If you are considering a NetApp Third Party Support Provider to perform your maintenance contract, these are 6 things they must provide for you without exception:
1. Select a company who only provides support contracts and doesn’t lose focus by doing other things such as actively selling hardware or providing functions other than support. If you are going to trust a company to support your NetApp equipment, you want all of their resources focused on support. They should be able to support all NetApp filers.
2. The company should not only have the ability to support your NetApp hardware but OnTap as well. If the company’s engineers can only support the hardware, they shouldn’t be the company you select. It tells you they are not experienced enough.
3. Ask for references. Expect the company you are potentially going to work with to have a stable of references for you.
4. Expect the company to do more for you than just support. They should want to be your partner and through that provide you with additional functionality as part of the base contract. A program like Park Place Technologies is a great example. Expect MORE!
5. Make sure the engineers are great at what they do. Ask to speak with some of the engineers you would be working with. Give them some sample scenarios and see how they respond.
6. They should be able to support not only current hardware but also hardware that has been eol by NetApp. You shouldn’t be restricted as to whether NetApp supports the equipment currently or not.
You can significantly reduce your annual support costs without sacrificing support if you select the right company