I previously blogged about the impact of Cloud computing on CIO organizations and customers in general. In this installment, I want to discuss how these concerns can be addressed by partnering with your Cloud vendor.
Cloud by design is a low cost environment. In order to hit the desired price points, vendors rely on automation, restricted hours of support and other cost saving measures. While good for many customers, especially very small customers, one size does not fit all. Even medium sized businesses, those over 1000 seats, need additional support in order to sustain and grow their business.
The industry has responded to this with a three tiered model of support and assistance:
- A low, no cost, tier that provides minimal support, typically during business hours and access to general information
- A mid tier, relatively inexpensive option that provides some additional information and improved response objectives
- A premium or premier tier that provides all of the above plus some additional "members only" information and personal assistance
It is also important that each of these tiers offer clear, easy to understand value and can be easily consumed by the customer.
In developing our top tier offering known as IBM Connections on Cloud Premier Support (Premier Support for short), we looked at information received in customer RFP's and RFI's and our long successful history in Premium Support for on premise software. What became generally available on July 14 is a blend of the best of both worlds.
From the on premise world, we brought forward the concept of tight connections with Support and Development, the importance of a local language speaking resource, extensive knowledge of the customers business, and extensive knowledge sharing. From the cloud world, we included the importance of keeping up with constant change, additional focus on business value as well as keeping abreast of the evolution of cloud computing. To make it easier to consume, we made it available as a part number, orderable at the same time as the subscription.
Our goal is to deliver the best possible level of service to our customers, enabling them to maximize the value of their subscriptions.
For insight on what the Premier Support offering provides, please refer to this page in our offerings catalog or don't hesitate to contact me.
Program Director, ICS Accelerated Value Program (Delivery)