There are many benefits to purchasing third-party support for your data center. Depending upon the size of the industry and company, maintenance and support can consume up to two-thirds of your IT budget. By implementing third-party support you can receive the level of service that you need while reducing the cost of support by 30-70%. In order to do this you must first choose the correct vendor for your organization. There are many factors that play into getting the best third-party support, like asking the right questions to properly evaluate potential vendors. The first two installments (Read Part 1 and Part 2) of this blog series have covered everything from part availability to understanding the actual maintenance agreement and process. The final blog in this series will address industry specific concerns and additional services.

Can the Vendor Meet Needs Specific to Your Industry?

Depending on your company and industry, you will have to have specific needs met by your independent support provider. Certain industries have compliance standards, for instance: a healthcare organization must meet HIPAA compliance requirements, a financial institution must meet PCI, EI3PA, or GLBA compliance requirements, and a government organization must meet FISMA, NIST, and FIPS compliance requirements. No matter the industry you should make sure that the potential support vendor can provide a maintenance solution that works best for you and your organization’s priorities. In order to get the most out of third-party maintenance, you should figure out what aspects are most important for your business. Does your organization need global coverage? Ask potential vendors about their global locations and which SLAs are available internationally. What about disk retention? Does the vendor give you the ability to keep your disks if that is required by your organization? What about the ability to keep spares on-site at your location? Maintenance agreements can easily be customized to your specific needs, if you ask the right questions of potential vendors.

What Additional Services can the Vendor Offer?

It is important to make sure your third-party maintenance vendor provides the most comprehensive solution. For example, can the vendor offer any additional services that your organization may need in the future? Can the provider adapt with your organization’s priorities as the IT industry evolves? Would the engineers from the maintenance provider be able to help with projects outside of hardware maintenance? Would the vendor be able to help with equipment moves and data center relocation? Can the maintenance vendor perform asset destruction to ensure that data is erased properly according to DOD compliance standards? All of these questions should help you evaluate any potential support provider. Now What? While there are cost and service benefits associated with choosing a third-party support provider for your data center hardware, understanding the features, comparing the options, and determining the priorities for your organization will enable you to make an informed decision when it comes time to consider third-party support for your storage hardware. This three part blog series (Read Part 1 and Part 2) was designed to arm you with knowledge on what to ask in order to choose the right vendor for your organization. If you would like to learn more about our maintenance services, contact one of our support specialists or give us a call at 1.877.227.0828.