Cisco and IBM have announced the expansion of their global services alliance and their collaboration to provide product maintenance services for mutual enterprise customers in 46 new countries.
This collaboration builds on the partnership model developed by the two industry leaders in the US and means that IBM customers who purchase Cisco networking technology solutions will now get a globally consistent level of IT infrastructure support.
The collaboration includes IBM's service-delivery capabilities and Cisco's technical expertise in one integrated support offering.
Karl Meulema vice president, Cisco services marketing and channels described it as a "significant evolution in our global services alliance". Meulema added, "Providing a collaborative maintenance service offering means our mutual customers will no longer need to choose between Cisco networking skills or IBM multi vendor systems integrator capabilities. Instead customers get the collective expertise of both companies, combining the best of both worlds."
The two companies have been working together in the US for the past three years and have now broadened the model to offer a broader global customer experience in 46 countries.
Robert Kritzer, vice president, IBM-Cisco strategic alliance at IBM Global Technology Services, said "Our relationship with Cisco allows us to provide our customers with a single resource to seamlessly and rapidly integrate business processes, industry knowledge, information technologies and the intelligence of the network."
As a customer Charlie Majane, director of technical services at Carey International, a leading global provider of limousine services and luxury ground transportation, says, IBM and Cisco's collaborative service relationship has "simplified our billing and service delivery processes spanning 65 countries."
Describing his firms experience with the 'IBM managed maintenance solution for Cisco products', Majane says, " (It) provides us with a single escalation point for maintenance services across multiple vendor products that comprise our global reservation system. Our clients count on Carey's reservations specialists and customer care representatives 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."
IBM will market and sell this services offering under the name IBM managed maintenance solution for Cisco products, while collaboratively delivering the service with Cisco. IBM will provide the customer with consolidated call management for all networking devices and will retain responsibility for resolving customer issues.
Technical support will be provided via IBM Technical Support Centres by experienced network specialists, trained by Cisco, who have access to IBM's technical support resource base. Cisco will provide, through IBM, such benefits as worldwide, 24x7 escalation to the Cisco Technical Assistance Center, access to cisco.com, ongoing operating system updates, advance hardware replacement, and tools and best practices to address network issues.