Taking a further step away from its past as a stack ’em high, sell ’em cheap box shifter, Data General Corp this week upgraded its service offerings in the US with five new programmes for its value-added resellers and end-users. The five new service and support programmes are the MultiYear Plus Agreement, the VAR Service Seller and VAR Service Manager Programs, the extension of Remote Assistance Coverage, and Comprehensive Electronic Office Start-up services. MultiYear Plus is a long-term service agreement structured to offer substantial savings to customers prepared to commit to the company by means of discounts and price protection. It is available to Data General hardware maintenance customers in three-, four- or five-year terms, providing long term service for an entire system with discounts compared with the annual contract of up to 10%. Moreover, maintenance prices are fixed for the first three years, and are guaranteed not to rise by more than 5% in each of the fourth and fifth years. IBM has traditional treated maintenance as a milch cow, raising charges year after year by more than the rate of inflation, so the Data General offering may well tip the scale in one or two competitive bids where most other things are equal. The VAR Service Seller and VAR Service Manager programmes are intended to give the Marlboro minimaker’s value-added resellers an additional competitive edge in a cutthroat market. They enable US resellers to offer service packages, and participants in the Service Seller programme can offer the top Data General service offerings with its products, as well as earning further commission credit to their account with the company.
Ask Data General The VAR Service Manager Program is for qualified resellers who are prepared to assume some of the burden that IBM is taking on as part of its US service contract (CI No 986): the reseller participates in the maintenance process by buying service and assisting in managing the service process for their customers. And as a result, they get greater account control and are able to offer full packages of systems and service, as well as cash benefit by way of direct reductions on service contract invoices. And customers covered under the MultiYear Plus or On Call Service Agreement will now get as standard 7×24 Remote Assistance Coverage. This provides remote assistance from the company’s Customer Support Centre in Norcross, Georgia, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And CEO Start-Up is a comprehensive array of service and support programmes for users of the CEO office automation software. Services include Implementation and Installation Services, Educational Services and Ongoing Software Maintenance. The package offers price and service advantages compared with buying the service items individually. The new service offerings are available only in the US at present, but if you are a Data General reseller or user in the UK or another country, ask the company when you can expect to get the same levels of support as folks are getting back home in the US.