I was talking to an IBM BP guy (former IBM Systems Engineer) a few weeks
ago, and he told me that except in the great big shops, there are almost
zero IBM employees doing hardware maintenance anymore.
They've either retired, or were RIF'ed. Many have gone to work for outfits
like HP. The Silverlake product family has gotten so reliable that there's
just no need for a big staff of "mechanics" standing by, not to mention that
most of the moving parts are now customer installable.
I realize this may sound radical to the iSeries community, but my company is
exploring a hardware maintenance contract change to HP. So this will mean
all the hardware maintenance support functions for our Power5/6/7 systems would
now be handled by HP, not IBM (hardware only). I have my own feelings about
this, and I am sure you all feel the same. Regardless, I am just trying to poll
the community for any other customers who currently use HP for their IBM i
hardware maintenance support. If so, please give me a little feedback relative to
HP's performance vs. traditional IBM hardware support.