Third Party Maintenance 101: Higher Education Can Achieve Lower Costs

Park Place Hardware Maintenance

Parker September 24, 2019

Math is a fun and challenging subject, but sometimes, raw numbers can be intimidating. EDUCAUSE Review recently reported that IT budgets have been cut at 63% of the more than 150 colleges and universities that participated in its survey. Only 26% of those responding said their budgets remained stable. Higher education IT budgets have decreased by five percent in 2021

Faced with such realities, you might think you’d need an Albert Einstein or Will Hunting to figure out how to maximize resources with declining funds. But there is a proven methodology for solving this tough problem: Third party maintenance (TPM).

Looking beyond the original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to maintain and extend IT hardware lifespan can help colleges, universities, training centers, and other post-secondary educational facilities make the most of their IT dollars and even achieve their digital transformation dreams. Here’s how.

More Expertise, Less Budget

There may always be a few heavily endowed institutions with the capital to invest in nearly any whim or strategic project, but for most schools in the higher education sector, budget is a concern. And although universities drive some of the most cutting-edge research worldwide, expertise in IT infrastructure and management is not always easy to maintain. This holds especially true in public sector education, where IT salaries often trail those available elsewhere.

Third party hardware maintenance offers post-secondary schools the chance to enhance their access to IT expertise without draining their limited budgets. Tapping a company that retains a full bench of engineers who know every major manufacturers’ serversstorage arrays, and networking products means, well, the customer doesn’t have to. Third party maintenance allows higher education institutions to develop a more targeted group of IT staff, because they don’t have to cover every base internally.

This can be especially helpful with legacy technologies. When budget is tight, IT equipment is destined to stick around longer. The archival storage system humming away in the corner isn’t a top priority for replacement until it stops humming. The IT team that originally deployed the system and worked with the OEM to root out any bugs might be prepared to handle any troubleshooting, but unfortunately, years later there may be few, if any, of that original group left. Depending on how much later, the OEM may have declared “end of support life” (EOSL) and can’t support the hardware, either.

Rather than sending personnel unfamiliar with the malfunctioning gear on a great Google mission for solutions, it’s easier and more effective to call on a third party maintenance partner. Using outside resources, the hardware will get fixed without derailing everything else.

Longer Lifespan

Although we glossed over EOSL above, it’s part of the larger cost-cutting advantage of third-party maintenance. First, third party maintenance companies, as a rule, don’t charge “brand name” prices for support. In fact, Park Place Technologies guarantees to save clients half off any OEM contract. Add this up over many years, and it makes a significant budget impact.

Second, alternative support offers more benefits. Park Place’s ParkView proactive infrastructure management, for example, helps slash downtime. Our ability to manage spare parts saves customers from unnecessary investments in replacements that may never be used. And SLAs ensure proper maintenance of IT assets for longer service life.

And that’s where we come to EOSL. Why swap out equipment that’s still serving a purpose? The OEMs have an answer — because they make money if you do. That’s why they will unilaterally declare hardware “too obsolete” for continued support, something third party maintenance providers like Park Place Technologies just don’t do. We help our clients earn maximum return on every hardware investment.

The Road to Digital Transformation

Saving money is important to nearly every IT organization but can make the difference for higher education institutions seeking to advance their digital transformation. When there’s unlikely to be “found money” elsewhere in the budget, being able to substantially reduce operating costs through maintenance contract and other savings, while also delaying capital expenditure through extended hardware lifespan, can carve out sufficient resources to invest in the next stage of the institution’s technology evolution.

Reduced budgets and increased demands are a tough problem, but there is an easy answer. Third party maintenance may be the solution your post-secondary educational facility has been seeking to eliminate pain points and facilitate progress. Park Place Technologies’ services include third-party data center hardware maintenance, professional services, infrastructure managed services, network performance monitoring and hardware sales.

Need to know more? Contact us to get started!

About the Author

Parker, Park Place Assistant