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IBM relies on worldwide IT support from a single source


IBM is an internationally active technology group which offers a wide range of hardware and software solutions as well as IT-related services.

The manufacturer employs nearly 400,000 employees, is active in over 150 countries with a turnover of almost USD 80 billion in 2017. IBM pursues a channel strategy, predominantly bringing its products and services to the market via its partners and distribution channels. The partner network comprises several hundred distributors and several thousand channel partners.

Managing multinational service and support contracts has thus far represented a major challenge for IBM’s distribution partners. Different languages, goods, regulatory­ requirements and contacts made the management of these contracts a complex undertaking. Because of their heterogeneity, quoting and accounting for such multi-country contracts required great administrative effort and expense and currency risks were linked to both to the manufacturer and to the distributors. Furthermore, quality assurance was difficult.

IBM thus began looking for a partner who was able to provide global service and support management, a partner that could properly take into account not only the interests of IBM itself, but also those of the distributors and partners and ensure that there was a 360-degree view of all existing support jobs. The manufacturer chose Europlus Direct (EPD). Together with EPD and participating distributors, IBM developed a concept for a global management of service contracts. This not only brings benefits to the manufacturer and to its distributors, but also to their service partners and end-users. “Using the EPD WW IT service has massively cut down the amount of time needed to administer and manage maintenance across our complex European IT infrastructure,” says David Allanson European IS Manager at NSK a multinational IBM customer working with EPD across 10 European countries.

In order to be able to offer international customers a worldwide IBM service, EPD has established business relationships with over 300 distributors covering over 100 countries. As a certified and accredited IBM reseller, the EPD team can guarantee first class service and support in practically every corner of the world. Customers can rely on the expertise of employees trained and authorised by the manufacturer and, where necessary, obtain original spare parts or replacement devices. And it makes no difference in how many countries an internationally active customer needs service and support. Together with Europlus Direct, IBM is able to provide these in the respective language and currency, adapted to the local regulatory and distribution landscape. This is always original IBM service. Upon request, the customer receives a uniform offer that also provides some cushioning against fluctuations in currency, thereby providing security to both provider and ­customer alike.

Thanks to the cooperation with EPD, IBM and its distributors and channel partners were able to significantly reduce the administrative burden for worldwide sales of IT support services, significantly improve service quality and so markedly increase the sales of multi-country contracts.


The IBM global partner ecosystem is made of several hundreds of distributors and several thousand of channel partners. They support the full spectrum of national and international businesses – from the SMB customer all the way to the large ­multinational corporate customer.


IBM is active in nearly 150 countries worldwide and addresses nationally and internationally­ active customers via an extensive network of distributors and channel partners. IBM was facing the challenge of offering multinational companies continuous and transparent maintenance service. Different national languages, legal requirements, currencies and contact people led to a lack of transparency, an inordinate administrative burden and quoting and invoicing problems. Furthermore, service quality and speed couldn’t be consistently guaranteed.


For their multi-country contracts, IBM and its distribution and channel partners use the WW IT service of Europlus Direct (EPD), a globally active expert in IT service and support tasks. Thanks to the support from EPD, IBM customers are now able to use maintenance services at different locations. Quoting and invoicing have been enormously simplified, the currency risk reduced and service quality and availability increased. As a result, IBM was able to significantly increase turnover in the maintenance­ area, which had not often been realised before due to the complexity of multi-country contracts.

Related Solution

The World Wide IT Maintenance Service supports business partners and end customers in multi-country management of their IT service and support contracts in almost every country in the world.



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