<snip> > Could anyone give me opinions / reasons for and against IBM hardware > support? <snip> > Debra Helms > Senior Technical Analyst > Lance, Inc. Debra, Let me tell you a story from about 11-12 years ago. We were migrating from the S/38 to the AS/400. (We had about 20 clients to move in our timeshare operation on multiple systems.) Upper management - whom I had the utmost respect for, both being former IBMers before they started the company in 1969 - decided that we could save a LOT of money by switching our S/38 support to another company. This new vendor was very well known and we had done business with other divisions and were happy. And after all, we were only going to have the S/38 for about another 6 months. We tempted fate and lost. A drive crashed (we didn't have mirroring). A tech came out to work on it. Somehow, this idiot managed to crash a second drive! So another tech comes out to help him. They can't get the new drives working. Finally they flew someone in from St. Louis who was able to get things going. The end result was that we did save money, but about 14 small hospitals were without their patient accounting system for an extra 24 hours. Additionally, it was our main system, so we could not serve our other clients as well. We lost a lot of face with those clients. The AS/400 today is _much_ easier to work on than the S/38 was in 1989. So I would think that you would have less of a chance of a fiasco like what I just described. But I would ask the following questions of the potential vendors and then ask yourselves if you feel comfortable enough with them. I.e., how bad of a situation can you experience and still be happy with your choice? And then, what are the chances of that happening with this new vendor? IMHO, IBM is still the best. 1. How are their techs trained? How does this compare to IBM's CE's? 2. How many techs do they have within 30 minutes / 1 hour / 1.5 hours of your office? 3. Where are their nearest warehouses located? 4. Get a list of feature codes that they stock at these warehouses and compare it to what is on your system (WRKHDWRSC). I.e. make sure they are not going to have to order a part from IBM if something fails in your system. 5. Get a copy of their Service Level Agreement (SLA). What committments do they make to you regarding response time? Regarding having parts in stock? What penalties do they provide for if they do not meet these committments? IMV, a SLA w/o penalties is like a politician's promise - they say they'll do it, but all they are putting at risk if they do not perform is not getting your vote when their term (or contract) is up. Good luck. Chuck Morehead Nokuse Consulting - Providing high value Information Technology Services. Native Bear Software - Providing affordable Industry Specific Software. http://www.nokuse.com
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