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What is Third-Party Maintenance?

The need to maximize the use of data center equipment and possibly extend life cycles has called significant attention to third-party maintenance (TPM). TPM providers have now become integral alternatives to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) support when OEM contracts expire, and particularly when products reach their end of service life (EOSL).

Third-Party Maintenance Definition:
Third-Party Maintenance in IT is a contracted service to procure spare parts and service IT equipment that is typically out of warranty or end-of-life (EOL) with the OEM. It is a popular alternative to extending OEM support because of its cost-savings benefits and improvements to customer service. Implementing Third-Party Maintenance can delay unnecessarily early refresh cycles, and keep expenses down for an IT organization over time.

Leading analyst and research firm Gartner has published its Market Guide for Data Center and Network Third-Party Hardware Maintenance in recent years to provide detailed information on the strategic benefits and potential risks involved in partnering with TPMs.

If you’re thinking of switching to TPM for your data center maintenance needs, it’s important to perform your due diligence and find out why and how TPM could be a good fit for your business.

What is Third-Party Maintenance?

Third-party maintenance is IT hardware support by independent service providers offered as an alternative to the OEM system. TPM is considered the more flexible and cost-effective service post-warranty of a product, and often, the only option when the OEM announces that it will cease to manufacture hardware parts and/or offer support for a device.

More often than not, TPM services cover more than vendor-supplied maintenance and can be more accommodating in terms of timetables and customizations. Depending on the service level agreements and the package availed by the client, the range of services given by a TPM provider can include hardware coverage and replacement, phone and online technical support, on-site engineering assistance, 24/7 troubleshooting, data backup, and more.

Five Key Benefits of Using Third-Party Maintenance

  • Single Point of Contact for Multiple Products

Dealing with different suppliers and multiple support contracts can be inefficient and costly, especially when you’ve built up a good number of technology hardware from different suppliers over the years. Acquiring the services of a TPM simplifies the maintenance process because you will now only have to go to a single service provider for all your different products. Having only one point of contact for all your maintenance requirements also reduces the time it takes to review the details of the paperwork such as pricing, Service Level Agreement (SLA), and other terms.

  • Lower Cost of Services over OEM

Choosing TPM over OEM contracts is a guaranteed way to reduce your IT spending. According to the Gartner guide, TPM providers can give their clients “50% to 70% savings off net-OEM support prices.

  • Capacity to Extend Hardware Lifetime

Having to upgrade to newer equipment not only puts a dent on your IT budget, it also could potentially disrupt business operations. That’s why many companies would wish to extend the life cycle of their legacy assets, even when the manufacturer has already indicated the EOSL of certain devices. Fortunately, TPMs can continue to provide parts and engineering assistance for many devices beyond EOL so that you can postpone technology refreshes and avoid major IT investments for some time.

  • Flexible Coverage

TPM service contracts generally offer more flexibility, often with several service level options to choose from. For instance, a client can choose between a 5- or 7-day per week coverage, and a response time of as early as within 2 to 3 hours or next day response. Other plans may offer 24/7/265 technical helpdesk support. Terms for replacement of parts plus labor and travel costs may also be indicated in the contract including priority in the service queue for premium packages.

  • Fast Availability of Parts and Wide Range of Expertise

Most TPMs have well-established networks that enable them to provide replacement parts and hardware quickly and bring them to wherever they are needed. This prompt and reliable service ensures that mission-critical infrastructure won’t have downtimes longer than necessary. Established TPM providers also have engineers and technicians who have the experience, knowledge, and technical training to address varying maintenance needs of different hardware devices.

Multi-Vendor IT Maintenance Services

CentricsIT is a multi-vendor TPM provider, offering the essential maintenance and support services needed to manage your data center. Supporting equipment from top manufacturers including IBM, Cisco, Dell, EMC and others, our aim is to be a trusted one-point contact for all server, networking, and storage support needs of your business.

With offices and secure stocking depots positioned around the world, meeting or exceeding our service levels is standard. We spare all parts ourselves and house them local to you, wherever you are, ensuring that we keep your downtime to a minimum. And our service levels are 100% customizable to meet your unique needs and requirements.

If you’re looking for a third-party maintenance provider you can trust, look no further than CentricsIT. Talk to one of our support specialists today to get a personalized quote.