Information management specialist EMC is bolstering the level of support
that its clients can expect with the addition of a key executive to its
Managed Support Services team. Millan Vallabh who has extensive experience
in the managed services environment, was recently appointed to the position
of Area Service Manager at the company.
He contends that while the EMC value proposition might be based on its
products and technologies, it is the availability of an effective support
network which ensures consistent performance in the field.
Describing his previous experience as encompassing everything from the
break/fix aspect of support through to the full strategic spectrum of
outsourced information technology, Vallabh says he has trained extensively
on various aspects of service management. "This includes experience on
implementing the best practices of the Information Technology Infrastructure
Library [ITIL] while I also worked as Service Delivery Manager at
Microsoft," he relates.
It is on the back of his experience and ability that EMC South Africa is
providing added assurance and support to customers which depend on high
availability storage subsystems and other technologies.
Explaining how his Managed Support Services (MSS) division operates, Vallabh
says the organisation interacts closely with EMC's Sales and Technical
Services Delivery operations. "While the Sales division is self-explanatory,
the Technical Services Delivery people provide configuration and
implementation expertise; across these functions, MSS handles anything that
may happen from a break/fix point of view. In short, as soon as a sale of
any EMC product is made, we are ready to support or repair it."
This close interaction includes being included as an integral component the
sales process from site visits to ensure that the appropriate utilities are
in place for the commission of EMC equipment, to the provision of support
for solution delivery. "For example, we do a 'vanilla' initial start up of
gear to ensure it is ready for the Technical Services people to configure in
accordance with the customer's specific requirements," says Vallabh.
"In line with best practice for fault or problem resolution, most remedies
are delivered remotely; of course, our teams are also mobile and will
conduct site visits when necessary," he adds; the MSS division is comprised
of three teams located in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town from which it
provides support to EMC partners and customers countrywide.
"There is a strong emphasis is on training and certification within the MSS
division; EMC obviously has a considerable range of products and solutions
which we must be able to support effectively," says Vallabh. He says the
division's 27 engineers are encouraged to cross-skill, a process which
benefits the individual while improving EMC's service delivery capability.
Noting that EMC is focused on building its channel business with a view to
substantially increasing the contribution to turnover from partners, he adds
that the MSS division makes its services available to in support of partner
sales and initiatives, too.
"Our division may not be the centre of the EMC value proposition – that is
reserved for the technology developers – but certainly, MSS provides the
essential support that ensures customers get the expected value from their
investments in our solutions over time," says Vallabh. "Customers depend on
EMC for their information management needs – and MSS is responsible for
ensuring that the reliability and availability we promise, is consistently