By Mark Havens, VP, Sales & Marketing, SSCS

If your data center infrastructure includes HP servers and storage, perhaps you’ve considered extended HP server or HP storage lifecycles to contain CapEx (Capital Expenses) for a few years so budgets can be afforded toward other priorities or projects. For several reasons, lifecycle extensions can be helpful to you, your team and your departmental budgets.

Extending Asset LifecyclesThink about the typical OEM warranties – 3 years. At this time, the hardware is just beginning to reach “stable state.” Few issues, running smoothly, infrequent security patch updates – all of these things prevent distraction for your team members, permitting them to focus on projects and production efficiencies. Saving time can sometimes be critical to your current year objectives. By itself, “stable state” is a good reason to more closely consider lifecycle extension strategies.

Holding off capital expenses certainly helps address other needy budgets; however, there is additional value to your negotiating leverage by not refreshing in the same time windows as the OEM would prefer. When the latest technology becomes first available, pricing is not the same as it is one year later. More so, your industry peers and competitors can deal with “early adopter” headaches often seen in first year operations. When you don’t do all the OEM suggests, you get their attention AND you’ll see better pricing, better bundled packages, etc.

An unusual, but somewhat illogical side effect of hardware lifecycle extensions, is that monthly hardware maintenance expenses (OpEx) can be an issue. Most OEMs will charge a greater monthly maintenance fee for post warranty assets and those fees go up the older those assets become. Even HP will do this – but not as frequently as other OEMs. Your sales rep will explain that older parts are hard to find, and therefore expensive. He/she may explain that it costs much to maintain staff expertise in older, legacy systems. Come on!

Here’s the truth: These responses and this post-warranty maintenance pricing is only one small element of a very clever OEM tech refresh strategy. Don’t fall for it! Certainly, there may be viable business reasons that you have to refresh your processing or storage estate rather than to extend the life, but that decision should be YOURS to make without the influence of HP or any other OEM.

OEM vs SSCS Lifetime Costs

Your hardware lifecycle extension strategies can easily embrace the financial rewards of the independent hardware support industry – also known as Third-Party Maintenance (TPM).

40-60% savings from the price offered by HP is normal. In cases where you’ve never before considered TPM, savings of up to 70% are not out-of-the-ordinary.

In our industry, most TPMs can easily maintain all the HP assets your company has deployed: ProLiant, Integrity, 9000/SuperDome, 3PAR, LeftHand, EVA, libraries, etc. You name it, we likely can maintain it.

New to understanding the TPM industry? No problem! Here’s a few white papers that can help you better understand the remarkable value of this unique industry:

1.“Understand Why 71% of Fortune 100 Companies are Now Using Independent Hardware Support”
2. “Still Unfamiliar with the Benefits of Third-Party Hardware Maintenance?”
3. “CIO/CTO Evidence: Enterprise Trends in Hardware Lifecycle Extension Strategies”
4. “CIO/CTO Evidence: Financial Impacts from Hardware Support Strategy Remodeling”

Mark Havens, VP, Sales & Marketing, SSCS

This year will be Mark’s 23rd year with SSCS Global IT Services. Beginning in sales, he was promoted to Vice President, Sales & Marketing, now responsible for all global sales activities, brand recognition, inbound/outbound marketing and primary messaging. In his previous employment in management with Ritz Carlton, Mark was highly influenced by their industry-leading customer service program, as influenced by the standards of the Malcolm Baldridge quality awards.

In his spare time, Mark is engaged is numerous activities with his daughter, plays the bass guitar and is a vocalist with a band and his church choir.

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