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Maintenance and Server Consolidation:

Excerpt: "It's worth calling special attention to the fact that according to the Uptime Institute, the potential savings in hardware maintenance costs are estimated to be three times greater than the savings in energy costs, even though energy savings are the reason most often given as the driver of consolidation projects..."

Server consolidation projects come in all shapes and sizes, but they share some common features. Whether driven by increased virtualization, cloud migration or hardware upgrades, server consolidation can dramatically impact support contracts and warranty coverage. This white paper examines some of these often-overlooked considerations, to help businesses take advantage of maintenance cycles without being hampered by OEM or other external upgrade pressures.


4 Common Causes of Maintenance Overspending:

Excerpt: "Businesses routinely overspend anywhere from 20% to 40% or more on annual hardware maintenance by failing to completely address at least 4 common issues that increase hardware maintenance costs. These 4 issues are within the grasp of most organizations to improve or completely correct on their own, without depending on a specific vendor, tool, or provider to rescue them, and the solutions require no specialized knowledge beyond normal IT skill sets..."

This white paper developed from a popular 2013 blog series investigating four broad areas where a set-it-and-forget-it attitude creates hard costs and reduces overall IT effectiveness: imperfect asset management issues, unnecessary retention policies following server consolidations/virtualization, failing to optimize warranty subscriptions such as SMARTnet, and mismatched service levels. Each issue is considered in some depth with various solutions across multiple IT and management roles.


Comparing OEM and Independent Hardware Maintenance:

Excerpt: "An OEM might urge upgrades to the point that hardware is swapped out long before any objective benefits reach fruition. Beyond that, OEM technicians may bear a significant amount of pressure to drive sales, to the point that some of them may even have a sales quota..."

Despite representing a multi-billion-dollar global market, not everyone is familiar with what independent hardware maintenance is. The main advantages of third party maintenance consolidation are presented, as well as a few of the factors that commonly place OEMs in conflict with their hardware customers when it comes to servicing aging models and declaring systems to be end of service life.


Ten Questions You Must Ask When Selecting a Hardware Maintenance Provider

Excerpt:"The answers received will determine the best fit for the datacenter based on real priorities - which may be budget, high service levels, speed, ease of use, or other factors - rather than accepting a one-size-fits-all solution that has the potential to score poorly in all such categories..."

Developed in tandem with our February 2014 webinar series, this white paper suggests ten specific questions to ask prospective hardware maintenance service providers in the course of negotiations prior to renewing service contracts. By applying them consistently across RFPs, IT stakeholders can objectively compare providers with metrics tailored to the individual business. These questions can help drive lower costs in the present as well as identifying best-fit providers for the future.


Better Management of Available IT Talent

Excerpt:" And worse, by favoring steady state over innovation, the stability and predictability of systems is illusory because marketplaces themselves are not predictable or particularly stable over time.."

Human resources are the third leg of the IT stool along with Hardware and Software. This white paper investigates how to push necessary but laborious maintenance tasks onto a broad spectrum multivendor service provider in order to relieve pressure and improve morale for skilled IT personnel, and to free up human resources to use in more creative and profitable business objectives. It investigates the balance between maintenance and innovation from a hardware and personnel perspective, rather than limiting it to a software-only issue.


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