Third-Party Maintenance

/Third-Party Maintenance

Blog topics regarding third party IT maintenance.

Third-Party Maintenance for IBM Netezza Reaching EOS

IBM is Pushing Early-Gen Netezza Users to Refresh—Know Your Options IBM recently announced the End-of-Support (EOS) date for the first three generations of Netezza products as June 30th, 2019. With this announcement, organizations using Skimmer (version N100-1), TwinFin (all N1001 versions), and Striper (all N2001 versions) are being pushed to begin the refresh process for hardware that still provides value. But companies have more options than spending massive amounts of CAPEX to refresh their data storage and analytics environments. IBM’s latest announcement is indicative of the typical OEM philosophy to force companies into a refresh, even organizations that aren’t ready to make the transition. With mission critical systems and complicated legacy applications still running on IBM Netezza EOS hardware, companies are now faced with an expedited refresh or loss of [...]

Knowing Your Options for Cisco Nexus 7000 End of Life

It seems like just yesterday that your Cisco Nexus 7000 was a brand-new product, but EOL for the Nexus 7000 was announced back in August of 2013, and EOSL was called the following year. More recently, it was announced that the last day to renew your support contracts was mid-November of this year, and the last day that you will receive “applicable service and support” from Cisco will be August 31, 2019. In short, the 7000s are well on their way to complete OEM retirement. But those 7000s could still be going strong in your environments. If you don’t have any complaints about performance or production, why fix what isn’t broken? Choosing to Take the Replacement Route In short, the Cisco Nexus 7700s are the most straightforward drop-in replacement solution [...]

Why Some Companies are Looking for Alternatives to Cloud

There’s no denying that cloud computing has its benefits. But, unfortunately, cloud is only truly beneficial when your applications and environments are fully optimized for it. If your company is still struggling to offset the costs of the migration and can’t seem to reduce your sky-high cloud bills each month, then it’s time to start triaging. Here’s why many companies are beginning to look for alternatives to cloud computing. Common Cloud Complexities that Have You Backtracking to Cloud Alternatives Consider the following cloud pain points: Customer Support and the Skills Gap Already-lean IT teams now must cover even more IT proficiencies. Because of this added strain, companies are turning to outsourcing to alleviate the pressure. With the current cloud and cybersecurity skills, finding the necessary expertise is proving difficult. Security [...]

Five Questions to Ask Your Third-Party Maintenance Provider

Change can be unnerving, especially when it involves the maintenance and support of your enterprise hardware. You trust the OEM to take care of your equipment, but the support costs are beginning to take a toll now that EOL has been called on your equipment. You need to find an alternative. One that doesn’t charge a premium. But one that provides the same level of service and the same quality replacement parts that you had before. To help calm your mind, we've put together a few questions to help you properly vet a potential Third-Party Maintenance (TPM) vendor. Five Key Questions to Ask Before You Sign 1.   How Global Are You? Considerations: If you are a multinational company, you need a vendor that can support you and have boots on [...]

Gartner’s Take on IT Cost Optimizations with Third-Party Maintenance

Your CFO probably doesn’t have a thorough understanding of what occurs in the data center from day-to-day. That’s okay. It’s not your CFO’s job. But that means, when you need budgetary approval for upcoming IT projects, you might need to make a case for other cost optimization strategies before you can make your new budget pitch. To address this need, Gartner, in its guide “IT Cost Optimization Principles” shares best practices for how to optimize your IT spend and maximize business value without compromising production. Gartner’s answer? Third-party maintenance. Gartner’s IT Cost Optimization Principles In addition to conducting over a decade of IT cost optimization research, Gartner also analyzed the “results of multiple national and regional recessions [and] the Great Recession” to establish a practical methodology for IT leaders and [...]

Deciding When to Outsource Engineering

It’s not enough to simply keep pace with innovation; you also need to establish and maintain a competitive advantage. Many organizations are facing the decision of when to outsource engineering, but others are still determined to keep all IT operations in-house. Unfortunately, your IT team is already spread thin, so you need to find a sustainable solution that fills in IT gaps and enables your senior staff to refocus on more critical, strategic tasks. To determine whether you are outsourcing your IT needs efficiently, compare your operations to the following IT outsourcing checklist. 1.  How consistent are your IT needs? Do you have seasonal needs that require temporary staffing to handle the load? g. Increased support needs during fax filing, immigration law, retail (Christmas, holidays, etc.) Are you experiencing rapid [...]

Regain Control of IT Spend with Vendor Consolidation

Having too many vendors leads to inefficiency. Like too much IT spend. Too many profit margins to cover. Too many points of contact. And too many projects that are out of your control. It's time to regain control of IT spend and the rest of your IT operations with vendor consolidation. If you’re operating internationally, then your vendor sprawl can become much worse. With exponential vendors comes exponential logistical and financial burdens, including: Overly complicated vendor communication Extensive project management errors and inconsistencies Unnecessary service redundancy and overhead Unstandardized protocols and support methodologies Outsourcing your IT tasks is a necessity in this age of leaner IT teams and more generalized engineering talent. But outsourcing, fundamentally, is supposed to relieve pressure on your in-house teams, not add more strain. If your [...]

Comparing OEM Support vs Third-Party Maintenance: Five Questions to Ask

Despite the cost savings and extended support windows offered by third-party maintenance (TPM) vendors, you might prefer your original equipment manufacturer’s processes and support protocols. But why, exactly, is that? Before you grit your teeth and pay the OEM premium, you owe it to yourself to compare OEM support vs. TPM to determine which service delivery model meets your real needs. Here are a couple questions that we recommend you ask any prospective maintenance provider. 1.  When is EOL/EOSL on all my machines? OEM: Although the OEMs offer maintenance for the first several years of the hardware’s lifecycle, they will eventually pull support entirely once they announces final EOSL. Because the OEM will no longer be manufacturing, procuring, or refurbishing replacement parts, it is unable to sustain your legacy equipment [...]

What Does a Better 24x7x4 SLA Mean for Your Business?

Wear and tear on your hardware is inevitable. That’s why your IT support’s 24x7x4 SLA is so important to maintain efficient operations. How quickly you deal with the consequent breakdowns that occur can be the difference between minimal delays and extensive downtime. And a great deal of your ability to respond well to these issues is the speed, quality, and dedication of your maintenance support vendor. Consider the Following Scenario: You have a vital piece of hardware that breaks down unexpectedly. All major production across your datacenter halts until you replace or repair that part. If you’re dealing with an OEM that provides 24x7x4 SLAs, they will acknowledge your maintenance issue and will have a Help Desk representative call you back within their 4-hour response window. OEMs are massive enterprises, [...]

Hardware-as-a-Service for New Location Rollouts

Your business is expanding, which is a good thing. But with expansion comes a hefty caseload of expenditures, logistics, and IT workforce strain. Hardware-as-a-Service eases the tension in new location rollouts. Rolling out new facilities is no easy task, but your infrastructure should never be the limiting factor in your company’s growth momentum. Your technology supports your business and drives your production. When you can’t get a new technology setup quickly (or economically), you run the risk of spending more than producing. And the same is true for remote offices and new retail locations, although they typically require less hardware. More scalable hardware rollout methodologies exist; you’re just not implementing them, yet. Making the Right Decisions When you are preparing a new location—whether it be a data center move, results [...]