When customers think of third party maintenance—alternative support offered by companies other than the original equipment manufacturer (OEM)—many immediately envision savings. It’s true, third party maintenance can take a chunk out of the annual support bill, but the advantages of non-OEM maintenance aren’t limited to the budget.
Park Place Technologies helps clients maximize uptime and tap a more responsive, higher performing support solution for data center equipment. Unfortunately, third party maintenance isn’t covered as deeply in the trade press as other data center management strategies, so many customers remain unsure of how to deploy it most effectively. One important question is when to integrate a partner like Park Place to drive the best results.
Following are three key milestones in the hardware lifespan when many clients look to third party maintenance.
Most customers purchase an OEM support contract when they buy new equipment. In some cases, such coverage is a prerequisite for accessing patches and microcode updates. When the original warranty coverage comes up for renewal, often after three years, many customers will look to third party maintenance.
Park Place Technologies offers a 50% savings guarantee off any OEM support contract, so price alone is a significant enticement. Many servers, storage arrays, and networking products will remain installed for years, so the savings add up for clients who transition to third party maintenance at this stage.
Additionally, the three- to four-year mark is the “sweet spot” identified by Gartner for the switch to alternative maintenance. Equipment at this stage is likely to play a central role in IT operations, so bringing in Park Place’s Level III-only engineering support and our proactive monitoring tool, among other features, offers significant advantages, including faster incident resolution and reduced downtime.
End of Availability / End of Life
“End of life” refers to the point in time when the OEM is ceasing investment in a particular hardware model. There are no further engineering changes made thereafter, and end of availability—or last sale of the product by the OEM—soon follows. This is another key point at which to consider third party maintenance.
Customers held hostage with unnecessary worries about patches and updates gain confidence in leaving the OEM. By doing so, they can experience the cost-savings of third party maintenance, and there may be an even wider gulf, as many OEMs raise support contract prices as hardware ages. Moreover, clients benefit from having a support ally still devoting full attention to the hardware, instead of an OEM whose top priority is to sell the customer on an upgrade.
End of Support Life
The final stage in the OEM timeline is end of support life (EOSL), after which maintenance contracts are no longer available from the manufacturer. Customers that have ridden the OEM support train to this destination must now decide whether to upgrade the hardware, go without support, or engage a third party maintenance provider.
When a particular piece of equipment can no longer do the job for which it was intended, buying new gear is a great choice. But when there is value remaining in the product, clients can maximize return on investment without compromising performance or uptime by retaining coverage . A third party maintenance contract is almost always a lower risk, lower cost, lower frustration option than managing spare parts and responding to outages in-house.
The Time is Right
The timing for a switch to third party maintenance needn’t be restricted to the above milestone events, but these points in the hardware lifecycle can serve as reminders to review the equipment’s support needs.
If you’re ready to discuss support for gear in your data center, remote offices, disaster recovery facility, or other locations anywhere in the world, get in touch. We’d be happy to provide more information about the advantages of third party maintenance and pricing details, so you can determine when a change might be right for you.