How to Renew EMC Support…and When Not To
When an EMC warranty or support agreement expires, many customers wonder how to renew EMC support for a given piece of hardware. The more circumspect ask whether doing so is cost-efficient.
The answer is, it depends.
There are various stages of the product lifecycle with matching EMC support commitments, and many points at which other options should be evaluated.
Most EMC storage arrays carry the option of basic, enhanced, or premium support for the first three years. It is standard operating procedure for many IT organizations to purchase this warranty coverage alongside the hardware. It’s a decent policy, which helps ensure EMC is on board with software patches and updates, as well as configuration and other assistance, in the early days of hardware life.
EMC support can be supplemented during this period to ensure greater responsiveness and complete coverage. Park Place Technologies, for example, offers a “One Contract / One Contact” program. It’s especially popular with customers that have other equipment on contract with us, so they don’t have to think about who to call when issues arise. No matter whether a piece of hardware is warrantied, under an EMC support commitment, or only covered by us, we take the initial trouble call, organize the response, ensure the OEM lives up to its promises, and fill in for any service not covered by EMC.
The usual EMC procedure is to offer additional basic, enhanced, or premium support as an option for years four and five. Customers must have purchased the initial three-year support package to qualify. EMC is generally eager to get customers to sign up for another two years, so proactive contact from the company is highly likely. If you don’t hear from EMC, a call is enough to get the ball rolling on a renewal.
Take a moment’s pause, however, before you jump in. Alternative maintenance providers will deliver 30% to 70% savings off EMC’s support prices, and the best will enhance service quality. Park Place’s affordable contracts eliminate escalation procedures, include a Level 3 account engineer, and incorporate extra engineering time for non-break/fix issues. And all of that is on top of the features you’d expect, including 100% component coverage, certified spare parts, 24/7 remote monitoring, online and telephone support, etc.
After the five-year mark, things get murkier with EMC support. The company will sometimes offer extended support in six-month, prepaid increments, but EMC reserves the right to discontinue support at the conclusion of any six-month contract. This leaves customers in limbo as to whether they will be able to get help a few months down the road.
Although customers can contact EMC to determine if extended support is an option, at this point, EMC’s solution is neither reliable over the long-term nor cost-efficient. Software updates, engineering interest, and corporate commitment to hardware older than five years is minimal, so better support is available through an alternative provider. And since most third party maintenance companies do not impose an end-of-service-life date, there is no more need to worry if Dell EMC third party maintenance will be around next year or five years from now.
Bringing in Third Party Maintenance
Engaging a third party maintenance provider is easy. Park Place offers free quotes on our website, and we’re always happy to talk through the options with any prospective client who contacts us. As part of our personalized approach to EMC support, we can help design the ideal solution for the IT organization’s needs and budget, determining the most appropriate SLAs for each piece of hardware and selecting elements from our suite of EMC maintenance services.
For customers who are new to the idea of third party maintenance—or whose past experience didn’t live up to expectations—we’ve put together a free ebook to orient you to the value top-quality providers can deliver. Hint: it’s more than just problem-response.