5 Reasons to consider alternative hardware maintenance options

Hardware Maintenance

Parker September 25, 2013

OEM support plans have long been the dominant force in the hardware maintenance realm. However, OEM extended warranties can be costly, leaving organizations facing a tight budget to consider alternative options. Supporting legacy hardware does not have to be expensive, however, as organizations can turn to a third-party hardware maintenance partner to support their systems without a significant cost burden.

While cost is one key incentive to turn to an alternative maintenance plan, there are plenty of other reasons to consider such an option.

Reducing waste

Electronics waste is a major problem in the data center sector. IT managers must find a way to efficiently dispose of hardware through proper channels, ensuring that precious metals are recycledand hazardous materials are dealt with correctly. 

A third-party hardware maintenance provider can provide refurbished parts and legacy components, allowing IT managers to extend the life of the hardware. Furthermore, support cycles with an alternative vendor can last well beyond the end-of-service-life period. These two factors can contribute to reduced waste in the data center. On top of all this, some third-party maintenance providers also offer assistance with disposal to alleviate the burden on IT managers.

Avoiding fiscal inefficiency

In many cases, staying with an OEM support plan makes sense after the initial warranty because operating systems and layered applications are still being updated. OEMs own the intellectual property of their operating systems, making them a natural fit for system support. However, legacy hardware is usually well beyond the point when operating system updates and patches are being made. As a result, organizations using OEM support because they are concerned about operating system updates are generally wasting money once updates are no longer being made.

A third-party hardware maintenance plan maximizes the value of financial resources by ensuring IT managers are only paying for the services they really need.

Expert consulting services

Sometimes IT managers are left with hardware problems that they are not equipped to handle. It may be trying to find a compatible hard disk for a legacy storage device or trying to assess a performance problem with an old server. These types of issues can add up over time, and solving them efficiently can lead to major performance gains in the data center. A third-party maintenance partnership can help IT managers deal with tricky hardware problems that may not have clear solutions.

Customer support

IT managers facing a hardware failure event need help quickly. Furthermore, IT managers cannot be spending significant amounts of time on the phone with customer support representatives when they need to be on the data center floor resolving the incident. Partnering with an alternative hardware maintenance provider that focuses on rapid response to support calls can position IT managers to deal with hardware problems more effectively.

Some hardware maintenance vendors even offer clients first-call services, which allow clients to call the third-party vendor with a problem and have the vendor file the support ticket with the OEM.

Knowledge of hardware configuration

Developing a long-term partnership with a third-party maintenance provider ensures that the support vendor a company is working with understands the unique nuances of a client’s hardware configuration. This can make it much easier for the vendor to take on coverage for systems when their initial OEM warranty expires. Over time, this partnership can create a much more efficient support relationship because the partnership has created a mutual understanding of a client’s data center needs.

Hardware maintenance plans may seem like a simple service when IT managers only think about the equipment repair side of operations. However, a more robust support strategy that includes alternative partnership options can pay dividends.

About the Author

Parker, Park Place Assistant