IBM Support

IBM Support Guide

IBM Support Guide

Discover how we can help you

The new and improved IBM Support Guide replaces the IBM Software Support Handbook, and has been expanded to consider all IBM products.

We are IBM Support

IBM Support is committed to help you become successful with your IBM products and services across cloud, on-premises, and hybrid cloud platforms. Our team of experts helps ensure your success by consistently providing positive outcomes to your support experience and needs.

Hands crossed over each other

Our philosophy

Our philosophy is to help you succeed through partnership, innovation and honesty. We aspire to reflect these traits with every interaction:

  1. Advocacy - we're your partners; your success is our success.
  2. Quality - we employ industry-leading skills to provide you with efficient and innovative solutions.
  3. Trust - we're open and honest, acting with your best interest in mind.
Bullseye on dart board

Our goal

Our goal is to make your experience with IBM Support simple, seamless, and effective, so you can focus less on issues and more on how our products and services will help your business.

We have infused our tools and processes with IBM Watson to deliver this cognitive support experience to you. See the changes Watson for Support has made.

Person displaying screen of information

Our strategy

Our strategy is to continually evolve the support you receive by infusing our tools and processes with cognitive features - fueled by knowledge and driven by insights. These cognitive abilities are going to:

  1. Simplify your experience with IBM Support
  2. Improve our interactions with you
  3. Deliver value to you from expanded insights

Support is supposed to be the easiest process that clients have when engaging with any company.
I have a question, I want an answer. I have a problem, I want a solution.

Bob McDonald, Vice President, IBM Support Transformation (watch video)


IBM Support
Offering framework

IBM Support is enterprise-ready and available around the clock and around the world to help you keep your cognitive businesses running smoothly.

The IBM Support offerings framework consists of the following elements:

  • IBM Support Community
  • IBM Enterprise Support
  • IBM Preferred Care
  • IBM Support for Developers
  • IBM Support for Business Partners
 

Learn more

IBM Support Offering Framework

Set up IBM Support

Getting setup to engage with IBM Support is as easy as 1-2-3.
Click the NEXT button to proceed through each step.

Your IBM Support journey begins with the creation of an IBM ID. Get yours today.

  1. Go to Create your IBM account .
    The My IBM registration form displays.
  2. Complete the form, create a password, and click Continue.
  3. Review the information about email and communications. Check the boxes if appropriate.
  4. Click Submit.
    A thank you message displays.
IBM sign in

Image of IBM sign-in.

As part of the ongoing transformation in support to improve your experience, we are working to consolidate our entitlement system under one roof. Until this task is complete, you will need to register your products using different systems. Please select one of the following paths to register your IBM product:

IBM Software (on-prem & SaaS) IBM Hardware IBM Cloud

If you have purchased On-premises Software or Software as a Service, register your products here to access the IBM Support Community in order to submit online cases.

If you have purchased Hardware, register your products here to access the Support registrations system in order to submit online cases.

If you have purchased IBM Cloud Services, register your products here to access the IBM Cloud console in order to submit online cases.


Stay informed with automated alerts using the support subscription service.

We know it's hard to stay informed. That's why we have a system that will e-mail you when new fixes or alerts come out. You create a profile indicating what kinds of information you're interested in, so you only receive the information you're looking for.

My Notifications allows you to receive security advisories and alerts that maintenance fixes are available.

Note: For System z, information about Security / Integrity APARs and the ability to receive notifications can be found at System integrity .

If you can't find your IBM product in My Notifications, refer to your product documentation or ask your IBM Support team for the best way to stay informed of critical support updates.



Get products and fixes

Learn how to try, download, manage, and upgrade IBM products, services and fixes, and how to extend an expiring support contract.


Get and manage
products and fixes

Product upgrades ensure that you can take advantage of performance, security, usability and innovative technology built into the products you already own. We recommend you install product updates and fixes regularly to avoid encountering product defects that have been corrected.

IBM product defects are often referred to as APARs (Authorized Program Analysis Records). We identify our high impact and pervasive defects as “HIPER” APARs. The fixes for these defects should be applied as soon as possible.

Download your products and fixes or view and manage your entitlements from the locations in the table below.
Please note: you may require separate IDs for full product downloads vs. fixes.

Subscribe to MyNotifications to customize your alerts for available fixes and upgrades.

Product type Download products Download fixes
Software products
Appliances
Passport Advantage Online Fix Central
System Storage
Power Systems
My Entitled Systems Support Fix Central
IBM Z Shopz
Recommended Service Upgrade and Fix Central

Upgrade products or
extend expiring Support

You can access your product and support entitlements until the End of Support (EOS) date is reached for your product or service. You should be aware of your End of Support date(s) so you can plan on:

Person on summit

Upgrading to the next version

Upgrading will provide you the most current features and functionality to help you on your cognitive journey. Most upgrades are already included in your subscription. Review the Get and manage product fixes section to find your product upgrades.
When you choose to upgrade or migrate, we can help. Review our IBM Services for more details.

Person assisting climber up a ledge

Continuing Support

Some products are eligible for Continuing Support which provides the ability to open cases with our support professionals after the End of Support date is reached, but not to receive new product fixes.
Refer to the IBM Lifecycle page for specific product eligibility. Click to review the Continuing Support policy .

Three person repelling down cliff

Extending Support

If you can’t upgrade or won’t be able to upgrade before the End of Support date, we may offer Service Extensions to allow you to continue to engage with our support professionals and get product fixes after your End of Support date is reached.

Here is a summary of where you can find your End of Support dates, and associated Service Extension offerings:

Product or service type Get End of Support dates Get Service Extensions
Cloud services IBM Cloud Lifecycle N/A
Software products
Appliances
System Storage software
Power Systems software
IBM Z software

IBM Software Support Lifecycle

Software Service Extensions

Software Service Extensions policy

All Hardware Contact Hardware Support in your country
Hardware Service Extensions

Try IBM products
and services

Discover our innovative new technology and see how they fit your business requirements. Our trials include free editions or trial plans. They allow custom or pre-configured options, with available hands-on tutorials. Check out the following programs for available product and service trials:

Team using trial software

IBM software trials

Download a trial version or start with products on cloud. Gain free, hands-on experience.

IBM Z stack

IBM Z trial program

Try the latest IBM Z capabilities today at zero cost, and with no installation required.


Get help with
your products

Our support platform helps ensure that you get the level of help you need, when you need it.


Help yourself

We know you want to find answers as quickly as possible. IBM Support strives to digitize the knowledge obtained through our engagements with you so that the information is available through our cognitive support solutions.

Man on phone with chatbot

Chat with Watson

Get answers to frequently asked questions. This feature is currently available for select products and is coming to all products.


  1. Go to the IBM Support Community - Products page
  2. Enter the name of your product into the search bar and select your product
  3. Click on the Chat with Support button to begin
Circle of friendly people

Search for answers

Search our knowledge base for technical and support articles, notes, community content and more.


  1. Go to the IBM Support Portal
  2. Enter your product into the search bar and select your Product support page
  3. Use the Search bar on the corresponding page to discover documents, tools and content relative to your product
Circle of friendly people

Ask your peers

Engage with the community by signing in and asking a question or providing an answer in the discussion forum. Learn more


  1. Go to the IBM Support Community - Forums page
  2. Enter your product into the search bar and select your product
  3. Engage in discussions

Open a case

We are here for you when you need us.

Business hours

IBM Support business hours reflect normal country business hours in your time zone. For example, 8:00am to 5:00pm in North America or 9:00am to 6:00pm in some parts of Asia and Europe, Monday through Friday, excluding national or statutory holidays. Off shift hours (for eligible offerings with 24x7 response) are defined as all other hours outside of normal country business hours. See the IBM Product Support Details page for product-specific business hour variances (if any).

Case creation

You can open a case from the web , chat, or phone. Our support professionals provide assistance in local language for most major countries, however support for Severity 1 cases will be provided in English with the local language accommodated when possible - see the IBM Product Support Details page for product-specific language variances (if any). Review our Severity Descriptions to determine which severity to assign to your case.

Note: You can reopen a closed case within 30 days from the closure date. After that time, you will need a Support Agent to reopen your closed case within 90 days from the closure date. After 90 days, a case can no longer be reopened.

Finger pointing to contact us

Open a case from the web

We want to ensure you open a case that will go to the right team the first time. To that end, the following steps will help guide you to the right place to open your case.

  1. Go to the IBM Support Portal
  2. Enter your product into the search bar and select your Product support page
  3. Use the corresponding tool on the destination Product page to open your request for assistance:
Hands on cell phone

Open a case from a chat

Sometimes you have a quick question, would like a quick update, or you simply prefer chat as your communication option. Either way, we have you covered.

  1. Go to the IBM Support Community - Product page
  2. Enter your product into the search bar and select your product
  3. Click on the Chat with Support button to begin (if this button does not appear, then Chat is not available for your product)
  4. Once signed in, you can request the following:
    • open a case
    • check case status
    • talk to an agent
Woman opening case via phone

Open a case from the phone

Our support teams are monitoring the phones ready to assist when you call.

Response goals

IBM will use commercially reasonable efforts to respond to cases raised by your authorized contacts within the criteria specified for your offering. Our initial response may result in resolution of your request, or it will form the basis for determining what additional actions may be required to resolve your request. Be sure you and your support professional agree on what the next action is and when the next checkpoint will be. Cases opened outside Business Hours that do not qualify for 24x7 response will be responded to the next business day. Select a product area for the Response Goals for your offering.

Additional options

IBM has additional IBM Enterprise Support and Preferred Care options to support your needs. Please review the items below for more details.


Escalate a case

If at any point in our service process you feel we are not meeting your needs, you may call our attention to your case by taking the following action(s):

  1. Be certain to explain the business impact of your problem to the support professional working your case.
  2. Ask the support professional to speak to his or her manager or contact a duty manager from the IBM Directory of worldwide contacts . An IBM Support manager will work with our technical staff to ensure your request is being handled appropriately.
  3. Raise the Severity Level of the case, if applicable.
  4. If further escalation is required, then nominate the case as a Complaint or Critical Situation ("CritSit") by asking a member of your IBM Client team or IBM Sales team to do so on your behalf.

Grow your skills
and knowledge

Maximize your IT investment with technical training from IBM.

IBM Skills Gateway

Deepen and broaden your skills with technical training from our IBM Skills Gateway .

Business partners

Business partners

If you are a business partner, explore our IBM PartnerWorld University to build specialized capabilities that will help you resolve business problems for your clients.

College graduates

College graduate

If you are a recent college graduate, explore our IBM Skills Academy to bridge the skills gap between the university and the market industry.

Self-study

Self-study

If you are looking to do self-study, let Watson help you find what you’re looking for by searching IBM Support . Or go directly to these locations for specific material:


Learn more about
IBM Support

The following sections outline additional reference material to complement your IBM Support experience.


IBM product reference documents

The following sections are provided as pointers to specific pages that can provide important information regarding your IBM offerings.

Business woman

IBM product support details

The product support details page will provide you with product specific information regarding your support experience such as contact information, hours of operation, language support and more.

IT Technician

IBM Appliance support guide

This guide (formerly known as the IBM Appliance Support Handbook) is designed to provide you with the reference materials you may need should you require IBM service and support for IBM Appliances. Actual terms and conditions are found in the license materials and IBM agreements for your appliance.

Servers in the cloud

IBM Cloud service guide

This guide (formerly known as the IBM Cloud Service Support Handbook) is designed to provide you with important information regarding the service and support for your IBM Cloud services.


IBM support policies

These official support policy documents serve to clarify how to engage with IBM Support to provide you with a smooth experience.

Team reviewing policy

IBM support lifecycle policy

You are covered over the entire lifecycle of an IBM software product, from when the product is available for purchase to the time the product is no longer supported. Using the information on this page, you will be able to effectively plan your software investment, without any breaks in support.

Business man and woman viewing laptop

IBM support for containers policy

Containers are the new fabric for cloud native applications, bringing simplicity in packaging and portability to developers. However, container images by themselves do not address key enterprise needs for production workloads. To run enterprise workloads in production, our clients need much more than base container images.

Shaking hands

IBM support for open source and third party software policy

Open source and third party software or code is included or bundled with some of our IBM offerings. This code is included for your convenience, but is not considered part of the IBM program. These non-IBM programs are licensed directly by their providers. You agree to use the non-IBM programs under the provider's terms and conditions. These are provided in the IBM licensing agreement which accompanies the IBM offering at time of purchase.

Security sign in the hand of the engineer

IBM secure engineering policy

Secure Engineering is an important element of the overall IBM security strategy. It is reflected in our internal initiative that works to address the dynamic nature of security in our development process. IBM uses various methods to communicate security vulnerability information to customers. We use Security Bulletins when publicly disclosing security vulnerabilities discovered in IBM offerings and leverages alternative tools and processes, where appropriate (i.e., for System z, managed and cloud-based services), for more targeted and discrete communications with entitled customers.


IBM Support general information

The following sections provide additional details about IBM Support processes and procedures.

Reviewing guidelines

General guidelines and limitations

To ensure your expectations with IBM Support delivery is as clear as possible, the following page serves as an addendum to this guide.

Support agent interacting with client

Questions handled by support

IBM Support is always ready and willing to provide you with assistance when called upon; therefore, it is important to be clear which types of issues IBM Support is structured to provide you assistance with and which issues it is not.


Connect with Us

Follow these spaces to stay informed on how we are transforming to help you, our valued clients, succeed.

Hands on a keyboard

IBM Support Insider blog

IBM Support Insider is the space where we share exciting new information about how IBM Support is transforming with new tools, new processes, and new capabilities. Stop on by, take a look, and tell us what you think.

THINK conference

IBM THINK

IBM THINK is IBM's flagship technology conference. Get hands-on experience with the latest technology and extend your professional network into one of the world's most celebrated communities of technologists and thought leaders.

VIP

IBM VIP Rewards

Earn points and exchange them for rewards by filling out product reviews, providing feedback on new features, being an active participant in our online community and so much more.

Start racking up points now by signing up for the IBM VIP Rewards program, based on the products that you use.


IBM and Red Hat

Together, IBM and Red Hat will deliver the next-generation hybrid multicloud platform.

IBM Red Hat

Complete information on this transaction and its benefits for IBM and Red Hat customers can be found at https://www.ibm.com/redhat.
Note: This transaction has no impact to your existing support. You can read more from our Insider Blog.

Contact Us

Contact Us