No matter the size or scope of your business, sooner or later it will go through challenging times. There are too many things beyond our control that can bring a business to its knees all of a sudden and force business owners to reconsider all of their decisions from the starting point until now.
That’s why it’s critical to businesses’ survival to possess an integrated support system able to back up its computing machinery. With it, businesses can get through tough times and continue to grow despite all obstacles. One such sort of system-support service that has been growing in popularity is a third-party maintenance (TPM) service, and as the term implies it is a service offered outside the limits of the original equipment manufacturers (OEM).
There are plenty of reasons why third-party maintenance has been becoming more and more mainstream, but the main ones include considerable cost-saving, pronging the life of IT assets, customizable support, safeguarding your systems, and securing their smooth operations.
The answer to the question should you take on third-party maintenance seems clear, but getting the right timing can get a bit tricky.
Although you’re the only one who knows the right answer to this question, there are plenty of early telltale signs that it's high time to consider outsourcing, and here is a couple of them you should give thought to.
Since all of your IT equipment will eventually start running slow, stop working as required, or break up entirely, the first thing to consider should be the end-of-life (EOL) and end-of-service-life (EOSL) of all servers, storage, and network equipment. So, if the EOL and EOSL are almost reached, it’s time to get some extended coverage.
Also, keep in mind that refreshing or upgrading your IT equipment is almost always a couple of years after OEM suggests it since these businesses thrive by selling the freshest IT equipment and making a quick profit.
On the other end, your own business will profit from extending the life of its IT assets for several more years. What’s more, OEM’s SLAs following the warranty expiration tend to get really pricey which can put an additional strain on your business’ budget.
An additional challenge all businesses face is keeping up-to-date with all the one-year service level agreements (SLA) provided by OEMs, as well as staying on top of the cost of managing IT equipment from multiple manufacturers.
What benefits you’ll get to enjoy by incorporating TPM in your IT environments depends on the scope of the service you hire, but here are some of the common perks.
First of all, both you and your TPM provider have a shared objective, and that’s prolonging the life of your IT assets as far as possible, as well as protecting your data and keeping all your systems functioning properly.
Also, TPM service often includes comprehensive technical support through several channels (like telephone, live chat, and ticketing system) for solving all sorts of IT-related issues including malware removal, system upgrades, and troubleshooting software. And if you find yourself in need of on-site staff of trained technicians available around-the-clock, TPM will get you covered, and throw in an inventory of spare parts whenever you need them.
In addition to saving your time and money, a TPM service will also save all of your data by providing backup capability in case your systems lose power due to natural disasters or other unpredictable events.
When considering hiring a TPM company you should check if they have the capacity to meet needs that are specific to your industry. Since certain industries come with certain compliance standards (for instance, a financial institution must meet PCI, EI3PA, or GLBA compliance requirements), you want to make sure that your TPM provider can cover all of it and offer a maintenance solution that works for you and your business.
It’s also important to inspect what additional services the TPM company can offer in order to secure a comprehensive solution. For instance, you should know if their technicians offer help outside of hardware maintenance, if they organize data center relocations and decommissions and asset destruction, and so forth.
Also, it’s critical to make sure that while working with a TPM vendor, your company stays in complete control over its data center and its computing infrastructure, while enjoying the benefits of cost-effective support from a capable, certified, and independent third party.