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Cloud Accelerated Value Management Corner



Accelerated Value Program gives client's leadership where they need it. Featuring a collection of articles on anticipating needs, advising solutions and acting for essential business success, to help clients get the most value from their trusted advisor partnership.


All articles written by practicing Accelerated Value Leaders and Accelerated Value Specialists.

Learn more:

  • Accelerated Value clients, please contact your Accelerated Value team
  • If you are not currently an Accelerated Value client, please contact: Accelerated Value Program

Accelerated Value Provides Guidance on Mitigating Security Exposures
Written by : Brian Cook, Ryan Weiss, Dennis Riddlemoser, Alan Ethell, John Alex, Ricky Marley, Lee Perlov

To help keep our client's environment safe and secure, IBM Accelerated Value Program (AVP) professionals:
  • Monitor published security vulnerabilities
  • Determine risk applicability to our clients
  • Provide customized recommendations and mitigation plans

Security bulletins can only disclose minimal details about a vulnerability in order to avoid exploiting an exposure or an environment vulnerability.

AVP leverages an in-depth understanding of a client's environments to provide personalized recommendations about preventive fixes, including security vulnerabilities. For select products, the AVP Security Response Team will:
  • Actively review high risk published security vulnerabilities
  • Thoroughly research the vulnerability, including internally and externally available data
  • Assess the risk to the granularity of software or integrations, when appropriate

Accelerated Value Leaders or Specialists help to identify relevant published risks and develop a unique mitigation plan. AVP can prioritize for:
  • Mission critical client applications
  • Project plans
  • Upcoming events (for example, a deploy, an upgrade, a peak volume period)
  • Availability and data security requirements

The mitigation plan can be adapted to specific Fix Pack levels, configurations and actual software use. AVP can identify interim fixes to install and configuration changes to apply.

AVP builds on long term relationships with clients as a trusted advisor, to anticipate their needs and deliver recommendations to help reduce security risks.

Learn How to Proactively Leverage the Accelerated Value Program
Written by: Kim Cook-Boyd and Lee Perlov

Work Smarter, Think Proactive, is the best way you can describe Accelerated Value Program. Accelerated Value is your single point of contact, your liaison to IBM support, development, product managers, and other IBM contacts. While Accelerated Value offers problem management in critical issues, coordinates solutions, provides status update and manages escalations, our primary focus is proactive problem avoidance.

Accelerated Value’s proactive advice and technical assistance helps build a more stable environment; improves understanding of product design and functionality; and increases the knowledge and capabilities of client teams through knowledge sharing. Accelerated Value can help improve the availability of mission-critical applications and reduce deployment times, while helping to optimize how in-house support teams work.

Accelerated Value helps you to resolve issues quicker; and helps identify proactive opportunities. Accelerated Value is strategically focused on issue prevention.

Here is a partial menu of proactive services available from Accelerated Value:
  • Facilitates knowledge sharing activities, and manages the application of product patches and updates.

  • Organizes IBM task forces, including Product Architects, Developers, and multiple Support Teams to assist in new application deployments.

  • Arranges on-site or remote client assistance in reviewing and analyzing deployment process and roll-out plan and schedule.

  • Provides best practices or performance tuning for improving stability.

  • Assists with developing comprehensive migration plans and strategies.

  • Coordinates onsite migration planning and assists in implementation and testing to ensure applications are successfully migrated according to the roll-out schedule.

  • Assists with developing best practices for pre-production performance tuning and stress testing, preventing potential production outage for new application deployment.

  • Leverages understanding of your environment, goals and challenges to identify other IBM programs that could benefit your business (e.g., Early Design Program, Beta Program, new technology briefings, trade shows).

  • Educates and identifies gaps in awareness of self-help information (e.g. IBM Education, IBM Support Assistant, developerWorks resources and tools).

  • Sends customized emails announcing upcoming webcast training, conferences, support downloads, tools (such as IBM Support Assistant), fix packs, security exposures and newly release publications.

Accelerated Value Program provides proactive assistance to help you sustain and optimize your IBM software infrastructure. To learn more about these proactive services, please contact your local Accelerated Value representative.

Building the Accelerated Value relationship by tracking named callers and primary contacts
Written by: Brian Cook, Lesley McLoughlin, Kevin Mathews and Lee Perlov
Accelerated Value Program relationships start with getting to know you, the client.

There are two focus groups we build the relationship with:
  • Named Callers: Typically are the technical team members that Accelerated Value Specialist (AVS) / Accelerated Value Leader (AVL) work with to resolve issues through PMRs/Cases. Accelerated Value also works with Named Callers to understand how to effectively use the technology and help plan to deliver solutions that minimize issues.

  • Primary Contacts: Typically are managers and technical leaders that don't work directly with PMRs/Cases. AVLs will work with primary contacts on strategic initiatives.

Accelerated Value contracts define limits for the number of named callers whereas primary contacts are not limited. To ensure a clients' business objectives are understood as they evolve, the AVL/AVS works to build a network and maximize the partnership with the primary contacts. Accelerated Value is a customized offering that adapts to your needs and can be adjusted over time. Consider these elements the starting point:

Understanding Client's Organization
  • AVLs and AVSs work to understand people:
    • Lines of Business (e.g., operations, development, engineering and security.

    • Organizations that deliver software solutions using IBM software (e.g., supply chain, external web site, internal delivery and solutions).

    • Clients that team with Accelerated Value (e.g., schedule meetings with 1st line managers in engineering and operations to review PMRs/Cases, new fix packs and new technical documents or to meet with project management on key initiatives).

  • Understand client solutions:
    • Business goals of each line of business (e.g., manage inventory, generate sales, HR).

    • IBM technology being used and planned (e.g., requiring teaming with a product specialist - AVS).

  • Share information:
    • Request of client management to provide a skills assessment for team members (i.e., primary contacts).

    • Projects or application changes are typically shared through a delivery plan.

Understanding who will use PMRs/Cases
  • Accelerated Value Priority Call Handling (PCH) PMRs/Cases:
    • Opening and updating PMRs/Cases using the Accelerated Value assigned IBM Customer Number (ICN) requires “named caller” authority. Named callers are identified and reviewed regularly by AVS/AVL to ensure the appropriate technical team members have access.

    • Accelerated Value PMRs/Cases using the Accelerated Value ICN will receive additional benefits:

      • Accelerated Value teams are notified when high-severity Accelerated Value PMRs/Cases are opened.

      • Accelerated Value PMRs/Cases get priority response over non-Accelerated Value PMRs/Cases.

  • Monitoring PMRs/Cases (IBM Support Portal-service request):
    • Named callers that are authorized can update their Accelerated Value PMRs/Cases.

    • Primary contacts can be set up as “authorized readers” in the Service Request tool or in SalesForce to allow the ability to view but not update PMRs/Cases.

  • PMR/Case reports:
    • AVSs and AVLs can generate PMR/Case reports to share at department/team meetings.

    • For more ideas on reporting and meetings, ask your AVL/AVS or see Regular meetings.

Accessing the IBM Support Portal

In summary, Accelerated Value partners with our clients' named callers and primary contacts to increase value as your advocate. Accelerated Value delivers higher responsiveness to client needs by understanding their organization. Accelerated Value tooling facilitates easy and efficient communication with clients. Contact your Accelerated Value team today for any updates to named callers or primary contacts!

Pathway to Success - The Accelerated Value Delivery Plan
Written by: Jeff Perry, Chris Dacombe and Lee Perlov

Sometimes the most important action we can take is to plan. An Accelerated Value Program Delivery Plan is a comprehensive foundation for projects and activities throughout the year. It is a feature offered on most Accelerated Value contracts, and can be the essential cornerstone of your program delivery.

The Accelerated Value Delivery Plan builds and documents a view of your expectations for the program delivery and sets up a time frame for real results. Key elements of the plan include:

  • The key Business Goals to be supported by your Accelerated Value partnership—the benefits you hope to achieve
  • Specific Projects in service of those goals—current and ongoing, or planned for the near-future
  • An Action Plan in support of those projects—to drive their outcomes and success

The plan starts with a small set of business goals, typically referencing Key Performance Indicators whose impact can be measured by leveraging Accelerated Value, such as the following:
  • Achieve certain goals for production system uptime—improving current metrics or meeting a Service Level Agreement
  • Meet a crucial delivery schedule
  • Improve defect or issues rate in development projects
  • Address cases of risk mitigation or business opportunity which are specific to you

Having identified Business Goals, we can develop project work designed to achieve them.

Let us take the example above of a Business Goal to meet a crucial delivery schedule. That objective might result in distinct Projects for enhancing the stability of test environments, identifying deployment and promotion best practices, creating a migration plan, and executing a successful cutover. Project definition here would identify Accelerated Value's role in support of your IT management. Action plans for teaming activities in support of those projects would also be identified and carried out. For example, the project for stability of test environments might include weekly checkpoints for status and issues management, knowledge sharing activities, and periodic IBM product APAR reviews. Other parts of the plan might include your Accelerated Value team involving a Lab Advocate or other IBM subject-matter experts, or for using on-site days.

Partnership between you and your Accelerated Value team is essential to create an effective Delivery Plan, as it is to all elements of an effective Accelerated Value program; it takes commitment from both sides to obtain the maximum value from Accelerated Value. The process of collaboration on a Delivery Plan is a best practice for leveraging Accelerated Value.

A Delivery Plan should be revisited on a yearly basis, but it also should be considered a living document which you can reference and modify throughout the year as needed. An important purpose of the document is to guide decision making, especially with respect to prioritization of new work within existing utilizations. It is a framework for action.

In summary, an Accelerated Value Delivery Plan is an invaluable delivery tool, and the basis for an effective work process. Features and benefits of the Delivery Plan process include:

  • Close partnership with your AVL and the Accelerated Value team, based on active communication and negotiation
  • Adaptation of the Accelerated Value delivery to your specific business and IT goals.
  • A work product—the Delivery Plan document—that provides the basis for prioritization of future work, properly balanced resource utilizations, and an end-of-year Scorecard based on measurable results

Start working today with your Accelerated Value Leader to develop an Accelerated Value Delivery Plan.

Regular meetings
Written by: Lee Perlov

Regular meetings with your Accelerated Value team can help your technical team work more efficiently to solve current problems and plan to avoid future problems.

Here are some of the most common topics we see today:
  • Review open PMRs/Cases to update or expedite the action plan.

  • Identify newly discovered product issues (APARs) that may impact your applications in the future.

  • Review details on recently announced versions, fix pack and high impact interim fixes to begin planning for upgrades to your test and production environments.

  • Discuss the characteristics of your applications in order to identify opportunities to apply best practices.

  • Review upcoming End of Service dates for products in use to avoid support coverage gaps and support contract extension costs.

  • Assess skill gaps and identify areas of interest for custom knowledge sharing (commonly in association with using new features of IBM products).

  • Review future application and product deployments and their potential technical and business impact.

Here are some of the most common communication practices we use today:
  • Depending on the rate of change for your applications and infrastructure, we see meetings on weekly, bi-weekly and monthly schedules.

  • For some clients all topics can be covered in one hour meetings. Some clients like to separate PMR/Case discussions from upgrade planning (e.g., interim fixes, end of service dates) and proactive planning (e.g., implementing best practices and enhancing skills).

  • Many clients separate meetings with developers from meetings with operations.

  • Bottom line: We adapt to your needs.

While talking about current problems is popular, discussing future plans has helped many of our clients save time and effort, while reduce risk.

So, regular meetings are one of the Accelerated Value team’s best tools to help you reduce risk and get value more quickly from your IBM software purchases.

Accelerated Value helps with upgrade planning
Written by: Jim Austin and Lee Perlov

Your Accelerated Value team is ready to help you determine when updates to your current versions are appropriate and when new versions will best meet your goals.

Accelerated Value understands the implementation of new or updated infrastructure software is driven by a cost/benefit analysis that shows the potential that the benefits will justify upgrade costs. Full understanding of risks and rewards is crucial for the successful implementation of the appropriate solution.

Highest Cost/Highest Benefit: Implementation of a new infrastructure platform
Redesign or rehosting impact the business as a whole, and all of the IT infrastructure.
  • Planning steps include: Design, education, training, setup, monitoring, and maintenance.

  • Expected cost savings: Running on a new, more efficient platform.

  • Other benefits:
    • Decreased development time for future enhancements.

    • Opportunity for improved reliability, availability and scalability of the application.

    • Increased availability of in-house expertise for future development and maintenance.

Migration efforts in this case involve implementing the hardware and software infrastructure, purchase of IBM hardware and software, as well as developing or changing your applications.

High Cost/High Benefit: Implementation of a new version of software
Implement new versions of IBM software, other vendor software, as well as updates to your applications. Typically multiple IBM products are upgraded simultaneously.
  • Planning steps include: Refinement of existing design, education, training, revised monitoring and maintenance processes.

  • Expected cost savings: New features and improved functionality create the opportunity for a more cost effective solution.

  • Other benefits: Same as above.

Migration efforts can involve newer versions of current hardware. For less critical applications, implementation on existing hardware may be an option.

Accelerated Value Considerations for implementing a new platform or upgrading version
For new software implementation and version upgrades, Accelerated Value offers:
  • Education and technical briefing on new features.

  • High-level review of the hardware/software infrastructure to provide recommendations based on published best practices, system requirements, preventive maintenance, etc.

  • Guidance on IBM tools and software to be implemented in conjunction with the new infrastructure.

  • Best practices for the migration process, including automation options.

  • Assistance improving processes and operations/infrastructure/development team synergy to deliver and maintain the benefits expected.

In many cases, Accelerated Value will recommend engaging IBM Services to address issues such as:
  • Time-pressure, skill gaps and resource shortages.

  • Desire for a complete system review to understand risks in the current implementation.

  • Architecture and design assistance.

  • Upgrade solution to be highly available or highly scalable.

Accelerated Value is well positioned to engage other IBM resources to help address your needs.

Accelerated Value will act as your advocate in dealing with IBM. We assist with communication within IBM, with other vendors and interested parties. While we cannot take the place of a project manager, we can be engaged to:
  • Communicate best practices.

  • Assist with setting up monitoring and support processes.

  • Assist with documenting a configuration, including dependencies.

  • Communicate support information relevant to your applications.

  • Share news from IBM that can help your future planning (may require non-disclosure agreement).

  • Monitor and manage IBM defect resolution process for your Problem Management Records (PMRs)/(Cases), and assist with escalation (when required).

In other words, we can be your partner during upgrade planning, deployment and maintenance.

Learn more about types of IBM deliverables
Update Strategy for WebSphere Application Server V8.5:

Accelerated Value helps with preventive maintenance updates
Written by: Jim Austin and Lee Perlov

Beyond upgrades and updates, the Accelerated Value team is also ready to help plan for applying preventive maintenance to current versions.

Accelerated Value understands the challenges when planning to apply preventive maintenance to existing solutions:
  • Cost benefit analysis associated with avoiding future problems by applying fix packs, versus the risk of outages.

  • Time required to assess fixes found by other clients and delivered in fix packs, as well as high impact fixes delivered as interim fixes.

  • Limited time and money for regression testing existing applications.

Accelerated Value is here to help with planning and analysis, as well as resolving issues that occur during deploy.

Again, the analysis relates cost and benefit:

Moderate Cost/Moderate to High Benefit: new releases and adding new features
Significant new functionality for software versions is usually introduced with new releases or with packages of enhancements such as WebSphere feature packs. Implementing new releases and feature packs offers potential benefits from application improvements or enablement without generally requiring significant manual changes to existing applications. When the features are desirable, applications may be changed to exploit the features (in some cases, without modification).
  • Planning steps include: Researching maintenance impact, training for new features, setup, and monitoring.

  • Expected cost savings: Avoiding revenue loss and productivity loss from outages.

  • Other benefits:
    • Time savings from a highly, or completely, automated update. This is typically the "sweet spot" for migration tools.

    • Reduced complexity and increased reliability of client code when new IBM product features are enabled.

    • Minor performance enhancements that often occur within a version, over time.

The Accelerated Value program can provide understanding of migration options and tools to help save time and help reduce project risk.

Accelerated Value Considerations for releases and feature packs:
For releases and feature packs, Accelerated Value offers:
  • Technical briefings on new features.

  • High-level review of the hardware/software infrastructure to provide recommendations based on published best practices, system requirements, preventive maintenance, etc.

  • Best practices for the migration process, including automation options.

  • Assistance improving processes and operations/infrastructure/development team synergy to deliver and maintain the benefits expected.

Accelerated Value is well positioned to engage other IBM resources to help address client needs.

Low Cost/Incremental Benefit: Applying fix packs to the existing release
The lowest cost/benefit upgrade is to apply a fix pack, cumulative fix, or update:
  • Planning steps include: Researching maintenance impact, setup, and monitoring.

  • Expected cost savings: Avoiding revenue loss and productivity loss from outages.

  • Other benefits:
    • Increased stability and potentially improved performance provided by fixes.

Periodically installing fix packs is encouraged as a best practice but is frequently omitted by clients. The Accelerated Value program can provide defect tracking reports to indicate the benefit of installing new fix packs in the lifetime of solutions.

Deploying Interim Fixes
All of the previously discussed options are proactive, in that clients are planning for potential benefits and weighing costs. However, there are times when time, budget, etc. call for installing a specific fix for a specific problem experienced in production, or a known issue problem that can't be allowed to occur in production (for example, a fix for a possible denial of service attack). Cost/benefit analysis is typically limited or not required.

In these cases, Accelerated Value is ready to help understand the scope of a known problem and the urgency of applying the fix.

IBM does not recommend installing large numbers of interim fixes on a system, since combinations of interim fixes are rarely tested together. The smallest unit of fully regression tested fixes is typically a fix pack. In cases where a fix pack includes an urgently needed fix, Accelerated Value will advocate Applying a fix pack to the existing version option.

In all these cases, the Accelerated Value program will act as an advocate in dealing with IBM and can facilitate/enhance communication across organizational boundaries: clients, IBM organizations, other vendors and interested parties. While we cannot take the place of a project manager, we can be engaged to:
  • Communicate best practices.

  • Assist with setting up monitoring and support processes.

  • Assist with building appropriate documentation of the configuration, including dependencies.

  • Communicate and publish support information relevant to applications.

  • Share new developments for the evolution of IT infrastructure (may require non-disclosure agreement).

  • Monitor and manage IBM defect resolution process for Problem Management Records (PMRs)/(Cases), and assist with escalation (when required).

Accelerated Value can be a partner during upgrade planning and deployment.

Appendix: Learn more about types of IBM deliverables:
WebSphere Application Server example:

Customer Alerts Make Your Deployments and Changes Visible to IBM
Written by: Kim Cook-Boyd, Lee Perlov and Sarah MacIntosh

This article describes how you can increase your visibility within IBM Support and Development, and save time when resolving your Problem Management Records (PMRs)/(Cases).

Are you planning for an upcoming release weekend or migration where a mission-critical environment is at increased risk? Leverage the IBM Software Group Customer Alert process, so IBM Support can plan ahead as well. Creating a Customer Alert allows IBM Support to anticipate workloads during periods critical to our clients to ensure you will get the support you need, when you need it. Also, when you open a PMR/Case, Support will already have a concise summary of your business impact for all related PMRs/Cases, increasing attention to your PMRs/Cases.

The simple three-step process to create and leverage a Customer Alert is as follows.

Step 1 - Open Customer Alert prior to the deployment/change period

Contact your Accelerated Value Program representative and provide the following key information about your upcoming deployment that will be needed to open an alert:

  • The environment changes (overview)
  • Your contacts (7x24 contacts)
  • Relevant system information (IBM product versions, OS version, non-IBM software in the configuration)
  • Business impact (risk if a problem occurs)

Your Accelerated Value Leader or Specialist will communicate these changes to the focused customer-care support team. This ensures the proper staffing will be in place to proactively support any issues that may occur during a critical time in your company's business.

Step 2 - Ensure your organization knows their responsibilities

To get maximum value from a Customer Alert, your team members will also need to know their responsibilities and prepare as follows:

  • Ensure you have at least one person for each shift on the Named Caller list.
  • Make sure your Named Callers have access to the IBM Service Request (SR) Web application/SalesForce and are able to submit PMRs/Cases electronically in order to upload specific data (such as logs) and download any files IBM Support may provide for your environment (for example, diagnostic tools).
  • Ensure Named Callers understand the IBM Support and Escalation processes. See the previous Management Corner article entitled Accelerated Value, PMRs/Cases and Escalation for a short explanation.
  • Know your Accelerated Value Program representatives. Your Accelerated Value Leader can provide you with a Quick Reference that includes contact information for all the Accelerated Value Program professionals associated with your account.

Step 3 - Open Accelerated Value Program PMR/Case when problem occurs

  • Open a PMR/Case using an Accelerated Value Program IBM Customer Number (ICN). Using an Accelerated Value Program ICN raises visibility to both your Accelerated Value Program team and IBM Support.
  • Remind IBM Support to use the Customer Alert to ensure your business impact is understood; this will alert IBM Support to treat your PMR/Case with appropriate urgency.
  • Make sure the team member opening the PMR/Case is a Named Caller and is engaged or available to work with IBM Support during the deployment.

Partnering with the Accelerated Value Program to proactively engage IBM and prepare your team will help you save time and reduce risk. The Customer Alert is an important tool in contributing to a successful partnership.

Learn more: IBM Software Support Handbook

Proactive Assessments
Written by: Jonathan S. Ricci, Lee Perlov, Tiffanie Watkins and Lesley McLoughlin

As the Accelerated Value Program evolves we are working to formalize the proactive, forward-thinking assessments we deliver to help Accelerated Value clients address pain points and reduce risks. We are currently defining the scope and process for the following three new Accelerated Value Program Proactive Assessment deliverables that Accelerated Value Program clients can request from their Accelerated Value team.

  1. Initial Assessment: This is an assessment of a new client's environment where information is gathered to understand the usage of IBM products in place, including workload and potential pain points.
  2. Health Assessment: The objective of this assessment is to determine the wellness of the environment from efficiencies to inefficiencies when compared to published best practices. We look for indications of possible capacity issues, risk of encountering known and high-impact defects, and exposure to any known security issues. Data is collected and then compared to published best practices along with recommendations reported. The scope of the health assessment is adapted to each individual client's needs within the limits of the Accelerated Value Program contract deliverables.
  3. Risk Assessment: With this assessment, we leverage published documentation about IBM products (such as best practices, detailed system requirements, or IBM identified critical situations) to determine if an environment has any exposure to risks, such as a single point of failure in architecture, security risk, being in an unsupported mode, or missing key fix packs or APARs. Your IBM Accelerated Value team has the knowledge and experience to identify the possibility of an outage or a disaster recovery scenario due to factors such as known defects or high-risk configuration settings.

We hope you will find these new Proactive Assessment deliverables valuable additions to the proactive, preventive, and personalized services you currently receive from the Accelerated Value Program. Contact your Accelerated Value Leader to learn more.

Learn how to use knowledge sharing to grow your team
Written by: Chris Dacombe, Emma Bushby, Brian Cook. Lee Perlov, Lesley McLoughlin

How do you grow the technical skills of your team members?

Did you know that one of the most important proactive activities your Accelerated Value Program team can provide is in the area of knowledge sharing?

The Accelerated Value team has the following current mechanisms in place to provide knowledge sharing:

1. Customized Knowledge Sharing

Each client has different needs where customized knowledge sharing is needed. For instance: The client may be going to a new release and requires understanding of new features and differences, or there may be a pattern that shows up in PMRs/Cases over a period of time or, there may be specific areas that the client has asked for. In all these cases Accelerated Value can provide customized sessions.

An example of an Accelerated Value customized knowledge sharing would be: one that was created for a large client in order to address a skills gap that was identified in the way that they maintained their environment. In this case, Accelerated Value delivered monthly knowledge sharing sessions focused on increasing problem determination skills, product knowledge, and understanding of new features. Here are some of the topics which were covered for this client:

  • WebSphere eXtreme Scale v8.5 – Overview and New Features
  • WebSphere Application Server v8.5 - Overview and New Features
  • WebSphere Application Server Automation and Scripting
  • WebSphere Application Server Problem Determination and Root Cause Analysis
  • Java Troubleshooting and Tooling
  • Java Performance Tuning and Issues and Performance Troubleshooting
  • Best Practices working with Level 2 Support and Improving Time to Resolution

For more information on customized knowledge sharing contact your Accelerated Value representative to discuss your needs.

2. Tech Talks: “Expert Call Series”

The Expert Call Series is a series of technical calls specifically set up for Accelerated Value clients. Past talks from the IBM Cloud team:

  • WebSphere Application Server V8.5 features, capabilities & benefits of migration
  • WebSphere BPM Error Handling and Solution Recovery
  • Accelerate With Cloud Computing
  • WebSphere Application Server Administration Using Jython
For more information on the Expert Call Series, see our community:
Client Essentials, designed for IBM Software Accelerated Value clients
and for past events see

3. IBM conference event created workshops

Think is IBM's annual technical conference. The Accelerated Value team is always there to assist and share their technical expertise. We generally have sessions for our client's high interest topics.

All these sessions are available to you and can be presented to your team. Contact your Accelerated Value representative for more information.

4. Accelerated Value Seminar Comes to YOU

Similar to the Impact conference workshops, Accelerated Value sets up customized onsite sessions for clients in a particular geographic region. Past sessions have included:

  • Java Troubleshooting
  • WebSphere Application Server Migration to version 8.5
  • Several hands on labs
For more information see Getting the most from on-site days.

5. Other technical presentations available shared by the Accelerated Value team

Not everyone is able to attend the Impact conference or to keep up with sources such as the IBM Support Portal or developerWorks. The Accelerated Value team has access to all of this material and can provide you with presentations and articles that may be of interest.

6. Engaging Subject Matter Experts

In cases where there is a deep dive requirement, Accelerated Value will reach out and engage Subject Matter Experts to talk to clients. Some recent examples of this include:
  • Looking to use IBM Support Assistant (ISA) v5 in a non-standard way with some requirements. Accelerated Value engaged the ISA Architect and a lead developer to discuss how the product could be used to solve the clients use case.
  • Looking to use the Application Optimization Feature with a WebSphere DataPower XI52 Appliance. Accelerated Value engaged the product architect and members of the development team to discuss the product and to review the customer architecture

Please note, that Accelerated Value knowledge sharing compliments the day to day business needs through the program but it does not replace formal IBM Education classes (see Although we are using WebSphere as an example here, the concepts would apply to all of the Software Accelerated Value Program brands.

Getting the most from on-site days
Written by: Jai-Leta Colvard, Lee Perlov, Lesley McLoughlin, Brian Cook

The Accelerated Value Program is even more effective when on-site days are used to drive your business goals. In addition, on-site days help build a better understanding of your environment and a stronger partnership that aids in providing innovative solutions.

Accelerated Value recommends using on-site days for planning/proactive efforts. Emergency on-site days are generally used to react to critical challenges, such as outages or deployment issues.

Some suggested uses of on-site days:
  • Analysis of system requirements based on your business needs, recommending best practices to help meet your goals
  • Knowledge sharing, including hands-on labs
  • Product adoption and feature enablement planning
  • Migration planning and implementation
  • Support of pre-production and production deployments
Note: Typically, emergency on-site days are used when engaging Accelerated Value on short notice.
Examples of successful client engagements:
  • Accelerated Value delivered on-site a hands-on lab using client machines in order to speed automation through use of scripting
  • Accelerated Value delivered on-site support during a deployment to create a strong IBM presence, getting all of the client's technical teams (system administrators, DBA, developers, etc.) working together to complete the deploy tasks in 5 days instead of the previously required 10 days
  • Accelerated Value delivered on-site migration plans, skills assessment, and provided best practice recommendations. Based on the results of the skills assessment, this client requested a follow-up visit for knowledge sharing
  • Accelerated Value delivered on-site support and risk management during scheduled deploy events in order to expedite problem resolution for any issues that occurred. As a result, this client used on-site days for ALL major deploys
  • A client regularly utilized emergency on-site days to expedite resolution during critical outages and deploys that impacted multiple lines of business. Accelerated Value worked as a single point of contact for IBM to collect data, identify circumventions, expedite root cause, and provide post-mortem

Engage your Accelerated Value team TODAY in planning the use of future on-site days to:
  • Better align Accelerated Value delivery with your business needs
  • Accelerate deploying IBM software
  • Achieve your long-term business goals

Accelerated Value, PMRs/Cases and Escalation
Written by: Lee Perlov

Accelerated Value and PMRs/Cases
One of the top priorities of the Accelerated Value Program is to provide proactive support. Of course, you can't think about proactive support when you have to overcome problems, so we also help with PMRs/Cases.

As part of the IBM labs that develop and support IBM products, Accelerated Value offers the advantage of having a close working relationship with the engineers that work these PMRs/Cases (close relationship with Level-2 and Level-3 resources). We also have a deep understanding of the IBM lab processes. We leverage these relationships and this knowledge to save you time.

You are already entitled to PMR/Case resolution through annual software maintenance renewal programs, such as Passport Advantage. Accelerated Value delivers added value to the PMR/Case process through:
  • Providing project management for collections of related PMRs/Cases.

  • Delivering PMR/Case trend analysis, identifying issues such as reoccurring problems using default JVM memory settings.

  • Tracking delivery and deployment of fixes.

  • Expediting/escalating PMRs/Cases.

Solutions or circumventions to PMRs/Cases are not always found as quickly as your business requires. Accelerated Value can assist with expediting resolution by sharing our deep understanding of your business with Level 2, Level 3 and Development. We can:
  • Explain your constraints and challenges, such as requiring a root cause before implementing a circumvention.

  • Communicate environmental factors that Support needs to consider as they work the problem.

  • Apply additional problem determination skills, taking unique approaches based on our understanding of your environment.

  • Expedite a PMR/Case by communicating with subject matter experts, team leads and managers within the lab.

  • Help you leverage the IBM escalation process.

Accelerated Value and Escalation
If you are dissatisfied with any aspect of PMR/Case handling (e.g., responsiveness, time to resolve, quality of support), the IBM Software Support Handbook explains the IBM escalation process:

However, each client situation is unique. Please discuss the best escalation approach for you with your AVL.

There are many avenues for escalations. Accelerated Value's unique understanding of the PMR/Case lifecycle enhances our ability to be your single point of contact, maximizing the effectiveness of the PMR/Case process.

Resolving problems is the foundation upon which all proactive support is built. We are here to help you leverage the IBM escalation process, address the issues, and partner with you to avoid future problems.

Related information

IBM Software Accelerated Value Progam
Cloud Accelerated Value Program
Contact Accelerated Value Team

Original publication date


Cross reference information
Segment Product Component Platform Version Edition
Host Transaction Processing CICS Transaction Server
Application Servers WebSphere Application Server for z/OS
Application Servers WebSphere Extended Deployment
Application Servers WebSphere Virtual Enterprise
Business Integration WebSphere Adapters Family
Business Integration WebSphere Business Monitor
Business Integration WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus
Cloud and Virtualization Management IBM DataPower Gateways
Business Integration IBM ILOG Views
Business Integration WebSphere Message Broker
Business Integration WebSphere MQ
Business Integration WebSphere Process Server
Business Integration WebSphere Service Registry and Repository
Business Integration WebSphere Integration Developer
Business Integration WebSphere Business Modeler
Business Integration WebSphere InterChange Server
Business Integration WebSphere Lombardi Edition
Business Integration IBM Business Process Manager Standard
Business Integration IBM Business Process Manager Advanced
Networking Communications Server for AIX
Application Servers WebSphere eXtreme Scale
Host Transaction Processing CICS Transaction Gateway
Business Integration IBM CloudBurst
Application Servers IBM Workload Deployer
Business Integration IBM Operational Decision Manager
Application Servers PureApplication System
Business Integration WebSphere Cast Iron Cloud integration
Mobile- Speech and Enterprise Access IBM Mobile Foundation

Document information

More support for: WebSphere Application Server

Software version: 8.0, 8.5, 8.5.5, 9.0

Operating system(s): AIX, HP-UX, IBM i, Linux, Windows, z/OS

Reference #: 7024991

Modified date: 15 March 2018

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