Stone Group - Providing digital transformation solutions to organisations across the UK.

How much are you spending to support all the equipment in your company? Depending on your company size, IT hardware support costs can potentially consume up to two-thirds of the IT budget. So how can you drastically reduce the costs of maintaining your hardware without sacrificing the quality of support you receive?

1. USE FLEXIBLE SUPPORT CONTRACT OFFERINGS

Customize a support solution to fit your needs

Every business is unique; they have individual needs and priorities – and their hardware isn’t any different. That’s why IT support isn’t a “one size fits all” scenario – it needs to be tailored to suit each companies unique requirements. Third-party support can provide valuable customization, by allowing you to only pay for the services your equipment actually requires, without forcing you into a Service Level Agreement (SLA) for your hardware that you don’t really need. Not all organisations need Level 1 response for every piece of equipment, so flexible SLAs enable you to customize the level of support for each piece of equipment as needed. For instance, if some parts need 4-hour-on-site response and less critical equipment only needs nextbusiness- day parts, you can tailor a support solution specific to your environment.

Additionally, third-party support can give you the ability to change or modify the specifics on your service agreement at any time. So, if you have equipment that has lapsed in maintenance coverage, you can add it to your maintenance service agreement (MSA) without having to worry about potential recertification fees to put that equipment back onto support.

2. CONDUCT AN EQUIPMENT AUDIT BEFORE PURCHASING OR RENEWING A SUPPORT CONTRACT

Don’t leave money on the table

Keeping accurate and up-to date information about your assets and system configurations can help ensure that you receive support pricing quoted specifically for your equipment. Support quotes typically take multiple factors into account other than SLA, including the age and type of the hardware, the physical location of the hardware, and the configuration. If you don’t have a full understanding of the equipment you have, you may be over-paying for support you don’t need on equipment you no longer use. Prior to renewing your maintenance agreement, conduct an internal audit of your equipment. This will help ensure that you are not renewing support services on equipment that is no longer active. Having accurate information about your hardware will allow you to get the quote you need the first time around.

QUICK TIP:

Choose a support provider that offers coterminous maintenance agreements to have all your support contracts renew at the same time. This saves time and money by reducing administrative hassles for your team and redirecting that effort in more productive ways.

3. EXTEND THE LIFE OF YOUR HARDWARE UNTIL YOU’RE READY TO UPGRADE

Take back control of when and what to upgrade

When you purchase storage, server, or networking equipment brand new from the OEM, that hardware comes with a warranty for a certain period of time. After the warranty expires, the OEM will typically spike the cost to support the post-warranty equipment, in an effort designed to push you to upgrade your hardware to the newest generation of product.

However, the hardware could still be valuable in your for several more years before you may decide to upgrade or replace it. One way to save money on hardware support is by using a third party maintenance vendor to extend the life of your equipment.

Third party support protects your equipment after the OEM warranty has expired at a fraction of the OEM maintenance quote – typically 30-70% less. Not only will you be saving money on the support contract, but you also won’t have to upgrade and replace your hardware as often, allowing you to retain the control of choosing what to upgrade and when , as it fits your organization’s budget and needs.

4. MATCH THE SLA TO THE EQUIPMENT’S NEEDS

Consider next business day parts replacement for less critical equipment

Unless all of your equipment is mission-critical, it is likely that you don’t need to have sameday service for parts replacement for that equipment. Mismatching SLAs to the equipment’s needs is a common way to overspend on your hardware support. Service-level disparities on your equipment may be caused by a provider requiring the same SLA for all equipment in your environment, or may be another result of poor asset management and incomplete decommissioning of equipment.

Your organisation may require the most comprehensive SLA on all your hardware, but then again, it may not—so you should try to match the SLA with equipment type and use to avoid overspending. While it may seem safer to put every piece of equipment under a high SLA, at a certain point, over-provisioning that level of support will become wasteful and expensive. By adjusting your maintenance service agreements to next-business-day parts replacement for equipment that isn’t mission-critical, you can end up saving a considerable amount of money in support costs.

QUICK TIP:

No matter what SLA you have for parts replacement, ask your support provider about the testing process for spares, so you can feel confident that the replacement part has been tested and certified to work when you need it.

These money-saving tactics can be used to trim the IT maintenance budget without having to sacrifice the level of care you need for your hardware. Third-party support can maintain your equipment at a cost up to 70% off OEM support prices.

Contact us to learn more about third-party support and if it is the right fit for your organisation’s needs.

Contact one of our account managers today