IBM this week introduced a new maintenance option in the US under which it will co-ordinate support of non-IBM computer – but not at present telecommunications equipment – where it is directly linked to an IBM computer. Called Technical Services Management, the option involves IBM co-ordinating the maintenance on the alien kit, not doing the work itself, but the development represents a further aggressive move to protect its turf from inroads from third party maintenance companies. The new offering consists of a base service – Repair Coordination, and two options, Maintenance Coordination and Service Management. With the base service, IBM dispatches service vendors for the non-IBM products, co-ordinates maintenance activities and manages the work until the problem is fully resolved. With Maintenance Coordination, IBM takes the lead in ensuring a high level of systems availability, co-ordinating predictive maintenance, assisting with tape and disk media maintenance and co-ordination of engineering and feature changes. With Services Management, IBM also handles contract negotiations, contract administration and invoice reconciliations. The new contract and options are available now in the US.