Is it time to ask your vendors these 21 tough questions?

If you want to simplify support and get better performance from your infrastructure at lower cost, these are the tough questions you should ask your vendors about their support plans.
  1. Can you support a multi-vendor environment?
  2. Can you support multiple technologies?
  3. Do you offer a single contract to cover all assets?
  4. Is diagnosis time included in your SLA?
  5. Can you provide support in numerous local languages?
  6. Do you apply patches and configure replacement equipment for us?
  7. Do you stay on site until service is restored?
  8. Do you invoice in all our local currencies?
  9. Can you offer a single management portal giving me visibility of my whole estate?
  10. Can I vary the level of service on certain assets if they’re mission critical?
  11. Do you keep an archive of all our configurations settings to speed up restoration?
  12. Do you use automation tools to perform MACDs faster and more accurately?
  13. Do you proactively find the root cause of problems to avoid future incidents?
  14. Will you keep configuration items up to date with version updates and patches?
  15. Will you co-ordinate with any third parties on our behalf?
  16. Will you provide a senior engineer who knows our environment to act as an escalation point?
  17. Will you do proactive polling to avert availability and capacity issues?
  18. Do you provide a Service Delivery Executive to handle operational and commercial issues?
  19. Do you offer automated asset tracking and analytics to improve configuration management and patching?
  20. Can you integrate your service management system with ours and all the other vendors in our estate for automated ticket exchange?
  21. Can you give us a roadmap for service evolution as we move towards a totally programmable hybrid IT environment?
Read the blog post over at Dimension Data here.

Ron - the problem management guy