The Race to the Bottom

I fully recognize and acknowledge that hardware maintenance has moved down the priority list within I/T departments significantly over the last 15 or so years. Prospective new clients would inspect our offerings and capabilities extensively to ensure the risk from moving away from the OEM was as small and limited as possible. Now clients are more open to “3rd party maintenance” in part from technology trends and in part from Gartner stating 3rd party maintenance was a viable alternative for segments of equipment in the traditional data center environment.

What I have seen would stun Gartner and many clients of the large outsourcers today. The reason is vendor scrutiny went from high to virtually non-existent. The only criteria that predominates today is the lowest price; irregardless of any other factors. While I certainly agree cost savings is an essential component of the equation, I hereby suggest that other factors be considered as well:

  • Trained engineers in each and every location that you have equipment requiring support
  • Either “no sub-contractors” or complete background on requisite skills and experience of any sub-contractors used
  • Full parts stocking for equipment to be supported. Caveat emptor when a vendor states “parts stocking” since it often means a single disk drive or similar diminimus amount
  • Will you be sacrificing remote monitoring and diagnostic capabilities by moving away from the OEM? If so, a careful analysis of the risks involved should be evaluated.
  • Keep in mind that OEM support is only when the OEM themselves supports the equipment that they manufactured. This does not apply to other OEM’s equipment or when they hire a 3rd party to maintain their equipment (often used on older end of service life equipment)

We can offer clients a true, legitimate alternative with our value proposition. You will get the high quality and you will save a lot of money with our solutions but you probably will not get the absolute lowest price. Remember the old saying “you get what you pay for”.