IBM recently made an announcement with regard to end users obtaining Machine Code as follows:
“Effective no later than January 09, 2013 (effective date will vary by country and by platform), the scope of IBM’s hourly maintenance and repair services (whether referred to as “hourly services,” “per call,” “time and materials” or other similar name) for System x , Power Systems and System Storage Machines (including predecessor and successor Machines) will not include access to or provision of Machine Code updates.
Machine Code is defined in the IBM License Agreement for Machine Code. Machine Code updates are any fix, patch or replacement provided for Machine Code.
Customers that are entitled to obtain Machine Code updates under warranty or an IBM hardware maintenance service agreement may obtain Machine Code update installation services as part of an IBM hourly services engagement.”
There is however an avenue for end users, resellers and third party maintainers to get the updates.
A customer can submit a special bid to their IBM rep to obtain the updates, even if they are not under IBM Maintenance. Once the customer is granted that right, they can pass it on to a third party acting on their behalf.
My suggestion is this:
1. Ask the customer * to send a letter to their IBM rep and ask for a “Special Bid to obtain all firmware updates on Machine Model ______ Serial Number ________ located at __________ .”
2. Once they have that approval they can assign those rights to their third party maintenance or support company.
* Or if the end user has given their reseller or third party maintainer a letter of agency, they can do it on the end user’s behalf.
Please let me know if you find that the customer’s IBM Rep is either unfamiliar with the process or does not respond in a timely fashion.