HP expands access to Priority Services



There’s an advantage to being big: Sometimes it will get an organization special services from a supplier not offered to smaller companies.

That’s true for Hewlett-Packard Co., which until this month had a suite of premium PC support services reserved for its biggest customers.

But on Thursday the company said it is throwing open the doors for mid-size and large enterprises as well.

Starting Aug. 1 the HP Priority Services are be available to organizations with a minimum number of Hewlett-Packard tablets, desktops, thin clients, laptops or point of sale devices under warranty with the goal of aiding in-house support staff if they’ve run out of ideas for solving a problem.

“We wanted to make this available for many accounts, not just exclusively for the very large ones,” said Alan Buckner, HP’s director of global accounts for service and support.

Priority Services comes in two offerings:

–Priority Access, for organizations with at least 250 devices, offers round the clock access to highly-skilled technicians. They don’t do basic triage — that’s expected to be done by the in-house help desk. These technicians want to know what the symptoms of the problem are and what the help desk thinks the issue is. If that’s reasonable, the HP tech will expedite the solution.

Often these calls are about hardware, Buckner added, because the in-house staff have already looked eliminated the possibility of a software problem.

–Priority Management, for organizations with at least 1,000 devices, includes all services of Priority Access plus assigns a global support manager who will part of the HP [NYSE: HPQ] customer’s account team. This person’s job will be to create a tailored support plan for the organization, proactively looking for issues and collecting performance reports.

If issues arise this person is the single point of contact for the organization around the world. Priority Management customers also get replacement parts priority over other customers.

“In the end customers will have a better satisfaction level,” Buckner said, because “it will off-load IT management from having headaches and hassles.”

Both services could be ideal for Canadian organizations with branches outside the country, he said. Priority Access is available in 60 countries in many languages.

Pricing depends on the number of devices and number of years the organization wants to contract for. Buckner didn’t want to discuss details, but said Priority Access could cost as much as $20 a device a year.


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