IBM Electronic Support at Edge2015
esupport 060000D5Y9 Visits (7963)
The Edge2015 conference was the first time the Power, z and Storage brands were all represented. The conference was sold out with over 6000 attendees. The attendees were a mix of customers, business partners, sponsors and IBMers. New hardware was on display, as well as many sponsors, including all five of IBM’s global training partners that use the IBM Remote Lab Booking Portal.
Four members of the IBM Systems Electronic support team attended the conference to meet with clients at the Solutions Center for a total of 10 hours and give 8 presentations and 2 labs.
Susan Caunt – IBM Electronic Support manager for Power
Julie Craft – IBM Electronic Support architect for Power and Platform Computing
Mark Drummond – IBM Electronic Support Storage brand representative
John Goodson – IBM Call Home Web and Electronic Support leader
The Opening session featured Tom Rosamilla discussing our new Power and storage systems and multiple customers, including Boeing and a bank in Mexico. The 2015 winners of the Smarter Cities program were also announced and the Major from Memphis, TN described his city’s proposal to increase the efficiency of the emergency response teams (fire departments and EMS) by maintaining data on calls and analyzing with Watson for trends and developing proactive plans to reduce repeat calls.
The traffic at the booth was constant for most of the conference thanks to the fact that we were one of the booths on the ‘bingo card’ and had some nice giveaways. We had Watson and Smarter Planet hats displayed which required the clients to take a survey on one of the two tablets we brought to the conference. We talked to many customers about how they use the electronic support tools and provided information on new features such as Call Home Web.
Call Home Web for Power – John and Julie
John presented Call Home Web Monday and received some very good feedback on Call Home usage and features that the clients wanted to see in Call Home Web, including the ability to view the hardware problems and recommendations. Both of these are being worked and will hopefully be available later this year.
Call Home Web for Storage – John and Mark
We had even more people attend the Storage session. There was a lively discussion about unified problem reporting. There were several people in the session (plus many more who came up to us in the booth or afterwards) that said their #1 priority was to be able to see all problems (voice, electronic, call home) in one place.
IBM Electronic Support Overview for Power - Julie
Julie presented information on Support Portal, My Notifications, Fix Central, FLRT and mobile. The presentation went very well and there were questions on Fix Central entitlement and FLRT security and HIPER APAR information. One client said the presentation was great, but the real ‘GOLD’ was the FLRT report showing the security and HIPERs for AIX and VIOS! She said she did not know about that report and said the data was very valuable and thanked us for adding it. She also attended the AIX Security presentation on Wednesday and really contributed to the conversation.
The lifecycle of an AIX security or HIPER APAR - Julie
This was a very well attended session and we had excellent feedback on improvements to the process by the customers. They were very impressed with the FLRT security data on the notifications. We took back specific feedback on interim fix availability and customer requirements on security patching to the AIX/VIOS team. The customers would like IBM to release more interim fixes for security issues so they don’t have to call in a make a special request. This is especially important because many times they are under time constraints on apply the fixes and the faster they can get the fix and test, the faster they can get their systems in compliance. Also, one client asked to have categories (High, Medium, Low) listed in the security advisories, in addition to the CVSS rating.
Service Request for Power and software - Julie
Another well attended session, including a celebrity appearance by Nigel Griffins (@nagger). We let Nigel know that because of a comment he made in one of his blogs, we opened a requirement to always display the patches to HMC service packs in Fix Central and the fix would be in their 14.0 release (June). He was impressed. Here is an example of having the 'Patched by' twistie open by default now.
The IBMers and clients were happy to learn about the ability to update their customer numbers to allow auto approval based on email domain and also understand how to add users to the account without the users submitting registration.
IBM Electronic Support Overview for Storage – Mark
This session was well attended compared to other years. There was some interest expressed in the new Mobile app as well as Call Home Web. The clients were encouraged to attend the more in-depth sessions as well as stop by our booth.
IBM Electronic Support Joins the Social/Mobile Explosion – Queue the Fireworks! – Mark
The most surprising occurrence of the conference was that there were no attendees at this session. This does not indicate total lack of interest in the topic but likely means it lost out to more preferred sessions in the time slot. This does indicate we will need patience as client usage of the Mobile app and social channels grows organically.
IBM Electronic Support Problem Reporting for Storage – Mark
We heard that clients want to be able to see all of their PMRs/PMHs through SR, no matter how they were opened. The so-called ‘Unified View’ needs to be given top priority.
Overall it was a great conference! We had excellent turnout at the presentations, great interaction with our clients and plenty of follow-ups for future enhancements!
Your IBM Power, Storage and z Electronic Support team!