BMC currently offers two levels of support, Continuous and Premier. Continuous offers business hours support for severity 2, 3, and 4 and a 1 hour SLA 24 hours/day, 7 days per week for severity 1 issues. Premier offers a 1 hour business SLA for severity 2, 3, and 4 and a 1 hour SLA 24 hours/day, 7 days per week for severity 1 issues. But the difference is not just in the SLA and that is what I want to discuss.
So here is where I want to introduce one of my analogies for which I might be getting famous for. When you are buying a car, you may choose to buy a Ford or BMW, depending on what you expect from the car and what you can afford. Let’s say you could afford either, and you realize that the BMW will cost you more than double than the Ford will. Both cars will get you from point A to point B, one may get you there faster. However, I personally live in the US and not Germany, so pretty much it will get me there in the same amount of time. So, al things being equal, why would you choose a BMW over a Ford? Why would you waste your hard earned money?
Well, I know why I made this choice. For me, It is because of the level of attention I will receive when things do not go right for me. For the most part, this is why you purchase maintenance, to ensure BMC will be there when things go wrong. If you buy the Ford, and your car breaks down, you will bring it to the dealer and your spouse might have to drive along with you so you can make it home. Then, you will have to decide who can work from home the next few days since your car will be out of service. However, if you buy the BMW, in my case, the dealer comes to your house drops off a free rental car and drives the car to the dealer and drops it back off to your house when it is fixed. (I have a sweet deal going, I know!)
Here is my situation. I have an expectation that this is what happens when my car is broken. I believe that no amount of negotiating at the Ford dealer would get me service like that. So, yes, I chose to pay more for my car to ensure I will receive the service I expect which I now rely on. I am effectively making my purchasing decision based on the support I will get. I am in effect chosing Premier Support.
Another great reason to purchase premier support is for the proactive nature of the offering; again, parallel to my choice to purchase a BMW. When my car needs its yearly service and oil change, etc. I don’t need to call for an appointment, they call me. With premier support you will have an engineer who is focused on your environment, who can recommend service packs, when he feels you will benefit from the fixes in that pack. He (or she of course!) can discuss the pros and cons of the install and help you plan for the implementation. This is something you would not get from Continuous support, because as much as you would want this, of course you see the benefit, it is just not part of the offering. Just as with the Ford and the BMW, you both have access to the service center as all maintenance customers have access to support and related service packs, however, with Continuous, you will have to call BMC, explain your environment and discuss whether or not the service pack will benefit you. With Premier, the conversation is more about when you should implement the service pack and how to plan for that.
My conclusion is, Premier Support is not for everyone. However, if you find yourself in a position where you want a single point of contact to understand your environment and be an expert in the solutions you own and always looking out for your best interest you should consider purchasing Premier Support. If you equate your time into dollars, I’m sure you could convince your management that it is money well spent.
I will end with a shameless advertisement. If you are interested in purchasing Premier Support or for more information on Premier Support, please contact Kevin O'Donnell email@example.com in the US, Ben Creasy firstname.lastname@example.org in EMEA or AP, and Monica Padialla email@example.com in Latin America.