When you hear the term Blockchain, it likely brings to mind cryptocurrency. Although cryptocurrency is its most publicized use, Blockchain is not simply a technology for financial institutions. Manufacturers are also utilizing Blockchain themselves in a number of ways. One of its more innovative applications is in the realm of technology service and support. Digital ledger technology is now delivering a new level of assurance that service providers are meeting their responsibilities outlined in service-level agreements (SLAs).
IBM recently launched a new Support as a Service capability powered by IBM Blockchain and aimed at businesses engaging in digital transformation. By embedding blockchain into their Multivendor Support Services “smart contracts,” IBM can provide transparent, audit-ready transaction data while monitoring SLA metrics and accountability. This process streamlines and automates the billing processes to more closely match the speed and dynamism of the digital business model.
Blockchain – Built in Trust?
The promise of blockchain is that a shared distributed ledger creates a tamper-resistant record of transactions enabling trusted and audit-ready products and services. When using blockchain, trust is delegated to people and even objects such as sensors and monitors that occupy a shared network. If one of these data sources isn’t trusted to perform well, it can be automatically rejected by the other objects on the network, as well as the transaction record itself. In this way, the ledger and its “smart contract” become the foundation of trust.
This ability to preserve trust becomes increasingly important as contracts grow in both size and complexity and transaction data is shared continuously, in near-real time. By time-stamping contract-related events and adding them to a tamper-resistant record, support providers can effectively embed trust into the digital ledger.
Blockchain is expected to become an essential resource for the enterprise to evaluate contract performance, reduce the complexity of billing processes and eliminate unrealizable billing costs due to lack of evidence or an over-delivery of services.
With blockchain now an integral part of IBM’s Support as a Service portfolio, companies can gain the ability to independently verify the activities driving their digital business processes, providing new-found confidence that they are both delivering and receiving exactly what is expected.
To learn more about IBM Multivendor Support Services and how they’re using blockchain to ensure delivery of technology support services, please contact Steven Hargis, firstname.lastname@example.org.