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7 minute readOEM vs. TPM: Original Equipment Manufacturers vs Third Party Maintenance Providers

Your service and maintenance could cost less.

While OEMs may offer cutting-edge technology, they are rarely the best place to have it serviced and maintained. Third-Party Maintenance providers will save you 50%, or more, compared to OEM costs.

What is the difference between an OEM and a TPM?

Which is cheaper: OEM v. TPM?

Original Equipment Manufacturers, OEMs, are fabulous at creating and manufacturing IT equipment. It’s what they do, and they do it well. In addition to originally taking great ideas through the manufacturing process and successfully launching new products, they are able to consistently update and upgrade their gear for data centers.

Data center products, such as storage, hardware, and networking equipment, simply become obsolete as newer versions are manufactured. Even if you find that they continue to function well for your needs, the equipment itself can get tired and burned out. Then you find yourself needing to update existing equipment, or upgrade to new equipment, for your data center to function optimally.

So you have some legitimate reasons to purchase new equipment:

  • Equipment becomes outdated
  • Equipment requires repair
  • New equipment runs more efficiently
  • New equipment has greater capabilities

Some reasons, when you look at them, are really not as legitimate:

  • OEM pushing new equipment on you
  • OEMs declaring EOL/EOSL dates
  • Hard to find parts, accessories, upgrades, or a qualified service provider who can maintain older equipment
  • Warranty is expiring

This second list can cause unnecessary spending. As an IT Manager, you need alternatives to any of these supposed reasons. Your best solution, for everything listed, is a Third Party Maintenance and Support provider.

Do You Need to Upgrade Your Center Components?

Of course you want to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in your data center, but you need to keep your spend under control too. The question to ask: Is the upgrade truly needed to ensure your data center is not left behind? At this point, you begin to wonder if buying new equipment solves the problem, because, at some point in the future, your new equipment ages and newer, more modern equipment gets released, requiring new OEM purchases, creating an expensive buying cycle.

In many cases, your assets are still in good shape and still do their job perfectly.  For example one fortune 500 insurance company we work with still use IBM AS400 machines that are still probably their best option for the job of managing their robust contract database.Be weary, the Original Equipment Manufacturers is typically a publicly traded company whose principal objective becomes generating new revenue opportunities which means they need to sell more units of their latest equipment and continue to release newer models, while deciding EOL/EOSL dates to keep older equipment expiring This drives their revenue model by requiring data centers to buy new equipment, often at higher costs compared to simply keeping and maintaining existing assets.

While upgrading your data center components should ensure its smooth running (as long as you are comfortable with the cost), other alternatives may guarantee the same excellent operational effectiveness, at a lower cost.

How To Survive Without the Upgrade?

In an effort to resist the upgrades presented by OEMs, the importance of Third Party Maintenance companies cannot be overemphasized. These companies offer services to ensure that data centers keep existing hardware working at an optimal level, even past EOL/EOSL dates. Third Party Maintenance and Support companies offer services that reduce maintenance costs, ensuring flexibility of contracts to increase productivity, resulting in an improved Return on Investment, as opposed to OEMs whose aim is to sell newly manufactured products.

Original Equipment Manufacturers vs Third Party Maintenance Companies

When comparing the services offered by Original Equipment and Third Party Maintenance companies, some things to consider:

  • Warranty and Post Warranty Services: On average, OEMs offer warranty services for about 3 years, after which they start issuing End of Life announcements. This prepares the road for ending support for these products, making replacement parts harder to find, leaving the customers at the mercy of OEMs.
  • Third Party Maintenance and Support providers offer warranty services even after the EOL/EOSL periods, in an effort to maximize the service life of your assets. Third Party Maintenance companies eliminate the pressure of consistently upgrading to the most recent, but still evolving, technology.
  • Third Party Maintenance warranty services can continue for a decade or more.

 Cost of Trending Products

  • OEMs are usually very expensive as the cost of upgrading equipment, with every new refresh, piles up.
  • You pay Third Party Maintenance companies, like Reliant Technology, less than half of OEM prices to support a piece of equipment. In addition, these companies help you find the hardware you need, again at a great savings compared to OEM prices.
  • With Third Party Maintenance, you can co-terminate your warranties, no matter how many OEMs are represented in your data center.
  • You feel more confident and in control of your own data center when you use a Third Party Maintenance provider.

Certifications and Qualifications 

OEMs technicians are well trained in maintaining the company’s products. They only use the original company parts in situations when replacement is needed, limiting their scope to what is best for the OEM, not necessarily what is best for the customer.

Third Party Maintenance and Support providers hire and train technicians to work on a wide range of product brands and types. As a result, technicians can move from one system to the next, knowing the best way to handle the nuances of each brand.

Accessibility and Availability 

OEMs main goal is often selling products, so may not always be able to promptly attend to all clients with pending issues.

Third Party Maintenance providers usually have customer service as a chief goal, offering 24/7/365 service, often with a 4-hour-response guarantee.

Upgrading to a New Device

Upgrading to a new device may not be as straightforward as you expect, even when you have prepared and gathered all the needed information. Switching to a new device can put you in a dilemma as you carry on your daily work while migrating to the new equipment. Your Third Party Maintenance and Support company already understands your architecture and has a vast store of knowledge about best practices.

Make the Right Decision

Whether you have worked with your OEM for years, or are in a new agreement, you should consider what the best option is for your company. Reliant Technology, a premier Third Party Maintenance and Support provider, is here to help you, no matter where you currently are, the size of your company, or what storage, service, and network needs you have.

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Reid Smith-Vaniz

by Reid Smith-Vaniz

Reid is the founder and CEO of Reliant Technology and for 14 years has pursued his mission to remove the pain associated with maintaining IT infrastructure. Reid writes on common challenges related to maintaining, servicing, tracking, budgeting, and upgrading technology.

Reliant Technology Cares

Reliant Technology Cares

When you have Reliant Technology support your data center, you help us support SERV International and provide thousands of meals for starving children.

About Reliant Technology


As Data Center and storage experts, Reliant Technology is available to provide consultations and solutions to your server backup needs. Our experienced engineers and IT specialists are ready to help you determine the best option for your Data Center. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, or if you would like to submit an article for possible publication, please, get in touch with us.

Further Reading

 

“Should I Upgrade? Or Should I Refresh?” – Part 1 of 2

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