Every time there is a problem with an application, no one is ever quite sure where the real fundamental fault lies. After all, it could be a problem with the software or it simply could be a problem with the way the software was implemented. Diagnosing the problem can make all the difference when it comes to resolution, because depending on the problem's source, different types of people are usually called in to deal with the issue.
In the case of a problem with the software, the issue is usually referred back to the engineers that made the software. If it's an implementation issue, the company's IT services unit is usually called in to deliver some paid-for support. But figuring out what the real issue is can take weeks, sometimes months, and in the meantime the customer suffers.
Hewlett-Packard is going to do something that many in the software industry will consider to be a radical step to finally address these issues. The company has announced today that it will provide a Premier Services offering to provide ongoing support for HP software regardless of the issue.
According to Anand Eswaran, vice president of global professional services for HP Software, this means that HP is now supporting the business outcome of the software investment being made in its products, not just the actual code. To that end, HP will support its software regardless of whether the issue has to do with the code or the implementation of its products by HP or a third party.
Beyond the obvious vote of confidence in its products, this new approach to service and support is going to challenge other software vendors to follow suit. Eswaran says too many software vendors are overly dependent on service revenue streams that are being generated solely because their software is difficult to implement. HP, says Eswaran, wants to take that issue off the table by delivering software that is easy to deploy. And the company plans to back up that claim with ongoing support tied to a business outcome, rather than the number of hours a technician spent working on a customer's problem.
One of the dirty little secrets of enterprise software is that it usually takes two updates and a few service calls to get any application up and running the right way. HP is apparently saying that's not how things should really be. And hopefully, the more better experiences customers have, the more likely it is they will want to launch additional IT projects.