Big Blue Gives Big i5 Customers Extra Hand Holding for Free
February 6, 2006 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Here’s a word you don’t see much in the IBM iSeries catalog: free. As part of the January 31 i5 announcements, IBM said that it would now be giving away new Optimum Care services to buyers of its largest i5 machines.
IBM concedes that i5 570 and 595 installations can be a little complex, and the new Optimum Care services are intended to take some of the pain out of upgrading to or buying new i5 570s and 595s. As you might expect, those buying 595s get the most goodies for free. Customers buying an i5 595 with either i5/OS Standard Edition or Enterprise Edition get 160 hours of project management services from IBM (which is easily worth several tens of thousands of dollars), plus something called an Improved Availability Technology Checkup and five IBM education vouchers. This Optimum care is available for customers who buy new 595s or upgrade to them from other systems. The i5 570 buyers, who won’t spend nearly as much money, get a lesser Optimum Care offer. Only those who buy a new 8/16-way i5 570 (which is the largest configuration, including four chasses lashed together into a single system) can choose the 160 hours of project management services, or the availability checkup, or one Enterprise Edition service voucher; they will get three IBM education vouchers. IBM says that the project management services are there to make sure customers have a smooth installation process and reduce the risks and errors associated with a complex deployment. The availability service is a way that IBM can try to convince customers of the benefits of high availability clustering and disaster recovery planning–which also might help IBM sell a few more i5 systems.