Caveat Emptor when selecting a 3rd party maintenance company

If you spend a short time reviewing the stated capabilities of 3rd party hardware maintenance companies you would be amazed!  The same holds true for the hardware brokerage companies that now have their own maintenance offerings. You will quickly wonder how you missed it. How did all these companies get so big and expand around the entire world? How can they all support every OEM and every platform? How can they all save me such huge amounts of money that I would be crazy not to switch my maintenance to them?

Appearances can certainly be deceiving. While a few of the larger vendors have international offices, most 3rd parties do not. In each case, they are all not as big as they would have you think. This holds true if you use actual employees as your metric and not include sub-contractors. Procurement and IT professionals need to ask the detailed questions to find out if sub-contractors will be used? If so, will they provide labor only? What about parts and where will they be stored?  What about the skills and experience of the sub-contractors? The answers to each of these types of questions will be revealing.

Another intriguing area when evaluating claims of 3rd parties has to do with remote monitoring. So many vendors claim they do offer it but provide no details. For example, in the case of EMC DMX or VMAX maintenance do they use EMC’s service processor? If so, did EMC grant them the legal right to use it for maintenance?

As you read this if you are thinking I’m an OEM advocate for all maintenance offerings you would be arriving at the wrong conclusion. If you select an OEM, there are a whole set of other questions that must be asked. Remember an OEM is an OEM only on the products they sell with their own logo on it.

Competition is good and it is what has made our country so great. One of the benefits of competition is it gives the consumer more choices and usually better prices. The key for IT and procurement professionals is to probe deep into the stated claims of your vendors.  While that may appear obvious, there’s a lot of vapor being sold around the world.