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Servers in a data center

Accelerate cloud adoption with IBM proactive hybrid IT support

Help reduce unplanned outages, streamline vendor management and optimize IT budgets

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Help reduce unplanned outages, streamline vendor management and optimize IT budgets

Keep IT systems running smoothly across your hybrid cloud environment with our customized approach.

5 min read

Support high availability for IBM Storage and IBM Power Systems

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Support high availability for IBM Storage and IBM Power Systems

Empower your teams through a higher level of personalized, integrated hardware and software support.

8 min read

Optimize your IBM Z environment for better performance

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Optimize your IBM Z environment for better performance

Keep your mission-critical workloads running smoothly with proactive support from our technical experts.

8 min read

Streamline support for other OEM hardware and software

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Streamline support for other OEM hardware and software

Simplify IT maintenance with IBM expertise to help drive innovation, reduce complexity and decrease costs.

6 min read

Incorporate the IBM Accelerated Value Program for more flexibility

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Incorporate the IBM Accelerated Value Program for more flexibility

Enhance application availability and performance with technical specialists who understand your goals.

8 min read

Protect data with IBM Media Retention Services and Media Destruction Services

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Protect data with IBM Media Retention Services and Media Destruction Services

Retain control over your sensitive business data and improve compliance with these two services.

9 min read
Servers in a data center
Accelerate cloud adoption with IBM proactive hybrid IT support

01

5 min read

Help reduce unplanned outages, streamline vendor management and optimize IT budgets
Woman on the phone working on balcony at home

IBM helps businesses like yours accelerate cloud adoption across their hybrid IT environments by transforming IT maintenance and support services with advanced analytics, AI-powered insights and automation.

From balancing agility with cost efficiency to avoiding issues and limiting unplanned downtime, ensuring high availability for your hardware and software is critical. Any IT failure—especially one with a lengthy response time—can seriously damage your brand, reputation, customer satisfaction and bottom line.

As organizations drive IT modernization to digitize their IT environment, managing IT support for cloud, data centers and on-premises infrastructures becomes more complex. Cloud-enabled workloads must be interconnected as they are deployed across multiple computing environments, including traditional IT, public cloud and private cloud. The workloads must all perform well and need end-to-end support. So many aspects of an IT environment make problem identification and resolution and achieving optimal performance more challenging, especially when there are multiple vendors involved.

IBM can help by augmenting your IT staff and consistently maintaining and supporting your traditional and cloud infrastructure. We also can handle your IBM systems and over 30,000 server, storage, networking, security and appliance products from other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and help keep your mission-critical systems running smoothly. Our advanced analytics, AI capabilities and automation are designed to ensure your environment performs optimally. As a result, you can realize real savings to reinvest and accelerate cloud.

We offer a proactive level of support that goes beyond general warranty maintenance and helps quickly resolve issues and prevent problems before they occur. You can choose a level of support that makes sense for your environments from tiered service options that include 24x7 reactive and proactive support services.

Free your teams to focus on more strategic initiatives

With personalized and dedicated experts supporting IBM and other OEM hardware and software, IBM® Proactive Support Services help streamline IT support management and improve availability across your hybrid IT environment. First, we collaborate with you to develop a holistic understanding of your IT environment and business goals. Once we understand the environment, we’re able to offer you a single source of customized support for hardware and software for multiple vendors.

You can expect these benefits from IBM Proactive Support services:

Maximized ROI
with proactive and preventative maintenance and support that can reduce hardware maintenance and support spending by up to 30% across your cloud, data center and on-premises IT environment.1
Improved system availability
through a proactive approach to system updates, streamlining IT support management and orchestration.
Centralized support in the cloud
with insights and tools powered by IBM Watson® on the IBM Cognitive Support Platform to help provide a streamlined, engaging support experience across our portfolio of solutions.

Acting as an extension of your in-house IT staff, our teams adopt a metrics-driven, outcomes-oriented approach that goes beyond break/fix support to help plan for and accomplish your IT management goals. The specialized guidance our experts provide helps increase your IT staff productivity and identify cost savings that can be reinvested into more strategic initiatives. By streamlining and strengthening your organization’s technical support strategy, we help your IT teams ensure that your hybrid cloud environment continues to evolve alongside your business and deliver business value.

Citations

1 The Total Economic Impact™ of IBM Hybrid IT Support, A Forrester Study commissioned by IBM, January 2021

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8 min read

Support high availability for IBM Storage and IBM Power Systems
The top half of an IBM Power system

When it comes to mission-critical infrastructure, you need high availability and operational efficiency across your hybrid cloud environment, which can include IBM Storage and IBM Power Systems.

But many issues affect your ability to maintain a resilient environment. A complex IT environment, lack of service integration or interoperability issues can limit your IT team’s ability to focus on strategic tasks.

Backed by our extensive global IT support infrastructure, product expertise and proprietary analytics tools, we help empower your teams through a higher level of integrated hardware and software support that’s personalized to your needs.

These integrated hardware and software maintenance services include reactive and proactive support services that go beyond the IBM warranty and base maintenance agreement.

Did you know you can also upgrade your IBM warranty or maintenance to get faster committed response times beyond usual business hours?

You can harness the expertise of a broad portfolio of hardware and software service options provided by highly skilled and dedicated specialists. IBM Proactive Support services for IBM Storage and IBM Power® Systems helps provide these benefits:

  • Streamlined management through a global, integrated single point of contact for hardware and software support from IBM
  • Increased efficiency by supplying easier access to IBM product development and engineering labs, in addition to proprietary tools like IBM Support Insights, which helps improve IT uptime and address vulnerabilities with analytics-driven insights and maintenance recommendations
  • Faster problem resolution for Linux® or Windows operating systems by using client advocates to help coordinate responses and provide proactive planning, advice and guidance
  • Improved availability with enhanced response times and priority handling for your critical problems to facilitate reduced downtime and optimized performance
  • A single point of control and escalation to free your staff’s time for more strategic initiatives by providing more effective, proactive support

Learn more about IBM Proactive Support services for IBM Storage and IBM Power Systems.

Read the solution brief (1.8 MB)

Life with IBM Proactive Support: IBM Storage and IBM Power Systems

Female engineer examining machine part on a production line

What could these services look like in the day-to-day operations of a manufacturer? Explore the challenge, solution and business outcome to find out.

The challenge
A manufacturer needed a preventative and proactive maintenance approach for its hybrid cloud and on-premises IT infrastructure that would reduce unplanned downtime and optimize existing investments for their IBM Power Systems and IBM Storage portfolio. The organization was preparing for growth and needed to build capabilities for increased production volumes. But as the IT team added new technology components from multiple vendors to their pre-existing assets, they identified in-house skills gaps and saw increased outages. As a result, the IT team was spending more time identifying and resolving issues, which limited their ability to innovate or focus on other strategic initiatives.

The solution
With IBM Proactive Support services, the client was assigned a dedicated technical account manager to serve as its single point of contact. The technical account manager worked quickly to become familiar with the hardware and software nuances of the organization’s IT environment. They can also respond within 30 minutes, 24x7 for reported Severity 1 issues and standard response for Severity 2, 3 and 4 issues. When issues are more complex, the technical account manager can work with a dedicated team of specialists on the client’s behalf to resolve problems

As part of the agreement, the client can choose to add additional proactive services, including overall system health checks, microcode updates (PDF, 136 KB) and firmware upgrades, recommending adjustments that help avoid unplanned downtime. The technical account manager also helps go beyond traditional break/fix support by developing a preventative maintenance plan based on historical data. These findings and other operational trends are communicated to the manufacturing firm in a monthly report.

Business outcome
Ultimately, the manufacturing firm reduced operations costs, minimized downtimes and improved the overall customer experience by engaging with IBM Proactive Support services.

Optimized IT support operations
The client was able to supplement in-house skills with an IBM technical account manager, who recommended environment fixes and effectively reducing unplanned downtime. Monthly operational reports helped the client optimize its infrastructure and increase asset utilization, ultimately improving ROI.
Provided support for cloud and data center environment
The client was able to balance its need for high availability with improved affordability to help maintain converged, virtualized and cloud-based IT environments. The faster response times have freed the IT staff to focus on strategic projects, like planning for increased production volumes.
Improved customer service
With a single point of contact for all IBM Power Systems and IBM Storage issues and committed less than 30-minute response time for Severity 1 issues, IBM helped the manufacturing company experience a higher level of support.

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8 min read

Optimize your IBM Z environment for better performance
IBM Z platform

To meet the challenges of digital transformation, businesses are improving their resiliency and availability by integrating new technologies with their IBM Z deployments.

IBM Z® deployments serve as a foundation for many complex IT environments, but not all teams have the resources needed to support this platform or the software and firmware running on it. By functioning as an extension of your in-house team, we can help maintain complex environments and fill resource gaps. With IBM Z Proactive Services, you’ll work with a technical account manager who serves as a trusted advisor for your team, enabling them to focus on other tasks.

Did you know you can also upgrade your IBM warranty or maintenance to get faster committed response times beyond usual business hours?

IBM Z Proactive Services helps provide these benefits:

  • Increased productivity by augmenting IT staff with highly skilled IBM Z engineers that can resolve problems quickly and help ensure the right end-to-end processes are in place
  • Faster response times of 30 minutes or less, 24x7 for Severity 1 problems from a dedicated technical account manager who has access to the right technical engineers, lab services and development for critical issues
  • Maximized IT resiliency by taking advantage of propriety tools and analytics to help coordinate, manage and resolve complex issues, helping to minimize the impact of outages
  • Personalized service based on a customized maintenance plan that’s adjusted quarterly based on your goals and routed in a deep understanding of your IBM Z environment
  • Expert technical assistance for IBM z/OS®, IBM z/VSE®, IBM z/TPF, Linux on IBM Z family and IBM z/VM® Hypervisor operating systems
  • Problem prevention that can limit the need for reactive fixes by helping to ensure you have the right alternate path retries (APRs), critical to functions (CTFs) and configurations in place, implement best practices and make the most effective maintenance decisions

Learn more about IBM Z Proactive Services.

Read the solution brief (724 KB)

Life with IBM Proactive Support: IBM Z platform

Woman talking to two other people at a desk

What could these services look like in the day-to-day operations of an international bank? Explore the challenge, solution and business outcome to find out.

The challenge
An international bank relies on its IBM Z infrastructure to run critical business applications and provide enhanced customer experiences to its customers. In the past several years, several senior technical employees have retired or left, and the bank is now experiencing skills gaps that limit its ability to perform preventive maintenance, upgrade the firmware, respond to alerts and more. It needed a support provider who could provide end-to-end proactive and reactive maintenance services for its IBM Z environment.

The solution
To provide full proactive support for the client’s IBM Z environment, an IBM technical account manager was assigned to help provide routine managed IT support, as well as address critical Severity 1 and 2 issues. When critical problems arise, the bank’s IT team can reach out to IBM 24x7 to get priority responses with 30-minute response times and guide them through the support process. Through direct contacts and escalation procedures, they can also rely on IBM’s knowledge of best practices for financial clients who are running the IBM Z platform.

For planning and proactive support, the technical account manager works with the client’s IT team to develop an in-depth understanding of the bank’s current IT environment and infrastructure goals. Able to answer questions about the environment as needed, the technical account manager uses IBM proprietary tools to optimize support and gain better insights into the bank’s technical infrastructure. Based on the data gathered, the client receives regular reports on system status, which includes recommended and prioritized updates, in addition to proactive information for planned maintenance.

Business outcome
The resulting customized technical support plan helped reduce the client’s skills gaps, decrease complexity and reduce risk.

Minimized risk
Through access to best practices and institutional experience, IBM Proactive Support for IBM Z helps clients meet their business goals. By developing a holistic understanding of your environment and helping ensure proactive updates are made, this service helps reduce overall system downtime.
Reduced skills gaps
The technical account manager’s report helps the bank minimize maintenance windows and prioritize issues before they happen, enabling better customer service. As a result, the bank’s IT team was empowered to work on strategic items and reduce overall system complexity and risk.
Applied advanced analytics
The client used the power of advanced analytics to proactively address risks and exposures that may impact the availability of its hybrid IT infrastructure using proprietary tools like IBM Support Insights.

04

6 min read

Streamline support for other OEM hardware and software
Coworkers brainstorming strategies in front of a white board

Managing multiple support vendor relationships and inventory can be complex and limits a team’s ability to focus on innovation.

Today’s hybrid cloud environments often require complex vendor and provider relationships to run optimally. IBM Integrated Support Services, combined with IBM Support Insights, helps streamline IT support management and operations. By orchestrating the support of your projects, relationships and devices you can use these solutions to reduce the cost and complexity of your IT support.

IT support management
The core of our proactive service, IT support management is designed to streamline your IT support operations, decrease business risk and reduce unplanned outages. We provide a single point of contact to help plan and manage IT availability, issues and changes. This single agent can work with your IT team and vendors on your behalf to proactively prevent problems, as well as organize the data and reports you need to run your business.

IT asset management
This service enhancement can improve the IT asset management and service lifecycle by reducing support gaps through end-of-warranty, end-of-support and end-of-life oversight for other OEM hardware systems, appliances and devices. The service also helps identify security vulnerabilities and supportability exposures, which can reduce risk and improve your budget and IT strategic planning.

Vendor management
The vendor management service enhancement helps eliminate support gaps through a single point of accountability and invoicing for IT support vendors, contracts and service-level agreements (SLAs).

Learn more about how we can help optimize IT maintenance with IBM Integrated Support Services.

Read the solution brief (691 KB)

Life with IBM Integrated Support Services: IBM support management for other OEM hardware and software

A lot of black umbrellas with a single red one in the middle

What could these services look like in the day-to-day operations of an insurance provider? Explore the challenge, solution and business outcome to find out.

The challenge
To optimize IT operations while transitioning workloads to cloud, an insurance company’s IT team determined they needed to improve IT service management practices in the cloud.

The solution
After the insurance provider reached out to IBM for recommendations on how to achieve these goals, we developed a plan to create the necessary support structure for success. Working with the client, we built a custom IBM Integrated Support Services contract that included proactive support for x86 systems running Linux and hardware and software maintenance delivery management. These modifications gave its IT team a single point of contact for support and proactive management for virtually all IT problems, regardless of platform or vendor. The contract also provided availability management to help improve uptime through data intelligence and reduce business risk.

The agreement also included inventory and asset management to help the client gain asset visibility, reduce asset costs, eliminate support exposure, and ease financial and capital planning. Plus, technical assistance from IBM support engineers aids IT administrative monitoring and governance across the entire infrastructure. Using predictive proprietary tools, such as IBM Support Insights (PDF, 1.3 MB), we helped the client’s IT team improve decision-making and optimize its environment based on advanced analytics across its IT environment.

Business outcome
The resulting streamlined IT support model helped optimize the client’s infrastructure, reduce downtime and improve support for both cloud initiatives and performance.

Optimized infrastructure
With the new streamlined IT support management model, the client improved mean time to repair (MTTR) and was able to reduce the number of critical incidents in the first year of service.
Better performance and support for cloud initiatives
The IT service management practices enabled the client to continue to digitally transform its organization, without sacrificing availability or resiliency.
Reduced downtime
The preventative analytics helped reduce unplanned outages, improving availability, so IT staff can focus on core business operations.

05

8 min read

Incorporate the IBM Accelerated Value Program for more flexibility
Man talking on headset in front of computer in a call center

The way we shop every day is changing dramatically as more sales go digital and fewer people visit brick-and-mortar stores—but it’s easier to leave mid-purchase online than in a store.

When customers can’t access your goods and services online, not only are they more likely to go to a competitor’s website, but they may also post their complaints on social media, which hurts your brand and reputation. This ability to instantly broadcast experiences doesn’t leave time for the typical support process when you make a call and wait for help. Keeping systems running efficiently and the ability to handle workloads are critical to avoid outages and quickly resolve issues when they arise.

To ensure both reactive and proactive IT support, IBM provides a customized and consultative support engagement that can accelerate time to value and help lower IT management costs. The IBM Accelerated Value Program delivers results by helping anticipate enterprise application issues to avoid and minimize downtime, advising teams based on our deep industry knowledge, building an understanding of your environment and assisting with critical events.

You’ll be assigned an Accelerated Value Program specialist with the technical skills required to help troubleshoot each of your various platforms and products. This specialist goes beyond the operating layer to focus on the application layer of your enterprise environment. Not only does the specialist provide technical assistance, but you’ll be able to rely on the specialist for advice and guidance.

The Accelerated Value Program specialist will work with your team to understand your environment, goals and challenges. Then the specialist will work with you to develop a plan that can deliver results and review the plan quarterly for progress to achieve the following benefits:

  • Enhanced client experience through personalized engagement with the flexibility to bundle multiple offering components into one cohesive support program to meet specific needs on premises and in the cloud
  • Minimized risks of system downtime by providing proactive services that help optimize your environment by planning projects, developing an upgraded methodology and transitioning applications to other products, cloud and open-source technologies
  • Improved team effectiveness through a single point of contact with access to highly skilled technical resources and built-in subject matter expert access at no additional charge
  • Increased ROI by helping to ensure successful solution adoption by providing technical mentoring, best practice workshops and client education based on a governance model integrated across your on-premises, hybrid and multicloud environments

Learn more about the IBM Accelerated Value Program.

Read the flyer (200 KB)

Life with IBM Proactive Support: IBM Accelerated Value Program

Woman ordering online with a mobile app while lying on the couch at home

What could these services look like in the day-to-day operations of a retailer? Explore the challenge, solution and business outcome to find out.

The challenge
A retailer experienced a significant increase in online shopping, which affected system readiness during peak holiday periods. This limited growth and the retailer’s ability to meet the needs of its customers. There was a significant slowdown between the commerce and order management software, which was leading to abandoned carts, lost sales and customer complaints on social media.

Prior to the holiday, the retailer had experienced systems issues that were filling logs and creating unpredictable outages. When outages occurred, there was a lack of a clear first response plan for problems, which led to lost time submitting multiple tickets and shuffling support requests back and forth between different teams.

The solution
To quickly determine the source of the failure, the Accelerated Value Program specialist reviewed diagnostic files and configurations. Once the issue—which spanned hardware, software and business processes across the enterprise—was identified, the specialist created a cohesive team that included the customer, third-party vendors and IBM to quickly codevelop a solution. After the solution was implemented, the team conducted extensive testing to confirm that the issue was resolved.

Moving forward, the Accelerated Value Program team is responsible for planning environment and infrastructure upgrades, as well as planning for peak loads over holiday periods. To proactively avoid issues, the Accelerated Value Program specialist reviewed the retailer’s runbooks, made efficiency recommendations and conducted routine trainings based on the plans and runbooks to help upskill in-house teams. With the help of the specialist’s deep technical skills, the retailer was able to proactively address application performance without reaching out to additional parties.

Business outcome
As a result of its Accelerated Value Program engagement, the client gained a solution designed for virtually any technology, that’s backed by data and enables its team to continue to test and iterate for optimal results.

Designed for virtually any technology
The Accelerated Value Program team gathered the stakeholders needed to troubleshoot issues and implement changes that resulted in a governance model that improved the business process and customer satisfaction.
Provided solutions backed by data
When a problem arises, there’s a clear process to quickly diagnose and resolve issues. The extensive root cause analysis helped identify the solution and confirm that the problem was solved.
Continued testing and iteration
The team implemented additional precautions, conducted extensive testing and tried different scenarios with the architecture to help ensure peak performance for the client’s upcoming holiday volumes.

06

9 min read

Protect data with IBM Media Retention Services and Media Destruction Services
A pile of computer parts

There’s always been a high-priority need for organizations to ensure the safety and security of confidential data and sensitive information, but this need has become even more essential.

Due to the digital nature of retired and end-of-life data-bearing devices—and the associated risks of a data breach—businesses of all sizes have placed increased focus on establishing meaningful protocols. These procedures help comply with the growing external regulations and internal governance rules established to protect an organization’s data. As a result, there’s a growing sense of urgency to ensure that data devices, which may contain proprietary information, confidential data, personal information (PI) and more, are managed in a secure manner.

For example, organizations in the public, financial and healthcare sectors have devices that may contain PI that can pose a greater risk if compromised. Information, like partner lists, proprietary technologies and processes, financial information, and PI, such as health, finances and contact information, are all considered confidential information that needs to be protected. There are two services businesses can engage to help make sure PI is properly cared for:

IBM Media Retention Services

When data-bearing devices, such as hard disk drives, solid-state drives, flash drives, optical drives, storage arrays and others, are replaced due to failure or decommission, you’ll need to consider how to protect the data contained within those devices. While your IBM warranty or maintenance agreements may cover the replacement of damaged media, you may be required to retain the failed media for data security reasons. IBM Media Retention Services helps avoid incurring additional costs when seeking to retain failed media when you include this option in your agreements.

Retaining failed data-bearing devices can provide three benefits:

  • Increased protection from data breaches
  • Better adherence to regulatory compliance and protection from related penalties
  • Simplified assets tracking and budgeting for faster replacement

Learn more about IBM Media Retention Services.

Read the solution brief (108 KB)

IBM Media Destruction Services

Retaining failed data-bearing devices under an IBM hardware maintenance service agreement is an important first step in managing data breach risks, but you’ll also need a plan which ensures that the data residing on such devices has been securely erased or destroyed. This plan should serve as a comprehensive guide to managing failed data-bearing devices in a safe and ecologically sound manner.

With an established global network of providers who have the latest industry certifications and capabilities, IBM Media Destruction Services helps deliver an end-to-end solution for eradicating data from these data-bearing devices.

This service can provide the following benefits:

  • Reduced possibility of a data breach or loss through onsite destruction
  • Improved compliance with data security requirements
  • Certificate that lists all electronic media from which data has been destroyed

  • Security-rich data overwrite and data wiping: Data erasure services that allow for the redeployment, reutilization or resale of the product
  • Data destruction: Onsite degaussing, shredding or other destructive erasure services
  • Decommissioning services: Product discontinuance, packaging and preparing for shipment
  • IT asset disposition (ITAD): Customized services for processed assets that generate client value

Learn more about IBM Media Destruction Services.

Life with IBM Proactive Support: IBM Media Retention Services and IBM Media Destruction Services

Nurse and patient during medical consultation.

What could these services look like in the day-to-day operations of a US healthcare provider? Explore the challenge, solution and business outcome to find out.

The challenge
A healthcare provider had stockpiled many end-of-life data-bearing devices. These devices represented a potential data security exposure, as well as an unnecessary overhead burden to store and perform regular audits to ensure their security.

During the client’s monthly IBM system status meeting, the client asked whether there was a way for IBM to help erase and dispose of the many HDDs, SSDs and flash storage that were stockpiled over several years.

The solution
IBM provided a no-cost risk assessment to identify potential weaknesses in the client’s current data eradication process against dozens of defined security standards. The assessment identified key deficiencies in the client’s process, including insufficient degaussing equipment and inadequate processes to track device inventory.

After a physical demo of IBM’s media destruction capabilities, the client secured an agreement with IBM to process several data-bearing devices supplied by IBM and other OEMs. The agreement provided data destruction and secured data overwrite services that allowed for the included devices to be properly disposed of or returned to the original manufacturers.

In addition, the devices—now considered electronic waste (e-waste)—were properly and ecologically disposed of. This disposal method provided the client with assurances that helped the client meet its regulatory requirements. As a result of this agreement, the client was able to return devices that it didn’t dispose of back to the original manufacturers and resolve a problem that had lasted several years.

Business outcome
With IBM Media Retention Services and IBM Media Destruction Services, the client was able to maintain better control of its data, which provided peace of mind. The client also reduced its environmental impact.

Maintained control
The healthcare provider maintained control of its data while the eradication services were performed, helping reduce the possibility of a data breach or loss.
Peace of mind
The healthcare provider was presented with certificates of media destruction and media erasure for all the devices processed, helping it meet internal governance rules.
Reduced environmental impact
The comprehensive end-to-end solution provided by IBM disposed of any e-waste in an ecologically friendly manner.