By Mark Havens, VP, Sales & Marketing, SSCS

If you’re reading this blog post, you either have an executive mandate to contain IT operating expenses (OpEx) or you’re open to server support models that differ from the OEM’s preferences. Of course, you already know that servers under warranty generally do stay under OEM support and your ability to contain costs do not kick in until the warranty nears expiration.

While you may or may not have more deeply considered extending the hardware lifecycle another few years, if you have not, you really should. Cost savings are remarkable and the market for independent hardware support is both robust and has built a reputation for incredible support and flexibility. If you know little about this market, you’ll benefit greatly from reading this freely available white paper.

Server Hardware Maintenance Costs You know that sometimes business drivers – especially software enhancements – push for the tech refresh and server lifecycle extension strategies are not realistic. Fair enough. Just make sure those involved in the software decision understand the hardware expense differential (Future OpEx minus Current OpEx) between current software tools and desired software tools.

Hardware OpEx is a huge part of your team’s budget and sometimes the deployment of software features may be delayed for a year or two to divert monies saved to a more critical project. Besides, this independent support industry (third party maintainers, aka “TPMs”) are very willing to help you do the research necessary so that sound decisions are made about hardware lifecycles.

Certainly, if you’re growing more curious about the magnitude of savings potential for extending hardware lifecycles, this hardware lifecycle white paper is not only educational, but going to be highly influential for your supervisor(s).

But, if you’re already on the “TPM Bandwagon,” that’s great. Of course, we believe you should be in dialogue with us. Most importantly, my advice to you is that you should be fully aware of the steps necessary to not begin a TPM bidding war that ultimately reduces the service quality (and flexibility) you should be expecting.

Something to Know – Get Accurate Pricing That’s Fair to Both Client & Vendor:

  • Getting server support pricing by providing only make, model and serial number increases your risk. Do the legwork necessary to provide full configurations so you’re not paying more than you need – OR, shortchanging the vendor and later surprising them with configurations that are incredibly expensive to support. Hardware support providers won’t work for free and your service quality will indeed be diminished from the industry norm.

Top Three Questions/Statements for Provider Candidates – to Separate the Wheat from the Chaff

  1. “If my objective is to reduce my overall server spend, how will you consult me so that your proposed options are balanced with ‘acceptable’ risk? How will you and your team discern what I deem ‘acceptable’ risk?”
  2. “Can you provide me your recommended sparing list for each of my post warranty servers?”
  3.  “How many parties could conceivably be involved in the delivery of the server support service you provide us?”

While this short list fits well within a simple blog, I could easily add another ten statements/questions that would be incredibly helpful to ensuring you get the service quality you deserve. If you’d like to hear more, I’d welcome a direct email or call. Or, you can simply watch for white papers we will be publishing in the very near future.

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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