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Since the onset of the computer age, customers have been searching for ways to increase systems availability, maximizing the return on their investment and keeping their systems running continuously as much as possible. Traditionally, customers have used a combination of hardware and software architecture and processes in an attempt to address their continuous availability needs. In this paper, we introduce a new approach to provide high availability which leverages technology for both proactive and reactive support, while engaging a trusted support partner to automate services. We show how automated problem reporting reduces problem resolution time, often by sending the problem to a specialist rather than sending a generalist to the problem. We describe how inventory reporting enables proactive support by applying intellectual capital and knowledge to a specific customer configuration. We also describe how the IBM Electronic Service Agent™ can be used as a foundation for providing service automation and enabling a digital relationship that expands the capabilities of the trusted support partner.
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