Red Hat Blog
Red Hat Technical Account Managers (TAMs) have many responsibilities, all of which center around meeting customers’ needs and ultimately working to help customers succeed. One major responsibility for a TAM is providing support for the products that customers have purchased through subscriptions.
Each of Red Hat’s products has a skilled and specialized support engineering team, dedicated to provide assistance for Red Hat’s customers. TAM customers receive the added benefit of having someone they know personally standing by, ready to assist them to get issues resolved as quickly as possible. Through close relationships, Technical Account Managers play a key role in providing that necessary support.
One of the more common and obvious ways that TAMs help support delivery is by taking ownership of support cases opened by their customers so that they can be resolved. TAMs invest a great deal of time learning about, and building relationships with, their customers.
TAMs take ownership of cases to advocate for the customer, as well as to augment the support delivery skill-based routing (SBR) teams who handle all of the cases submitted to Red Hat. TAMs extend the ability of support delivery to absorb cases in a more timely fashion, especially when SBR teams are seeing an increase in case loads.
Secondly, Technical Account Managers also help monitor all of the cases for their assigned accounts. TAMs do not own all the support cases that are opened by their customers. The bulk are managed by the SBRs. But some TAMs will take ownership of cases, either to augment/help the SBR, or certain cases that are more strategic in nature, based on the business objectives needing to be achieved. But, TAMs will monitor cases opened by the customer to ensure that all the cases are making good progress.
TAMs support the SBR by conducting additional research or testing when needed, or even collaborating with Support Delivery or Product Engineering to obtain additional details about the product’s functionality that may provide insights to solving the issue.
Another common support task has a more proactive nature. Product release updates, Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) announcements and bug fix notifications help keep customers aware of the latest progress made on the products that they use. Technical Account Managers not only track the announcements of bug fixes and patch releases, but they also closely follow the progress on those engineering efforts that are directly related to reported cases and inform the customer when associated updates are ready to be incorporated into the customer’s environment. TAMs set expectations and engage with their customers, helping them prepare for the the release of anticipated requests for enhancements (RFEs) and bug fixes.
Other, less obvious ways exist for how Technical Account Managers provide support to SBR teams as well. TAMs provide context or background to the SBR for certain cases, adding clarity to how customers utilize Red Hat products in their environments. TAMs have insights into the customer’s environments and architectures, which provide additional context to a given case that actually can help the SBR case owner solve it more quickly.
Sometimes information provided in a support case can be limited or incomplete and the case owner may need to ask for additional information. TAMs can provide additional perspectives into the customer’s architecture or system environment which enables the case owner to drive the case further and possibly reduce the need to ask the customer for additional information.
Additional context for support
Additionally, TAMs may also provide historical context to SBR case owners with regard to relevant cases that have previously impacted the customer. Does the customer have a recurring or repeating issue? Did they make a recent, significant architectural shift in their environment that could be contributing to the reported case at hand? Or could awareness by the SBR case owner about an environment change provide a clearer, better option for solving the case for the customer that would not otherwise be considered? An engaged relationship by a TAM with their customer may provide this added context in a timely manner, which may lead to a faster resolution of the issue.
Likewise, TAMs have the opportunity to see possible relational context where a given case for product ‘A’ may be impacted by a completely separate case for product ‘B’. Each SBR team works on cases primarily within the scope of a given product, but, as information about the root cause is revealed in each case, observant TAMs can identify correlations among the set of cases. TAMs collaborate with each of the SBR teams collectively, and can help set an action plan that resolves all of the involved cases.
Finally, Technical Account Managers can help SBR support teams as TAM customers experience changes in business direction or realignment of critical priorities. When customers have to work through changes in business direction or business realignment, key cases can take on an even higher priority, or quite possibly, a much lower priority.
TAMs who understand the changes in business direction experienced by their customer, may work with the SBR teams across all of the open cases to apply the right attention and make adjustments to the priority of the relevant cases. The TAM collaborates with the customer and support delivery, so that SBR teams may concentrate resources to focus on cases that change in priority, establishing a plan to allow the customer be successful.
For TAM customers, the Technical Account Manager plays an important role in how well Red Hat delivers support. Through the relationship with the TAM, the customer enjoys added attention by dedicated Red Hat resources who understand the objectives they are looking to achieve.
Additionally, they benefit not only from the technical background that TAMs have, but also their leadership and collaboration with Red Hat support teams. This allows the TAM customer to have a much deeper understanding of the Red Hat products they use, and ultimately, through that understanding, they may achieve greater success.
If you would like to understand more how a Technical Account Manager may help bring a positive impact to your business, contact us and we can help guide you through all of the benefits that a TAM may bring.