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
  • Addition of new features

  • Withdrawal of services



Overview

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 determination assistance

    • IBM Business Critical Operational Support for AS/400(R) and Personal Systems (PS), which helps keep your mission-critical business operating
  • 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
With the addition of IBM Customer Technical Advocate and the expansion of IBM Business Critical Operational Support to AS/400 and Personal Systems, IBM builds upon its commitment to provide IBM Support Family customers with flexible support options to meet their needs.

Also, the following services are being withdrawn:

  • AS/400 and AIX(R) Associate (Replaced by IBM Customer Technical Advocate)

  • 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



Intended Customers

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



NEW SERVICES



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
IBM Customer Technical Advocate is provided during prime shift, which is 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., in your time zone, Monday through Friday, except U.S. national holidays (New Years, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas). If you have purchased the Full shift (24 hours, 7 days per week) option of Support Line, any calls made by you outside of prime shift will be handled by Support Line and will be reviewed by the Technical Advocate team on the next business day.

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 details

    • The customer's deployment and rollout plans

    • Relevant information about new maintenance releases
  • Act as the customer's voice inside IBM, identifying issues to customer support.

  • Call each customer once a month to help maintain a close working relationship and review any support concerns.
Effective immediately, IBM Customer Technical Advocate will be available for AS/400, AIX, and PS Support Line Standard or Premium customers. This service replaces the previously announced AIX and AS/400 Associate services, which are being withdrawn from marketing immediately.

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 Agreement).

    • IBM software products being withdrawn from support.
  • 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.
  • Establish with you status notification schedules for your business-critical software problems/questions based on an agreed to severity.
In addition, IBM will provide:
  • 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.
The prerequisite for IBM Business Critical Operational Support is:
  • Support Line -- Standard (Full Shift 24 x 7) or Premium for the appropriate software products.
IBM also recommends:
  • 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) Maintenance Agreements.

  • Access to the customer's systems and network by IBM support to help speed problem analysis and resolution.

  • Consult Line services.
Note: The IBM Business Critical Operational Support offering does not change corrective service criteria or policies. This can be changed by purchasing an Additional Enhanced Support Option.

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 responsiveness.

  • 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.



New Features

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
  • Communications
  • Work Group
  • FSIOP
  • Database Management
  • Transaction Management
For a detailed list of products included in each category, contact your IBM representative or call the AS/400 Support Family Marketing Center at 800-274-0015.

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")
You have the option of:
  • 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
You should notify IBM when you install a new release of a program or any PTF cumulative packages.



Services Withdrawn

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

    or

  • 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.



CHARGES

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

Contract

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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