3 reasons why hardware maintenance providers can offer low costs

Hardware Maintenance

Parker April 15, 2014

Many third-party hardware maintenance providers can cut costs by as much as 40 to 60 percent compared to OEM extended warranties. Getting OEM support from a third-party maintenance partner can help IT managers maintain more systems or reduce their operating budget. This can prove invaluable as more IT teams find ways to create value through their legacy hardware.

Older infrastructure often plays a critical role in businesses because the system can host applications that do not translate into cloud environments. Furthermore, many storage and server solutions are able to meet performance requirements well beyond the initial OEM warranty, making cost-efficient support solutions valuable because they let IT managers avoid unnecessary capital expenses and free fiscal space for innovative projects instead of hardware refreshes.

While the promise of reduced costs seems attractive, it may appear too good to be true. One way to get past this disbelief is to understand how dedicated support providers are able to offer their services at such a low price compared to OEMs. Three reasons why maintenance providers can get by with such low prices include:

1. Advanced contact center models

Many support issues can be handled over the phone, but OEM contact centers are not usually treated with the utmost importance. Most OEMs feature hardware design and sales as their primary competencies, with customer service as a secondary issue. This creates a situation in which support calls may not get the same resources as they do with a dedicated maintenance provider, creating added costs for customers as they end up taking more time to speak with OEM representatives.

Dedicated maintenance providers, on the other hand, focus on their contact center as a primary competency. The end result is a much more efficient and responsive support environment. This benefits customers by giving them a faster response, but it also creates efficiency on the support operations side of the equation, making it easier to keep client costs under control.

2. Process excellence

Some third-party hardware maintenance vendors focus so much on streamlining processes that they are able to considerably reduce or eliminate overhead. This includes improving shipping new parts to clients, managing a warehouse of refurbished components, ensuring a steady supply chain, getting engineers into the field and giving customers a smooth experience. All of these operations create an incredibly complex workflow that can be difficult to manage when support is not an organization’s core competency.

Support providers that are able to achieve process excellence can unlock key benefits for their customers by giving them fully-realized maintenance services at a much lower cost than OEMs.

3. Specialization

OEMs often find themselves needing to adjust service models based on new hardware and respond to the market in a reactive way. This makes it difficult for them to specialize because they must focus on supporting every system that it makes. Dedicated maintenance providers, on the other hand, can anticipate when different infrastructure solutions will move into extended warranty or end-of-service-life phases. This enables third-party support vendors to proactively develop their processes and operational strategies based on the new systems that it will support. The end result is a situation in which maintenance providers can fine tune their processes and train engineers to ensure customers get the best experience in the most efficient way possible.

OEM extended warranties can be cost prohibitive for IT managers trying to maximize the value of their legacy hardware. Dedicated maintenance providers can reduce costs considerably, and their promises of lower expenses do not come with caveats. IT leaders do not need to sacrifice quality, reliability or trust to save money. Instead, third-party support vendors use operational excellence to gain an edge when it comes to pricing.

About the Author

Parker, Park Place Assistant