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HP Makes IT Support More Flexible With New Portal And Mobile Device Access

HP has added features to its HP Support Center for enterprise IT customers through an online portal that includes answers to questions, an online community of close to a million IT professionals and a mobile application that allows customers to get answers anytime, anywhere. The enhancements to the HP Support Center, announced Tuesday, are intended to address customer demands for HP Always-on Support for an always running IT infrastructure.

In the past, customer tech support was based on the call center and field engineer model, in which a customer would call HP with a problem and HP would send someone to fix it, says Michelle Weiss, VP of marketing for HP Technology Services. Today, customers want faster resolution of problems through a Web-based services model.

With the enhanced HP Support Center, expected to launch next month and free to anyone with an existing HP warranty or service contract, customers can diagnose problems through keyword searches of various products, follow a step-by-step troubleshooting process and access a library of support documents. In essence, customers can search through the Web portal for the same information call center operators use, says Sue Barsamian, VP of HP Technology Services Support.

"We have integrated this with the same [customer relationship management] CRM technology that runs all of our call centers," Barsamian says. HP is also rolling out  a feature called My Support Zone in the portal, at which customers can keep track of their own HP product warranties, service contracts and a record of trouble tickets.

Also, with a nod toward the demand for high reliability and uptime, customers can also access the support center via smartphones, though so far just devices running the Apple iOS and Google Android mobile operating systems. The smartphone app, for which HP has a patent pending, is the first from a vendor to offer a native mobile app for support as opposed to having the end user enter a URL in a smartphone browser.

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