The Cloud Experience Everywhere

A Support Service That Unlocks the Full Value of Hyperconvergence

By Duncan Goode

WW Proactive Care Product Manager for HPE Pointnext

The impact of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) on the IT landscape has been profound – and pretty astonishing, given that the technology has only been around for four or five years. It’s not hard to see why HCI continues to make big strides in the marketplace. Companies love the rapid deployment times and streamlined day-to-day operations they can achieve with HCI’s turnkey, “datacenter-in-a-box” approach. They rightly see hyperconverged platforms as a way to remove much of the complexity of traditional IT setups and the technical knowledge requirements that go along with that.

As HCI implementations mature, companies are looking for support services that can match the combination of brilliant innovation and operational simplicity that’s the trademark of HCI itself. Hyperconverged systems like HPE SimpliVity are famously simple to operate. But workloads and business needs evolve over time. While HCI’s software layer does provide a level of abstraction to help you handle those changing priorities, there will likely come a time when you’ll need a helping hand with managing capacity, for example, or balancing workloads within the cluster, or meeting new backup and data retention needs.

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Businesses are also asking their support service providers to help them leverage new capabilities to pull even more value from their HCI investment. It’s just like when you bought your first smart phone and used it to make calls, send texts, get online – the basic stuff – and you were perfectly happy with that. But there comes a point when you realize it can do a whole lot more. You want more value from that device. The speed of change in the hyperconverged space is phenomenal; new functionality comes out on a regular basis. Those advances could benefit your business in all kinds of ways. Why shouldn’t your support services help you explore and exploit the technology’s deeper potentials?

3 ways to get the most from HPE SimpliVity

Of course, your first requirement for any support service is the iron-clad assurance that if something goes wrong, you can very quickly get everything running smoothly again. That’s what HPE Pointnext delivers with HPE Proactive Care service for HPE SimpliVity. We provide an enhanced reactive support experience that ensure that when you log a call on an issue, you’ll quickly get through to the right expert, backed by our global solution center. We also provide proactive services that help you anticipate and prevent IT issues.

But we go far beyond that, with a package of service innovations that we believe are unique in the industry. Here are the three biggest favorites with customers:

1. Find quick answers and build your knowledge through our video library.

We’ve created a series of YouTube-type videos to help you leverage best practices, address common challenges, and better understand the HPE SimpliVity environment and its evolving capabilities. This is a great self-access way to get quick answers to a question, without having to explain everything over the phone. HPE Pointnext experts not only walk you through the procedures you may need, but also provide a bit of background on the whys and wherefores. That’s the kind of contextual information you can’t get from, say, filling in an online support form. Our goal is to help you build skills that you can leverage next time a similar situation comes up.

We make sure the videos cover the topics that are most relevant to your needs, drawing on data from our support centers and technical teams. There are about 20 or so videos on the portal right now, and we aim to produce a new one every week. It's an ever-evolving knowledge repository that lets you see what you need to do, rather than having to dig through a manual or spend time tied up on the phone.

2. Get help from HPE and your industry peers through the HPE SimpliVity forums.

Customers always want more than just a vendor view. They’re deeply interested in other peoples’ opinions, and our community forums have always been popular. We took a close look at ways to make these venues even more useful. We’ve placed support people into our HPE SimpliVity forum, and we now offer committed response times for low-priority questions or for questions where you also want community feedback.

If you’re a customer with HPE Proactive Care service for HPE SimpliVity, we can recognize when you post a question, and our support experts will post a response directly in the forum. In addition, you've got your peers in the industry, other HPE SimpliVity users, who are also in the forum, reading the posts and providing feedback and comments on the discussion. To many customers, that's just as valuable as the direct response from HPE.

If it becomes clear that there’s an actual support issue, we can help you take it to that level. We might say something like “there’s more context needed here, and more data that you probably wouldn't want to share in the forum. Let's log a support case and elevate this.”

3. Get answers to your HPE SimpliVity operational questions from our support experts.

If you’ve ever logged an issue over the phone under an industry-standard break/fix support contract, you know that the controls around that are pretty strong. Is something broken? Is it not broken? Is it under contract, or not? Is this within the support scope?

With HPE Proactive Care service for HPE SimpliVity, we decided that we want to take a different approach, one that fosters and broadens the relationship with the customer. We want you to engage with us, so we've empowered our support teams to provide general advice and guidance on using and operating HPE SimpliVity software. They can answer broad questions on any topic with regards to the technology. For example, it might be something like “I've been thinking about doing such-and-such a config change. What's the best way to go about it?” That’s not a break/fix incident; it’s a very different scope.

If it's technical, it's within scope. If there's existing documentation, videos, etc., we’ll point you that way. If it pushes over into true consultancy territory, we’ll point that out and suggest some ways we can get you some project help.

This is a breakthrough move in support services, in our judgment. We went through a year of internal design discussion and building the skills and the capabilities of our teams to provide general, technical and operational advice for HPE SimpliVity over the phone. The result is a hugely valuable resource for IT shops looking to take their hyperconverged solution to the next level.

The same goes for our knowledge repositories, redesigned forum support, and all the other components of HPE Proactive Care service for HPE SimpliVity. It all adds up to a support offering that’s every bit as innovative and effective as the technology demands.

Learn more about HPE Operational Support Services here.

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About the Author: Duncan Goode.jpgDuncan Goode is the WW Proactive Care Product Manager for HPE Pointnext. His goal is to ensure a quality support experience that drives business outcomes for customers. Duncan has worked in technology and support services for 30 years providing leadership and innovation in a variety of roles across Global Support, Mission Critical and Retail environments.  Based in Australia, Duncan enjoys spending any extra time playing & coaching cricket.


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