11 minute readYour Guide to Third Party Maintenance Providers for Data Center Hardware
We have expertise in implementing data center strategies and management techniques that reduce costs, but we also integrate best-practice as we go, providing a proactive approach to server maintenance and maximizing uptime of critical systems.Find out why we’re rapidly becoming the go-to provider for multi-site, multi-data center environments across the globe.
Understand the differences in multi-vendor data center hardware maintenance and support, its providers, and discover the important factors to consider.
What is third party maintenance?
Third party data center maintenance services (TPM) offer an alternative to Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) support for IT hardware and data center assets.
Companies with large and dispersed IT infrastructures often turn to this option for after-market support for two main reasons. Firstly, to consolidate contracts for a large and diverse inventory of assets such as server, storage, and networking equipment. Secondly, to reduce the overall maintenance costs.
Furthermore, third party maintenance providers can also offer a variety of other services that span everything from hardware sourcing to incident management.
Selecting the right TPM provider for your needs requires an in-depth look at the unique characteristics of your infrastructure, who has the established knowledge set, and the areas in which you stand to benefit most.
What to look out for in a provider
When choosing between a range of third party maintenance providers, you should consider the following:
- Data Center Engineers
- Field Engineers
- Problem Solving Philosophy
- Parts Availability
Let’s look at each of these in more detail.
Data Center Engineers:
Most reputable data center hardware support providers have full-time, contract, and partner resources to fulfill engineering obligations. Be sure these engineers are highly experienced with the OEM and the technology that your data center utilizes.
With the rise of gig workers and online field engineering platforms, it’s no longer necessary to employ full-time staff such as field engineers unless you’re supporting large data center locations such as banks, online platforms, or other locations.
Beware claims that a TPM provider has “500 engineers.” In most cases, that’s simply not true.
TPMs companies typically work with a network of contract engineers that all providers have access to. The difference lies in the processes used to resolve your case. Ask to see providers’ platforms and ticketing solutions first-hand to understand how a case would be handled and the appropriate resources deployed.
Problem Solving Philosophy:
Plenty of TPM providers are competing for your business, so you’ll need savings, excellent service, and a partner that can resolve issues quickly and expertly on your behalf for them to stand out. Proactive monitoring, planning, and integration services will allow you to not only save time and money but also gain peace of mind that you won’t be left in what we call a “reactive” mess. Meaning that without due care you could end up calling the same provider out again and again as each time they only react to the basic problem in front of them.
Software tools, platforms, and portals, such as IT asset management, IT contract management and integrated quoting, renewals, and ticketing make managing easier. A multi-vendor, globally dispersed blend of data center and edge assets can be complicated, so these tools exist to free up your time, effort and budget.
Investigate the TPM provider’s platform to explore the options that could make your life easier, streamline overall IT maintenance operations, and allow you to control your costs better.
You need to have access to the correct stocked parts to enjoy the appropriate level of service. If a third party maintenance provider claims to have 300 forward stocking locations (FSLs) in North America, they are not only stretching the truth but also operating inefficiently. With less than 30 FSLs, you can cover 80% or more of the United States, and with a combination of hardware and parts wholesalers across the United States, Europe, and Asia it’s quite easy (with the proper knowledge) to rapidly build and scale an FSL location to fulfill a contract.
Ultimately what you want is savings, service, and the confidence that your provider will tell you the truth and guide you toward proactive options that reduce risk and allow you and your team to focus on strategic IT operations improvement initiatives.
Data Center Hardware Maintenance Companies:
- Park Place Technology
- Website: parkplacetechnologies.com
- Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/company/park-place-technologies/
- Location: Mayfield Heights, Ohio
- Number of Staff: 1,564
- Approximate Revenue Size: $250-500MM
- CEO: Chris Adams
- Venture Capital, Private Equity: Charlesbank Capital Partners
- SIA Membership Status: Yes
Established in 1991 and based in Mayfield Heights, OH, Park Place Technologies is currently the largest TPM provider on the market. This private equity-owned company follows an aggressive “TPM acquisition strategy,” – gaining competitors and bringing them and their clients into the fold. They recently acquired big names such as network performance monitoring software company Entuity as well as equipment and TPM provider, Curvature, Inc.
Rapid expansion can often create additional challenges, and it will take Park Place Technologies some time to fully integrate Curvature into its sales and operations and retire the debt load ($845MM).
Park Place has invested heavily in BMC software to create a suite of ParkView Managed Services software tools, positioning itself as a managed service provider, and, thanks to its acquisitions, we suspect it will separate these tools as individual businesses to compete with competitors such as Solarwinds.
- Service Express
- Website: serviceexpress.com
- Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/company/service-express-inc/
- Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
- Number of Staff: 746
- Approximate Revenue Size: $100MM-$250MM
- CEO: Ron Alvesteffer
- Venture Capital, Private Equity: Pamlico Capital
- SIA Membership Status: Yes
Service Express has been delivering data server support solutions since 1993. First owned by Pamlico Capital, Service Express has since been acquired by private equity firm Harvest Partners in November 2019.
The company is still very much growth-focused as attested to by several recent acquisitions, most significantly Delta Computers, SYMM-Care, and, Blue Chip.
Service Express is dedicated to its corporate culture. So much so that Service Express carries out a site audit company policy to validate the current infrastructure and identify additional opportunities to serve customers as a matter of policy. Today, its offering is largely focused on providing automated solutions.
- Website: evernex.com
- Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/company/evernex/
- Location: Paris, France
- Number of Staff: 437
- Approximate Revenue Size: $100MM-250MM
- CEO: Stanislas Pilot
- Venture Capital, Private Equity: 3i Group
- SIA Membership: Yes
With over 35 years of industry experience, Evernex claims to have a massive portfolio of over 360,0000 IT infrastructure systems it maintains as well as 500+ engineers.
Based in France, it’s Evernex’s ambition to be the third party maintenance service provider with the largest footprint, and it already operates in 165+ countries with 300 forward-stocking locations globally.
Evernex was acquired by the 3i Group in late 2019 and has recently made large acquisitions itself, including TechnoGroup, StorEx, and Roer International.
- Website: procurri.com
- Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/company/procurri/
- Location: Singapore
- Number of Staff: 301
- Approximate Revenue Size: $100MM-250MM
- CEO: Thomas Sean Murphy
- Venture Capital, Private Equity: Procurri Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX/BVQ)
- SIA Membership: Yes
Focused on reselling products and services to VARs, system integrators, and MSPs and incorporated in March 2013 in Singapore, Procurri is one of the newer TPM providers in the industry but already offers localized services in over 100 countries. Procurri offers a transition from OEM agreements to Procurri’s Maintenance solutions for all server, storage, and networking products through a suite of lifecycle services and ITAD solutions.
With a background in hardware resale and ITAD solutions, Procurri currently primarily offers TPM services via resellers and system integrators. One of Procurri’s distinguishing factors is a solid commitment to environment-friendly and sustainable maintenance practices and policies.
- Reliant Technology
- Website: reliant-technology.com
- Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/company/reliant-technology/
- Location: Atlanta, Georgia
- Number of Staff: 35
- Approximate Revenue Size: $10MM-$50MM
- CEO: Reid Smith-Vaniz
- Venture Capital, Private Equity: None
- SIA Membership: Yes (Silver Sponsor)
Reliant demonstrates a focus on simplifying and streamlining data center maintenance. By bringing to bear its people, processes, and systems, it solves common data center challenges, including a lack of tracking of and visibility into contract renewals and inflated maintenance costs.
Reliant achieves this by giving customers a single SAAS platform through which to view, track, plan, activate, and open tickets for assets before they reach end-of-service-life (EOSL). This enables customers to reduce costs, save time, and rest assured that all their assets have a proactive and comprehensive plan for coverage, savings, and activation.
Reliant’s main differentiator, when compared to the other top TPM providers above, is their size and scope. Reliant focuses on providing the highest level of customer support in the industry to its 2,500 customers. Reliant purposefully focuses on a strategically small number of services, this concentrated area of expertise allows them to hire and train the very best engineers in the industry to identify, solution, and optimize data centers quickly.
The Reliant difference
Reliant has a strong heritage as a TPM provider rather than a reseller. This puts it in a strong position to offer a superior and differentiated service. The company helps IT leaders and their providers deploy TPM as part of their overarching data center maintenance strategy. This gives them uninterrupted coverage and allows them to save money while simultaneously extending the life of their existing infrastructure.
Reliant adopts a proactive approach to IT maintenance optimization and support. It’s established a solid track record as the go-to provider for multi-site, multi-datacenter environments that are undergoing change due to data center consolidation, growth, data center moves, mergers, acquisitions, and expanding/global coverage requirements.