When it comes to renewing their IT maintenance contracts, many companies experience difficulty. For most of them, one of the biggest issues is choosing between the two options for long-term maintenance: Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and Third-Party Maintenance (TPM) support providers.
On one hand, TPMs are exclusively committed to customer service and focus primarily on addressing the demands of their clients, offering a variety of services to maintain IT gear functionality following its End of Service Lifecycle (EOSL). In contrast, OEMs primarily turn their attention to development of service contracts and sales of new hardware, as well as original parts and components.
Yet, there are a number of myths regarding TPM that have developed recently, in spite of the fact that this model has become quite a popular choice due to its affordable and flexible service, prompt response, and generally positive experiences from organizations utilizing it.
In today’s post, we will learn about third-party maintenance, the benefits it offers, and some common misconceptions about it circulating in the IT industry.
Third-party maintenance explained
The most straightforward way to describe TPM is to say that it’s a non-authorized reselling alternative to the typical OEM support. For both warranty and post-warranty periods, TPM providers offer a wide array of services that include hardware support, server, network, storage, or data center hardware replacement or repair, on-site help, and remote monitoring, to name a few. In order to develop their knowledge and provide dependable services with complete expertise, they also certify engineers from numerous IT infrastructure vendors such as Dell, IBM, Cisco, and others.
This creates a total independence from OEMs in terms of required resources to deliver a satisfactory service: help desk, replacement parts, technical and on-premise support, and so on.
Benefits of third-party maintenance
In the quest to reduce costs and increase the lifespan of their IT assets, an increasing number of companies are seeking innovative strategies and finding TPM providers as an answer to their troubles.
Original manufacturers are the obvious choice for new equipment, but once the initial warranty period ends, there are a few things to take into account - areas where TPM has an upper hand. With a tailored SLA, you may receive the same quality of service and components for less money.
That’s exactly what we at Dataknox deliver: cutting-edge solutions and premium services that promise benefits at a fraction of the price.
Speaking of benefits, here are five major ones with a tangible impact on a business’ bottom line and performance:
- Cost savings
Undeniably, the main benefit of third-party IT maintenance. By outsourcing your IT maintenance to a third-party provider, you can save significant money on wages and training costs for in-house IT staff.
Additionally, TPM providers often have economies of scale that allow them to offer competitive pricing and bulk discounts on hardware, software, and services. This can result in significant cost savings for businesses, especially for those with a large number of IT assets.
- Tailored support
TPM vendors often offer flexible support plans that can be tailored to your specific needs and budget. These can include options such as on-site and remote support, 24/7 availability, as well as the possibility to scale support up or down as needed.
It also needs to be mentioned that TPM service providers have a quicker reaction time, including addressing problems, which can drive your productivity levels faster back to where they need to be.
Such flexibility allows any business to choose the level of support that best meets its needs, rather than being stuck with a one-size-fits-all solution that is a staple of the OEM model.
- Flexible service-level agreements
While we’re on the subject of flexibility, it’s important to note that how your SLA is defined matters a lot. Several trustworthy TPM companies, like Dataknox, provide a range of service-level agreements that can be customized with add-ons to meet your unique needs. This covers both production and non-production equipment while streamlining other activities bridging a warranty gap during a cloud transfer.
- Critical service improvements
It’s common for TPM to have a team of experienced technicians who are trained and certified in a wide range of technologies. Thanks to broader management tools and capabilities, they are able to provide a higher level of service and support, as well as access to advanced tools and resources.
Additionally, they often offer a wider range of services, such as cloud computing and data backup and recovery, which can help businesses improve their IT infrastructure and operations.
- Extended end-of-life of your equipment
Thanks to the aforementioned technical proficiency stemming from OEM-based training in technology and service, TPM providers can handle even the most complex systems without forcing you to buy brand-new hardware.
As a result, an asset's life is prolonged without diminishing business operations in any way. Thus, the TPM strategy helps keep hardware and software running smoothly beyond their end-of-life dates set by the OEM.
Common myths about third-party maintenance
There is no shortage of mythical statements about the budding alternative to the OEM way. Here are the four worst offenders in terms of misleading information:
- Savings from transitioning to the TPM model are not worth the risk
Many businesses are hesitant to switch from their current maintenance provider because they fear that the new one will not be as reliable or responsive. However, this fear is unfounded.
In reality, switching to a TPM provider can provide significant cost savings for organizations. They are able to offer competitive pricing because they are not tied to a specific vendor or manufacturer, and can leverage their purchasing power to secure discounts on parts and services.
The risk of switching to a TPM provider can be mitigated through thorough research and due diligence. You should carefully evaluate potential providers, including their track record, references, and certifications. It is also important to make certain that the provider in question has the necessary expertise and resources to support your specific hardware and software.
- Only OEMs can provide replacement parts
While it is true that OEMs are often the primary source for parts and components, it’s not always the case.
Many TPM providers have established relationships with a wide range of vendors and manufacturers, which allows them to secure access to a wide range of parts and components. Additionally, TPM providers often have extensive experience and expertise in identifying and sourcing alternative parts and solutions, which can help organizations avoid costly delays or disruptions in their operations.
- Only OEMs deliver deep expertise on their solutions
Yes, OEMs have a deep understanding of their own products and services - that is an undisputed fact. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that third-party maintenance providers don’t offer the same level of competence.
In fact, many TPM providers have highly skilled technicians who are well-versed in various technologies and are able to provide expert support and maintenance services. These technicians often have extensive training and experience, and are able to troubleshoot and repair complex issues with OEM systems. It’s not uncommon for OEMs to outsource parts of their support to TPM, too.
In addition to their technical expertise, TPM providers are also able to offer a more comprehensive and flexible approach to IT maintenance. While OEMs may only provide support for their own products, their TPM peers are able to support a wide range hardware and software from multiple vendors. In turn, you gain more breathing room to choose the best solutions for your unique requirements, rather than being limited to a single vendor's products.
- TPM support is shaky and inconsistent
This one just breaks our hearts as it’s simply not true. If anything, many TPM providers are known for their high levels of reliability and responsiveness - in no small part due to the fact it’s the foundation of their business model.
For starters, response time is much quicker given that most (if not all) of the available resources are being used for support purposes. This is why you’ll see numerous TPM providers, Dataknox included, offering 24/7 support, with technicians on call to handle any issues that may arise. There are also established processes and procedures in place to see to it that issues are resolved in a timely and efficient manner.
Get all of your IT maintenance needs with Dataknox
At Dataknox, we exist to solve problems for our clients no matter how technically or logistically complex. With our TPM approach, we can offer you highly customized support and maintenance plans, which can ensure that your systems are always running smoothly - a lot quicker than an OEM model that is process-heavy.
If you’d like to learn more about how a team of Dataknox professionals can look after your IT assets, feel free to get in touch with us via email or phone – we’ll be more than happy to discuss your unique requirements.