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 gives you an advantage by helping you drive success with your IBM products and services across cloud, on-premises, and hybrid cloud platforms.

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.

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

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 Site
  • IBM Base Support
  • IBM Advanced Support
  • IBM Expertise Connect
  • IBM Selected Support
  • IBM Support for Developers
  • IBM Support for Business Partners

Learn more

IBM Support Offering Framework

Set up IBM Support

Getting set up 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:

Software and Hardware IBM Cloud

If you have purchased Software or Hardware, register your products to access the IBM Support site in order to submit online cases.

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

Software and Hardware IBM Cloud

Stay informed with automated alerts using the support subscription service.

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.

The IBM Cloud Notifications page is a centralized place to view and control all incidents, maintenance, and announcements.

You can subscribe to email notifications about IBM Cloud platform unplanned events, such as outages, and planned events, such as maintenance.

Get Access and Administer User Accounts

Visit the Getting Started Guide With the IBM Support Site page for information to assist you with managing your IBM Customer Master Record to perform tasks on the IBM Support site.

Get products and fixes

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

Get and manage
products and fixes

Product updates 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 My Notifications to customize your alerts for available fixes and updates.

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

Update 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

Updating to the next version

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

Three person repelling down cliff

Extending Support

If you can’t update or won’t be able to update 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 Extended Support options:

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

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 software trial program

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

Get support for
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.

Software and Hardware

  1. Go to the IBM Support site - All 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

IBM Cloud

  1. Log in to the IBM Cloud Support Center
  2. Click on Live chat with support to begin
Circle of friendly people

Search for answers

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

Software and Hardware

  1. Go to the IBM Support site
  2. Enter your query into the search bar to discover documents, tools and content relative to your product

IBM Cloud

  1. Go to IBM Cloud Docs
  2. Use the Search bar to discover documents, tools and content relative to your service
Circle of friendly people

Ask your peers

Connect, learn and share with over 100,000 users by signing in, asking a question or providing an answer in the discussion forums.

Software and Hardware

  1. Go to the IBM TechXchange Community
  2. Select your community
  3. Engage in discussions

IBM Cloud

  1. Go to the IBM Cloud community on Stack Overflow
  2. 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, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM in North America or 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM 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.

Case creation

You can open a case from the web, chat, or phone. IBM Support strives to provide services in local language for most countries.

  • Review our Severity Descriptions to determine which severity to assign to your case.  Support for Severity 1 issues will be provided in English, using local language (if other than English) when possible.
  • See the product support details page for product-specific variances in support (if any).

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.

Software and Hardware

  1. Log in to the IBM Support site
  2. Click the Open a case button.

IBM Cloud

Go to the Getting support section in IBM Cloud Docs for details on how to get support for your IBM Cloud service.
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.

Software and Hardware

  1. Go to the IBM Support site - All products 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

IBM Cloud

Go to the Getting support section in IBM Cloud Docs for details on how to get support for your IBM Cloud service.
Woman opening case via phone

Open a case from the phone

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

Software and Hardware

  • Visit the product support details page to see if your product is listed and uses a specific phone number provided to contact support.
  • If your product is not listed, go to the IBM Directory of worldwide contacts, click your country and use the phone number listed in the Technical Support section on the page.

IBM Cloud

Go to the Getting support section in IBM Cloud Docs for details on how to get support for your IBM Cloud service.

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.
  • See the product support details page for product-specific response goal variances (if any).

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):

Software and Hardware

An IBM Support manager will work with our technical staff to ensure your case is being handled appropriately.
OPTION 1: Client Case Escalation
  1. Open your existing support case from the IBM Support site
  2. Click the Escalate case button, fill in the form and submit.
OPTION 2: Contact a Duty Manager

IBM Cloud

For details on escalating support cases for IBM Cloud services, case severity definition, and initial response time, refer to the Escalating support cases page in IBM Cloud Docs.

Red Hat

For details on escalating support cases for Red Hat, refer to the Red Hat Support Case Escalation page for details.

Escalation Management (previously Complaint/Critical Situation)

If you have any issue or concern that is not being addressed to your satisfaction, you can let us know directly from the IBM Support site by clicking the Escalate an issue button at the bottom of the page (see instructions for more details).

Orders and Invoices

Access real time order information and retrieve your IBM invoices.

IBM Orders and Invoices

All the information to pay your invoices or get help from accounts receivable if needed.

Grow your skills
and knowledge

Maximize your IT investment with technical training from IBM.

IBM Training

Deepen and broaden your skills with technical training from IBM Training .

Business partners

Business partners

If you are a business partner, explore IBM Partner Plus to get insider access to all the tech and resources IBMers get, along with the enhanced incentives and comprehensive support needed to start winning on day one.

College graduates

College graduate

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



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 supplemental instructions (if applicable) to specific products 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.

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.

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