By Mark Havens, VP, Sales & Marketing, SSCS

OEM refresh strategies are not new, nor is the annoyance that many data center decision makers have with these self-serving sales tactics. Growing weary is normal, but those that have grown enraged have begun to deploy strategies that are rooted in greater logic, savings, service quality – AND actually, build greater leverage into their relationship with the OEM.

Typically a public company, the OEM is driven to please the financial interests of the stakeholder and failure is not an option. Development, expert staffing and promotion are very expensive. While your hardware assets are under warranty, these costs are passed along to companies that buy the new technology and these same costs are somewhat “amortized” across the warranty of those products, with profit margins consistent to the requirements of the board of directors and shareholders.

The very “essence” of the support you receive from an OEM is getting you to pay for great technology and keeping you as a customer. Building and deploying leading-edge technology is expensive and it must be recouped somewhere – some comes from the initial capital expense, but more comes from the support expense during that warranty period.

Here’s something to think about: At times, as you might imagine, you are paying MORE than your fair share of the cost to develop new IBM products. You may even be paying for infrastructure and strategies that limit your options, or force you to accept the next IBM tech refresh.Post Warranty Assets Choices

In any business procurement scenario, have you noticed what happens to your vendor negotiating leverage when you introduce competition – even for a segment of the business being done? Why not think this way about your post warranty IBM assets?

If your data center environment includes IBM servers and IBM storage, you may or may not have considered the support costs of your post warranty hardware assets. Certainly, IBM hardware assets have a support cost associated with each serial number. Paying IBM to support those older assets is NOT THE WISE USE of limited budget dollars. Most OEMs will increase their support costs once assets are post warranty – to drive you toward the refresh. And, those monthly costs increase more and more, the older those assets become.

40-60% savings from the price offered by IBM is normal when using a TPM. 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 post-warranty IBM hardware your company has deployed: IBM BladeCenter, iSeries, pSeries, zSeries, Storwize, Power, System Storage, TotalStorage, XIV and IBM/Lenovo xSeries.

New to understanding the TPM industry? Here are a few white papers that can help:

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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