For many Americans no weekend is complete without a trip to the home improvement store. The home improvement market is a substantial one with spending reaching $275B in 2011, which is 1.8% of the US GDP. As the US economy has recovered from the Great Recession those numbers have continued to tick upward. For home improvement stores peak selling season spans the late spring and early summer months when Americans are ready to tackle big DIY projects in their homes and gardens. That said, every quarter’s performance is important to publicly traded companies and sales during the Black Friday – Cyber Monday bonanza are arguably the most closely scrutinized for all retailers.
Home Improvement Company (HIC) operates more than 1,500 stores in the US. Like other retailers they’ve invested heavily in creating an online marketplace and IBM’s commerce solution and network backbone help deliver what customers experience. The Accelerated Value Program (AVP) has helped HIC manage their system for several years, but due to HIC’s restrictive travel policies almost all the work had to be done remotely. While IBM is a valued partner, this limitation frustrated both teams. Nevertheless it was business as usual in preparing for Black Friday 2013 and the HIC team felt prepared.
From a customer buying perspective it was a smashing weekend. Shoppers perused the deals, made their selections, and keyed in their credit card numbers. While watchdog sites reported HIC’s transaction speeds were slow, from a public perspective the site was never down and orders kept streaming in. Success!?
Behind the scenes, things were not so rosy for HIC. While the public facing online marketplace never appeared to be down, a cascading series of application failures created an overselling situation. For more than 12 hours happy customers were placing orders for items HIC didn’t have in inventory at many stores, nor were these items committed via their supply chain. For IT, it was all hands on deck running cycles around the clock to triage the failure. AVP was engaged and escalated to many senior IBM resources to triage and repair the system problems. For HIC, this was followed by 4 weeks of manually back tracking on all open orders to ensure customers received their merchandise and/or received goodwill compensation.
Emerson pegs the average cost of a critical retail application failure at $673K/hr. making HIC’s raw cost of lost productivity $8.07M for this 12 hour span. IBM Digital Analytics benchmarks the performance of the US retail market and publishes an annual Black Friday report. Their analysis shows that peak online buying hours are from about 7:30AM-7:30PM PST. Using publicly available information from HIC’s website we estimate that HIC’s online revenue accrual rate was >$47M/hr. tallying sales of $4.2B for this important 4 day period. At these rates, even a single hour’s compromised revenue and productivity seriously hurts the bottom line. HIC was in real pain.
Committed to helping our client, IBM made some significant changes to the way we partner with HIC in 2014, assigning local AVP team members with WebSphere MessageQueuing (MQ) expertise. This enabled IBM to go onsite frequently and work with HIC’s staff and systems. More face time with their local IBM team helped strengthen the relationship so that AVP truly became a trusted advisor. AVP also engaged a distinguished engineer (DE) as part of the extended team to provide guidance on HIC’s architecture. With this IBM investment we were able to help HIC create high availability clusters to optimize system performance. IBM also executed end to end testing to identify and optimize communications between all system nodes.
In the run up to Black Friday 2014, the WebSphere Application Server (WAS) AVP team got involved to help HIC’s portal team to troubleshoot and resolve frequent native memory issues being encountered in the performance testing environment. AVP collaborated with IBM Level 2 support as they worked to expedite resolution of related Portal PMRs. AVP's involvement helped to quickly resolve the native memory issues that were blocking performance testing and provide an opportunity for skills transfer on debugging and understanding native memory issues.
For the big sales event AVP sent 2 resources onsite and had WAS and MQ experts on standby throughout the long weekend. The proactive work paid off and the system performed beautifully without any outages or application failures. That set the stage for HIC to have a very rewarding and profitable online holiday shopping season.
AVP covers a broad set of technologies at HIC. For more information about this customer and the work IBM Middleware does there, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
 The US Housing Stock: Ready for Renewal. Improving America’s Housing 2013; Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard
 Rackspace. Based on the 2013 Emerson survey of 67 U.S. Data Centers
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How did the IBM Software Accelerated Value Program help a Financial Services Company save big bucks?
Financial Services Company (FSC) is one of the world’s largest banks with worldwide operations serving more than 75M customers. They’ve made a significant investment in IBM Rational’s software development solutions, including Rational TeamConcert (RTC), RequirementsComposer (RRC) and BuildForge (BF) and planned to deploy these tools to >15,000 users. Though these investments were made to increase global collaboration and software quality across the lifecycle, Financial Services Company experienced a number of RRC and BF performance and stability issues leading to questions about the long term viability of the entire solution. With tensions mounting and tool replacement threats made clear, Financial Services Company agreed to collaborate with Rational AVP.
FSC has a very intricate ecosystem and although RTC performed as expected, the loss of confidence in RRC and BF threatened the migration of 18,000 MKS users to RTC. The client found working with Rational Customer Support to be a very frustrating process as complex interactions between BF and RTC elongated the identification of root cause and remediation. The integration between RTC and BF did not meet user expectations and there were serious questions about BF’s to perform at scale.
To address the integration issues AVP engaged the Customer Satisfaction Project office (CSPO) and Development. Regular checkpoints with the client improved communication and collaboration and Development produced 5 hotfixes that solved this problem.
Now focused on performance, AVP arranged for BF Development to create a series of performance tests using environment variables similar to Financial Services Company’s and increasing user load. The checkpoint meetings monitored test progress and documentation recording settings and results. This also exposed a number of unnecessary workflows which AVP help eliminate, further increasing output. After 3 months BF was stable and performing satisfactorily, without degradation, above the maximum users levels FSC had set. The client was then satisfied their BF investment would produce the requisite ROI. The migration from MKS was back on track!
RRC users around the world were experiencing varied response times with some functions taking too long to respond or refresh. Upon learning that Financial Services Company planned to engage its own performance test team, AVP engaged the Rational Executive and Global Response Teams (GRT) to partner with the Financial Services Company performance group. To understand the problems being encountered, the AVL (Accelerated Value Leader) obtained previous measurements of RRC function response times and network latency from Financial Services Company’s global sites. AVP also arranged for a GRT resource to work onsite to measure system responses and recommend optimized server settings.
GRT discovered that Financial Services Company was using an unsupported topology with RTC and RRC sharing the same server – and would never achieve the desired performance. To improve performance in the short term, IBM recommended migrating to a later version of RRC and adjusted server settings on the unsupported topology to approach target performance levels. AVP also identified the impact using the newer version of RRC would have on other tools in use.
AVP facilitated daily checkpoint calls with the client and extended IBM team. A number of PMRs were raised, which resulted in 2 hotfixes being applied to RRC. Use of the newer, patched version of RRC and tuned server settings allowing the Financial Services Company performance team to report that the product was suitable for use, but the impending move to a new data center necessitated architecting a supported topology. AVP has continued to work with Financial Services Company to ensure that the data center design and implementation will optimize the performance of the Rational solution and ensure Financial Services Company’s ROI.
With AVP coordinating and prioritizing the efforts of FSC and IBM, solution stability and performance have improved, as has the quality of the partnership between our two companies. Increased confidence and usability has positively impacted productivity of Financial Services Company’s global analysts and developers.
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If you’re a developer in a shop that uses Rational ClearCase and Unified Change Management (CC UCM), you understand why our source code management solution is needed to manage your build dependencies and complex components. As your environment grows with thousands of dependencies, performance in your environment is critical. This is one of the many reasons why customers engage the IBM Rational Accelerated Value Team.
In these complex customer environments, speedy execution can fall victim to many things, including the size and complexity of the global software development project teams, network infrastructure, enterprise storage, and not following best practices.
A semiconductor and telecommunications company employs thousands of software developers in more than 150 offices spread across dozens of countries and myriad time zones. Their CC UCM environment is one of the largest in the world and as a result, maintaining acceptable levels of performance was a challenge. It wasn’t until their AVP team members met with the Semiconductor Company’s chip design and engineering leads that they began to measure exactly how their erratic UCM performance was negatively impacting many of the Semiconductor Company’s users.
CC UCM processes like rebase, make baseline, and make stream are critical tasks that are done one or more times daily by every member of the software development team. The use of these ClearCase commands help streamline the delivery and tracks the dependencies of components and prior deliveries. Operations like rebase were taking some teams 20+ minutes to execute, and in a typical week, the developers in one of this client’s large project team rebased 994 times consuming 331 man hours. Adding to their frustrations, mkbl (make baseline) and mkstream (make stream) had similar performance challenges but had larger impact to the development team in terms of lost productivity.
With performance data in hand, the AVP team collaborated with key ClearCase development resources to pinpoint the root cause and develop a solution. A promising performance enhancement showed a 35% cycle improvement in the IBM lab’s test environment. With good initial results in hand an enterprise quality solution was delivered to the Semiconductor Company within a couple of months. When tested in the client’s environment with their high speed storage and network environment, the performance enhancement delivered a whopping 90% reduction in cycle time – from 20+ minutes down to 2 minutes!
In a typical week, a single Semiconductor Company development team executes the following activities:
Assuming this team’s activity is just 10% of the total UCM operations executed each week by the company’s global development team, the enhanced productivity is worth some $20M.
Annual AVP contract cost: $208,000
Tangible ROI: Incalculable!
Important note: AVP clients benefit from being the first recipients of software improvements driven by these extended IBM team collaborations, but those with wide applicability are then made GA (generally available). The performance enhancement that resulted from this effort is now available to all ClearCase UCM customers. While the Semiconductor Company’s particular development process resulted in the spectacular 90% productivity gains other customers average 35% – which is significant! In today’s brutally competitive marketplace a software enhancement that results in productivity increases is immensely valuable. What can AVP do to help increase your productivity?
WHAT COMPELS AN IBM PARTNER TO PUT SUCH A MAGNITUDE OF TRUST IN IBM RATIONAL AVP?
IBM has very complex relationships with many of the world’s largest companies. We’re competitors, joint venture partners, OEM buddies and collaborators. We each fiercely guard any competitive edge and use it to relentlessly hammer each other. All is fair in love, war and the technology business.
One of IBM’s largest competitors is also one of IBM's most important business partners for software and systems. This Consulting Firm’s goal is to standardize how they approach software delivery for their clients. They consider Rational to be a good technology fit in this area, so they have made the Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution and other Rational products the critical foundation of their software delivery process. This is a clear endorsement of IBM Rational products and strategy by one of the world’s leading companies.
Since 2007, this Consulting Firm has also invested in a successfully evolving partnership with the experienced Rational Accelerated Value Program (AVP) team. AVP is Predictive, Preemptive and Proactive - bringing fast ROI for Rational Software clients across the globe. Consulting Firm relies on their AVP team for advice on their overall software deployment strategy, guidance on successful roll out of Rational tools, and the management of expedited resolution for cost-inducing software issues. The client considers the AVP team to be a high value extension of their own teams and have granted access to several of their internal systems and environments to make collaboration and troubleshooting easier- showing ultimate trust with IBM AVP.
The flexibility and personalization of the Accelerated Value Program has meant that the service continuously adapts to align with Consulting Firm's needs, so it is no surprise that the by the end of their current contract they will have been a AVP client for a full decade! AVP’s comprehensive knowledge of their customer’s business goals, ecosystem and topology helps ensure that the team is well positioned to dynamically respond to changing business conditions, partnering for continued success.
EXAMPLES OF HOW CONSULTING FIRM’S BUSINESS WOULD HAVE BEEN IMPACTED WITHOUT THE GUIDANCE OF THE EXPERIENCED RATIONAL ACCELERATED VALUE PROGRAM TEAM
1. IBM’s CLM Development identified a serious security vulnerability (not Heartbleed, but having significant threat potential due to Consulting Firm’s large customer base) allowing a remote user to execute arbitrary code on a CLM server without authenticating. With AVP’s intimate knowledge of Consulting Firm's CLM deployment model, we immediately realized the devastating impact this vulnerability could have if exploited on any of Consulting Firm's 1000+ CLM deployments. Working with IBM Level 3 support and IBM Legal, the AVP team were authorized to notify Consulting Firm of this vulnerability more than a week before it was to be published. This gave Consulting Firm enough time to remediate all of their servers prior to the vulnerability becoming public.
2. Working with IBM Level 2 support and IBM Development, the AVP team arranged for the delivery of more than 20 hotfixes for Consulting Firm's CLM deployments in 2013. Without these hotfixes Consulting Firm would have had to upgrade all 1000+ of their CLM deployments to each quarterly release. Avoiding 5 additional upgrades saved Consulting Firm $3.08 million (1000 deployments X 8 hours per upgrade X 5 upgrades X $77/hr FTE cost).
OVER THE PAST YEAR, THE AVP TEAM HAS COLLABORATED ON SEVERAL WINS WITH CONSULTING FIRM’S STAKEHOLDERS. READ JUST SOME OF THE IMPRESSIVE AVP ACHIEVEMENTS BELOW:
Guiding more than 1,000 successful deployments of the CLM applications for Consulting Firm's clients, including many brands that are household names
Facilitating rapid resolution to production issues in order to keep Consulting Firm's 40,000+licensed Rational users productive. AVP drove resolution of over 100 Consulting Firm PMRs in 2013 facilitating the correct focus from support delivery and development.
By managing Consulting Firm's enhancement requests and explaining the business case to IBM Development and Product Management, AVP helped with the delivery of 5 of Consulting Firm's most important and strategic requests in CLM releases in 2013.
Providing advance warning of changes impacting Consulting Firm's hosting and deployment model - lowering risk and preventing costly issues form occurring.
Defining product upgrade and roll out plans with the client enables Consulting Firm to annually upgrade each of the 20 Rational products covered under AVP. Meticulous AVP planning, guidance, and environment preparation are critical for driving successful projects where risk is heightened.
WHAT’S AHEAD FOR THE CONSULTING FIRM’S AVP PARTNERSHIP IN THE FUTURE?
Looking ahead, because there has been significant growth in Consulting Firm's' Rational portfolio, AVP has already advised and set a schedule to sunset support of older Rational tools over the duration of the contract. This will assist Consulting Firm in making the most of its investment in Rational tools, not only by having the latest technologies and functionality, but also by following the trusted advice on how to best use those tools to meet every business goal efficiently.
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In this season of The Newsroom a USB drive retrieved from a toilet tank (really?!) is used by an investigative journalist to download thousands of stolen confidential documents to a single air gapped computer. The illicit information blooms across the screen and the leaked documents reveal espionage.
In the real world, privacy and security are top priorities for Defense Company (DC). To maintain different levels of program security Defense Company operates more than 300 distinct, secure, isolated development environments. Air-gaps prevent the sharing of network services and systems are disparate. Adding to the complexity, domain names are deliberately different as well.
Application servers are also disparately configured and every new request requires special handling. With configurations that vary from one environment to another, software installation and troubleshooting have been a growing headache for the small DC tools team. Users grew frustrated waiting for an application support engineer with the right security level to travel to closed sites for troubleshooting. Changes in defense spending led to layoffs and retirement, shrinking the tools team as closed environments continued to proliferate. Finding a better, more cost effective way to deploy software was the impetus for partnering with Rational Accelerated Value (AVP).
Accelerated Value Program
IBM Software Accelerated Value Program is a technical advisory service that provides extended, personalized end-to-end proactive services, preventive advice, risk management, knowledge sharing, and real-time enterprise level problem management to accelerate software deployment, adoption, and post production software management.
The Defense Company’s initial vision was to have set of ‘golden’ images for their Rational tools that could be electronically distributed to users in any environment. Because Rational Team Concert (RTC) is the keystone to team collaboration, it made sense to make that the top priority and an open-area replica environment was created to facilitate integration testing and troubleshooting.
The Rational AVP and DevOps Impact
As IBM’s virtualization capability has grown, AVP and the DevOps team have enabled Defense Company to deliver a modular, standardized, immutable RTC package for integration and deployment across all environments – resulting in significant savings for just one tool. Defense Company’s average RTC closed area technical implementation deployment effort was reduced from 160 man hours per implementation to less than 7 hours per implementation – a whopping 95% reduction. This saves Defense Company $3.29M annually – just on yearly RTC deployment costs! The company also saves countless support hours by troubleshooting bugs in the open area replica environment instead of traveling to each site.
What next for Defense Company?
Defense Company plan to implement uDeploy (UrbanCode Deploy - a tool for automating application deployments through environments) to automate installation, configuration and runtime verification of Defense Company’ complete Rational portfolio.
Rational AVP is a critical partner for Defense Company in helping to gain maximum value from its Rational software which helps the client to reduce costs, and accelerate productivity!
AVP makes a difference!
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Credit Union is an IBM Software Accelerated Value Program (AVP) client and has AVP coverage for multiple brands and products - Rational, ECM, WebSphere, and ESS AVP teams work together and share expertise to help ensure Credit Union has seamless integration between products and tools, and that the client is gaining optimal value from their software investment.
Rational AVP Assisted Focus Areas and Achievements
Deploying of WebSphere products (WPS, BPM, WS) - starting with WAS 8.5.5+ using Build Forge (BF) and Rational Automation Framework (RAF)
Expanding BF/RAF platform so that other Credit Union teams can also manage their systems
Enhancing current procedures used to deploy applications to Credit Union infrastructure
Allowing Credit Union operations team to do more Tier 1 tasks for Middleware
Extending operational procedures to start / stop services, and improving triage of outages by COS team (such as validation of jobs that can be sent to each tier to identify which component is having issues)
Separating CCRM (Build and deployments) activity from COS and Middleware (Production Ops control), specifically taking application deployment tasks away from operational tasks. In production where the common Build Forge will run, instances of RAF would be for CCRM with another instance for the WebSphere, Middleware and COS teams - so that roles and responsibilities for each RAF instance will be isolated.
Rational Build Forge / RAF – Credit Union Automatic Deployment Services
Setup and Installation of new BF/RAF 3.0.x Environments
Stage 1 – UNIT Setup
Stage 2 – Test and Integration
Create 2nd test instance of RAF used by different team's CCRM, Middleware and COS and their shared roles.
Proof of Technology – Concept of automating deployment of WAS 8.5.5 and fixpack 1 to a target environment
Prepared an AIX environment to test Credit Union's requirements
IBM tested in house and recorded process for reuse
Demo / Review to Credit Union team successful results
Assist next steps for Credit Union to apply in the UNIT environment
How is Credit Union using Rational Automation Framework?
Used by COS – The 24/7 operations center monitoring ATM's, System Alerts and more.
Used by CCRM – Change Control and Release Management.
Used by the Middleware Team – to support WebSphere products, configuration, and in conjunction with CCRM for application deployments.
Used by Tier-1 operations – Start/Stop and control traffic and helps validate infrastructure during incidents/outages.
Used by various AppDev teams – read only permissions on viewing RAF logs for Application Deployments.
Example of how Rational AVP contributed to a client goal/challenge
The Credit Union requirement was to install a vertical cluster with 7 total nodes.
The Rational Accelerated Value Leader (AVL), along with RAF and Deploy SWAT Engineer, were able to automate this with an outstanding result whereby with RAF, the task is accomplished in under 50 minutes. as opposed to the same task taking 4 hours when performed manually.
What does this mean for the client?
1 person manual effort 4 hours
1 Install X 4 hours X $77 FTE = $308
1 person with RAF 50 minutes
1 install X .83 hours X $77 FTE = $63.91
1 person manual effort 12 hours
1 Install X 12 hours X $77 FTE = $924
1 person with RAF 4 hours
1 install X 4 hours X $77 FTE =$308
Team of 10 doing 100 WAS deployments/year = $616K Savings
Credit Union’s Annual Rational AVP Contract $178,000
Credit Union’s ROI = 3.46X for this single, critical process automation!
What does RAF provide to Credit Union?
Each team can access RAF and initiate their own jobs -removing the need for requests
Each team can build and tear down their environments as needed
All jobs can be scheduled to occur during none business hours
Import one environment and promote to another environment.
Templating allows for environment duplication
Configuration drift between environments
BPM, MQ, Process Server etc.
Contact us today to learn more about the many benefits of the IBM Software Accelerated Value Program:
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Rational AVP teaming and situation analysis qualities rescues financial services company’s implementation
A specialized financial services company has invested in and deployed many IBM Rational software products in their environment, and in order to gain optimum value from their investment, has formed a trusting long-term partnership with the Rational Software Accelerated Value Program (AVP). AVP is an IBM Rational Software Service that delivers crucial cost-saving benefits to customers, and recently AVP played a critical role in assisting this financial institution to overcome technical challenges to allow the scheduled implementation of IBM Rational Integration Tester (RIT). The customer was in a down state just one day prior to the planned implementation of RIT, but through the urgency and efficiency of the Rational AVP team, the correct skilled IBM resources were engaged to focus on resolving the issues as a top priority. After troubleshooting throughout the day, the team was able to determine the cause and fix the problem later that evening. This was an outstanding result to achieve in a short space of time and under extreme timescale pressures.
Rational AVP delivered significant services to this financial services provider with tangible results:
AVP helped drive the closure of 92 client support issues (PMRs)
AVP involvement resulted in a 50% reduction in Severity 1 PMRs
Client’s productivity savings: 25% FTE
Client’s projected internal cost of handling PMRs (assuming no AVP)
Estimated lost productivity of 1.5 FTEs*
AVP’s investment in client’s issue escalation and resolution reduced this expenditure by 85%
Client’s productivity savings: $178,500*
AVP Tangible ROI for Financial Services Company
Increased productivity from reduced Severity 1 PMRs
IBM investment funds used for performance analysis services
Increased productivity from issue escalation and resolution
AVL’s time onsite for 3 performance analyses – 120 hours
AVL’s time on issue research escalation and resolution - 1200 hours
Tangible ROI from AVP = $433,700 or 4.6X Annual Contract Expense
Want to know more? Ask us how we did that at: email@example.com
*ROI data calculated using: VALUE PROPOSITION FOR BM SOFTWARE ACCELERATED VALUE PROGRAM
Quantifying the Cost/Benefit belly laughCase; International Technology Group, 2010
Software engineering salary data from: payscale.com and similar sources
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An AVP customer’s Rational Software migration program is seriously threatened until Rational Accelerated Value steps in to turn it around!
The Challenge: IBM Rational Requirements Composer (RRC) is mission critical for this mobile device company, but repeated Jazz Team Server (JTS) crashes jeopardized product reputation to the point that frustrated users were ready to throw out the tool. IBM Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) is this company’s central CLM offering, serving thousands of R&D users, from Asia to the US. This client typically deploys the latest CLM release 1-2 months after GA. The fully virtualized environment, which also includes Insight, is hosted and operated in Europe, by a team of four. Two IBM Accelerated Value Leaders and one IBM Accelerated Value Specialists cover the client’s CLM usage in Europe, and work closely with the local team.
Following the phone maker's recent migration of a large RequisitePro baseline to the RRC server, the JTS server had experienced a very high CPU load, caused by RRC views which had been migrated from ReqPro. To temporarily rectify this problem, the client had to continually restart JTS several times a week. On further investigation, the root cause was found to be an RRC product defect, whereby the RRC views were generating a Jena query service in the JTS server which was not terminating in a timely fashion.
As a consequence of the perceived RRC system instability, the telecom company’s R&D design units ceased further migrations, and laid down a short deadline challenge to IBM to find a resolution.
CLM Development wanted to have the CLM tools ready and did not want to risk modifying or adding any new features as this may have caused a delay in the release date of the CLM new version.
The client’s AVP team leveraged its relationships with key IBM specialist teams and engaged CLM L3/IBM Development to participate in regular status update calls about the issue. AVP was able to put the client's case forward to gain agreement from IBM Development that a testfix should be prioritized and made available within the client's deadline. Without AVP intervention, this fix would not have been available within the time frames critical for this client’s product delivery commitments.
By helping to expedite the testfix, the IBM Rational AVP team was able to assist the client’s CLM administrators with providing the solution to the end users, reopening the channels for the client's planned migrations.
Remaining a market leader in the global mobile device race is a brutal quest and the top position goes to the company executing flawlessly. With a $MB market at stake the value of an on time delivery is almost priceless. This client’s Tangible ROI from AVP: Incalculable
Want to know more? Ask us how we did that at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Tip of the Iceberg
Growing complexity in a heterogeneous environment is todays IT challenge, but there is nothing new about that! Maintaining a high availability of the IT-infrastructure often comes down to reactively fixing technical issues, involving many different parties and is an important responsibility of the organization’s IT-support team. However, these types of activities are just the tip of the iceberg. In order to maintain a high level of availability, the risk of having longer than expected downtime and loss of productivity is high when we turn to reactive support only. There is a lot more that organizations implement to reduce these risks.
For this, predictability is critical and by proactively avoiding risks, IT-support teams are much more capable of providing a robust environment to their users. Providing proactive support starts with planning initiatives and aligning any support related activities such as analyzing the impact of upgrades and migrations and coordinating knowledge transfer. To achieve this it is essential to have direct access to a large network of expertise and to bring teams and knowledge together. This allows for the successful setting of the right priorities and getting the right attention, which must be a collaborative effort of the organization and its suppliers.
The Rational Accelerated Value Program is designed to provide Essential Lifecycle Services that enhance and improve your productivity over the full range of the solution lifecycle. Don’t settle for the Tip of the Iceberg!
Please visit the Accelerated Value Website for more information: http://www.ibm.com/software/rational/support/tsas/
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Flip or Flop, Rehab Addict, Renovation Raiders rest my brain after a long day. When they find an intriguing listing these investors look at the neighborhood comps, zoom to the property and poke around the perimeter attempting to peer into filthy windows. They examine refuse piles as if on an archeological dig, try to gauge the viability of the roof and foundation and then bolt back to their cars. Speeding to the courthouse steps they formulate a bidding strategy and make some wild estimates as to potential return on investment. With a flip of the hand they throw down a few hundred thousand dollars.
Keys In hand they nervously enter the darkened structure and begin to learn just how far out of reach their target ROI is. The sooty smoke detector atop the trash heap – thrown out after a fire gutted the kitchen. Water stained ceilings mean the roof has been leaking a while and hearts sink as they encounter termite trails meandering down the walls. Their margin target has been shot to hell…
It’s fascinating because this buying process is the antithesis of corporate buying decisions. Tangible ROI is the central concern of every client considering the purchase of IBM’s Accelerated Value Program service. They want to understand what we’ve done for other clients who are using comparable solutions. In a DevOps world software drives their competitive edge, can we help them influence the directions our tools are heading? Time to money is critical – so how soon will they see measurable results?
Home renovators all want state of the art kitchens with wide open vistas, but challenges often arise when the contractors start to open up walls. That’s when they discover that without the addition of a big beam, the upstairs bath tub is on its way to becoming a patio planter.
Just as it’s simply not possible to envision what’s inside walls, until we start working together, AVP can’t understand every nuance of your software development environment. Within a matter of weeks your dedicated AVP resource develops that expertise and will be working with you to recommend the right structural reinforcements and IBM resources to enhance process and performance, while being ever mindful of your business goals.
And though we can’t invite you to come and view our new showcase home, while you’re at Innovate we can invite you to meet some of our most important clients and hear their ‘renovation’ stories. They represent companies that invest in AVP year after year, because we make their lives easier and offer solid ROI. Real results delivered in real time.
Interested? Ask us how.
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84% of us check our Smartphones as soon as we wake up. Guilty. Research shows that most of us who use social media for customer service expect a very quick response. Guilty again; but that’s actually my expectation for every customer service interaction. And I expect it to be personal and meaningful. I hate unproductive wait time. Are my standards too high?
Down time has become more critical in a Bring Your Own Device world hooked on 24X7 access and response. Grabbing a cup of coffee is often my answer, but when thousands of users are idled because a mission critical app is down the cost is more than a few bucks. IDC and others gauge the cost of down time at a whopping $100K/hr per thousand users. Dunn & Bradstreet says a typical organization annually loses 14 hours to app down time and that is increasing by 12% every year. That’s burning real money fast.
Having an Accelerated Value Leader is the ticket to personal, meaningful interactions that often result in zero down time - for less than cost of a couple hours of wasted productivity. One Semiconductor Company with whom AVP partners went from multiple critical incidents that repeatedly brought their global dev teams to a full stop, to zero critical incidents in the first year of the program. That’s a tangible ROI of >$450K - and it’s just part of what we accomplished together.
Interested? Come by Asia 5 at IBM Innovate2014 and learn why more than half of the world’s top 25 public companies choose AVP.
Relationships of trust and understanding within your own business are crucial to every success. You may have relationships with key players from your in-house departments who play a part in the full cycle of your service delivery or product offering. Maybe your business relies on external suppliers to advise you of product choices, changes with demand, or best route to market. Your IBM software investment is no different!
In fact, as a foundation to your business processes and the interface to your customers, it could be the most important asset for which you need an experienced guide to work alongside.
IBM Accelerated Value Leaders (AVLs), are Trusted Advisors and client advocates who work with their assigned customers to learn about their businesses, their challenges, their infrastructures, and their goals. AVLs are seen as virtual members of the customer's team, but with many additional advantages! As a single point of contact, they are the customer's voice inside IBM, and they have a direct relationship with the IBM resources that can make a huge positive difference to customer's business changing decisions.
When should we upgrade? What is our longer-term strategy? How can we meet our business needs? How can we reduce our costs? What tools can we deploy to speed up performance? What should we be looking at to reduce time to market? How do we minimize risk? Is there a faster route to resolving issues? How can we adopt new technologies quickly? ... and more... much more.
AVLs are the nucleus of IBM's Software Accelerated Value Program, providing a valuable service by working alongside their customers, expertly steering projects (such as software migrations) to successful and profitable conclusions, providing crucial knowledge transfer along the way. When is comes to issue management (PMRs), Accelerated Value Program clients receive priority call handling. However, as prevention is more efficient than cure, customers with this Program will benefit significantly from the AVL's proactive problem prevention element of the offering.
Many of the top businesses across industries engage this essential IBM service, so if you are interested to learn more, why not check out the IBM web page (http://www.ibm.com/software/support/acceleratedvalue) or contact The IBM Software Accelerated Value Program directly at email@example.com
Check out this new CLM whitepaper from Rational Client Support's AVP team member Dayal Sachdev!
Dayal knows that clients today face challenges scaling Jazz environments appropriately and maintaining them, and has written this whitepaper that describes one approach to monitoring a server layer and captures those results for analysis using Resource Monitoring with IBM Rational Performance Tester. The target audience is administrators whom are in charge of hosting and maintaining Jazz CLM tools today while having a moderate understanding of load testing concepts and Jazz tools.
Title: Use Rational Performance Tester to monitor Collaborative Lifecycle Management server resources
Abstract: Using IBM Rational Performance Tester V8.5 to resource monitor an IBM Rational Collaborative Lifecycle Manager V4.0.3 server hosted on IBM WebSphere Application Server V8.5.5.
Released: September 25, 2013
Authors: Dayal Sachdev
Table of Contents:
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Did you miss any of the blogging action from Innovate? Well, we have you covered!
We have everything covered that our leadership team and social experts posted - from VoiCE, to DevOps, to Keynotes, to ISDZ.
Don't forget to check out the pictures we captured on the IBM RCS Flickr pool!
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In the current economy resource contention is fierce and CXOs press for more relevant ROI when making spending decisions. Sometimes meaningful, quantitative ROI can be difficult to determine and other times it’s pretty straight forward.
Data analysis shows that IBM customers with at least a 50% full time equivalent Accelerated Value Program Leader working as a trusted advisor to their development teams enjoy greater adoption and more robust usage of their Rational software. Customers who invest in professional services to assess their needs and then roll out and deploy their software at scale reap similar rewards. So what’s the perfect blend of services? For large, complex deployments leveraging professional services in waves with sustained advice and support from AVP provides expedited ROI.
Accelerating time to value is meaningful ROI.
In a social world people do business with people. Stop by the Integrated Services Delivery Zone at IBM Innovate and meet the people committed to your success.
Author: Irene Bond
Accelerated Value Program Business Development Manager
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The customer is always right, but making customers successful is challenging especially when it comes to troubleshooting issues in a complex environment. As our clients evolve to mobile, social, cloud environments our jobs have become more demanding. When we look at all the topologies our large clients use, there are some 3M variables that can impact the performance users experience. IBM Rational has client support teams in 18 locations around the world working to reduce this complexity.
Our Client Success team is dedicated to solving your problems 24/7/365. As business becomes more social our goal is to quickly and easily connect customers to the subject matter experts you need in order to efficiently resolve your concerns. We are one global team for a globally distributed marketplace, partnering with professional services and AVP.
In a social world people do business with people. Stop by the Integrated Services Delivery Zone and meet the people committed to your success.
Author: Mary Barry
Support Leader, ADC, RTC & Enterprise Tools, LATAM, CCM Segment Leader
Last month we discussed A little known IBM Support tip and trick... AVP Express, the IBM Software Accelerated Value Program Express Level Support option, as a comprehensive level of support focused on rapid, high-quality issue resolution for critical IBM Rational (as well as Lotus, IBM Security System, Tivoli) software implementations.
This month, however, we're going up a level (different from leveling up to you gamers), and are going to look at how AVP compares to standard Passport Advantage (also referred to as Software Subscription and Support) offerings.
Previously known as IBM Software Premium Support, IBM Software Accelerated Value Program is a customized solution that helps you to efficiently accelerate from software purchase to software ROI, and we all know how important ROI is these days... Accelerated Value complements Subscription and Support and provides value to you through proactive services, knowledge sharing, and problem management. This program has been designed with an approach to allow flexibility in the level of service needed to align with your business goals.
But what does this all really mean? What ARE the differences between Passport Advantage and AVP support? Glad you asked Here's an easy to read table that covers the comparison between PA and AVP:
Passport Advantage (PA)
Accelerated Value (AVP)
Type of support
Reactive, problem related support, Self-help
Proactive assistance to help plan, deploy, optimize, grow, upgrade and adopt IBM software. Coordinates reactive support.
Accelerated Value Leader, Accelerated Value Specialist.
Call Center access
Standard IBM process
Priority call handling and focused progression.
Client manages open issues
Accelerated Value Leader manages open issues and escalations, including enhancement requests.
Support for severity 1 issues
Accelerated Value Leader helps facilitate support for critical situations.
Reports and reviews
Detailed periodic problem management reporting and reviews, including recommendations for preventive actions.
Self-help web monitoring
Accelerated Value Leader proactively identifies defects that might affect your systems and productivity.
Scheduled and emergency onsite assistance is available.
Technical advice and documentation
Web resources and fee-based classes/events
Customized and focused knowledge sharing events, driven by on demand need of clients.
Intrigued to know more about the IBM Software Accelerated Value Program? Please visit the AVP website: http://ibm.com/software/support/acceleratedvalue
And don't forget to checkout the AVP Express
option as well, that may just suit you even better
Did you know there's a way for you to get priority service request handling, as well as weekly reports and notifications and deeper connections to the skilled support engineers you need to help solve those tricky PMRs? Well now you know, and knowing is half the battle! (Ok, I MAY have just given away that I grew up on the GI Joe morning cartoons, I'm sure you won't hold it against me.) Now that you know about this program, what's the other half of the battle? Easy: knowing what it provides and how to get this for yourself!
The IBM Software Accelerated Value Program has introduced the Express Level Support option as a comprehensive level of support focused on rapid, high-quality issue resolution for critical IBM Rational (as well as Lotus, IBM Security System, Tivoli) software implementations. This program was specifically developed for small to mid-sized businesses who need a higher level of support but do not need all the features of the larger scale Accelerated Value Program. You can purchase the Express Level option in addition to Standard Software Subscription & Support to provide you with access to an advanced level of assisted support services for specific deployments or business areas throughout North America and Europe.
This program provides you with broad access to standard support, while allowing you to choose the business areas that require more enhanced support services. Of course, it includes product continuation and online support, but also adds a comprehensive set of additional support features that help you toward rapid and complete issue resolution.
Convinced yet? How about some bullet points to really drive home the value you'll see from this program?
Why you need Accelerated Value Program Express Support:
You get a skilled team of product experts (that's us!) -
As an Express Level customer, you will collaborate with specialized support analysts (some of whom have been highlighted on this very blog) who have in-depth knowledge of IBM Rational (plus Lotus, IBM Security System, or Tivoli) software in key functional areas. IBM software support analysts provide thorough and targeted knowledge during the resolution of all issues, which improves your understanding of possible challenges and can help prevent future issues.
You're treated to Priority Service Request Handling -
Under the Express Level Support option opening PMRs via Service Request (SR) will ensure the same support analyst maintains ownership of the service request until resolution. This continuity means issues can be resolved more efficiently or escalated when needed.
You'll see exceptional resolution time -
With the Express Level program we've established smaller Support Engineer-to-client ratios which means faster resolution times for your technical issues.
You will gain access to regular problem management reports (PMRs) -
Detailed PMRs include metrics so you can gain a better understanding of the status of your support requests and how they impact your business. By reviewing these reports internally with your team, you will deepen your understanding of your support activity and priorities.
You'll also receive weekly authorized program analysis reports (APARs) -
APARs, client reported defects regarding your software, are delivered to you in a timely way, along with hyperlinks to information on when and how they were resolved. These are available by product and on a subscription basis, so you can track defect resolutions of interest to your organization.
And best of all, you get all this at a fraction of the cost of the full Accelerated Value Program offerings, so as a small to mid-sized business you can reap the advantages of higher level support at an affordable price.
For more information: To learn more about how we can create a customized Accelerated Value Program offering to meet your needs, visit us online at: http://ibm.com/software/support/acceleratedvalue or contact us directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org