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Software maintenance

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IBM SW Renewal

Alan Grady: IBM software support is unique in many different ways: Our customers want to be empowered to find answers to their own questions.

Alan Grady:…there has been kind of a transformation for customers…

Alan Grady:…And it’s interesting that 5 to 10 years ago, 98% of our customer base wanted to access support via the phone, they wanted to talk to somebody. That’s changed dramatically…

Alan Grady: We’ve transformed our support from a traditional reactive support methodology to a proactive support methodology. So that we work with our customers to understand the environment, regardless of how complex it is, we take the responsibility for problem determination, regardless of where the problem might be.

Alan Grady: We’ve moved from a product-centric business to a solution-centric business.

Alan Grady: Now our customers aren’t calling in and saying, you know “I have this particular product with this particular problem. I have a myriad of software group products. I have Tivoli, I have Information Management. I have Lotus . . . ”

Alan Grady: So whether a customer is calling in on product support or they are calling in on solution support, it’s IBM’s responsibility to do problem termination.

Alan Grady:…when you’re running a mission critical application, you can’t worry about the vendor not being available on weekends and nights for technical support.

Alan Grady:…that means that when they have a problem or they need some advice or they need some help, we need to be available 7 days a week 24 hours a day…

Alan Grady:…24x7 is part of our offering. It’s part of our basic support offering.

Alan Grady: Because when the unthinkable happens, when we have serious business impact or systems go down, it’s important to have the ability to contact Experts.

Alan Grady: IBM support network, network of experts, network of support centers…

Alan Grady:…They are awake and working when our customers are sleeping to make sure that all critical problems are attended to.

Alan Grady:…There are many reasons why our customers should keep an active subscription and support contract.

Alan Grady: Support allows customers to call in any place in the world any time of the day or night. Our locations are networked worldwide with experts in all of our support centers –

Alan Grady:… and what's really kind of cool and excites us is this is dynamically transferred to local language.

Alan Grady:… so we have local expertise and we are available to answer our customers’ problems and help them make sure that their business is not seriously impacted. We want to make certain that whenever our customer needs our technical support that it’s a seamless event.

Alan Grady: Subscription allows customers to upgrade to the latest revision of our products -- with no additional cost. It’s the most cost effective way to make sure that they have the latest revisions of our software including latest features, latest functionality and latest fixes.

Alan Grady: Customers that have an active subscription and support contract can access support in two different ways.

Alan Grady:…A really unique and exciting feature that we have for customers today is self-help where customers can peruse database, have access to tools that can help them diagnose problems, they can download fixes automatically -- and then when they need another level of assistance … customers can now elect assisted self-help…

Alan Grady:… which means that they can electronically access the support center and communicate with a support rep online with the SameTime tool.

Alan Grady: And then the next level of support is, immediately and effectively work with a customer support representative. And literally all that our customer has to do is push a button and we’ll call them, they don’t have to call us.

Alan Grady: And, by the way, that network of support is integrated into our development labs.…so our business is to partner with our customers to evolve their environments as we invest in new technology development…

Alan Grady: And as we develop the latest and greatest technology, that it’s always available to our customers at their discretion, at their pace. So as our customers are upgrading, as they are moving to newer revisions of our software, we partner with them to make certain that it’s a smooth transition.

Alan Grady: Unlike most of IBM’s competitors, there is no limit to the number of IT professionals at a customer site they can access technical support and that’s either by the phone or by web support, online support.

Alan Grady: We require our customer to appoint somebody as the site coordinator to register the names of people that will be accessing our web for self-help support, so that we know who they are for security and privacy issues.

Alan Grady: Longevity is important when our customers are investing in our technology and our solutions. The reason that IBM has been around for 100 years is very simple, because our customers have stayed with us and grown with us.

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