Storage software vendor Veritas has certified two of its largest partners to take on first and second-level phone support for its customers.
The vendor's new Technical Services Partner Program (TSPP) has seen resellers EnStor in August and now SecureData Group undertake a certification course to ensure that the companies can provide the same levels of phone support that was previously provided by Veritas' own support staff.
The TSPP Program enables the accredited resellers to charge customers for level-one (taking first call, issuing verification) and level-two (helpdesk) support, just as Veritas does. The resellers will provide level-three (on-site) support as they always did.
"Traditionally we would look at an organisation's requirements, select the solution and install it," said Evan Penn, managing director of SecureData Group. "And that's when we walked away".
But Penn said the customers rarely wanted the relationship to stop there. As they would patch their servers or make any modifications to their networks, they would discover that the software needed to be fine-tuned.
Most Veritas customers are signed up to the vendor's follow-the-sun phone support program, but often customers feel the need to call the company that actually configured their system for them.
"Generally we know our customer's environments, so we can tell them how to fix it over the phone," Penn said. "The customers were always calling us anyway -- now it has just been formalised and it has become something we can bill".
Jamie Pride, practice manager for Veritas, said the resellers have to sit through a significant amount of training to achieve the accreditation. Veritas demands that they have a 24-hour call centre capability, the required engineering skills based on Veritas product, and suitable call management systems and processes for the task.
Penn said the SecureData Group has built a 24x7 helpdesk and remote network monitoring centre in Sydney to support the solutions it sells, which will be officially opened early next year.