Posts Tagged ‘cisco smartnet’

  • Why an OEM maintenance contract isn’t always the best option

    Posted on: November 20th, 2017 by Joel Nimar

    OEM maintenance contracts may lose their initial appeal rather quickly, leaving companies to pick up the tab on expensive hardware repairs.

    Sometimes going straight to the source isn't the best way to address a problem. While common sense may indicate that manufacturers are best equipped to deal with issues with their own equipment, that isn't always the case. This is especially true when working with expensive and complex data center hardware. Original equipment manufacturers can make hefty promises regarding hardware upkeep and repair, but if you dig a little deeper into your OEM maintenance contracts, you will likely come across more than a few red flags.

    Maintenance costs add up quickly

    Ongoing maintenance expenses can eat up a big chunk of an organization's IT budget. In fact, ZDNet's analysis of a recent Computer Economics survey revealed that operational budgets have steadily increased while other IT expenditures like hiring new employees have tapered off. Two-thirds of respondents reported that they would be ramping up their operational spending in 2018 to keep pace with their needs. Even with that increase, more than half of the study's participants felt that their 2018 operational budgets were insufficient to support business demands.

    How much does it cost to just keep the lights on? According to Forrester, as much as three-quarters of a company's IT budget may be devoted to maintaining baseline operational performance. That leaves very little room for more innovative and strategic IT projects. It can be very easy for organizations to become buried in operational expenditures, putting out fires and struggling to keep business going.

    "OEMs are notorious for ramping up maintenance costs."

    OEM savings may be misleading

    With so much money tied up in data center hardware, businesses often look to their OEMs to handle maintenance needs and keep their equipment running smoothly. Many are enticed by the seemingly low cost of entry offered by OEMs, with initial manufacturer warranties and competitive pricing. However, it's important to read the fine print in any maintenance contract and fully understand how those costs and service levels may fluctuate down the road.

    OEMs are notorious for ramping up maintenance costs from year to year. As Data Center Journal contributor Kayla Matthews explained, OEMs have a vested interest in rolling out new iterations of their products on a regular basis to address potential security issues and protect their brand's reputation. That sounds perfectly fine on paper, but in action, it means customers are pushed to adopt the latest updates and the increased costs that go with them. That early low price point can become a thing of the past very quickly.

    Those expenses may be even more eye-popping if the upgraded equipment is incompatible with some existing components, requiring further investments in an organization's IT infrastructure.

    Vanishing Act: When OEM support goes up in smoke

    Another issue to be aware of is how OEMs handle end-of-life equipment, especially in terms of support. In most cases, manufacturers are unlikely to continue supporting hardware that has been phased out of production. From a business standpoint, it's completely practical – why spend resources maintaining outdated equipment when your organization is focused on the next generation of hardware?

    Companies that aren't quite ready to move away from their existing network or data center setup may be caught in a bind, however. They may not have the budget to invest in new equipment, but the alternative is relying on a technological foundation that lacks any kind of safety net. If something breaks down and needs repair, your OEM won't be there to help. Fixing IT equipment on your own will be an expensive proposition, and many organizations simply won't have the budget to cover such unexpected costs.

    vanishing-act

    OEM support can vanish without warning.

    Third party vendors offer maintenance relief

    Instead of relying solely on OEMs for hardware upkeep and repair needs, consider working with a third-party maintenance partner. TPMs are more likely to offer support for equipment that has reached end of life, allowing companies to continue using their legacy hardware until the time is right to make an upgrade. Businesses can get more bang for their buck with their available IT budget because they're not on the hook for any repairs and they don't need to invest in shiny new equipment because an OEM dropped support for their legacy infrastructure.

    Another key benefit to working with a TPM is you get one point of contact for all of your maintenance needs. Organizations that rely solely on their OEMs for support have to wrestle with different maintenance contracts from various brands and products across a large swath of facilities. Managing all of those contracts can be an immensely time-consuming process. Working with a TPM simplifies contract oversight and makes it far easier to determine coverage and make repairs when necessary.

    At the end of the day, TPMs provide a headache-free way to manage your maintenance contracts and ensure business-critical machinery continues functioning with optimal uptime.

  • PTSInet, our Cisco Smarnet Compatible Solution Raises the Bar

    Posted on: July 29th, 2017 by Joel Nimar

    PTSInet, Our hybrid cisco Smartnet™ and Smartnet compatible solution is getting better and better than ever. Pyramid Technology Services is pleased to announce, PTSInet Plus. With new features and benefits to totally support our customers and their mission critical networks. Our US based, Technical Assistance Center (TAC) is available for consulting services in addition to our Break/Fix, Advanced Replacement Parts and IOS updates to resolve hardware problems.

    Below are a few of the expanded offerings included in our PTSInet Plus:

    1. Assist with product use, configurations, adding or removing systems to the network and troubleshooting issues between all network devices.
    2. Manage problems according to the Cisco Severity and Escalation Guideline.
    3. Work-around solutions or patches to reported Software problems using reasonable commercial efforts.
    4. Network monitoring for an additional fee. Fault notifications.

    ​Existing customers will automatically be provided this enhanced service at no additional charge.

    PTSInet service is also available to our Juniper, Enterasys, Brocade and HP Procurve customers.

    Call or email us for details. (978) 823-0700 or sales@pyramidcomputer.com

  • 80% of IT Costs Occur AFTER the Purchase – What Can You Do About It?

    Posted on: September 29th, 2016 by Joel Nimar

    Many businesses are discovering something very powerful – Enter third-party maintenance programs

    According to one recent study, it's estimated that the average business spends as much as 6.4% of its entire annual revenue on IT expenses alone (Hardware & Software, Administration, Operations, End-User and Downtime). This is a large part of the reason why IT maintenance and support is such big business for original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s) – there's a very real market that must be filled, especially as technology becomes a more ingrained part of our lives on a daily basis. Yet OEM support is not without its issues – companies often force premature obsolescence through maintenance prices that increase rapidly, product milestones like End-of-Support or End-of-Software-Updates that come far too soon and more.

     

    Hardware MaintenanceThis often leads to a situation where OEMs come out on top, even at the expense of the customers they're supposed to serve. Cisco Smartnet support and maintenance sales is a roughly $7 BILLION business in North America alone, yet how many business professionals can say that they're truly getting their money's worth out of what their OEMs are actually providing for them?

     

    Enter: third party maintenance programs. In an effort to close gaps in service coverage and simply keep their IT infrastructure up and running as inexpensively as possible, many businesses are actually discovering something much more powerful. Third party maintenance programs often provide complete coverage in an optimized cost model, allowing them to spend less and extend the useful life of their technological assets.

     

    Third Party Maintenance Programs: Saving Businesses Money in IT

     

    According to a study conducted by Gartner, a full 80% of IT costs per asset occur AFTER the initial purchase under a traditional OEM maintenance model, primarily due to the 15% price increase per year in services for the first five years of purchase.

     

    The most important thing to understand about third party maintenance programs is that they're not designed by OEMs to maximize their own bottom lines – they're designed by network and supply chain experts in an effort to maximize the benefits for end users. One of the ways this happens takes the form of a flat pricing structure, giving clients the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing their maintenance costs per asset will rarely increase.

     

    Even going beyond the savings generated by a flat pricing structure, third party maintenance providers can also help reduce IT expenditures in a number of other ways. By providing continued support that goes beyond the periods that an OEM will dictate for EoS or EoL, these programs can help a company maximize the ultimate return on investment of their assets considerably. Third party programs are also inherently flexible, meaning that a company only has to pay for the services they need – though they still have the ability to scale up or scale down as those needs change.

     

    Third party programs also bring with them the benefit of immediate access to specialized support which not only helps preserve the lifespan of an asset for as long as possible, but also goes a long way towards increasing operational efficiencies at the same time.

     

    In essence, third party maintenance programs allow companies to do more with less in terms of their IT infrastructure. They preserve the life of assets for longer than OEMs will allow, increase operational efficiency AND get to enjoy one fixed monthly price at the same time. From every conceivable angle, businesses win via third party maintenance programs.

     

    The Pyramid Approach

     

    At Pyramid Technology Services, Inc. we believe that the benefits of third party maintenance provider don't have to end with simply reducing an organization's IT expenditures. Our unique business philosophy, coupled with the wide range of services we offer, allow us to act as more than just a hardware maintenance provider and instead we can become a complete, turn-key solution for all of your IT needs.

     

    Our concierge service, for example, is a complete, white glove service that is customized from the ground up to meet a customer's individual needs. No two organizations utilize their IT infrastructure in quite the same way, which is why a "one-size-fits-all" approach to hardware maintenance just won't do. We also support both current equipment and legacy systems no longer supported by the manufacturer from over 100 different manufacturers including no less than 10,000 pieces of equipment. You don't have to worry about finding one company that specializes in HP Proliant hardware maintenance and a separate that is adept at Dell server maintenance – we do it all, and so much more, under one contract.

     

    In Conclusion

     

    These are just a few of the many ways that third party maintenance programs are reducing IT expenditures across the board for businesses in a host of different industries. For small and medium businesses in particular, third party hardware maintenance renewal is one of the best ways to cut costs and funnel that money back into a business where it belongs. It lets even smaller organizations leverage the latest that technology has to offer to their advantage, giving themselves the type of competitive edge they need to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

     

    For more information on Pyramid’s third party maintenance programs or to get a quote contact us directly at 978-823-0700 or sales@PyramidComputer.com

     

  • What to do When Your Hardware is Declared End-of-Life

    Posted on: May 18th, 2015 by Joel Nimar

    Hardware End of LifeSo you spend lots of money on servers, storage arrays, or networking equipment and it works great for your business, but after 2-3 years, your OEM declares the product end-of-life, no longer offering maintenance, but your equipment still works fine.

    In fact, a recent study by Forrester Research among IT leaders at more than 3,700 companies estimates that an average of 72% of a company’s total IT budget is spent on sustainment while just 28% is applied to new investments.

    Case Example of Our Hardware Maintenance Solutions

    A Pyramid customer was visited by their manufacturer and told a critical server in their daily operations would be discontinued in less than a year. This would cost them $300,000 and 12-18 months to covert the code and move the application to a new server platform. Their IT manager called Pyramid for a consultation. Pyramid was able to offer maintenance on their server for less than 5% of the upgrade costs, guaranteeing it for 5 years. This way, they could plan for the future.

    What Happens When Products are Deemed End of Life?

    Businesses who have end of life equipment can still continue to use their equipment for extended periods of time. Many OEMs still support software maintenance during this time for up to five years, but hardware maintenance and support will not be provided. There are many independent companies that will continue to carry parts and offer different levels of support and technical assistance which could be beneficial to the consumer in order to extend the life of equipment.

    Why are Products Transitioned to End of Life?

    Newer models and advanced technology are two of the top reasons OEMs make the switch. As products become older, the costs associated with manufacturing parts and providing assistance can become costly for the manufacturer, who has found new, innovative ways to streamline products and operations.

    Upgrade When Your Company is Ready – Not When the OEM Tells you to

    As you try to determine whether or not it’s time to upgrade your server equipment it’s essential to remember one thing: Deciding when your servers are obsolete is completely up to you, not the OEM. Relying too heavily on OEM suggestions and what other companies are doing can result in upgrading too soon and leaving return on investment (ROI) on the table or waiting too long and risking your market position.

    What Alternatives Are Available to Businesses to Maintain EOL/EOS?

    An excellent alternative for supporting end of life equipment is using a hardware maintenance provider. Pyramid’s PTSInet is a smart and economical way to provide support for your legacy equipment. With mulitple service level agreements, businesses are able to maintain their equipment at within their comfort level and price point. We service many large OEM products, and offer specific maintenance solutions based on your manufacturer.

    Manufacturers make their money by increasing the cost of maintenance to justify expensive hardware upgrades. With Pyramid, customers receive customized service at lower prices. Another advantage of using this alternative is that customers are assigned one support engineer who will remain with you throughout your service contract, which improves efficiency on both ends.

    Companies who do not have the luxury of purchasing new equipment every time their hardware is declared End of Life can now breathe easier knowing there are viable solutions to assist. For more information on how Pyramid can help you maintain your equipment to extend its life and value, contact us today!

  • The Compelling Benefits of Cisco Maintenance Alternatives

    Posted on: November 3rd, 2014 by Joel Nimar

    These days, many IT managers have Cisco equipment, generally switches, routers and now servers. However, what some managers don’t anticipate is the up-front high cost of maintaining this hardware; overtime, Cisco maintenance services can often be even more expensive than the equipment itself.

    This leaves many business owners and IT professionals in a difficult situation, especially in a business world where the budgets for IT are continuously shrinking. Fortunately, there are some less expensive Cisco maintenance alternatives from third party maintenance (TPM) providers.

    Unsure of whether TPM will work for your organization? That’s a normal reaction from many, especially if you’ve never used a TPM provider in the past. Most people are hesitant to embrace what they don’t know or understand which means it’s essential you understand the benefits of a third party maintenance provider before making any decisions.

    Why Switch to a Cisco Maintenance Alternative?

    Those who are currently paying for Cisco Smartnet hardware maintenance may find themselves wondering why I would risk switching to a TPM? After all, shouldn’t the OEM be trusted to provide the highest quality maintenance and service?

    Not necessarily. When it comes to overall service and value, an alternative to standard Cisco Smartnet maintenance may be the better decision. After all, there are many benefits that come along with switching to a maintenance alternative.

    For starters, the cost savings of 20-60% annually alone may make the switch worth it to join the legions of customers who have switched. Some businesses are faced with the decision of purchasing protection for only the most critical equipment. With a maintenance alternative, however, IT departments can afford the service they need for all of their equipment with simplified and customized support pricing.

    An added benefit that comes along with using an alternative maintenance provider is that there’s no longer the need to upgrade software and hardware before it’s truly necessary. Whereas Cisco’s Smartnet maintenance may cease to service products after a certain number of years (requiring customers to upgrade instead), alternative programs continue to provide support. Third-party maintenance also can upgrade the OEM warranty to same day from next business day service.

    PTSInet: The Smart Alternative

    Those looking for a viable alternative to Cisco’s Smartnet may want to consider Pyramid Technology Services PTSInet as an option. By going with PTSInet, companies can enjoy anywhere from a 20% to 60% savings off regular OEM maintenance costs alone. Our US based call centers answers quickly and you have one person who takes responsibility to solve your issue from beginning to end.

    The help desk is open 7×24, so IT professionals never have to wait to have their quesPtsinet Quotetions answered or their IT issues addressed. Plus, support covers more than 90 different equipment brands (including all of the most popular brands on the market today) – which eliminates figure pointing between the OEMs.

    If it becomes necessary to send an IT specialist out, customers can also be rest assured that all of PTSInet’s IT engineers are fully certified and highly experienced and that they will get the job done right the first time.

    Making the switch to a third-party maintenance service is a wise decision for many businesses, and PTSInet is a viable option to consider for significant savings and reliable support.

    Pyramid Technology Services invites you to request a quote. There is no obligation or sales pressure.  If we can save you money and provide more comprehensive maintenance service, the decision will be yours.