Contacting IBM Software Support
IBM Software Support provides assistance with product defects.
Before contacting IBM Software Support, your company must have an active IBM software maintenance contract, and be authorized to submit problems to IBM. The type of software maintenance contract that you need depends on the type of product you have:
For IBM distributed software products (including, but not limited to, Tivoli, Lotus, and Rational products, as well as DB2 and WebSphere products that run on Windows or UNIX operating systems), enroll in Passport Advantage in one of the following ways:
- Online: Go to the Passport Advantage Web page (www.lotus.com/services/passport.nsf/WebDocs/Passport_Advantage_Home), and click How to Enroll.
- By phone: For the phone number to call in your country, go to the contacts page of the IBM Software Support Handbook on the Web (techsupport.services.ibm.com/guides/contacts.html), and click the name of your geographic region.
- For customers with Subscription and Support (S & S) contracts, go to the Software Service Request Web page (www.techsupport.services.ibm.com/ssr.ssr.slprob).
- For customers with IBMLink, CATIA, Linux, S/390, iSeries, pSeries, zSeries, and other support agreements, go to the IBM Support Line Web page (www.ibm.com/services/cwi/portal/_pagr/128/_pa.128/161?category=4&subcategory=575).
- For IBM eServer software products (including, but not limited to, DB2 and WebSphere products that run in zSeries, pSeries, and iSeries environments), you can purchase a software maintenance agreement by working directly with an IBM sales representative or an IBM Business Partner. For more information about support for eServer software products, go to the IBM Technical Support Advantage Web page (www.ibm.com/servers/eserver/techsupport.html).
If you are not sure what type of software maintenance contract you need, call 1-800-IBMSERV (1-800-426-7378) in the United States or, from other countries, go to the contacts page of the IBM Software Support Handbook on the Web (techsupport.services.ibm.com/guides/contacts.html) and click the name of your geographic region for phone numbers of people who provide support for your location.
Follow the steps in this topic to contact IBM Software Support:
- Determine the business impact of your problem.
- Describe your problem and gather background information.
- Submit your problem to IBM Software Support.
Determine the business impact of your problem
When you report a problem to IBM, you will be asked to supply a severity level. Therefore, you need to understand and assess the business impact of the problem you are reporting. Use the following criteria:
Severity 1 Critical business impact: You are unable to use the program, resulting in a critical impact on operations. This condition requires an immediate solution. Severity 2 Significant business impact: The program is usable but is severely limited. Severity 3 Some business impact: The program is usable with less significant features (not critical to operations) unavailable. Severity 4 Minimal business impact: The problem causes little impact on operations, or a reasonable circumvention to the problem has been implemented.
Describe your problem and gather background information
When explaining a problem to IBM, be as specific as possible. Include all relevant background information so that IBM Software Support specialists can help you solve the problem efficiently. To save time, know the answers to these questions:
- What software versions were you running when the problem occurred?
- Do you have logs, traces, and messages that are related to the problem symptoms? IBM Software Support is likely to ask for this information.
- Can the problem be recreated? If so, what steps led to the failure?
- Have any changes been made to the system? (For example, hardware, operating system, networking software, and so on.)
- Are you currently using a workaround for this problem? If so, please be prepared to explain it when you report the problem.
Submit your problem to IBM Software Support
You can submit your problem in one of two ways:
- Online: Go to the Submit and track problems page on the IBM Software Support site (www.ibm.com/software/support/probsub.html). Enter your information into the appropriate problem submission tool.
- By phone: For the phone number to call in your country, go to the contacts page of the IBM Software Support Handbook on the Web (techsupport.services.ibm.com/guides/contacts.html) and click the name of your geographic region.
If the problem you submit is for a software defect or for missing or inaccurate documentation, IBM Software Support will create an Authorized Program Analysis Report (APAR). The APAR describes the problem in detail. Whenever possible, IBM Software Support will provide a workaround for you to implement until the APAR is resolved and a fix is delivered.
IBM publishes resolved APARs on the IBM product support Web pages daily, so that other users who experience the same problem can benefit from the same resolutions.
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