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Old 02-15-2008, 08:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default T-Support from RIM?

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Folks,

Got a question for all the BES admins out there, we are getting to rollout our first 500 users on BES for Groupwise, by the end of the year we will probably be close to at least 3,000 users and of course into next year even more.

My question is this, is it worth the money for T-Support from RIM? Our AT&T Rep is telling me that we will have access to the Engineering Group from AT&T and if they cant solve any problems we run into that they will then get RIM on the phone with me?

Just looking for some advice and what everyone has run into out there.

Thanks for all the help.

JB
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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With TSupport you get the software for free and 24/7 access to RIM support, by passing ATT all together.

I have yet known North American carriers to be experts at BES. Get the TSupport and you will have access to the real experts.

When the next big version of BES comes without TSupport you will have to pay for it. Especially with that many users it's worth having.

Any company of 500 or more users should have TSupport. Using the carrier takes longer and will probably frustrate you more.

Any one here who has TSupport will know from experience that it's worth having.
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gibson_hg View Post
I have yet known North American carriers to be experts at BES.
I agree with that.
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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3K users? YES!

You'll have absolute peace of mind, knowing you have someone to call in the event your BES goes in the toilet one day.
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Totally Worth It.
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I find it useful to call T-Support and they can check a device PIN to verify it's provisioned properly also. I mostly call for planning / discussion on the BES though. We have TX2 now.
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Old 02-15-2008, 12:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Absolutely - no question - get it.

We are T4 and it is worth every penny!
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Old 02-15-2008, 01:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the help folks, there was just a great deal of concern going forward because we didnt even know about T-Support which we hadnt planned on going forward, now we know which makes me feel alot better trying to prep everything.

My great thanks to all of you on this.

JB
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Old 02-15-2008, 04:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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We currently have T5 level support and we noticed a different in the quality of support we got when we went from T3 to T4. Once you're at T4, you get a team of people you'll always work with and they get to know your environment. I'd keep that in mind.
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Old 02-18-2008, 04:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default TX4 and 5

With TX1 - 3 you're just really bypassing your carrier but you're still dealing with the people at RIM that the carrier would pass the call to anyway.

With TX4 and 5 you get premier support with a dedicated team.

Its not cheap but 4 and 5 are worth the extra

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Old 02-18-2008, 07:08 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Keep in mind that a lot of companies can't afford T4 or T5 support. There is nothing wrong with T1 - T3 support. Yes you get passed to people that the carrier would pass you to but they are 10x better then anyone with the carrier.

The benefits of T4 and T5 are better then T1 - T3 but for the price it's still better then dealing with the carrier.

I would recommend at least T2 though, T1 is not full 24/7 support. It will be worth the money no matter what level you get.
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:47 AM   #12 (permalink)
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For 3,000 users, the difference in price between the Tx2 and Tx4 programs is the cost of the "dedicated" DART representative, which is roughly $50,000. To be honest, when you're already paying roughly $150,000 for support, what's another $50,000?

AT&T's EV&D group is good for what they own (provisioning, etc) but I prefer RIM when it comes to troubleshooting BES installations, etc. We call RIM approximately 10 times per year (if that), so it's not justifiable to move from Tx2 to Tx4, no matter which way you look at it. We can't justify extra head count at work, so why invest in extra head count at another company? I trust my abilities to troubleshoot and resolve most of our issues. If AT&T can guarantee you free BES upgrades, which they should be able to, and you don't currently have the need to escalate multiple issues per day to AT&T or RIM, then go with the carrier and save your company some money.

One thing to look at, though, is the rate of expansion. You may want to have the experts in your palm if it's an aggressive expansion. If it's going to be gradual, then I would have AT&T engineers come in to your office with RIM engineers and help get you a plan of action for the expansion.

While I love having the TSupport option available, their current licensing is ridiculous for large deployments. But hey, large companies must have more money to spend, right? Also, if you decide to go with the TSupport program, as mentioned, go with at least Tx2. If you decide to upgrade over that, go with Tx4. There's not much difference in Tx2 and Tx3 and the Tx4 level will give you the DART rep and the potential for beta programs.
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Old 02-18-2008, 08:06 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gibson_hg View Post
Keep in mind that a lot of companies can't afford T4 or T5 support. There is nothing wrong with T1 - T3 support. Yes you get passed to people that the carrier would pass you to but they are 10x better then anyone with the carrier.

The benefits of T4 and T5 are better then T1 - T3 but for the price it's still better then dealing with the carrier.

I would recommend at least T2 though, T1 is not full 24/7 support. It will be worth the money no matter what level you get.
I have T2 and we have had great experiences with any support personnel we have spoken with. Worth every penny.

The only thing that we have really missed out on by not having T4/T5 support is the notification with outages, like last week. Our sales rep confirmed that only T4/T5 customers were alerted by RIM of the outage... we're trying to change that.
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Old 02-18-2008, 10:39 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinjo View Post
The only thing that we have really missed out on by not having T4/T5 support is the notification with outages, like last week. Our sales rep confirmed that only T4/T5 customers were alerted by RIM of the outage... we're trying to change that.
That is why -= Dataoutages.com =- was setup.
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Old 02-18-2008, 11:14 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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That is why -= Dataoutages.com =- was setup.
This list is extremely useful for a BES Admin.
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Old 02-18-2008, 09:51 PM   #16 (permalink)
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It is absolutely worth every penny. You get a team of techs who help you out, day or night. Rarely over 10 seconds on hold at tx4 and above. You get a dedicated Support Account Manager who helps manager your companies' open cases.

Their "DART" (Direct Advanced Response Team i think) call center in canada is broken down into "stripes" too... you generally end up getting the same 5-6 guys the vast majority of the time you call in. They all work together and know each other well too... if you call in to follow up on a case you can say "Oh i was working Mark" and they can just walk over to his desk and grab him... the personal touch is amazing in today's day and age.
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:10 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I have had T2 support for two years and never used it. Anytime I have had an issue I start with AT&T. On five separate occassions, they immediately transferred my call to RIM for resolution.

My T2 contract has been renewed for 2008 (into my third year now), but if I don't use it and AT&T continues to transfer me to RIM, I will kill it for 2009.
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:19 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Why would you call the carrier for support when you have direct 24/7 access to RIM? Also, the carrier doesn't have higher priority when calling RIM then you will. It would save you time to call RIM yourself. The only thing the carrier can do that RIM can't is change the data plan, and most times when that has to be done thw carrier can't see it. I can't count how many times I've had to explain to the carrier rep that the data plan is wrong. But if you prefer to go that route go ahead, but I would rather use the TSupport privileges.

Also, if you ever need software from RIM it won't be free any more if you cancel the contract.
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Old 02-19-2008, 09:18 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vhato View Post
I have had T2 support for two years and never used it. Anytime I have had an issue I start with AT&T. On five separate occassions, they immediately transferred my call to RIM for resolution.

My T2 contract has been renewed for 2008 (into my third year now), but if I don't use it and AT&T continues to transfer me to RIM, I will kill it for 2009.
I would never call the carrier directly. Maybe you have better luck than I do but even if I am very certain the unit is on the wrong plan, I call RIM. They verify my suspicion, and get me in touch with the right department at the carrier. They then stay on the line to make sure everything is done right. Plus as others have mentioned, you don't have to pay for software upgrades.

Plus, how easy is it to get hold of AT&T and have them transfer you to RIM if you have a problem with a server upgrade at 2am?
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Old 02-19-2008, 10:42 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Maybe its just AT&T. When I did my Exchange 2007 Transition in February 2007 and migrated the BES to a new server in the same night I had some problems. Called AT&T, within just a few minutes they had RIM on conference call.

A month or two later, the browsers on our 4.2.1.xxx devices wouldn't work with our mobile website. Called AT&T, after a few minutes of them verifying it wasn't the network, on conference call with RIM.

We had several issues after that and the results were similar. Though some were Cingular/AT&T related their response to getting RIM on the phone was QUICK. Maybe you have more experience and can better determine if a problem is carrier or RIM related.

Now, you say free software upgrades. Does that mean when 5.0 is released and I am under T2 Support I will get it for free?
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