Advantages of Third Party Maintenance Contracts for Your Data Center
According to research and advisory firm Gartner in their first-ever market guide for data center and third-party hardware maintenance, 71% of very large enterprises relied on third-party maintenance, or TPM, for some form of support in 2016. Also, there are an estimated 10 million devices currently serviced via TPM.
While some companies still rely on the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), in full or in part, to service hardware within their organization, more and more are turning to TPM, for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest is saving money. Another Gartner report entitled “Market Guide for IT Asset Disposition” cites "Hardware maintenance is increasingly being considered as ‘non-strategic IT' spend and procurement. This comes from an attitude of complacency regarding the costs required to keep hardware running. Once companies can explore the cost benefits analysis of TPM it’s not surprising that this is a growing market.
While it’s clearly a necessary expense, it doesn’t contribute to profitability in direct or even measurable ways. As a result, many companies are looking to forego the high costs of OEM maintenance in favor of more affordable TPM alternatives. According to Gartner’s “Competitive Landscape” report, the savings over OEM contracts could fall anywhere between 50% and 95%, averaging out to about 60% savings when using TPM.
The Fallacy of OEM Support
When it comes to maintaining a vehicle, you can save some money going to a local mechanic or spend more to have your car serviced by the dealer, ostensibly because the service department at the dealership is staffed by experts that work on your make and model of car all day long. In principle, the same would seem to be valid for computer equipment, but in practice, there is a difference.
When you rely on the OEM to maintain your equipment, the costs could be significantly higher for virtually the same level of service you’ll receive from a third-party vendor, once your hardware is out of warranty. In truth, most companies will never require the in-depth knowledge and expertise OEM employees are supposed to have. Plus, they can only provide maintenance services for their own equipment, which does you no good if your system relies on multiple components from different hardware manufacturers.
OEMs also operate on a standard 3-year turnaround when it comes to refreshing hardware. This means they’ll either try to upsell you on new equipment when you near the 3-year mark (or perhaps long before then), and eventually they’ll stop supporting hardware, leaving you scrambling to find alternative maintenance or make expensive upgrades.
Speedy Service with Third-Party Maintenance
What happens when you need service from your OEM? Generally, you call a tech support number, they try to help you over the phone, and if all else fails, they send a technician to your location. It can take time to schedule an appointment, and you may end up with different support staff for each incident, wasting time as you explain your system anew with every support ticket.
A TPM service, on the other hand, tends to offer engineers that are dedicated to specific client accounts, so that you have a direct line to your preferred technician and you always deal with the same person, who has knowledge and experience with your company and your equipment. This makes for speedier servicing and less hassle all around.
Customizable, Scalable Service Solutions
Even if you purchase the lion’s share of your equipment from one manufacturer, many companies can have multiple manufacturers needing support. Suppose you’re having issues with compatibility between hardware from different manufacturers. Who can fix your problems? Which OEM do you call first?
With a TPM service, you won’t have to worry about who to call, or which OEM to call first. Your TPM technician has the diverse knowledge base to help you address any problem, regardless of which pieces of hardware are involved, and services can be scaled and customized to serve your needs, now and moving forward. You can also consider hybrid-hardware support, whereby you contact the OEM for hardware that’s still under warranty and work with a TPM service for everything else.
The final advantage of partnering with a TPM service is that you’ll get more than just maintenance services for your money. You can find TPM providers that also offer IT asset disposition (ITAD), helping you to properly dispose of hardware, in keeping with applicable privacy and environmental (recycling) laws, or alternatively, helping you to refurbish and resell unused equipment to recoup some costs.
If you need an ITAD service provider to refurbish and sell old equipment or to provide hard-to-find replacements parts to help you maintain your current hardware, partner with the experts at Integrity Global Solutions. Chat with us now or contact us for help.