Residency services: Empowering your IT storage staff

Have you ever been in this situation? You come into a new position in a new company, with new staff, and you find out that no one has enough knowledge to completely manage the primary storage system. What do you do? Hire someone? Train everyone? Hope it runs fine on its own? Well, you could do none of these, all of these or some of these, but what you don’t want to do is ignore the situation. Ignoring it could be detrimental to your customers and have a financial impact on your business.

What if, for a short time, you could bring in a consultant who’s a subject matter expert (SME) on the purchased solution to work with your staff? A “resident” who can skill up the staff, function as your advocate with the vendor of the solution, and get your staff to the point where they are comfortable with the daily care and operation of the solution?

Residency services do just that. A resident consultant provides valuable skills to your team as an onsite SME and advocate who can represent your company if there becomes a need to open support tickets. The SME can also assist you and your staff with planning business-critical non-routine activities that you might want to execute on the product, such as migrations, solution expansion, periodic upgrades and so forth.

So, let’s look at a few frequently asked questions.

What benefit does the residency program bring to my business?

Key benefits of using residency services include:

  • You have an expert resource on site who can help immediately.
  • The resident can engage and escalate support and facilitate conversations with support as needed with your staff.
  • You get quicker “ramp up” for your staff to use, manage and operate the solution.
  • The resident consultant can provide guidance through complex and/or business-critical non-routine activities related to the solution.
  • Having a product SME can greatly improve your experience with the solution.
  • Additional skills training on the use and operation of the solution is readily available from the resident.

What does a residency look like?

The following diagram represents the activities involved in a typical residency.

residency services storage staff

The resident consultant is not “staff augmentation” but more like a partner, working with one of your key staff people who will be operating the solution, or providing guidance to your operations staff. That key staff person will need to work with the onsite resident to learn everything they can about the solution and train the remaining staff at your location.

The overall goal is to get you and your staff comfortable with the daily operations by providing the necessary skills transfer that will enable your team to operate the solution effectively, with minimal risk to the business, and get you to your “end game” of providing quality services to your customers.

How long is a residency?

Residencies are relatively short-term in nature. A residency can last from one week to several months, depending on your identified need and the skills of your team with the solution. A typical residency is usually two weeks of onsite and/or remote work.

How do I get a resident consultant on site?

The IBM Systems Lab Services Storage and Software Defined Infrastructure team helps organizations deploy the building blocks of next-generation IT infrastructure to empower their businesses. We provide support on IBM Spectrum Scale, Elastic Storage Server, Spectrum Protect and Spectrum Control, and other IBM Systems storage solutions.

If you’re interested in a having a resident SME support your storage needs, contact Lab Services today.

Empower your IT storage staff

In summary, short-term residency services can be an excellent way for you to provide your staff with the necessary skills for daily operation of an IBM Systems storage solution your company has purchased but is unfamiliar with, assisting them with planning business-critical non-routine activities related to that solution. Residency provides a great opportunity to empower your staff to get the most out of your IBM storage infrastructure.