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It doesn’t make sense to have your L4 engineers stop work on a critical cloud migration and dedicate (over-qualified) time to rack-and-stack operations. You can’t afford to under-utilize your high-level full-time team for routine projects that could easily be handled by less expensive expertise.

With an engineering talent gap affecting teams globally, 90% of organizations are turning to contingent labor to get work done. If you haven’t worked with an outsourced field services provider before, here’s what to expect during an outsourced traditional rack-and-stack.

What Information Should You Share Before the Rack-and-Stack Project Begins?

Discovery Stage

Whether you are consolidating data centers or deploying all-new hardware, the service provider will need a detailed equipment list to scale qualified engineers to the task at hand. This will enable field service providers to give you an accurate quote and SoW for your project. From there, your potential provider will establish a schedule of when to act on the project and how it will assign engineers to each shift.


The service provider will need to obtain the following details about the shipment as well as your facility (or facilities):

  • Is there a lift gate?
  • Is there floor protection?
  • Is there assembly and deployment space for the hardware as it arrives?
  • Will you require a Certificate of Insurance?

The service provider will need these details to determine the safest and most efficient method of delivering, unloading, and installing within your data center.

What Kind of Work (If Any) Do You Need to Do Ahead of Time to Prepare?

The in-house preparation burden depends on the specific hardware project you have going, whether you are working with a VAR for new equipment or receiving refurbished units from the secondary market.

New Data Center Equipment

For relatively straightforward data center rack and stacks with new hardware, your outsourced field services team will need rack elevation diagrams to determine where to install the incoming equipment. Each shipment box and pallet should be clearly labeled with its contents as well as its intended destination within your facility.

You should also consider who will be responsible for making sure that the proper cabling amenities are available on-site, whether it is your team or your field services provider.

What Happens on the Day of the Project?

A (quality) service provider will contact you prior to the project date and keep you updated on project details throughout the entire rack and stack process, typically through a project management portal. Through this portal, you should also be able to manage project steps, coordinate with your vendor, and make any changes

A timeline should have been included in the SoW as well, for preparation and accountability purposes. In addition to the service provider’s project managers, a member of your IT team will likely be invited to oversee the process to ensure that the hardware is installed to specifications.

How Do You Verify that a Project is Complete?

Once the project reaches an end, your field services provider should deliver an on-site document that details:

  • Arrival time of engineers and equipment
  • Personnel interactions
  • Lists of (completed) tasks
  • A customer survey (engineer ratings)

Your L4 Engineers Have More Strategic Tasks than Unloading Pallets and Unboxing Hardware

Outsource your rack and stack initiatives to the data center experts at CentricsIT. We scale our hardware teams to your needs, can deploy globally (and simultaneously) to all of your sites, and can even help with international shipping logistics in the case of M&A’s and other data center consolidation initiatives.

CentricsIT welcomes accountability. Which is why we provide clients with CentricsIQ, our extensive project management portal that enables transparency and open communication between your team and ours. Through the CentricsIQ portal, you can view your current project status, request updates, pause your project, and more.

Learn why 90% of companies use outsourced field services to help them complete their objectives like rack-and-stack projects. Download this free whitepaper detailing The Rise of On-Demand Field Services in IT.