Help for e-mail Processing System

Technote (FAQ)


Question

Can you use email to work on your PMR?

Answer

Yes. You can use IBM's E-mail Processing System (EPS).
Note: Before contacting IBM Software Support, review the Support Handbook for additional information




Contents:



About this system

The E-mail Processing System (EPS) is a tool to allow registered users of IBM Software products to track problems with IBM Software Support engineers by using plain e-mail.


With EPS, you can perform the following functions:
    • UPDATE an existing PMR
    • CLOSE a PMR
    • REOPEN a recently closed PMR

EPS is one of several ways you can track problems with IBM Software Support. Other ways are by telephone and web. You may submit and track a problem by telephoning a contact center in your region. Please see http://www.ibm.com/planetwide for a complete list of telephone numbers in your country. You may also use the popular and more powerful SR (Service Request) tool to submit and track problems from the IBM Web site.

In all cases: e-mail (EPS), Phone, and Web (SR), you must identify yourself to IBM for your security before requesting support. You also will have to show you are associated with a company which has
purchased a currently effective software maintenance agreement or contract with IBM for the product on which you are reporting a problem. The next section will explain the easiest and best ways to do that.



What is needed to use this system

Three criteria are required to use this system:


  1. Your company must have an active software maintenance agreement or contract with IBM. Your Company Info. When your company purchased software and support from us, IBM provided your company with an IBM Customer Number (ICN). This ICN and a "Proof of Entitlement" letter was sent to a representative of your company called the Site Technical Contact (STC). Because some companies have many sites in different regions, your company may have more than one ICN and STC.

    You must have your ICN to obtain support from IBM. This is true if you call us on the phone, use the Web site, or use this EPS tool. If you do not know your company's ICN, you must contact your company's STC to obtain it. To protect its customers' data privacy, IBM will not provide ICNs to callers. IBM can, however, provide the name of the person in your company who can help you with your ICN - the STC. The ICN must appear in the subject line of the e-mail message you send to EPS that requests a new problem report be created.

  2. Your e-mail address must have been previously associated with your company's IBM Customer Number (ICN) by the person in your company who knows the details of this support agreement.

    Your authorization as a "caller"

    Companies who do business with IBM can limit their employees' access to IBM software support. To provide this security and control to our customers, IBM requires a registration step for users of support to become "Authorized Callers." The STC for your company needs to do this. The STC can call IBM and request that this be done, or send an e-mail message to esrhelpdesk@us.ibm.com, or use the SR tool to associate your name and e-mail address with the correct ICN and support agreement (contract).

    However, the easiest and perhaps fastest way to get registered to use IBM software support is to register on the IBM Electronic Service Request (SR) Web site and use the "Self Nominate" feature. This process will ask you to provide the ICN and your e-mail address and will send automated e-mail messages to your STC, who can easily approve your request to become a caller with IBM software support with a single click. More information is available at: http://www.ibm.com/software/support/help-esr.html#Registration

    Note that successfully registering on the IBM SR Web site will also authorize you to submit and track problems with this E-mail Processing System (EPS).

  3. You must send a plain e-mail message to a proper e-mail address that EPS monitors, using the proper format. EPS monitors the following e-mail address:

    sw_support@us.ibm.com




Update

UPDATE an existing PMR


After you have submitted a problem to IBM and received your new PMR number, you may provide additional information to IBM using the E-mail Processing System (EPS) UPDATE function. Send an e-mail message to the EPS system with the word UPDATE in the subject line and the PMR number properly formatted, as follows:


From: john.doe@xyz.com (must be from your registered e-mail address)

To: sw_support@us.ibm.com

Subject: UPDATE 12345,ABC,123 (replace 12345,ABC,123 with your PMR number)


Body of the e-mail message:

Include text that you want appended to the PMR for the IBM support agent to read. Here is some more information on each part of the message:


From:
The e-mail message you send must be from the e-mail address that is authorized to update this PMR - usually the person who created this PMR.


To:
The e-mail message must be sent to the proper e-mail address for EPS processing. Send the e-mail message to only one of the EPS addresses listed above, depending on your geographic location.

Sending your message to the correct location will expedite the processing of it.


Subject:
There are two requirements for the subject line of your message:
  1. The subject line must contain the word UPDATE, to instruct the EPS processor that you are attempting to update (add information) to an existing PMR.
  2. The subject line must also contain your PMR number, formatted correctly:
    The PMR number itself is a five character record number, plus three characters for an IBM "branch office" code, and three more characters for a an IBM "country" code. All 11 characters are necessary to identify your PMR in IBM systems. The PMR number *must* be delimited by spaces, commas or dashes.
    For example:

    12345,ABC,123

    Other text can appear in the subject line as long as the above two conditions are met. For example, EPS can recognize this subject line:

    FW: UPDATE 12345,000,978 number 3 response to questions

    but shorter is better.


NOTE: The entire body text of your UPDATE e-mail message will be added to your PMR. Include only the *new* information. Do *not* include a copy of any previous messages in the body, as they have already been saved in the PMR, and only make it more difficult for the Support agent to find the new text you are submitting. If you need to refer back to a previous message for clarity, copy only the relevant parts.

Your UPDATE e-mail message can be used to send files (as attachments) to IBM, if it is requested by the Support agent working on your PMR. Simply attach a compressed file (zip, tar, gz, cab, etc.) or files of reasonable size (your IBM Support agent can provide guidance, but anything less than 10MB is OK) and send it to EPS in a properly formatted UPDATE e-mail message. Bear in mind that, while IBM will
store the files securely once received, plain e-mail is not itself secure as it travels from you to IBM, so confidential data should be sent another way.

Again, the IBM Support agent assigned to your PMR can provide guidance if you wish a secure transmission method to send sensitive data to us for diagnostic purposes.

The EPS system will send an automated message confirming your UPDATE was processed, or it will send a descriptive error message if there was a problem.



Close

CLOSE a PMR


When a PMR has been resolved to your satisfaction, you can request that it be closed.
Often, the IBM support agent you have been working with will ask you for permission to close the PMR when the issue is resolved. You simply do this by sending a properly formatted UPDATE e-mail message with text in the body saying, "I agree, please close this PMR." or similar wording. The IBM Support agent will close the PMR once he or she has record of your permission. Note that IBM policy does not allow Support agents to close a PMR without your explicit permission. You will receive a confirmation e-mail message when your PMR has been closed.



Reopen

REOPEN a recently closed PMR


After a PMR has been closed, you may no longer update it with an UPDATE e-mail message. However, if the problem reoccurs, you can request that the old PMR be opened again using the keyword REOPEN.

You can only REOPEN recently closed PMRs. If a PMR has been closed for 28 days or more, it no longer can be reopened. In this case, you must begin a new problem record using a CREATE message as described above.

Note: Do not use a REOPEN message if you are reporting a *new* problem unrelated to the previous PMR. In this situation, use a CREATE message to create a new PMR. IBM policy does not allow us to track unrelated issues in the same PMR, and this will only delay resolution of the new issue while the Support agent creates a new PMR and copies your new information into it.

The format of the REOPEN message is similar to the UPDATE message:


From: john.doe@xyz.com (must be from your registered e-mail address)

To: sw_support@us.ibm.com

Subject: REOPEN [PMR 12345 ABC 123]
(replace 12345 ABC 123 with your PMR number)

Body of the e-mail message:
Include text that you want appended to the PMR for the IBM Support agent to read.

The format requirements for the REOPEN message are the same as those for the UPDATE message described above.

You will receive a confirmation e-mail message when your PMR has been reopened.



Other ways to get Software Support from IBM

The E-mail Processing System (EPS) is only one of several ways you can track problems with IBM Software Support.

Excellent self-help resources are available on the IBM Software Support Web pages: http://www.ibm.com/software/support.

Alternately, you can use the Web and telephone to interact with IBM Support agents.

You may submit and track a problem by telephoning a contact center in your region. Go to http://www.ibm.com/planetwide for a complete list of telephone numbers in your country.

The complete listing of all contact numbers worldwide is found on this page:
http://www.ibm.com/software/support/help-contactus.html

Also, a complete list of IBM software products, to help with spelling product names correctly, is found on the Software A-Z Web site: http://www.ibm.com/software/sw-atoz/

Finally, you may use the popular and more powerful SR (Service Request) tool to submit and track problems from the IBM Web site, http://www.ibm.com/support/entry/portal/Open_service_request/Software/Software_support_(general). Using SR, not only can you create and update your PMRs, but you can view the PMRs of your colleagues (under the same ICN) and run reports on PMR history with IBM. Additionally, if you are a Site Technical Contact (STC) or Administrator you can adjust the permissions of the Service Request Users in your organization.



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Document information


More support for:

Rational Customer Support
Service Request (SR)

Software version:

All Versions

Operating system(s):

AIX, HP-UX, Linux, Solaris, Windows

Reference #:

1449347

Modified date:

2014-10-01

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