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Transforming Your Enterprise Magazine

Fall 2008
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Large Enterprise Business

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Pick-and-choose-support

A new “a la carte” approach to IT support lets customers engage the services they need, and turns IT support from a costly afterthought into an adaptive enabler.

Pick-and-choose-support

IT infrastructure support services are a given in the portfolios of major technology vendors. What is sometimes lacking, however, is the ability for customers to pick and choose support offerings flexibly enough to reflect the fact that every IT environment is totally unique.

“We find that customers these days are demanding more flexibility and customization of IT support services,” says Russell Brooks, of HP Mission Critical Services. “They want to have more options available to them so that they can choose the appropriate types and levels of proactive and reactive support.”

Brooks says that much of the growth in demand for more customizable support can be accounted for by the move from complex, business-critical servers to a blade server environment. When they implement big boxes, customers know from the start that they need comprehensive support from the vendor, because the technology is complex and especially because business operations are so dependent on it.

With the advent of industry-standard blade technology, customers can handle more problems on their own, easily swapping servers and storage in and out in less time than it would take to place a service call. This doesn’t mean that support is no longer required—the fact that blade technology is new actually increases the importance of certain types of vendor support—but it does mean that customers are in a position to be more selective. Yet service and support packages sometimes require customers to take on services they don’t need in order to get the ones they do. Financial pressures can also put a packaged approach to service delivery out of reach of many IT budgets.

Pick and choose

HP has responded with an innovative new approach to technology support called Proactive Select. It’s not about offering new kinds of support: the innovation lies in the flexibility customers have to choose the level of support—and the  price—that’s right for them. Brooks calls it an “a la carte” approach to IT support.

Proactive Select is a new way for HP to offer existing services that are already offered through programs such as Proactive BladeSystem Service, Critical Services, Proactive 24 (P24) and Proactive Essentials. Services include power and cooling assessment, firmware analysis, technical online seminars, patch analysis, storage/firmware and software analysis and management, blade technology assessment, system health checks and more.


The three levels of Proactive Select are competitively priced so that they’ll be within the reach of almost any IT budget.

The three levels of Proactive Select are competitively priced so that they’ll be within the reach of almost any IT budget. Another innovation is the credit approach, which enables customers to acquire additional credits that they can redeem for further support services. Credits escalate from three to 18 depending on level selected. Customers are also assigned a named Account Support Consultant (ASC) who helps them determine the appropriate service levels and credit selections.

Brooks offers the example of a new user of an HP EVA4400 who, together with the ASC, opts for Proactive Select level 1. This includes three service credits. The customer decides to redeem two credits for Storage/SAN Firmware Analysis and the remaining credit for EVA onsite firmware installation.

But things change more quickly than they used to. If the company decides that their next big project is going to be virtualization, they can instead redeem one of their Proactive Select credits to sign a couple of engineers up for a technical online seminar on VMware. So, instead of being an afterthought, IT support actually enables a more adaptive enterprise.

“Customers are in a different environment today,” Brooks says. “Blade technology is more flexible, markets are more competitive and fast-changing, the job of system admins is very different from what it used to be... and the way IT services and support are delivered should reflect that. I think of Proactive Select as a cost-effective way for a customer to receive only the services that they want.”


Related link

»  HP Mission Critical and Proactive Services
»

Table of contents

Introduction

» Virtual for all the right reasons

Strategies

» The green standard
» Common Ground: Turning distress into ‘de-stress’

Feature

» Rethinking virtualization
» From IT tool to business enabler
» Virtualization beyond IT
» Built for virtualization
» IT leasing makes sense in tough times

Experiences

» The perfect virtual fit
» Selective outsourcing
» HP fuels The Indy Racing Experience
» Stepping up to service delivery
» The power of partnership
» Dressed for success

Solutions

» Pick-and-choose-support
» Getting the most out of outsourcing
» Teaching the data center to think green
» Storage briefs
» Data deduplication eases storage headaches

Technologies

» Mission-critical blades now available
» Taming the wild petabyte
» PDM moves up
» New 8P server addresses capacity, growth needs
» Storage for all sizes
» A SAN for all reasons
» Security without walls
» Putting petabytes to work for your company

Supplement

» The great leap forward
» Puzzled by power?
» The partner portfolio
» Server management simplified
» Two worlds as one
» The better road to open source
» Two blade servers in one
» Feedback
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