IT maintenance is important for several reasons. First and foremost, you want to make sure your software and equipment are running smoothly, because that means your business is doing the same. Sales, customer service, staff productivity and workflow can all be affected by downtime. New security threats are emerging, and having an IT maintenance solution in place offers a fast and proactive reaction to safeguarding your IT system.
Once, the only option for maintenance and support was to use the service organizations of each manufacturer, which quickly led to some major problems. Although these manufacturers were putting out great products, they were not set up to provide national and certainly not international support. This created a huge problem for manufacturers and they needed to find a way to support their end-users. The solution came in the form of alternative vendors and third party maintenance was born.
Third party maintenance allows users to manage all of their systems under one contract from one source. It also allows small manufacturers an immediate national field service network with onsite service, parts management and even flexible service level agreements.
In a recent blog post, XS International, an IT services company specializing in cross-platform OEM and alternative IT maintenance, data center consolidation, data center relocation, IT asset disposition and IT hardware and software sales, provided the top seven reasons to consider third party maintenance.
1. End of support. OEMs declare equipment EOL or EOS for reasons including technology innovations that make new products and software available, less market demand on a particular model means production of that model is no longer profitable, supply of replacement parts dries up, legacy technical personnel become too senior and therefore too expensive and there is pressure on OEMs to increase company revenue by replacing old products in the field with new products. Third party maintenance affords you the opportunity to continue using your equipment long after it’s gone EOL.
2. OEM maintenance is expensive. OEMs make up to 80-90 percent profit on maintenance.
3. OEM’s outsourcing overseas has reduced Manufacturer’s service level.
4. Simple contract management and support. Third party maintainers can maintain all your equipment under one easy contract. Unlike OEM support staff, they are cross trained on all OEM equipment. For example, XS International provides alternative support for all Cisco (News - Alert), Juniper, IBM, Dell, Oracle, HP and F5 equipment and software.
5. Co-terminus ads and deletes. Cisco does not allow co-terminus additions of equipment and deletions for discontinued equipment during the annual contract on a prorated basis, every time you add a new switch you are buying a new one-year contract. What’s worse, when you discontinue a product you are stuck paying for maintenance you don’t use.
6. Payment Options. Several OEMs require annual payment up front. While this may not be a bad thing if they were giving an annual discount, a monthly payment ensures you are only paying for services used and not also for unused service on obsolete equipment that is only obsolete in the eyes of the OEM. XS International’s third party alternative solution to Cisco SMARTnet, for example, offers contract flexibilities, simple contract management and payment flexibilities.
7. Flexibility. The larger the company, the less flexible they become. OEMs can’t be as flexible as third party maintainers, and customers want the right to go to anyone for support and maintenance.
To learn more about XS International’s IT services, visit www.xsnet.com. The company also hosted a webinar recently, “Federal Agencies are Choosing Alternative IT Maintenance – What They Know and What you Should Find Out.” To listen to a free recorded copy of the webinar, click the banner.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo