As much as we talk about cloud computing and the elimination of the on-premises infrastructure, the reality is there are still servers, data centers and robust infrastructure systems in place within the organization to maintain. This demands a physical process, one that has evolved greatly over the years.
Today’s systems are made a bit smarter than what was available in the past. Today, machines are built with diagnostic capabilities for the facilitation of self-testing when connections appear to fail. At the same time, parts are designed for pull and replace methods to reduce labor costs associated with highly trained technicians.
The basic concept design has not changed, however. As highlighted in this XSnet report, the biggest change we have seen is in the way Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have changed their marketing policies. The focus now is to promote high-margin repair services, protecting their strong revenue stream. The challenge here is that the equipment is not inherently different; failing to deliver on the strong business case that higher priced service is needed.
There is also the common theme among OEMs to completely control the aftermarket for their parts, machines and break-fix options. This places restrictions on access to the necessary bits of code that ensure the machine operates properly. It is their way of claiming Intellectual Property rights and buyers fear compliance issues if they don’t pander to this marketing structure.
As technology continues to evolve, most routine enhancements or fixes can be delivered as hardware that has been baked into a chip. When code errors exist, media, such as the Internet, is used to deliver patches and fixes. Such fixes are free as they are corrections to the specifications of the machine.
Is it logical then to assume that the original chip provided in the machine is hardware and the fixed chip is hardware, yet the fixes are actually IP and do not belong to the buyer as part of their ownership of the hardware? This is the argument made by many OEMs, as well as an argument included when assessing what is under regulation for compliance and what is up to the owner to maintain. Not all manufacturers are consistent, creating a challenge for the market and those who purchase legacy equipment.
Fortunately, these companies do have a choice when it comes to the support of their equipment. They are not completely bound to the whims of the OEM and what they may refer to as a Recall, or a simple technology fix. XSi offers maintenance solutions that will extend the life of all IT equipment without the expense and control involved in OEM service.
This SMARTnet-approved provider can offer one contract for all equipment, deliver multilingual support, extend co-terminus additions and deletions and allow for multiple tailored payments to suit any schedule. The provider can also deliver up to 40 percent in cost savings with worldwide support for cross-platform environments. Flexible SLAs are available and 65,000 maintenance SKUs are available on the company’s GSA (News - Alert) schedule.
In a digital world, hardware is still critical and its uptime can make or break a business. Fortunately, that uptime does not have to be tied to OEM contracts that don’t match company goals or budgets.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey