The little-known way to access free IBM expertise: How to get the most value from your IBM i service vouchers

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If you’ve bought IBM Power systems to run IBM i, then you have access to an amazing level of free service that many organizations aren’t aware of.

IBM Power purchases to run IBM i,  come with IBM  service vouchers. If you purchased a scale out server, for example, you would have one voucher per server  you bought. If you purchased a scale up server, you could have up to three vouchers per service purchased.

Each one of those vouchers can give you one day onsite or two to three days of remote access to an IBM expert – completely free. 

Many customers don’t realize their vouchers exist and allow them to expire without using them, and that’s a mistake. These vouchers give you access to incredibly expert technical professionals, who are highly specialized in exactly the IBM service you’re using and directly tied to the IBM labs. Their expertise is highly valuable, and you can have access to days of their time for free.

Service vouchers expire after five years, so make sure to keep track of the ones you have and use them before they run out. If you don’t know what vouchers you have, you can ask your business partner or IBM contact.

Creative ways to maximize value from your IBM service vouchers

IBM offers service vouchers to encourage customers to adopt new technology, but you get to decide how to get the most value out of these service vouchers.

R2i frequently helps our clients come up with creative ways to leverage their service vouchers and get incredible value.

Here are a few ideas you can consider:


1. Organize a training session for your team about a new technology.

One of R2i’s clients recently bought PowerHA, a hardware replication solution from IBM. They wanted inhouse training on the new technology, so they used a service voucher to have a PowerHA specialist from IBM come to their team remotely to teach a detailed module about the system.

They spread the hours out over several months to do a full training. Team members had the opportunity to implement the specialist’s suggestions, see the results, and then ask questions and troubleshoot at the next session. The organization ended up with a full training – completely free.

If your organization has recently bought new technology from IBM, consider using your service voucher for a detailed and personal training program to make sure you implement and use your new technology to the fullest.


2. Troubleshoot problems to improve performance.

Another R2i client did a go live on a new application and ran into some performance problems. They thought the problems were related to their database, so they went directly to the database specialist at IBM.

Completely for free, they got a virtual meeting with IBM’s database specialist to review their issues. They resolved the problem and significantly improved performance, but more importantly, they learned exactly what was wrong in the first place and how to solve similar issues in the future.

They were also able to record the virtual meeting, so team members can look back on it and use it as a resource at any time.


Too valuable to ignore

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your vouchers. They exist for your benefit as an IBM customer, and you’ll find that the IBM team is happy to use them for whatever will best support you. This is an extremely valuable resource – don’t let yours go to waste!

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