, which provides an assigned specialist who offers "how-to" support and problem determination assistance
- New features include:
- Grouping AS/400 Expanded Products into categories of common
products and providing a monthly price that includes support
for all of the products within a category
- AS/400 Alert, which provides automatic weekly notification of PTFs that will help prevent problems from occurring on your machine and associated programs, is now included with the AS/400 Support Line Premium Service
- Grouping AS/400 Expanded Products into categories of common products and providing a monthly price that includes support for all of the products within a category
Also, the following services are being withdrawn:
- AS/400 and AIX(R) Associate (Replaced by IBM Customer Technical
- AS/400 and AIX Support Line Electronic only contract
- Personal Systems Support Line Priority Handling option
- AIX Premium Discount Discontinued
- Personal Systems Standard and Premium Discount Discontinued
Selected services for AS/400, AIX, Personal Systems, and S/390(R) Support Line customers.
Planned Availability Date
- August 13, 1996, IBM Business Critical Operational Support for
AS/400, and all other services and features
- October 1, 1996, IBM Business Critical Operational Support for Personal Systems
IBM Customer Technical Advocate
IBM Customer Technical Advocate is an IBM Support Family remote service that provides a higher level of support for those callers authorized for Support Line. IBM Support Line Standard or Premium service is a prerequisite for IBM Customer Technical Advocate.
IBM Customer Technical Advocate provides you with an assigned specialist who is a member of a remote Technical Advocate team that provides "how-to" support and assistance with problem determination. The Technical Advocate will become familiar with your environment and will be responsible for IBM software support questions until they are resolved for the contracted platforms:
- IBM Technical Advocate for AS/400
- IBM Technical Advocate for AIX
- IBM Technical Advocate for PS
With IBM Customer Technical Advocate, IBM will:
- Assign a named technical specialist, a member of a Technical
Advocate team, with skills in one or more of the following areas:
systems administration, communications, backup, install, security,
and system recovery.
- Provide answers to "how-to" questions and assist customers with
problem determination and problem source identification.
- Track and review questions until resolved. Resolution may be in
the form of communicating a recommended solution, action, bypass,
or restriction, to the customer, which may include verbal
directions, instructions for ordering a fix, or sending faxes.
- Personally escalate urgent problems when requested.
- Maintain a confidential database of relevant information such as:
- An overview of the customer network configuration and technical
- The customer's deployment and rollout plans
- Relevant information about new maintenance releases
- An overview of the customer network configuration and technical details
- Act as the customer's voice inside IBM, identifying issues to
- Call each customer once a month to help maintain a close working relationship and review any support concerns.
If you are an AS/400 or AIX customer who currently has the Associate service as part of your support contract and want to keep the service, you may continue to do so until either the anniversary date of your contract or three months from the date of this announcement, whichever is later. If you choose to upgrade from the Associate service to IBM Customer Technical Advocate, you may do so with the appropriate adjustment to your current contract.
IBM Business Critical Operational Support
IBM Business Critical Operational Support, as previously announced for AIX customers in Services Announcement 696-013, dated April 23, 1996, is being renamed and expanded for AS/400 and Personal Systems Support Line customers. The new name, IBM Business Critical Operational Support, reflects the support this offering provides to customers: helping to keep your mission-critical business operating.
IBM Business Critical Operational Support provides the highest level of remote 24 x 7 support currently offered by IBM. Products supported under IBM Business Critical Operational Support may vary depending on operating environment. IBM reserves the right to add or delete products supported under this service. Candidates for this service are customers who must ensure their information systems are operating in a mission-critical environment. Examples of these customer sets may include health providers, financial institutions, manufacturing organizations, and emergency services providers. This offering will assist these customers to maintain a high level of availability.
A designated business-critical team who assumes management of all mission critical problems/questions from customers who contract for this service has been created. This team will provide a single point of voice entry to the IBM support structure. This unique support team can assist with problem determination, engage other appropriate support groups, and communicate problem status to the customer and assist the customer by any of the following:
- Establish a customer-specific technical support plan.
- Initialize and maintain customer-specific data, including
information on software/hardware products, and support personnel.
This information will be used to alert the appropriate hardware
and software support organizations in IBM for priority and fast
response to problems.
- Monitor account status and track critical problems and questions.
- Provide a monthly customer report.
- Provide a quarterly customer review.
- Provide timely recommendations and customer assistance with:
- High Impact Pervasive (HIPER) problems.
- High Impact Hardware Engineering Change (EC) notification
(Available for IBM hardware under an IBM Maintenance
- IBM software products being withdrawn from support.
- High Impact Pervasive (HIPER) problems.
- Engage the appropriate expertise required for problems that cause
a critical outage or major impact to your systems.
- Conduct an on-site operational review that includes:
- Understanding your use of systems in a mission-critical
environment with any suggestions to improve availability.
- Review of backup and recovery processes.
- Review of hardware and software change control processes.
- Understanding your support structure.
- Understanding your use of systems in a mission-critical environment with any suggestions to improve availability.
- Establish with you status notification schedules for your business-critical software problems/questions based on an agreed to severity.
- A designated team of highly skilled IBM personnel to address your
software problems and questions.
- A toll-free number for voice assistance, which is generally
staffed by a member of the designated mission-critical team.
- Fast initial response from the business-critical team to problems
that results in a critical outage or major impact to a customer.
They will then provide regular status updates and use predefined
escalation guidelines until the problem is resolved. The team
will be backed up by high priority and enhanced responsiveness
from the IBM software support organizations.
- A business-critical support team which will also monitor all less
critical problems (not critical outage or major impact) reported
by you, and include these in a monthly review with you of total
support activity. These routine questions will be handled by the
designated team under standard support line guidelines. This will
ensure a complete review of the environment is provided.
- A review of the products in your installation to determine those
that will be included in this mission-critical support.
- Electronic support, if you request it. If electronic support is desired, you must have an appropriate electronic connection to IBM.
- Support Line -- Standard (Full Shift 24 x 7) or Premium for the appropriate software products.
- An IBM hardware Maintenance Agreement (MA) for systems covered by
this offering to ensure responsiveness, investigation, and
resolution of problems that are potentially hardware related.
- Service Director(R), which detects system hardware-generated
"alerts" and automatically notifies IBM. This service is
available as part of selected AS/400, RS/6000(TM), and SP2(R)
- Access to the customer's systems and network by IBM support to
help speed problem analysis and resolution.
- Consult Line services.
Additional Enhanced Support Options: In addition to the above Business Critical Operational Support description, IBM may also provide any of the services listed below or entertain requests to customize announced services. IBM may also create custom services specific to unique customer requirements. Pricing for each Business Critical Operational Support contract will reflect each customer's unique requirement and level of customization. Examples of additional enhanced support options include:
- On-Site Services Specialist -- IBM will provide a services
specialists to be on-site at the customer's location and be
dedicated to supporting the customer.
- Remote Systems Monitoring -- At IBM's support location, IBM will
set up and monitor a customer's systems and networking
environment. As soon as there is an alert, IBM will be working to
resolve the problem.
- Custom Fix Option -- IBM will provide custom built and tested
fixes for IBM supported software based on the customer's current
product service level. This option is only available for selected
products and platforms.
- Single Point of Entry (SPOE) for OEM Products -- When possible,
IBM will take the customer's initial call and coordinate support
with the OEM provider when the problem or question deals with an
OEM product. The customer must have an OEM contract in place.
IBM does not assume responsibility for mission-critical OEM
- Customized Escalation Procedures -- IBM and the customer design a
specific escalation process to meet their needs.
- Special Customized Reports -- Produce and distribute customized
reports based on customer requirements.
- Other services based on customer requirements.
- Business Recovery Services -- Customers can respond to an unplanned interruption of critical information processes at a specified location due to causes (disaster) beyond the customer's control.
Grouping Expanded Products: The AS/400 platform is repackaging the expanded product listing into categories of common products. Each category of products will have a monthly price which includes support for all of the products within a given category. Categories of products include:
- Application Development/Languages
- Systems Management
- Work Group
- Database Management
- Transaction Management
AS/400 Alert Now Included with AS/400 Support Line Premium Service: Effective immediately, all new contracts for AS/400 Support Line Premium Service will include the AS/400 Alert service. AS/400 Alert provides automatic weekly notification of PTFs which will help prevent problems from occurring on your machine and associated programs. This will include, for your Release and Cumulative PTF level:
- Existing and newly created IBM High Impact or Pervasive AS/400
PTFs (called "HIPER PTFs")
- Existing and newly created PTFs in error (called "PE PTFs")
- Receiving the reports via fax or U.S. mail depending upon how you choose to receive them
- Ordering and applying the PTFs if you so choose
AS/400 and AIX Associate Services Withdrawn: Effective immediately, AS/400 and AIX Associate Services have been withdrawn from marketing. No new contracts for these services will be accepted. Both services have been replaced by the IBM Customer Technical Advocate Service. You may select one of the following options:
- Keep this service until either the anniversary date of your
contract or three months from the date of this announcement,
whichever date is later
- Upgrade to IBM Customer Technical Advocate Service with the appropriate adjustment to your current contract
AS/400 and AIX Support Line Electronic Only Contracts
Effective immediately, the AS/400 and AIX Support Line Electronic only contracts as previously announced in Services Announcements 693-002, dated February 16, 1993, and 694-018, dated July 26, 1994, have been withdrawn from marketing. No new contracts for these services will be accepted. If you currently have either an AS/400 or AIX Support Line Electronic only contract, you may keep this service until either the anniversary date of your contract or three months from the date of this announcement, whichever date is later.
Customers who have purchased either Support Line Standard or Premium and want to use electronic access, may do so by requesting electronic access and obtaining an electronic subscription. Electronic access for voice Support Line customers is available at no additional charge.
Personal Systems Support Line Priority Handling Option
Effective immediately, Personal Systems Priority Handling Option has been withdrawn from marketing. No new Support Line Standard contracts with the Priority Handling Option will be accepted. Priority Handling will still be included as part of the Personal Systems Support Line Premium contract.
If your Personal Systems Support Line Standard contract currently includes the Priority Handling option, you will continue to receive Priority Handling support until the anniversary date of your contract or three months from the date of this announcement, whichever date is later. Personal Systems Support Line customers who are interested in priority handling of their questions and problems should contact their IBM representative for information on the Personal Systems Support Line Premium offering, or the new IBM Business Critical Operational Support for Personal Systems.
AIX and Personal Systems Support Line Discounts Discontinued
Effective immediately, AIX Premium customers will no longer receive a discount on other Support Family Services as previously announced in Services Announcement 694-018, dated July 26, 1994. Personal Systems Standard and Premium customers will no longer receive a discount on additional Personal Systems Standard or Premium Support Line purchases as previously announced in Services Announcement 694-014, dated May 10, 1994.
IBM Customer Technical Advocate is a monthly charge based upon the number of workstations, systems, or SP2 nodes:
Each Additional First System System or SP2 node
AIX $300 $15 AS/400 300 45
For Personal Systems when added to:
Standard Support Line is an additional $1,500 per month.
Premium Support Line is an additional $2,000 per month.
IBM Business Critical Operational Support -- Custom Service Offering
AS/400 Expanded Product Groupings: AS/400 Expanded Product Grouping contains categories of products, each with a monthly charge which includes support for all the products within a given category.
Description Prime Full
Application Development/Languages $75 $101 Systems Management 45 60 Commmunications 45 60 Workgroup I 170 230 Workgroup II 45 60 FSIOP 45 60 Database Management 45 60 Transaction Management 90 121
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