Optimize IT maintenance for your hybrid cloud environment

Total read time: 17 min

91% of companies say they need to reduce the amount of time they spend managing support vendors.¹

The value of streamlining IT maintenance now

2 min read

91% of companies say they need to reduce the amount of time they spend managing support vendors.¹”

According to The Total Economic Impact™ of IBM Hybrid IT Support, A Forrester Total Economic Impact™ Study Commissioned by IBM, 91% of organizations surveyed say they need to reduce the amount of time they spend managing support vendors.¹ This challenge exists because each vendor relationship comes with disparate service contracts, licenses and service level agreements (SLAs) that must be separately managed. Additionally, with multiple technology owners for each workflow, a single fault or failure can require significant staff time spent working with myriad vendors to isolate and fix the problem.

As a result, your highly skilled team often spends time maintaining availability through everyday support tasks—losing countless hours managing original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and third-party maintenance providers. 97% of IT leaders surveyed by Forrester say they need to improve availability and reduce the impact of outages.¹

IBM can help. We can consistently manage both your traditional and cloud infrastructure, helping keep your mission-critical systems running and augment your IT staff. Our advanced analytics, AI capabilities and automation, can ensure your environment performs optimally. As a result, you can realize real savings to re-invest and accelerate cloud.

IBM data center maintenance flexible options can include:

Integrated support

For virtually any hardware manufacturer or software distributor, you can experience more than break/fix IT maintenance, take advantage of actionable insights and boost available resources with a single source of expert IT support.

Open source support

With support for open source community and commercial software, you can free your team to focus on developing and deploying innovative solutions.

Proactive support

By using trained specialists familiar with the needs of your organization, you can quickly respond to critical threats across hardware and software technology.

Support as a service

Sometimes you just don’t have the resources to staff a support operation. IBM Support as a Service can affordably deliver post-sales technical support to your customers.


Reduce hardware maintenance and support spending by up to 30%.¹

Integrated support

4 min read

Reduce hardware maintenance and support spending by up to 30%.¹

IDC conducted a survey of enterprise data center customers to understand the importance of 25 attributes of IT support services, ranging from technical expertise of staff to proactive and predictive capabilities to multivendor support. According to survey respondents, out of the compared vendors, IBM came out on top for the second time in four years.²

Tech modernization is an essential priority for businesses to move faster with cloud, AI and IoT at the top of the list. But transforming your IT environment is challenging. Why do everything yourself if you can work with experts and together, unlock fresh opportunities? With support maintenance contracts for over 30,000 hardware and software from most major IT vendors and manufacturers, IBM can help you improve availability, increase business flexibility, and meet your IT goals.

We support hardware and software from virtually all major vendors.

Networking: Cisco, Juniper, F5, Fortinet, Palo Alto, Check Point, Riverbed and Brocade.

Servers: IBM, Cisco, Dell EMC, Fujitsu, HPE, Lenovo, Sun, Oracle and more

Storage: IBM, Dell EMC, Hitachi, HPE, NetApp, Sun, Oracle and more

Software: IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, AppleCare, Lenovo, Cisco and more

Commercial and community open source software (OSS): Commercial Linux®, like Red Hat® and SUSE, as well as more than 240 community versions of open source software

Use case: Drive 25% savings in IT support spend and accelerate cloud transformation with streamlined support

Sewage treatment facility at sunset

Challenge: With multiple solutions from HP and DELL EMC losing IT support, one of the UK’s largest water and wastewater services providers needed to migrate software to the cloud using affordable options for its business.

Solution: Implementing an IT support solution designed to be comprehensive and cost effective, we helped create a more effective storage and server installation with break/fix support.

Results: The new cloud environment resulted in a 25% savings in the current data center to help fund cloud integration and create a higher quality of demand. Additionally, the power of using IBM as a single interface for IT maintenance lead to additional identified opportunities to improve.

Case study: Increase customer satisfaction and improve fix-time rates with AI

Challenge: Ricoh Latin America needed to improve maintenance services for copiers, printers and other office equipment. The goal was to reduce costs and help technicians deliver a superior customer experience.

Solution: Ricoh engaged IBM Services – Multi-Vendor IT Support Services to work directly with thousands of its customers, freeing the company’s resources to develop innovative solutions that improved and expanded its business.

Results: Partnering with IBM Services has given Ricoh’s technical leadership more time and resources to focus on broad-scope business transformation initiatives that will further differentiate the business from competitors. Ricoh reduced operational costs by outsourcing multi-vendor support services to IBM and improved customer service by giving technicians AI-based mobile apps to increase first-time fix rates.


79% of companies struggle with real-time open source support.³

Software support services

4 min read

79% of companies struggle with real-time open source support.³”

As you adopt more open source software, your software stack becomes more complex. This process results in fragmented infrastructure across hardware, application vendors and open source communities.

With IBM's flexible software support solutions, you can avoid vendor lock-in from major proprietary software support vendors and speed your journey to open source.

This single point of accountability for your support needs can radically change your organization’s ability to respond to challenges. By streamlining multiple Independent Service Vendors (ISV) maintenance contracts and SLAs to one support partner, you can:

  • – Eliminate complex, expensive and time-consuming management solutions.
  • – Enable in-house IT staff to stay focused on strategic objectives.
  • – Access a community of skilled Linux developers and consultants.
  • – Reduce complexity of IT support management with a single point of contact.
  • – Predict and proactively fix problems instead of repairing them.
  • - Realize significant savings over current software support spend.

At IBM, we work with you to implement interoperability best practices that help support and optimize your day-to-day activities within your end-to-end software stack. We have expertise in:

  • – Modern database platforms
  • – Open-source SQL alternatives
  • – DevOps
  • – Cloud platforms
  • – Cloud application development

IBM Open Source Support can improve developer productivity by 18% and help clients deploy new apps 38% faster⁴, helping free your team to focus on developing and deploying innovative solutions instead of spending time on support and IT maintenance.

We help reduce complexity for virtually your entire open source ecosystem.

Linux operating stack

  • – IT support for all major distributions of Linux, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Enterprise Linux Server and Ubuntu
  • – Expertise working with IBM Z©, IBM Power© and Intel systems
  • – Over 99% Linux fix rate, resulting in virtually less than 1% of support tickets forwarded to Linux distributor for resolution

Commercial open-source software

  • – IT support for SAP applications and most Red Hat and SUSE product portfolios, including Red Hat Ceph®, Red Hat Gluster® and SUSE enterprise storage
  • – Docker Enterprise Edition (EE) IT support available for IBM Z platforms
  • – Premium IT support offerings available, including proactive and predictive services

Community open-source software

  • – Enterprise-class IT support for over 240 community versions of open-source software
  • – Available across IBM x86, IBM Power and IBM Z systems
  • – Advisory services to help answer questions on topics, such as interoperability, installation and configuration
“Vendor support partners play a key role by providing real-time problem solving and best practices and enabling enterprises to bridge public and private cloud environments...³”
– Forrester Consulting study

Use case: Reduce complexity and operating costs with a one-stop shop for open source software support

A marble stairway in a government building

Challenge: A US government department wanted to reduce time spent troubleshooting systems and required more assistance than currently available on communities to enable its software to properly work with IBM Power servers.

Solution: Using a single source of IT support and cost-effective pricing, we implemented support for the software and hardware elements of the client’s IT infrastructure to help detect problems, provide accurate alerts and proactively use that information to reduce risk.

Results: By supporting the entire elastic stack, HPCToolkit and Open|SpeedShop, the client simplified its OSS management process, resulting in more responsive and actionable problem resolution, decreased operating costs and reduced complexity.

Use case: Simplify operations and reduce expenses with full scope support for SUSE

Woman checking phone with a computer monitor nearby

Challenge: An international public utility company needed level 1, 2 and 3 support for x86 hardware and the corresponding SUSE Linux Enterprise Server operating systems.

Solution: We delivered a single source of comprehensive technical support, including call placement, management and escalation.

Results: By delivering a robust support structure that helps maintain tight control of inventory and contracting, the client simplified operations and reduced expenses.

Read more about open source support from IBM.


Companies can save 634 hours of downtime by having support contracts on their servers, storage and network devices.⁵

Proactive support

3 min read

Companies can save 634 hours of downtime by having support contracts on their servers, storage and network devices.⁵”

IBM Proactive Support is our most customized support offering. You get a dedicated technical account manager who understands your unique IT environment and can help speed the identification and resolution of issues. We help you quickly respond to critical threats across hardware and software technology from IBM and other vendors—enabling your team to focus on more strategic initiatives.

The IBM Proactive Support offering is designed to help you balance high availability and improved affordability while maintaining your converged, virtualized and cloud-based IT environments.

Client experience:

  • – Integrated IT support for hardware and software from IBM and other key suppliers
  • – Expertise, including staff augmentation as needed to help address key skills gaps through access to a global network of IBM product development, engineering labs, technical tools and knowledge databases
  • – A personalized approach that can free your staff to pursue more strategic initiatives
  • – Proprietary tools and analytics to help proactively identify problems, enhance resiliency and maintain high availability, which can prevent costly unplanned downtime and damage to your brand's reputation

Use case: Improve service experience and client satisfaction with integrated hardware and software support across the data center

Man in front of ATM holding credit card

Challenge: An international financial institution was seeking to migrate noncritical production machines to IBM IT support coverage to improve the service experience, decrease outage recovery time and optimize operating expenses.

Solution: We implemented end-to-end hardware and software support across the client’s noncritical functions, including IT maintenance.

Results: By using a single point of contact for all devices, the client experienced lowered failure odds with preventative health checks and minimized operating expenses.

Use case: Improve productivity and service quality after extended downtime with previous support provider

An oil refinery at twilight

Challenge: A large North American gas and electric company was experiencing system outages with its previous support provider. The initial cost savings from the third-party maintenance provider weren’t enough to offset the several key outages and longer repair times.

Solution: We implemented IBM Hardware Maintenance Services with a customized IBM Premium Support offering on IBM Power systems.

Results: The client experienced improved customer service, productivity and efficiency that helps maintain high availability of IT systems for its internal and external clients.


Support for your customers, under your brand, delivered by IBM.

Support as a service

2 min read

By moving post-sales support to IBM, you can free-up resources to focus on your core strategy and accelerating growth. With a global infrastructure and unique expertise available in over 130 countries, Support as a service from IBM is designed to help deliver affordable, reliable and quality warranty and maintenance services for your customers.

We use our robust services infrastructure to help you increase services capabilities in new geographies, provide consistent SLAs and enhance the client experience. As a result, you can harness fully integrated, end-to-end IT support services with customized capabilities that fit your unique requirements.

Use case: Help exceed growth targets through IBM post-sales support

Server parts spread out on a table

Challenge: An international equipment manufacturer needed to find a global supplier to provide post-sales support services, such as remote multilingual technical support capabilities, a worldwide parts management distribution network and onsite field labor.

Solution: We provided global post-sales support for storage and server products, which includes onsite warranty and post-warranty IT maintenance, warranty service upgrades, depot repair services, part sales, warehousing and distribution, and remote IT support.

Results: The client was able to immediately use world-class IBM support structure without the need for the capital expenditure (CAPEX) or ongoing operational expenditure (OPEX) required to support post-sales IT maintenance services. This advantage resulted in a global model that provides operational control and enables aggressive growth.

Increase business flexibility to repurpose IT budgets to other core areas of the business such as cloud, AI, or IoT.¹

Why IBM IT maintenance for hybrid cloud environments?

1 min read

Increase business flexibility to repurpose IT budgets to other core areas of the business such as cloud, AI, or IoT.¹

IBM can provide holistic support across hybrid multicloud that helps you achieve your business goals. Our global IT maintenance infrastructure offers integrated hardware and software support services around the clock, in your local language, with virtually unparalleled access to service, parts, skills and vendor alliances.

By helping safeguard privacy, data and insights we enable businesses to become smarter through intelligent systems and processes. This balance makes IBM a provider of choice for smarter businesses' digital and cognitive integration.

What makes us different

Innovative technology

Help prevent problems before they happen with our powerful analytics, expert advice and emergency proactive notifications that can keep your mission-critical systems running smoothly. See our 5 essential innovations to transform IT support management.

Value for your investment

Reduce your IT maintenance and support costs by up to 30% and cut time spent managing vendors by 21%.¹ With IBM, you get so much more than break/fix support—your team can gain actionable insights, time and resources to move your business forward.

Virtually unmatched client service and support

Harness deep industry expertise, plus remote and field expertise covering over 200 technical certifications.

Remote software support expertise

Work with technical software experts that can support IBM and third-party software, including advisory, implementation, trouble-shooting and day-to-day application management.

“The strengths of IBM are its global reach and the ability to deliver a holistic set of support services that identify interdependencies across the IT portfolio and provide analytics that can optimize across the entire life cycle of the datacenter.”⁷

– IDC MarketScape Worldwide Support Services 2019 Vendor Assessment