IBM Expands Technical Support Services for SMBs

By Nathan Eddy  |  Print this article Print

The service is designed to help growing companies calibrate the technical support needed by their customers in specific locations around the world and adjust the technical support model required.

Technology giant IBM is reaching out to its small to midsize business customers by providing them with single-source technical support services through the expansion of its in-house tech support, Managed Vendor Support Services, to midmarket companies.

The MVSS offerings include call-center support, customer problem resolution and engineering support, onsite services, as well as parts inventory management, stocking and delivery. The service is designed to help growing companies calibrate the technical support needed by their customers in specific locations around the world and adjust the technical support model required, be they electronic game manufacturers or medical-device providers.

One company that approached IBM to help with its technical support and customer service was IT performance solutions specialist Riverbed Technology, which collaborated with IBM’s field service organization to deliver on-site services that minimized system downtime for customers. Riverbed was able to increase transmission speeds by 5 to 50 times and in some cases up to 100 times, as well as improve the performance of their customers’ applications and network access to their data.

“By working with IBM, Riverbed is able to optimize solutions for our customers to increase the value of their existing IT infrastructure and the performance of their mission-critical applications,” Riverbed Senior Vice President of Worldwide Support Scott Downie said in a statement. “IBM gave us the opportunity to focus on IT innovation and helped us liberate businesses from common IT constraints by increasing application performance, enabling consolidation, and providing enterprisewide network and application visibility—all while eliminating the need to increase bandwidth, storage or servers.”

IBM’s managed technical support provides support for both the hardware and software components throughout the IT environment, with a single focal point and a single contract for all technical support needs, while MVSS leverages IBM’s infrastructure, skills and end-to-end technical support services with worldwide coverage in 209 countries covering 127 languages.

IBM will also provide post-sales support to help a business clarify the best combination of post-sales technical support services for the unique needs and budget of the organization, provide onsite support including preplanned maintenance, machine and parts replacements, installations, moves and equipment changes, and inventory management, parts stocking and delivery and automated parts tracking to facilitate remote technical support.

The company also found a customer in data storage specialist NetApp, which fields an average of 1,500 service calls per month. The company, which employs approximately 10,000 people and offers more than 60 data storage products, needed a third-party maintenance provider to support its products and customers located throughout North America. In a four-month period, IBM Technical Support Services identified and trained 1,100 technicians, according to an IBM whitepaper.

"Through the expansion of Managed Vendor Support Services, IBM can help businesses of all sizes meet service-level expectations and act as a trusted IT adviser,” Vice President of Multi-Vendor Services for IBM’s Technical Support Service Juhi Jotwani said in a statement. “As a result, companies don't have to spend their time coordinating technical support services. And a single focal point may help to hasten recovery from, and potentially prevent the occurrence of, outages.” 

Originally published on www.eweek.com.