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January 24, 1989


By CBR Staff Writer

The increasingly stiff competition that IBM is facing from third party maintenance companies has driven it to come up with a simplified service contract that will replace all the existing contracts in the US. Called ServicePlan, it enables users to pick what they want of the full range of IBM service options from a one-page document that has an icon-style menu, and to receive one bill for services based on a joint estimate with IBM of projected maintenance needs, so that customers will no longer need to reconcile service invoices with specific machines. Estimated billing under ServicePlan will be based on a joint estimate of the number of machines to be serviced within an account and the charge will not change unless a variance in machine quantities or services required reaches a specific threshold. A new Extended Maintenance Option on new machines will give customers prepared to give IBM the use of their money for three, four or five years up to 50% savings on maintenance by paying upfront for the full period. And the IBM Mid-Range Systems Amendment discounts will now be available to users upgrading to high-end processors. And through ServicePlan, customers can also order IBM Information Network bureau and data exchange services without having to have an extra account for the Network. As regards Authorised Remarketers, the new Remarketer End-User ServicePlan will enable them to sell the IBM Maintenance Agreement and Extended Maintenance Option directly to customers, and they may supplement IBM service to meet very specialised user needs.

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