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Saturday, March 24, 2007

IBM, Cisco take GAS to 46 new countries

The International Business Machines (IBM) and Cisco Systems Nigeria, have announced the collaboration in the bid to expand their Global Services Alliance (GAS) in providing product maintenance services for mutual enterprise customers in 46 new countries.

A joint press statement from both Information Technology (IT) companies, signed by Jeena Gable of IBM and Owen Nwelih of Cisco Nigeria, said that the collaboration is built on the success that IBM and Cisco have seen within the United States.

This, they said means that IBM customers who purchase Cisco networking technology solutions would now get a globally consistent level of IT infrastructure support.

The collaboration includes IBM’s extensive service-delivery capabilities and Cisco’s technical expertise in one integrated support offering.

Vice President, Cisco Services Marketing and Channels, Mr. Karl Meulema described the collaboration as significant evolution in global services alliance, stressing that by providing a concerted maintenance service offering means mutual customers would no longer need to choose between Cisco networking skills or IBM multivendor systems integrator capabilities.

“Instead, customers get the collective expertise of both companies, combining the best of both worlds,” he said.

On his part, the vice president, IBM-Cisco Strategic Alliance, IBM Global Technology Services, Mr. Robert Kritzer, said that the partnership have existed for over three years on these service offerings especially in the United States and they were excited to offer a broader global customer experience by expanding the frontier into additional markets around the world.

“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,” Mr. Kritzer said.

The deal, it was gathered involves that IBM would market and sell this services offering under the name “IBM managed maintenance solution for Cisco products,” while collaboratively delivering the service with Cisco.

Company sources informed that IBM will provide the customer with consolidated call management for all networking devices and will retain responsibility for resolving customer issues.

Also, technical support would be provided via IBM Technical Support Centres by highly experienced network specialists, trained by Cisco, who have access to IBM’s technical support resource base.

Speaking on the development, Cisco’s Managing Director for Nigeria and Ghana, Mr. Maduka Emelife, said that his firm would provide, through IBM, such benefits as worldwide escalation to the Cisco Technical Assistance Centre at any time of the day, access to cisco.com, on-going operating system updates, advance hardware replacement, and tools and best practices to address network issues.

He noted that the collaboration has been in place for three years and is intended to increase customer success with Cisco networking technology.

“The programme promotes greater collaboration and alignment between Cisco and its Global Service Alliance partners in order to deliver a consistent level of IT infrastructure support across the network lifecycle,” he said.

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