In our ever evolving world of technology, having assistance and guidance from the right people at the right time can help save your business time, money, and reputation.
With the IBM Software Accelerated Value Program (AVP), clients are never alone as they work in partnership with their Accelerated Value Leader (AVL) - a trusted resource and single point of contact who has a permanent foot on the virtual bridge to IBM expertise. Software migration planning, problem prevention, product optimization, and knowledge transfer are just some of the tasks carried out by AVP teams, engaging IBM resources as necessary.
Learn from this typical scenario example below of how AVP can make a difference to IBM software clients.
I am an AVP client who planned to migrate one of my company's IBM software products by 2 major version releases. The IBM product in production at that time was approaching end of support soon, and my AVL had presented to me and my team on the reasons and the benefits of upgrading. It was because of my AVL's proactive approach that we were in good shape to move to a supported release before the end of support date was reached. Our company policy is to run supported versions of all production software, and penalties may be imposed if this is not the case. I was aware of the heightened risk of this project but felt 100% confident because of my AVP contract which covers the related products.
My AVL arranged for me to use some of my pre-paid onsite days to have an Accelerated Value Specialist (AVS) perform a health check so that we could be confident of not encountering peripheral surprises during or after migration. It's difficult to cover all potential issues with the resources we have in house, but my AVL has the same level of knowledge of our environment as my technical team, with an added advantage of having assisted other clients perform the same migration path many times before.
The onsite health check showed that our environment was at a suitable specification to run the later software release. However, for optimum performance, my AVL ran through recommended updates to some existing configurations. I felt confidence in the parameter changes as the AVS worked with my team to apply them, providing vital skills transfer along the way.
In addition to the information relating directly to the upgrade path, the health check revealed something I am certain we would not have picked up by ourselves. My AVL had researched version compatibility for our 3rd party products that integrate with our IBM software. This would include products such as anti-virus software, single sign on tools, and database record transfers. Post migration, the data exchange software we run (and rely heavily on to feed information to our customers in real time), at its version at that time would have failed at the point of issuing data requests to the later version of the IBM product due to version incompatibility. This would have resulted in serious disruption to a key client service and may have ultimately lost us customers to our competitors. My AVL advised me of the version of data exchange software we needed to upgrade to in order for the transactions to remain compatible with the upgraded IBM product so that we could continue to provide that particular service transparently.
The 3rd party software upgrade was minor, but the impact would have been major! Proactive problem prevention is a key benefit that I get from the Accelerated Value Program contract, and this scenario backs that up perfectly.
My team worked alongside the AVL to plan all stages of the IBM migration, and my AVL kept me up to date regularly with project progress so that I could update my managers in my weekly board meeting.
On the days that we planned to carry out the migration to the live environment, my AVL had alerted the IBM Support Center, briefing the team that would be on duty about our migration plans, so that in the event that any issues had arisen, vital time would be saved in troubleshooting and resolving.
Subsequently, the migration went to plan with no issues and no outages - it actually completed in less time than budgeted for. Services to our customers were completely uninterrupted and the migration was transparent to our internal system users. AVP is here for the long haul, and a successful software migration is not the end of the services we benefit from. Since the migration, my AVL has played a key role in getting our internal teams to adopt to new and more efficient ways of working by using the new features of the latest software version.
Productivity is up, our skill level has improved ... I couldn't be a happier IBM customer!
Contact us to learn more about AVP: firstname.lastname@example.org