In 2019, the US Government spent up to 80% of its $90 billion IT budget1 on maintaining its existing legacy systems alone. While often the most cost-intensive element of IT budgets, maintenance is becoming increasingly crucial in helping to avoid losses in revenue and productivity amid greater infrastructure complexity, multi-vendor systems and increasing cybersecurity threats.

Frequently, due to the scope of tasks and tools required, organizations rely on the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to carry out necessary software updates, patches, and mechanical fixes. But as assets age, OEM support becomes more costly, more restrictive and places greater strain on IT budgets.

With hardware maintenance now considered as nonstrategic IT, CIOs are finding new ways to avoid unnecessary post-warranty charges and redirect their resources towards driving innovation with cost-effective alternatives. These include Third-Party Maintenance (TPM), which offers comparable support at prices up to 70% lower than the OEM.

Despite the benefits, misconceptions stop companies from making the switch. Below, we address five of these myths.

Myth: Maintaining legacy equipment is more expensive than purchasing new

A common misconception around TPM is that maintaining equipment is more expensive than refreshing with new. This is due to the fact that while OEMs offer inclusive or cost-effective support for new purchases, once the End of Life (EOL) date is issued, it becomes increasingly expensive and restrictive. Moreover, some also believe that older and post-warranty equipment is prone to failure, which can cause downtime and reduced productivity, and result in lost revenue.

On the contrary, TPM helps companies reduce their Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and increase ROI by escaping restrictive refresh cycles and expensive support charges while maintaining post-warranty and End of Service Life (EOSL) equipment. With customizable service level agreements, TPM providers enable customers to pay only for the exact support they require, offering savings of up to 70% compared to the OEM. And the benefits aren’t just economic – by extending the life of existing assets, companies can cut their contribution to e-waste and lifetime CO2 emissions significantly.

Myth: TPM can’t match the level of support provided by OEMs

Some may delay switching to a TPM provider, doubting if they can match the level of support provided by the OEM, who also lead IT professionals to believe theirs is superior to any alternatives.

In fact, TPM providers can match or surpass the support level of OEMs with customer-centric features such as real-time ticket launch and tracking, and tailoring services to customers’ specific requirements; providing fast and targeted responses to resolve issues quickly and effectively to always ensure business continuity.

Another benefit is flexible TPM contracts, with short- and long-term agreements, customizable service level agreements (SLAs) and support options including problem analysis, project reporting, diagnosis, and on-site intervention.

Additionally, working with local partners, TPM provides greater geographical reach and accelerated on-site service, with prompt delivery of spare parts wherever customers are located. With a Single Point of Contact, customers can streamline their processes and avoid dealing with multiple service providers for multi-vendor infrastructure maintenance.

Myth: TPM engineers do not have the same expertise as OEM engineers

Some companies may delay making the switch due to worries about whether the expertise of TPM engineers is equivalent to that of the OEM’s. Also, the reduced cost of TPM services may lead CIOs to question its quality and if it can support their complex infrastructure.

Instead, because OEMs are in the business of producing and selling hardware, their emphasis on maintenance, and as such, support can be limited or downplayed. In contrast, TPM engineers are highly trained and skilled across all aspects of mechanical hardware fixes and software maintenance. Moreover, while OEM engineers’ expertise may be restricted to the manufacturer’s products, TPM engineers are equipped to support server, storage, and networking equipment from multiple manufacturers, and able to resolve almost any issue of a multi-vendor infrastructure.

Myth: TPM engineers do not have access to the same firmware and software updates as OEMs

When shifting to a TPM, CIOs may fear losing access to firmware/software updates and patches, which can reduce the security and functionality of their infrastructure, and potentially jeopardize productivity and privacy.

However, usually the OEM only makes updates available during the initial years after product release, restricting them at EOL and eventually halting them at EOSL. Therefore, when extending the life of post-warranty and EOSL hardware, the OEM offers no greater access to updates than TPM. Although, if an update is required, TPM engineers can assess the need and impact of supporting hardware without these updates and advise you on the best solution for your business.

On this topic, progress is being made around passing legislation that makes access to updates mandatory after EOL/EOSL dates. In the 2021 EcoDesign Directive of the European Union2, OEMs are now obliged to issue the latest security update to firmware free of charge for a minimum of eight years after product release, allowing hardware and TPM users to better ensure equipment function, efficiency and security.

Myth: Second-hand components lack the quality and efficiency of new

Some believe the refurbished assets used to repair IT equipment can’t match the quality of new and that only OEMs can supply the right parts.

In fact, the refurbished assets used for TPM repairs are reconditioned and rigorously tested by specially trained and experienced engineers to match the high quality of new components to extend the life of existing assets for many years.

Additionally, salvaging and reconditioning functional parts from plentiful supply of decommissioned hardware means TPM providers have huge inventories of a wide range of spare parts, from multiple manufacturers (Evernex has over 850,000 in stock) – some of which are now unavailable for purchase from the OEM. Drawing on existing stocks of refurbished assets, TPM customers are also able to escape product and component scarcities and long lead times.

What’s more, as TPM providers often have the same parts as leading manufacturers, OEMs often partner with independent multi-vendor services to guarantee access to the right spares.

Switch and save your pocket and the planet

Despite the myths surrounding third-party maintenance, more and more companies are making the switch to gain the economic and environmental benefits discussed. So much so, Gartner3 predicts that TPM providers will start to primarily compete with each other, rather than OEMs, for opportunities in 60% of deals.

As a leading provider of TPM, Evernex can help you join the many enterprises optimizing the value of their assets with high-quality, cost-effective third-party maintenance.

Contact us to speak with an expert.

Sources

  1. ‘Information Technology: Agencies Need to Develop Modernization Plans for Critical Legacy Systems.’ U.S. Government Accountability Office. June 11, 2019. Information Technology: Agencies Need to Develop Modernization Plans for Critical Legacy Systems | U.S. GAO

  2. ‘The Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products and Energy Information Regulations 2021.’ Legislation.gov.uk. 2021. The Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products and Energy Information Regulations 2021 (legislation.gov.uk)

  3. Tenneson, Christina. 2016. ‘Key Trends in the Data Center and Network TPM Market.’ Gartner. 2016. PowerPoint Presentation (servicenetwork.org)

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