9 minute readOriginal Equipment Manufacturers and Third Party Maintenance Providers
Third Party Maintenance May Be the Best Option... depending on you.
While OEMs may offer cutting-edge technology, they are rarely the best vendor to service or maintain it. Using in-house or third party maintenance providers is a better option for a number of reasons. Third Party Maintenance providers, especially, will save you both time and money, usually 50%, or more, compared to the costs OEMs quote.
Which is Better?
Original Equipment Manufacturers, OEMs, are fabulous at creating and manufacturing IT equipment. It’s what they do, and they do it quite well. In addition to originally taking great ideas through the manufacturing process and successfully launching new lines of products. They are able to consistently update and upgrade their gear with the latest and greatest technology available on the market while simultaneously convincing data center owners that they need this new technology.
Data center products, such as storage, hardware, and networking equipment, age toward obsolescence as newer, more sophisticated versions are manufactured. Your OEM will use this fact to convince you your current equipment in obsolete and capitalize on this by trying to sell you their latest version.
Obsolete, doesn’t necessarily mean useless. You may find that your hardware continues to function perfectly well for your needs or can be utilized elsewhere within your infrastructure (like inside your Disaster Recovery, or DR, environment). Then you can find yourself needing to simply repair or slightly upgrade your existing equipment to extend its useful life rather than implementing a full-scale refresh of new equipment.
So there are some legitimate reasons for purchasing new equipment:
- The equipment becomes outdated
- The equipment is in need of repairs
- The newly released equipment is necessary to run faster or more efficiently, and
- The new equipment is needed to add additional capabilities not available or upgradeable on your current equipment
There are some additional reasons, however, that are really not as legitimate:
- OEM pushing new equipment on you
- OEMs declaring EOL/EOSL dates on perfectly suitable equipment
- Parts, accessories, upgrades, or a qualified service provider, who can maintain the equipment, become hard to find
- The Warranty is expiring
This second list can cause unnecessary spending. As an IT Manager, you need to proactively plan alternatives to any of these supposed reasons. Your best solution, for the items listed, is a Third Party Maintenance and Support provider who can solve these issues as well as guide you on what is possible with your current equipment, so its life can be extended.
Do You Need to Upgrade Your Data 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 or customer base is not left behind?
At some point, you begin to wonder if buying new equipment solves the problem or any problem at all. This is because, at some point in the not-so-distant future, your new equipment will be overtaken by a more modern version the OEM will release. This is the never-ending cycle the OEM has strategically designed, which creates a confusing and expensive buying cycle for you.
Pro tip: Use data and cold, hard facts to determine if you really need a refresh or if it is simply being pushed on you by a salesperson or even by an internal representative who has been convinced by the OEM’s salesperson.
In many cases, your assets are still in good shape and still do their job perfectly. For example, one Fortune 500 insurance company we serve still uses IBM AS400 machines that are still probably their best option for the job of managing a robust contract database. If it works best for them, why should they change?
While OEMs do a great job of creating and selling new equipment, be wary. The Original Equipment Manufacturer is typically a publicly traded company whose principal objective becomes generating new revenue opportunities. This means they need to release and sell more units of their latest equipment.
Pro tip: End of Life means the product is no longer being manufactured, End of Service Life means the equipment will no longer be serviced by the OEM, but you can still find Maintenance providers who can continue to support your equipment past its EOL or EOSL dates.
The OEM controls End of Life and End of Service Life (EOL/EOSL) dates on existing equipment already in the marketplace. Declaring EOL and EOSL dates enables an OEM to drive their revenue model by encouraging data center managers to buy new equipment, often at higher costs. In their eyes, the decision for their client to keep and maintain existing assets no longer seems to be an option – but it is.
How To Thrive Without the Upgrade
In an effort to resist the system refreshes pressured by OEMs, the role of Third Party Maintenance and support 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
- Extend the life of EOL and EOSL equipment
- Ensure flexibility of contract terms
- Continue consistent productivity of your inhouse team
- Save you 50%, or more, compared to OEM warranties
- Offer 24/7/365 support with a 4-hour SLA
- Provide an improved Return on Investment
Original Equipment Manufacturers vs Third Party Maintenance Companies
When comparing the services offered by Original Equipment and Third Party Maintenance companies, there are many things to consider:
- Warranty and Post Warranty Services: On average, OEMs offer warranty services for about three years, after which they start issuing End of Life announcements. This leads to OEMs ending support for these products, making replacement parts harder to find, and 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 providers know where to source hardware, even after newer equipment is in production. Reliant Technology can find you certified pre-owned and refurbished materials for your existing assets.
- Third Party Maintenance technicians are trained across multiple OEM equipment, so they can competently work across all of your equipment.
- The focus of Third Party Maintenance support is on the consumer, not selling new equipment, so they do what is best for their customers.
- Third Party Maintenance providers will co-terminate existing contracts, no matter how many OEMs are represented in your data center, so you have one, easy-to-manage renewal date.
- Third Party Maintenance warranty services can breathe new life into your assets, keeping some systems running for up to a decade, or more, past the OEM’s EOL/EOSL dates.
- You feel more confident and in control of your own data center when you use a Third Party Maintenance provider.
Cost of Trending Products
- OEMs are usually very expensive due to the cost of upgrading equipment with every new refresh offered by an OEM.
- You pay Third Party Maintenance companies, like Reliant Technology, less than half of OEM prices to support a piece of equipment.
- Third Party Maintenance companies help you find the hardware you need at a great savings compared to OEM hardware prices.
Certifications and Qualifications
OEMs technicians are well-trained in maintaining their 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
Original Equipment Manufacturers’ main goal is selling products, not repairing them, so they may not always be able to promptly attend to all clients with pending issues.
Third Party Maintenance providers’ main goal is customer service, offering 24/7/365 service, with a 4-hour-response guarantee.
Is Upgrading Really Necessary?
Upgrading to new devices in your data center may not be as straightforward as you expect. Switching to new devices carry risks and can result in downtime while migrating to the new equipment. This can result in lost productivity, thus lost revenue.
Your Third Party Maintenance and Support company already understands your architecture and has a vast store of knowledge about best practices. By keeping your current infrastructure up and running, you minimize risk. You are not spending money unnecessarily and can use the funds for other data center projects. You have a great source for hardware replacement as well as great service technicians, all available 24/7/365.
Make the Right Decision
Whether you have worked with your OEM for years, or are in a new agreement, you should consider the best option for your company. Reliant Technology, a premier Third Party Maintenance and Support provider, is here to help you, no matter where you are, the size of your company, or what storage, service, and network needs you have.Get More Info...
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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.
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.
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