When it comes to taking care of data centers, third-party maintenance (TPM) has become increasingly present in the modern IT ecosystem. Enterprises are cashing out big bucks for these networked computer servers and understandably so, want to maximize their investment through quality support and maintenance.
Third-party maintenance providers play a crucial role here as they offer numerous benefits over the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) contracts. These primarily include:
Arguably the biggest advantage of TPM service over traditional OEM maintenance is providing a cost-effective alternative that can be cheaper anywhere between 50% to 70%.
For starters, they provide extended warranties, faster response time, and more flexible contracts. These providers often provide more comprehensive maintenance packages than OEMs, including on-site technicians and 24/7 support. Finally, they also provide more wallet-friendly parts and labor costs, which can add quite a bit in the long run.
In today’s business environment, every dollar is important so saving a significant amount allows companies to allocate substantial budgets and focus on other key investments. Thus, the competitive price tag of the TPM model helps data centers reduce their operating expenses while still maintaining the same level of quality.
We’ve briefly touched upon the aspect of flexibility as third-party maintenance providers offer personal attention and customizable service models.
The reality of having an OEM as a partner is that your business is just a customer like any other. As such, it’s unreasonable to expect prioritized support or personal touch.
Third-party maintenance providers are not limited to the services and solutions offered by the equipment manufacturer, which means they can offer more flexible service plans, tailored to meet the specific needs of your business.
For instance, you may benefit from the adaptability of month-to-month contracts and the freedom to end your contracts without incurring any fees. This certainly isn’t the case with an OEM strategy. Moreover, problems may be resolved quicker as the TPM provider can respond to your requests faster due to the way it operates. As a result, you will be more productive since you will solve issues more swiftly and spend (or waste, depending on how you look at it) less time waiting for a customer service agent.
While there are certain similarities, IT infrastructures and data centers are wildly different across the business spectrum. What suits one company doesn’t necessarily have to suit the other and vice versa.
Neither OEM nor TPM are ‘be-all, end-all’ solutions, which is why some businesses are opting to have the best of both worlds. The former may be a good/better fit for assets that are critical for your data center operations and are at the early stages of their lifecycle. On the other hand, TPM works great for hardware at the edge of your network that will benefit from getting more mileage out of it rather than replacing it.
The hybrid support strategy can also include a spares program as another method having readily available swappable replacements on-site at all times. This is a financially sound choice if you can locate a reputable seller of second-hand networking hardware. Incorporating spares adds another economical option to go along with OEM and TPM support and broadens the likelihood of finding the optimal solution for your tech stack.
TPM providers play a major role in extending the lifecycle of your assets through a range of services that help keep hardware and software running smoothly beyond their end-of-sale (EOS) and end-of-life (EOL) dates set by the OEM.
This is actually a fairly common tactic in the IT world. When the original warranty ends, companies often transition to TPMs as opposed to staying with the equipment manufacturer and renewing the support contract.
The reason why is pretty straightforward: cost. Post-warranty OEM support is unreasonably high, sometimes even costing more than the asset’s value. Thanks to hardware and software upgrades, repairs, and replacements, a TPM approach represents a more versatile infrastructure maintenance model - one that suits your budget and requirements.
Your tech investments should help your company grow and fulfill your needs, not be held hostage by limited vendor-supplied services. Having alternatives is very important and TPM presents a smart one for those who want a greater ROI on their IT assets.
Once again, your particular set of circumstances and needs should dictate the solution that best provides the best fit. Don’t take this lightly, though - when choosing a partner for data center maintenance, it’s essential to look for the finest supplier. To truly be able to rely on their ability to provide you with the help you require, you should really know and trust them. Anything less won’t be enough.