Help for e-mail Processing System

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Question

This is the detailed version of the IBM Software E-mail Processing System (EPS) Help. You can get a shorter version by sending a message to sw_support@us.ibm.com with the subject line HINTS.

Answer

Before contacting IBM Software Support, see the Support Handbook for additional information http://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/set2/sas/f/handbook/getsupport.html#1



IBM Software E-mail Processing System (EPS) Help

Contents of this help message:










About this system

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

With EPS, you can perform the following functions:
    CREATE a new PMR (Problem Management Report)

    UPDATE an existing PMR

    Get ATTENTION for immediate needs

    CLOSE a PMR

    REOPEN a recently closed PMR

    Get HINTS about using EPS itself

EPS is one of several ways you can submit and 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



Create
CREATE a new PMR (Problem Management Record)

Once you are a registered caller with IBM software support and you know your company's ICN, you can submit a new problem using the E-mail Processing System (EPS). The EPS system needs to know a few pieces of information to accept your e-mail message and route it correctly within IBM.

Format of a properly constructed e-mail message:
From: john.doe@xyz.com (must be from your registered e-mail address)

To: sw_support@us.ibm.com

Subject: CREATE [ICN 1234567]  (replace 1234567 with your ICN)

Body of the e-mail message:
    Severity: <your assessment on a scale of 2, 3, or 4 - see definitions below>
    Product: Rational <product>
    Your description of your problem: <information about your platform, versions, patch levels, and relevant messages>

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 registered in our systems and must be associated with your ICN.

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 have the word CREATE in it, to instruct the EPS processor that you are attempting to create a new PMR with us.
  2. The subject line must contain your ICN, formatted like this:

    [ICN 1234567]

    The square brackets are important and the word ICN is important. Since you may be registered for more than one ICN at your company, it is important to tell IBM which ICN you want to use for this problem.
    Replace 1234567 with your ICN, which should be seven (7) characters long. If the ICN that appears on your company's Proof of Entitlement letter has 6 characters, add a zero to the front (prepend) to make it 7 characters, like this: "0123456".
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:

Please CREATE a PMR for [ICN 1234567] regarding Rational ClearCase

but shorter is better.


Body:

Specifying the Severity of your problem

A Severity line is required to be in the body of the e-mail message. IBM support policy allows the customer, and only the customer, to set the severity of a reported problem. Put the word Severity on a line by itself in the body of the e-mail message followed by a number, 2 through 4.

Note: The EPS tool should not be used to report Severity 1 problems, because the Internet can introduce delays outside of our control. You should telephone your problem to IBM if it is Severity 1 to assure your problem is routed to the appropriate support agents within the appropriate response time.

IBM Software Support Severity codes:
  • Severity 1
    Critical Impact/System Down: Business critical software component is inoperable or critical interface has failed. This indicates you are unable to use the program resulting in a critical impact on operations. This condition requires an immediate solution. Applies to production environment.
    (Should be reported by phone only, and not by means of EPS.)
  • Severity 2
    Significant Impact: A software component is severely restricted in its use, causing significant business impact. This indicates the program is usable but is severely limited.
  • Severity 3
    Moderate Impact: A non-critical software component is malfunctioning, causing moderate business impact. This indicates the program is usable with less significant features.
  • Severity 4
    Minimal Impact: A non-critical software component is malfunctioning, causing minimal impact, or a non-technical request is made.



Specifying the problem

Product

You must specify in your e-mail message the IBM software product that is involved in this problem. You should do this by putting the word Product on a line by itself in the body of the e-mail message followed by the correct spelling of your IBM software product. For example,

Product: Rational ClearCase

You should use the common name of your product as it appears in the Help > About page of the product itself, or as it is found on the Software A-Z page of the Web site:
http://www.ibm.com/software/sw-atoz/


If a product name starts with "IBM", such as "IBM Rational TestManager" you can omit the "IBM" part.

Specifying a product component often is not necessary for a client to create a PMR. However sometimes Support needs to know this to identify the best resource to help you. If it is needed, we will ask you to clarify in a subsequent e-mail. To avoid a delay, specify the product component (by supplying the COMPID) if you know it.

Describing your problem

After the required data is provided, use the remainder of the e-mail message to describe the problem you are experiencing. Information like product platform, version, edition, patch level, the environment, the expected results and what actually occurred, and the text of any error messages is always helpful to us in troubleshooting the problem
promptly.



Successful PMR creation

When you send a properly formatted and complete CREATE e-mail message to the EPS system, it will process your request, create a PMR, route it to the proper Customer Support team within IBM, and send an automatic e-mail message back to you with a confirmation and your new PMR number. Save this reply and/or make note of the new PMR number. You will use this number to track and update this problem until it is closed.

______________________
Update
UPDATE an existing PMR

After you have submitted a problem to IBM and received your new PMR number, you may send additional information to IBM about your PMR using the E-mail Processing System (EPS) UPDATE function.

UPDATE is easier than CREATE: All you need to do is 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.

_________________________

A ttention (if you are in the Americas)
ATTENTION for immediate response to an existing PMR (if you are in North, Central, or South America)

If you have been working with Support and you need additional attention to your PMR, you can use the E-mail Processing System (EPS) ATTENTION function. The ATTENTION subject line token is essentially the same action as the UPDATE token with the exception that the Support agent and that person's manager are notified of the update.

An e-mail is sent to your Support agent and that person's manager in order to let them know that you need additional attention to your PMR, which the Support agent will address accordingly. The text that you supply in the e-mail will be added to the PMR, to explain why you need additional attention to your PMR. IBM will contact you within 2 business hours during normal regional business hours, excluding holidays.

USE THIS FUNCTION ONLY DURING NORMAL SUPPORT REGIONAL HOURS. If this issue becomes a System-Down or an after hours emergency, contact Technical Support by accessing your Country/region phone number listed at http://www.ibm.com/planetwide and request to speak to the Duty Manager.

EPS supports the "attention" token only for English.

Additional information regarding the IBM support guideline can be found in the Software Support Handbook,

To use the ATTENTION function, send an e-mail message to the EPS system with the word ATTENTION in the subject line and the PMR number properly formatted, in this manner:

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

To: sw_support@us.ibm.com (if you are in the Americas)

Subject: ATTENTION 12345,ABC,123 (replace 12345,ABC,123 with your PMR number):
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 ATTENTION, to instruct the EPS processor that you are attempting to bring an awareness (add information) to an existing PMR.
  2. The subject line must also contain the PMR number using comma (,) delimited formatting.

    Example: ATTENTION 12345,ABC,123

    The PMR number itself is a five character record number, plus three characters for an IBM "branch office" code, and three more characters for an IBM "country" code. All 11 characters are necessary to identify your PMR in the IBM systems. The PMR number sections must be comma-delimited.

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: ATTENTION PMR 12345,000,978 number 3 question
but shorter is better.

NOTE: As a best practice, try to limit the text of the e-mail to that which is only new and relevant to the concerns in the PMR.

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 by other means. Again, the IBM Support representative assigned to your PMR can provide guidance if you desire a secure transmission method to send sensitive data. You will receive an e-mail response after your Attention e-mail has successfully been processed.


__________

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.



Current Subject line tokens of the E-mail Processing System

Locale CREATE UPDATE HELP HINT REOPEN

English (United States) CREATE UPDATE HELP HINT REOPEN
German (Germany) ERSTELLEN AKTUALISIEREN HILFE HINWEIS ERNEUT ÖFFNEN
French (France) CREATION MISE A JOUR AIDE CONSEIL REOUVERTURE
Italian (Italy) GENERAZIONE AGGIORNAMENTO AIUTO SUGGERIMENTO RIAPERTURA
Portuguese (Brazil) CRIAR ATUALIZAR AJUDA SUGESTÃO REABRIR
Spanish (Spain) CREAR ACTUALIZAR AYUDA SUGERENCIA VOLVER A ABRIR
Japanese (Japan) 作成 アップデート ヘルプ ヒント 再オープン
Simplified Chinese (China) 创建 更新 帮助 提示 重新打开
Traditional Chinese (China)          
Korean (South Korea) 작성 갱신 도움말 힌트 다시열기


E-mail Processing System (EPS) currently only supports the "Update" tokens from the above table. All other tokens will be processed manually.




Getting help

Help with this system


Get HINTS about using EPS itself

You can get a compact version of this document's Help information by sending a message to sw_support@us.ibm.com with the subject line HINTS.


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/


Other ways to get Software Support from IBM

The E-mail Processing System (EPS) is only one of several ways you can submit and 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.

You may also 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:

2013-06-03

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