Posts Tagged ‘hardware maintenance renewal’

  • Your 2018 Checklist for Hardware Maintenance

    Posted on: January 9th, 2018 by Joel Nimar

    The beginning of the year is always busy as businesses put together new fiscal year plans and budgets. One item to keep in mind as you prepare for your new plans and budgets is hardware maintenance. It's an issue that isn't always top of mind until something goes wrong, but it's better to be prepared than to be caught blindsided when a problem rears its head.

    To make sure you cover all of your bases, consider drawing up a hardware maintenance checklist that details everything you'll need cover the course of 2018. That way, you can be rest assured you have what you need to protect your data center equipment against failure.

    Hardware maintenance should be a priority for your IT plans

    Determining where to allocate your IT funds is often a painstaking process, and inevitably certain items are going to get cut or devalued along the way. This becomes problematic when organizations have to work on tighter IT budgets or – even worse – don't prioritize the right investments. Your new budgets may promise higher IT spending overall, but there remains some doubt whether executives truly appreciate and understand where that money is going.

    "IT stakeholders need to vouch for the importance of hardware maintenance."

    What to include on your hardware maintenance checklist

    When reviewing your options for a hardware maintenance partner in the coming year, there are several key features to consider to ensure you receive the right coverage and services at the right price point:

    Single-vendor contracts

    One of the most common obstacles businesses run into with hardware maintenance is managing the various service contracts in effect for all of their data center and IT equipment. The time and labor required to parse through each one and determine precisely what is covered by different original equipment manufacturers is one of the more costly, unseen expenses related to IT operations. To remove such headaches, work with a hardware maintenance provider that offers single-vendor contracts across a wide range of vendor brands, including IBM, SUN/Oracle and EMC. The right partner will be able to support both legacy hardware and future equipment purchases down the road.

    Flexible SLAs

    No two businesses are the same, so why settle for a rigid, one-size-fits-all, service-level agreement? Hardware maintenance SLAs should spell out specific terms that make sense for each organization, taking into account both variations in price point and uptime guarantees. There's no reason to get locked into SLAs that package in unnecessary, expensive features and ultimately fail to meet your needs. If a hardware maintenance vendor is unwilling to budge on the terms of their pre-built SLA, consider going elsewhere for service.

    Responsive Support System

    In a perfect world, businesses would never need to call upon their hardware maintenance partners in a crisis. But equipment problems will spring up, and when they do, your service provider should be readily available to lend support. A fast and responsive help desk is the hallmark of a truly dependable hardware maintenance vendor, capable of offering expert advice and assistance at a moment's notice.

    Another aspect to consider is where that help desk team is located. Offshore support staff may not be able to meet the level of responsiveness needed to quickly address problems as they arise, especially if on-site assistance is required. Under these circumstances, a U.S.-based support system is ideal.

    Having a comprehensive checklist handy can help your organization ensure it gets everything it needs from a hardware maintenance provider in 2018. For more information on equipment maintenance and what to look for in an ideal maintenance contract, contact Pyramid today.

  • 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

     

  • How to Save Money on Hardware Maintenance

    Posted on: October 15th, 2014 by Joel Nimar

    Can you cut maintenance costs without sacrificing service or reliability?

    Hardware Maintenance

    Businesses reliance of technology is increasing every year. Hardware maintenance is one of the most important aspects of maintaining servers and networks that run a business. There is a way to cut these maintenance costs without sacrificing service or reliability.

    Follow these six tips of hardware maintenance and most businesses can expect to reduce costs of that maintenance by 20-60 percent, all without sacrificing service and reliability. These tips can also extend the life of older hardware systems and reduce the need for expensive upgrades.

    1.) Audit Your Hardware

    Many customers pay for maintenance on equipment that is no longer deployed. Pyramid can do a physical audit or use auto discovery tools to help find equipment that is no longer in service. Sometimes a piece of equipment is still paid for under a service contract but not being utilized. By removing the hardware, not only will you save maintenance costs but electric and cooling as well. If possible, schedule an audit of your hardware and your maintenance contract annually.

    2.) Evaluate Service Level Requirements

    A business can always save money by evaluating the service levels needed. Service providers will try to contract for as much service as possible, even if that service isn’t needed. Periodically check your bill for miscellaneous charges or services you didn’t order. Mix and match service levels depending on your needs, not the OEM or Service provider.

    Try dividing your hardware list into two categories, high priority and normal. Any equipment on the high priority list should get the best service coverage possible within your contract. This includes production servers that need to be up and running 100 percent of the time like an e-commerce or a server that monitors your plant. Reviewing your bill atleast annually can save you money

    Anything on the normal priority list can have a lower level of service in your maintenance contract. If you have multiple development servers, you don’t need to have 24/7 protection on them. Other equipment will fall into this category. Moving items off the high priority list still gives you coverage and still meets the business objective.

    3.) Stock Spares

    There are a number of small hardware items that most service contracts cover, but don’t need to. Monitors, disk drives and other small devices are very easily customer installable anyone on staff and can get you back to business faster and saves money. You don’t need an expensive service call just to swap a drive — as long as you have a spare. Plus, a handful of spares in storage, work as adequate backup against the potential failure of dozens of devices, which is a huge expense in a service contract. Plus, if none of the drives fail over the course of a year there is no cost to keeping them for the next replacement need.

    4.) Get a Quote from a Third Party Maintenance Provider

    Manufacturers may charge more for maintenance because they have more internal costs to cover. Third Party Maintenance companies are focused on one thing: providing maintenance at prices low enough to attract customers. Since they have lower costs, they can charge less. It is worth the effort to get a quote from a third party maintenance provider to keep your old hardware living long past the days the OEM would service it. Many TPM provide legacy hardware support long after the manufacturer has discontinued support.

    5.) Consolidate Maintenance Contracts

    Customers tend to have multiple service agreements from many manufacturers By consolidating those service and maintenance contracts it can make a supervisor’s job happy, accounting’s job easier, and it is likely that a volume discount reduce expenses.

    6. Preventative Maintenance

    Heat can destroy a computer. Manufacturers designed systems to dissipate heat, but sometimes the systems can get too hot because dust will clog the power supplies and airflow cannot occur as the computer was designed. Fans and power supplies die and either people don’t recognize that or forget to replace them, creating yet more heat problems. Items are placed behind computer equipment which blocks airflow. Carefully examining your datacenter to look for fans that don’t work, or paying attention to the smells that indicate electrical burning, noticing the discoloration of plastic or humming sounds that are not natural for computers can all save money and increase the longevity of your IT assets in the long run. Finding these mistakes before a CPU is completely burned out can save money.

    It isn’t always easy to find ways to save money in a business. You can improve your IT operations by streamlining service, finding parts that can be eliminated, and saving wasted manpower can be a great opportunity to boost the bottom line. Your are not alone. Pyramid Technology Services to here to help. Contact us with your questions or a no obligation quote today.