With IT maintenance and repair costs climbing higher, organizations are seeking alternatives to control such costs. In fact, to better control IT costs, they are creating competitive bidding on IT maintenance and support services. This includes not just traditional break-fix, but also broader functions of equipment supply, lifecycle management, and disposal.
Besides offering savings with enhanced services, such competition is also generating incentives for superior service and more flexible options. To ward off such competition, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are quickly bundling enhanced servicing with the sale of equipment. As a result, end users are getting a better deal with options to use a third party or the OEM.
The advantages look obvious, but the IT marketplace has not fully embraced competition for support, according to a recent XS International (XSi) blog post. As per this blog post, the answer is massive confusion over copyright protection laws. Just as the Great Wall of China did not actually protect the Chinese from the West, the Great Wall of Copyright Protection will not hold up to the end user scrutiny, says the blogpost.
To clear this confusion, the XSi blog post sheds some light on copyright and patent laws.
While patents are granted to protect intellectual property (IP), they do not last forever – there are different lifetimes for patents. For instance, design patents, such as for a catalytic converter or an Intel (News - Alert) Chip, last 14 years and pharmaceutical patents could last 20 years.
Now, in the world of IT maintenance and repair, the IP within a proprietary Sun/Oracle server or the IBM (News - Alert) Z series computers or a Cisco router is already patented. Repair of such a device, even when using parts scavenged off a used machine, is not patent infringement, explains the blog post. Consequently, OEMs have not litigated against repair companies for patent infringement because there is nothing to litigate, says the blogger.
In other words, much of the material being treated as copyright protected is probably not subject to copyright protection. “Not all filings stand up to challenge,” notes the blogger. And, it is particularly true when it comes to programming and software patents. Highlighting a recent case between Oracle (News - Alert) and Google over APIs, the ruling indicates that APIs conceptually are not copyrightable, just the actual code, says the blog post.
In summary, the blog post indicates that the holes in the Great Wall of Copyright laws are large and easily penetrable. Therefore, the end users must start asking the right questions to regain control of their IT maintenance and repair decisions.
In a recent TMCnet column, Web editor Rachel Ramsey highlighted seven reasons to select a third party IT maintenance and service provider. These include support, cost, reduced OEM service level, simple contract, co-terminus adds and deletes, payment options and flexibility.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Brooke Neuman