A Slew Of Add-On Services For Power10 Systems
August 17, 2022 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Back in February, we told you about a new set of services called Power Expert Care that offered enhanced services above and beyond Software Maintenance (SWMA) for the operating system and systems software stack and the hardware maintenance that comes with support contracts. In recent weeks, IBM has rolled out more services under the Power Expert Care umbrella.
In announcement letter 122-006, the based Power Expert Care services are extended to the Power10 entry servers – the Power S1014, the Power S1022s, the Power S1022, the Power L1022, the Power S1024, and the Power L1024 – and in announcement letter 122-067, the Power E1050 also gets Power Expert Care.
With the Power Expert Care Advanced service, predictive support through Call Home Cloud Connect – what we used to call Electronic Customer Support back in the AS/400 days – is added to regular SWMA. With Power Expert Care Premium, which costs more money, IBM adds more human interaction and also a Code Load capability that updates system firmware and Hardware Management Console updates for the new Power10 machines. Within these two announcements, IBM has also made a statement of direction that it will allow what it called Remote Code Load starting in Q4 2022, which as the name suggests will offer the remote loading of patches to the system stacks for IBM i, AIX, and Linux platforms by IBM technicians. These Power Expert care contracts come in contracts that span three, four, or five years, with deeper discounts as the term increases.
In announcement letter 222-262, IBM rolled out a new service called Technical Account Manager, or TAM for short, that “will serve as the key client interface for in-scope hardware and software, delivering partnership and consultancy, as well as direct engagement on high-priority support cases,” as Big Blue put it. In short, it is the kind of hand holding that used to be a given decades ago when you spent a fortune on an AS/400, either from IBM itself or a downstream reseller or business partner.
With a TAM, a human being becomes that fulcrum between IBM and the customer and is also a single human link to the predictive support through the Call Home Cloud Connect part of the service. But it is more than that, with a single point of contact to manage, coordinate, and escalate critical incidents as well as change management scheduling for planned events such as upgrades or patching of the system software. The TAM also reduces the response time to 30 minutes for Severity 1 and Severity 2 issues, and does so on a 24×7 basis. TAM is available for AIX, IBM i, and Linux. Pricing was not revealed in the announcement.
Finally, IBM is enhancing the ServicePac support offerings for Power Systems that we told you about back in November 2021. The ServicePac concept is several years old, and it codifies and standardizes various kinds of services and their prices in a manner that allows Big Blue to sell them consistently and more easily. In announcement letter 622-017, IBM is offering ServicePac hardware support coverage that boosts onsite hardware maintenance to 24×7 for the entire year. With this expanded service, IBM is allowing customers to retain possession of defective disk and flash drives that nonetheless might have sensitive data on it and companies may not want to turn over to IBM or a reseller partner. The ServicePac also boosts warrant service and maintenance options.
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