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IBM Technology Support Services Offers Protection for Business Resiliency and Continuity

IBM Technology Support Services

Successful business environments are growing more complex every day, and so are the IT systems that support them. The possibility for business disruptions has increased exponentially, as have the ramifications, which can include:

  • Loss of revenue
  • Loss and/or damage to mission-critical data
  • Loss and/or reduction in productivity
  • Increased costs for resiliency improvements and litigation expense
  • Degraded trust from key stakeholders
  • Brand and reputation damage

IBM Z* servers are designed for complex IT environments running mission-critical applications and big data in a highly optimized, secure manner with the ability to scale based on changing workload requirements. IBM Z servers have been rated as the most reliable servers on the market, according to the ITIC 2016 Global Server Hardware, Server OS Reliability Report (ibm.co/2rovTIX). According to the report, IBM z13* experienced just 1.27 minutes of unplanned per server annual downtime. While IBM Z servers are designed for 99.999 percent application availability, protection for every second is critical.

Additional Support Needed

If organizations have a strong business continuity program that includes server, network, application and data security but inadequate levels of technical support, they are putting their business at risk. Technical support should be part of their business resiliency and continuity plans to mitigate outages and costly downtime. The January 2016 Ponemon Institute research report sponsored by Vertiv (formerly Emerson Network Power) “Cost of Data Center Outages” (bit.ly/2s4TcYm) found the average cost for a single outage has increased 38 percent over the last few years, and is estimated at about $740,000.

Having a holistic technical support solution focused on server, storage and application availability is important. The solution should include critical support elements including:

  • Hardware and software
  • Cross-platform and multivendor products
  • A proactive approach to minimize or eliminate the business impact of technical problems and downtime
  • Account management
  • Rapid expert response and problem resolution

A technical support solution that includes hardware and software support as well as cross-platform multivendor support enables the most efficient problem determination and problem source identification. Having a single technical support provider that does this can enable faster resolution by eliminating the frustration and time spent being bounced around between various hardware and software vendors. It also helps eliminate the possible complexity and expense of managing multiple vendor agreements.

Proactive support is critical to mitigate the impact of technical issues like data corruption, disk failures, application outages, network problems, and software and hardware system failures. An OS without the latest patches and fixes installed can spread a virus to backup servers. Likewise, an older version of microcode on a server can cause failures when new applications are installed. Proactive microcode and software release management can help prevent failures and remove complexity.

Account management is also a key ingredient to a resilient technical support solution. Having an IBM account manager that understands a client’s entire IBM Z ecosystem, their support needs, associated product life cycles, environmental change management and emergency maintenance positions is key to a successful technical support solution. An account manager should regularly review all of these items with their clients to ensure high IT availability.

A core requirement to any technical support solution should be rapid response and problem resolution. Rapid response is required for those problems that can’t be avoided to ensure the highly skilled resources are engaged quickly to work the issue to resolution. Having access to a highly technical team with the right skills, tools and resources is paramount to quick resolution.

Robert Laraman is an executive for U.S. Technology Software Support Services at IBM with over 22 years of experience with Software Support Delivery, Operations and Sales.

Seamus Keane is the business executive for all Technology Support Services for all U.S. enhanced services on Linux on z Systems, Power Systems and Storage. Seamus has many years of experience across all aspects of enhanced services—delivery, operations and sales.


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