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EoL vs. EoSL | April 10th, 2020

Imagine if you got a message from the manufacturer of your hardware saying they were discontinuing support for one of the most vital parts of your company. That would be a frustrating message to hear, and one that may send you scrambling for a solution. You might think you have to buy the latest hardware to continue receiving support. Or, you may think you’ll be stuck struggling with old, outdated equipment until you can convince higher-ups to spend money on new hardware. Fortunately, these aren’t your only options.

If you get a notice like this from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), it typically means the equipment is entering one of two stages: End of Life (EoL) or End of Service Life (EoSL). So how is EoL different than EoSL? Keep reading to find out what these terms mean and how a third-party maintenance (TPM) solution can help you minimize their effects.

What Is EoL?

As the term suggests, an EoL product is at its End of Life. This typically means the manufacturer will not be producing any more of the item. The OEM might have a new generation coming up or a completely different product they want to focus on, so halting production allows them to refocus funds toward new developments. Usually, the OEM will still offer maintenance and post-warranty support on EoL products. The firmware is typically stable by this point, so you probably won’t have any updates or patches come through.

If your product has reached its EoL, it may be a good time to put new hardware on your radar. You can typically still get a few more years out of it — especially with the help of TPM — but eventually, you will need to get something new. Since substantial hardware updates often require significant capital, make sure the decision-makers know about potential replacement costs in the upcoming years. Advance notice may make the transition more manageable when you do need to purchase new hardware.

Another reason to stay on top of the life cycle of your equipment is to maximize resale value. For instance, you might have a product that currently has excellent resale value. If the OEM announces it is going EoL, it quickly loses value when the manufacturer stops offering the product, accessories and support. By staying up-to-date with EoL status announcements, you can more appropriately gauge and plan for resale.

What Is EoSL?

In looking at End of Life vs. End of Service Life, support is the biggest differentiating factor. The EoSL label is a little more final than EoL. At this stage, the OEM stops selling the product and won’t offer any more maintenance or support. If they do support the hardware in some way, they may charge you greatly for the service. You also won’t see firmware updates or patches for the product.

By this point, a piece of hardware has likely been out for a while, and the OEM might be trying to push a new technology or product line. Like with EoL products, you’ll want to keep new hardware in your sights. You can maximize your use for a while after the EoSL designation, but the product will probably still be on its way out the door. Technology advances quickly and, depending on the hardware, yours might become outdated rapidly.

Some issues that can pop up when a product reaches EoSL without you noticing include the following:

  • Decreased performance
  • Software compatibility issues
  • Security weaknesses, though patches may still come through or be available through other sources
  • Lower operating efficiency

Always be aware which stage of the IT life cycle your equipment is in so you can budget efficiently. In addition to saving you time and money, appropriately managing your EoSL equipment can be more convenient. For instance, updating your servers at the wrong time, like your busiest month, could be a real pain — slowing productivity and adding stress to the workday. It requires downtime, investment and change. TPM can help you manage your hardware until you’re ready to switch.

network hardware

What Is the Difference Between EoL and EoSL?

One of the main differences between EoL and EoSL products is service offerings. While the OEM may still offer support for EoL products, EoSL products no longer receive support. You’ll have to go through TPM or another service provider for any kind of assistance since the OEM has cut EoSL products off completely.

Aside from the maintenance aspect, the terms “End of Life” and “End of Service Life” are relatively close in meaning. Both signal the OEM cutting ties with the product and reducing or eliminating support. Usually, they do this to push marketing and development efforts for a new product. Plus, by eliminating or reducing support on the old product, they can often convince companies to upgrade before it is really necessary.

OEMs aren’t service companies. They make a profit by turning around new products and generating upgrades. OEMs charge a high amount for EoL services for a few reasons:

  • Their business model is not intended for long-term service. The high prices of their policy keep things profitable for them. Remember, they generally want to focus on creating and selling products, not servicing existing ones.
  • Their part supply diminishes after production stops. As OEMs run out of refurbished parts, they may have trouble procuring necessary components. During your initial warranty phase, which is usually two or three years after the purchase date, manufacturers have plenty of access to these components and often supply you with new ones as needed. The further your product gets from the EoL date, the harder and more expensive it is to get certified, quality parts.

What Can Your Organization Do With EoL or EoSL Equipment?

You might feel backed into a corner if your products are deemed EoL or EoSL. It may seem like you have to get a new product if you want to continue getting any support, which means spending money and losing the value of the old hardware. If you keep your equipment, you’ll have to proceed without OEM support. But how will you deal with technical difficulties or breakdowns? And how can you be confident that your hardware will work properly as new software, technology and security concerns arise?

In some cases, the OEM might offer you a “solution” with an exorbitant price for continued services. These prices may rise over time as the OEM expands further and further away from your product. Another “solution” you may try to adopt is to keep the hardware but attempt to handle maintenance and repairs on your own. That service often requires a higher level of expertise, and it also costs you money in terms of your IT department. You may need to hire someone to do that work and may struggle to find the right parts. For the same price, there are other options available that may fit your business better.

Worldwide Services employee working on hardware

Third-Party Maintenance (TPM) Solutions

A TPM company can step in when the OEM support ends and keep your hardware running smoothly for years after its EoL or EoSL. Just because manufacturers like Cisco and HP have stopped supporting a piece of hardware, doesn’t mean the hardware can’t continue to support your business.

You might not be ready for a sizable new purchase, especially if your existing equipment is working just fine. You can significantly extend the life of your EoL or EoSL hardware by looking to TPM. A TPM service can step in and perform repairs or fixes as needed long after the OEM’s support ends.

TPM companies typically have access to OEM parts through trusted channels or the OEMs themselves. They can provide expert service at the same or higher level of care as the OEM, but at a much lower cost. TPM solutions often exceed the original service level agreement, which can allow you to free up capital and use your hardware as you see fit.

Some of the benefits of working with TPM programs include the following.

1. Extended Hardware Lifespan

When a manufacturer stops offering support for a product, the equipment is not suddenly useless. It still maintains much of its original value, and if the product works for your company, it is convenient to keep using it. As long as there aren’t any glaring issues with the hardware or problems with its place in your company’s infrastructure, you can stretch your initial investment and keep the product working longer with TPM.

2. Sticking to Your Own Schedule

Maybe your hardware is going to reach its EoSL at a time when your company doesn’t have much extra capital to spend on upgrades. Or maybe it will happen during your busy season when a hardware upgrade might be too disruptive. Regardless of when it happens, you shouldn’t have to alter your schedule because of the manufacturer.

You have your own business to run and your schedule to balance. Plus, you don’t want to be rushed into a hasty decision because you feel like you need new hardware. By continuing to use your existing equipment with the help of TPM, you can choose to upgrade when you’re ready. You can prepare for the transition and have your finances in order before purchasing new equipment.

3. High-Quality Repairs

If you’re working on hardware yourself, you may not have easy access to OEM parts and may have to turn to less-than-trustworthy manufacturers to get what you need. Working with TPM entails more access to trusted parts that will work with your equipment. Plus, the technicians performing the repairs are experts in the field and may be more familiar with the equipment than in-house techs.

4. Lower Costs

Avoid the sky-high prices for post-EoL OEM services by working with a TPM company. With much lower prices and a similar skill set, they can get the job done without charging a premium.

In addition to savings, the scope of work included with TPM may be more expansive or personalized than what is offered by your OEM. You also get to push back the cost of new equipment. While an upgrade will still be necessary at some point, TPM can help keep it at bay.

5. Attention to Your Needs

While an OEM specializes in their equipment, TPM programs can focus more on the needs of your company. They might be able to perform a repair in a way that creates as little downtime as possible or offer more encompassing services that can provide a better deal. Some TPM options, like Worldwide Services, let you purchase only the services you need. You can even create a hybrid model with elements of OEM and TPM support if that’s what fits your business.

network hardware data center

What to Look for in a TPM Program

TPM is an excellent solution for EoL or EoSL hardware that you’re not ready to part with. It can help you extend the value of these tools and ensure you get to upgrade whenever you’re ready — not when your OEM says you should.

One factor to keep in mind when selecting TPM is the type of organization it is. According to Gartner, you can find two kinds of TPM:

  • Traditional TPM: Traditional TPM companies are independent support contractors that make most of their money from annual support contracts. They are typically more established and have investment funding.
  • Secondary hardware suppliers: Some TPM companies make most of their money from the resale of hardware. Many in this category started as resellers before offering TPM, so they have typically been around for a shorter time.

Traditional TPM companies tend to have the advantage of more experience and a devoted maintenance focus.

Whether you only need online technical support or you want a comprehensive maintenance solution, Worldwide Services can help. Our experts work to provide 24/7 access to assistance that fits your business needs. Our NetGuard program offers TPM support for over 200 current and legacy lines of OEM products from major manufacturers like Cisco and HP as well as lesser-known brands.

Partner With Worldwide Services

When it comes to maintaining EoL products, you need a company you can trust. We allow you to retain full control over your equipment, so all your sensitive data stays where you want it. Plus, you can save up to 50% on maintenance costs when implementing NetGuard. Paired with an established presence in the industry and our proven track record, NetGuard is a trustworthy, reliable option.

Our TPM solution can help protect your hardware investment and save you money. For more information on how Worldwide Services can benefit your company, contact us today.

Worldwide Services as a TPM

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Do I Need a Cisco Catalyst 9000? | March 13th, 2020

Cisco engineers designed the Catalyst 9000 for use in the modern digital era. With the 9000 models, users can connect to virtually any network, including cloud, mobile and wireless. These switches range in size and power with models designed to fit any need.

As technology improves, the right tools for connecting must advance with it. Companies looking for fast and secure connections are often encouraged to upgrade to Cisco Catalyst 9000, but it is not necessarily required. Business is about the bottom line. Companies must find the right balance between cost and performance when improving a system.

What Is Cisco Catalyst 9000?

The Cisco Catalyst family of switches offers solutions for businesses and organizations of any size. Demands on networks are growing each year. The right equipment will be necessary to process incoming data, maintain security and ensure connectivity. Cisco 9000 switches include:

  • Security: Cisco uses enhanced-threat-analysis (ETA) to identify cyber threats. Advanced analytics identify risks to your network, including threats hidden in encrypted traffic. Additionally, 9000-series switches allow users to host private cloud networks, limiting exposure to hackers.
  • Connectivity: The 9000 is for the internet of today and the network of tomorrow. Cisco designed the 9000 with cloud and mobile connectivity as a top priority with the highest UPoE available. These switches are created to withstand data usage predictions well into the future.
  • Access: Improve both yours and the user experience with constant connectivity. Cisco 9000 switches are always on, ensuring the latest updates are consistently applied and users enjoy constant connectivity.
  • Programmability: Cisco Catalyst 9000 switches include built-in programmable UADP ASIC. Switches also come equipped with x86 CPU with OPEN IOS-XE installed. Simplify operations with blue beacon technology and built-in RFID capabilities.
  • Design: Discover, configure and provision devices across your network in a fraction of the time. Cisco DNA and SD-Acess allow for better network management with reduced risk to vulnerabilities. Automate more tasks for greater efficiency with less room for error.

Pros and Cons of Cisco Catalyst 9000 Switches

If you’re thinking of upgrading your network capabilities, you have a lot of options. Cisco 9000-series switches do offer some performance benefits, however, there are other options are available. These other solutions can offer similar performance at a much lower cost. Business resources, network demands and future planning can all affect your decision to act.

Before moving to a Catalyst switch, it’s essential to explore both the advantages and disadvantages of making the change. Here’s a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of Cisco Catalyst 9000 switches:

Pros

  • Density: Up to twice the density of comparable switches
  • Safety: Better security features for cyber threat reduction
  • Analytics: Intelligent analytics for better network management
  • Support: Ongoing training and technical assistance from Cisco

Cons

  • Licensing: Subscription-based software licensing means you are limited
  • Price: Catalyst 9000 switch pricing often exceeds business resources
  • Vendor Lock-In: Reduces your flexibility and increases long-term costs

Though there are some benefits of moving to the latest option from Cisco, there are disadvantages that could affect you if you were to choose that option. Fortunately for your organization, there are Cisco Catalyst 9000 alternatives that can provide comparable performance without the drawbacks.

What Is Your Alternative?

Worldwide Services has switching solutions to fit your needs and your budget. Finding the right IT solutions for your organization starts with a better understanding of your network. We will perform a complete walkthrough of your system to identify areas for improvement, helping your business maintain a competitive edge.

At Worldwide Services, we work with businesses and organizations of all sizes. Get more information on Cisco switches, comparable products, or how we can help optimize your network. Contact Worldwide Services today at 855-894-6400 or send us a message online.

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Cisco dna center alternatives

DNA Center Alternatives | February 12th, 2020

If you’re a business owner that relies on networking, you’re probably familiar with Cisco and its many offerings. You may even have some of their equipment or have worked with their software in the past. Their latest in networking technology, DNA Center, is a significant architecture platform for businesses. But running their programs can be expensive and daunting, especially for smaller and mid-sized companies.

The good news is there are other options for DNA Center for businesses looking to find similar services at a lower cost. These options will provide your business with several other benefits as well.

What Is Cisco DNA Center?

Cisco is a big name in networking software, and DNA Center is no exception. In their context, DNA stands for digital network architecture, a platform that is designed to create a comprehensive and integrated management system. Cisco’s DNA Center is a graphical interface system that provides complete management and control to drive your business’ growth. With it, you can direct workflow by strategically adding devices, assigning roles, analyzing the impact and completing many other proactive tasks.

Organizations turn to Cisco DNA, as it allows them to simplify management with groups of any size across multiple continents. It also comes highly regarded, as Cisco is a leading brand in networking platforms and infrastructure hardware. However, there are both pros and cons to Cisco DNA Center. For one, it requires that you purchase their equipment to implement the software. The high cost of Cisco DNA Center is also an issue for businesses with smaller budgets.

On top of the price, Cisco locks you into their ecosystem. DNA Center is compatible with other Cisco software, but you’ll have a difficult time trying to integrate it with other branded hardware and programs. It’s convenient if you solely work within a Cisco network, but not otherwise. Additionally, while third-party providers typically support and service multiple brands of equipment, with Cisco, you may have to enter into various vendor contracts to get the tech support you need.

DNA Center software subscription stacks come with technical support, but for full hardware support, you’ll also have to pay for Smart Net Total Care, also known as SmartNet.

Are There Lower Cost Alternatives to DNA Center?

Automating a network can be challenging for any business. But it’s also well worth the time and expense. It can help prevent outages, ensure compliance, simplify your management responsibilities, improve overall workflow and aid in scaling and evolving.

While Cisco stands out as one of the largest software companies for businesses, there are plenty of lower-cost options to Cisco DNA Center that may be better options. Third-party providers offer high-quality networking programs at a lower cost than the original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, such as Cisco. They’re typically lower cost as they have more independent focuses, have less brand notoriety and can streamline your tech support.

choose to upgrade at your own pace

Alternative options may also allow you to choose the services you need without being locked into a single provider or manufacturer. You can choose to work with older tools and upgrade at your own pace, rather than being required to invest in new equipment and software when the provider deems it necessary. Third-party providers are more flexible, cost-effective and can give you more individualized service than large companies like Cisco.

Are There Cisco Maintenance Alternatives to Consider?

Third-party providers also offer Cisco SmartNet alternatives that provide the same type of technical support, security alerts and product life cycle management for your system. Like DNA Center alternatives, these Cisco maintenance alternatives come with some valuable advantages, including a more affordable cost.

It’s important to note that choosing to use a third-party maintenance provider is not an all-or-nothing decision. You can still rely on Cisco contracts for some of your service needs while choosing outside maintenance alternatives for other aspects of your network. For example, you may want to use SmartNet for certain security functions while using an alternative for other services. A hybrid approach can allow you to tailor the ideal maintenance solution for your business.

Benefits of Choosing Another Provider

DNA Center isn’t necessary for businesses with network infrastructure needs. There are many noticeable benefits to partnering with a third-party provider that can help your business grow while providing the services you need. Alternative programs to Cisco’s DNA Center and SmartNet will allow you to:

  • Enjoy lower costs: Whether you’re working with a limited budget or trying to find ways to save money, choosing a third-party provider can significantly reduce your network costs. For one, you can price shop and find solutions that fit your budget and company needs. You may also be able to support older equipment for longer, meaning you don’t have to upgrade prematurely when a company deems its hardware obsolete.
  • Avoid vendor lock-in: Cisco’s systems require specific maintenance and support, and their programs run with their branded equipment. The software locks you into the company, requiring you to purchase other solutions from the same provider. With a third-party brand, you can merge multiple brands of hardware and invest in various programs without being limited to a single vendor.
  • Make your hardware last: Large companies like Cisco tend to evolve quickly, regularly updating software and developing new programs. While forward movement can be positive, it also means hardware and equipment become obsolete faster. These companies don’t typically offer services that are compatible with the equipment they consider out of date. By partnering with a third-party provider, you can upgrade on your terms and keep servicing your existing equipment.
  • Get tech support for any equipment: While OEMs provide tech support for their equipment, they often don’t service other brands of hardware. Many businesses work with a variety of manufacturers, and replacing them to match their provider may not be a financially viable option. The alternative is to work with a reliable third-party provider. They should have a team of knowledgeable technicians who service and maintain a wide range of equipment, new and old. With the right partner, you’ll have comprehensive tech support.
  • Streamline your support channels: Rather than enter into contracts with multiple service providers, your business can streamline your tech support through a single third-party partner. With the right company, you can have a single point of contact, even while supporting equipment from multiple manufacturers.

Why Work With Worldwide Services?

Worldwide Services offers your business one of the top alternatives to Cisco’s DNA Center. We focus on creating comprehensive, high-quality technology solutions through a variety of managed IT products and services. Our software focuses on helping you decrease your expenses, protect your business and increase overall efficiency.

With Worldwide Services, you won’t experience vendor lock-in. Our solutions are compatible with many supported tech brands, including Cisco, Arris, Fujitsu, HP, Dell, Microsoft, IBM and more. If you don’t want to get rid of the familiar hardware you work with daily, you don’t have to. We make it easy to upgrade at your own pace.

We want to provide you with high-quality service at an affordable price for any budget. Whether your company is large or small, we can accommodate you and your technical teams. Worldwide Services can create customized packages, so you get what you need without overspending. You can also save 50 to 80% on maintenance services when you choose to work with us.

Beyond the general benefits, we offer services to help your company evolve. Our managed IT services include:

  • 24/7 field services and technical support
  • Asset recovery programs
  • Cloud and network migration services
  • Consulting and project management services
  • Materials management and reverse logistics
  • Multi-vendor maintenance programs
  • Network lifecycle management
  • Network monitoring and infrastructure management
  • Network security
  • Spares management and repairs

How Does the Cost of NetGuard Compare With SmartNet and DNA Center?

Our third-party maintenance service is known as NetGuard. NetGuard is compatible with Cisco infrastructure, so you can use it to replace or supplement your SmartNet maintenance.

At Worldwide Services, we provide high-quality service at an affordable price for any budget. Whether your company is large or small, we can accommodate you and your technical teams. Worldwide Services can create customized packages, so you get what you need without overspending.

You can save anywhere from 50% to 80% on maintenance services when you choose to work with us instead of going with an OEM contract. You can also save substantially through our other services that can stand in for DNA Center’s functionality. When you find ways to eliminate waste from your IT budget, you can funnel the saving into other important applications and help your business grow.

You may look at all the features you get with DNA Center or SmartNet and think the price is worth it, and for some companies, maybe it is. However, for many companies, being able to choose third-party services that are more tailored to your needs can save you from throwing money away on services included with DNA Center or SmartNet that you’ll never use. This is one of the main reasons you can see significant financial savings when you use a hybrid approach or choose our services over the OEM’s.

Partner with an expert provider

Partner With Us

If you’re looking for one of the best alternatives to Cisco’s DNA Center, Worldwide Services has everything you need for successful network automation and architecture. Our tech teams use cutting-edge technology and have decades of expertise, making us a leader in the networking industry. Worldwide Services will keep your business up and running with increased uptime and a rapid response rate to any technical inquiries.

Get started improving your network experience today. If you have any questions, contact us or request a quote to begin your business’ networking evolution.

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what is the IT lifecycle

What is the IT Lifecycle? | January 23rd, 2020

Everything has a lifespan. Once an item has surpassed its expected lifespan, it typically outlives it’s intended use and can cause more problems than it solves. This principle especially applies to technology. When a piece of technology becomes obsolete, it can be slow, frustrating to work with and create potential risks. But every unit of tech has a window in which it operates its absolute best. Companies can take full advantage of this period through IT lifecycle management.

While business software and hardware ages quickly — even faster as new technologies come into play — it’s essential to know when it’s time to replace your old units and computers. With proper management, you can even save money and increase your employees’ productivity. This guide will introduce you to the concept of the lifecycle of IT devices, explain how these lifecycles affect IT management and show you why third-party management services may be the best option for your company.

What Is IT Life cycle?

All technology, including hardware and software, has a period within which it operates at its best before it becomes obsolete. The period begins for each piece of equipment once a company acquires and deploys it and it enters its usable stage.

The technology lifecycle of a particular piece of equipment depends on several factors besides how long a business has had it. It can be shorter or longer based on what kind of tech it is, how the company uses it, the parameters of your business’ IT system and how often you conduct maintenance. If you know how long a piece of equipment should last, you can often increase the IT lifecycle through routine maintenance and care, system updates and physical upgrades.

Why Does the IT Lifecycle Matter?

For businesses from large to small, the technologies you implement should help make your work easier. Your equipment should allow your employees more time and resources to handle non-automatable tasks, while the tech handles computational and organizational matters. These machines can also provide valuable services and give your company a distinct advantage over your competitors. With reliable and upgraded hardware, your customers may trust you more with their sensitive data.

However, in keeping your business modernized, you could be overlooking several issues. By replacing your equipment too soon, you can lose money and miss out on the advantage of an improved return on your investment. But if you wait to replace equipment until it’s outdated, it could negatively impact your business. Old tech can result in failures, downtime, lost data and other problems that can be costly for your budget and reputation.

By paying attention to the lifecycle of your technology, you can understand when the best times to make upgrades are and keep up to date with maintenance. Sticking to scheduled maintenance and replacement dates will help your company mitigate potential risks and keep uptime levels high. The benefits of remaining attentive to your IT hardware lifecycle are varied. Every business has to replace their tech at some point, and managing each unit’s duration will ensure you do so at the optimal time.

pay attention to the life cycle of your technology

It’s also important to understand that there isn’t one single lifecycle, either. Each piece of tech has a different lifespan. You’ll have to keep track of each unit’s deployment date and where each device is in its lifespan. Once an asset reaches the end of its useful period, it’s best to have a replacement system ready.

The Disadvantages of Aging Hardware and Software

Over time, the usefulness of individual tech units wears thin. Manufacturers’ system updates are coming at a faster rate than ever before, and it’s getting progressively more challenging to keep up with the newest releases. As older models of equipment and software get on in years, they face unique sets of problems, which transfer over to your business.

Allowing your equipment and software to age past its determined lifespan without replacements can cause several disadvantages for companies, including:

Inhibited Performance

In general, old equipment can impact the overall performance of your team. Working with the same or similar hardware for years means they’re likely comfortable with using it. However, it can limit their performance, whereas companies that update more frequently can expand their capabilities and continually increase productivity.

Also, struggling with the slower speeds and clunkier operations that often come with outdated equipment can eat away at your employees’ time when they could be working on other projects, reducing productivity across the board.

Security Risks

One of the most significant elements of your hardware and software that manufacturers update over time is security. Every piece of equipment or software has a particular type of safeguards. However, as your tech ages, those safeguards become less effective. The longer it’s been since your last upgrade, the more likely it is that hackers have found ways past your system’s safety nets.

letting equipment become outdated can cause security risks

In addition to that, your data will become more vulnerable. You can update the software frequently, but eventually, your hardware will either no longer support further upgrades, or the manufacturers will phase them out intentionally. If you want to ensure you haven’t left a hole for attackers or threats, maintain updates and know when it’s time to get rid of old hardware.

Downtime Incidents

There’s no more significant inconvenience to a business than unexpected downtime and failures. Holding on to old equipment will increase your chances of experiencing major technical issues, which can take anywhere from hours to days to fix, especially if you’re unprepared.

It may force you to replace the hardware anyway, which means you still have to pay the replacement costs, but you’re also losing far more time and decreasing productivity. Failures also reflect poorly on a company’s reputation, and customers are more likely to choose businesses that continually upgrade rather than wait for a failure.

Increased Maintenance Costs

While aging units and computers may feel more familiar to your IT team, they will increasingly require more maintenance as they get older. Keeping them running without error will cost you more attention and time, which translates to losing money and increasing the potential for mistakes and failures. The same goes for software. The older it gets, the more susceptible it becomes to things like glitches and slowing performance, meaning a need for more frequent support and higher costs.

maintenance costs go up over time

With so many downsides, there’s almost no reason to hold on to old units. They’re more likely to cause your employees headaches and avoidable stress than to save you money, and attempting to keep them running could result in far worse circumstances and expensive fixes. However, you can make the most of your equipment and know when it’s time to trade it out with IT lifecycle management.

What Are the Stages of the IT Lifecycle?

IT lifecycle management is an excellent solution to solve your updating needs. It can be a challenging task to monitor and track the lifespan of each piece of equipment your company runs, as well as the software. While it is necessary to stay on top of it for the sake of productivity, lower costs and reputation, you don’t have to do it all alone. Third-party companies can help you stay on top of your IT lifecycles, allowing your tech team more time to solve pressing matters from day to day.

stages of the IT lifecycle

When you choose to work with an IT lifecycle management team, they’ll help you take care of the full process from procurement to disposition. In IT asset management, it’s essential to have adequate procedures planned out for each stage. Here is a breakdown of the steps within the lifecycle process and what a management company can provide:

Procurement

The procurement stage is the first step in successful lifecycle planning and management. It includes planning, negotiating and acquisition:

  • Planning: Before moving forward with any purchases, it’s best to have a plan in place. Management teams will help you create strategies for tech goals, business objectives and potential expansion, as well as weigh your options as far as outsourcing versus in-house services. You’ll also plan for asset disposal at the end of the lifecycle.
  • Negotiating: Once you have an idea of how you want to progress, your team negotiates to find you the best possible fit for your company in terms of hardware and software.
  • Acquisition: The team helps you settle on the best option and begins executing the objectives you laid out in the initial plan. You’ll also procure new tech assets, review purchase logistics and finalize any financing options.

Deployment

The second stage of lifecycle management is deployment. Once you have your new hardware and software assets, you can begin installing and integrating them into your current systems. Your team will ensure the equipment fits in with the IT environment and prepare it to run alongside your existing setup. If it all looks correct, they’ll put it into production.

Management

After your assets are successfully deployed, they’ll still require supervision and support. Your team will track the purpose of each unit, the owner of each element and the overall performance. If any unforeseen issues arise, they’ll diagnose the problem and help you handle it to avoid downtime or data loss. In addition to monitoring the elements after deployment and providing support, they’ll also make sure you remain in compliance with security standards and any other applicable regulations.

The management phase also includes insource and outsource, help desk and remote support services and data backups. Management lasts throughout the tenure of the equipment, as it requires monitoring and tech support throughout its lifecycle.

Decommission and Disposition

The final stage of the management cycle involves the responsible removal of technological assets once your company replaces them. Your team will remove them from the physical IT environment and your system as a whole. During the process, they’ll be responsible for protecting your company’s data and any information involved with the removed elements.

final stage of the IT lifecycle

Once the retired units are off the premises, they’ll dispose of them responsibly or return them to the leasing company. If you own the assets, the management team can either resell the retired units or dispose of them in a manner that complies with EPA standards. Overall, it saves your company a lot of time and energy by turning the responsibility over to your management team.

Can Lifecycle Management Maximize Your IT?

Lifecycle management services are more than a convenience for your company. They can help you maximize your IT systems and utilize them to the fullest. If you work with a certified company with professional engineers, they can assist you in optimizing your network of software and hardware.

With the guidance of a management team, you can keep your tech running at peak performance. From choosing the best models to purchase, to setting them up in your IT environment, to performing regular maintenance until it’s time for replacements, they will guide you through what makes the most sense for your business. An essential part of IT management is creating a plan before integrating new assets.

IT lifecycle management services

Careful planning is the key to cost-efficiency. It leads to better budgeting and maintaining profitability through significant acquisitions. Through planning and scheduling your IT management, you can maximize your return on investment (ROI). Your expenses and the amount of time your equipment lasts are both significant parts of increasing ROI. Planning your capital expenses before procurement will help ensure you don’t over-invest too early, as you also need to consider maintenance costs later down the line.

The best route is to organize a multiple-year expansion with clear objectives and timelines. If you plan out your future, it’ll benefit you more than taking on short term IT projects. Lifecycle management services can help you put together a long term plan involving the procurement and replacement of technical assets, as well as the continued support and maintenance of the new units. Having skilled and experienced personnel guide you will help increase your equipment’s ROI and keep your company’s productivity high.

The Benefits of Systems and Infrastructure Lifecycle Management

Along with maximizing your IT, lifecycle management can provide your company with many advantages. Working with a professional company means you’ll have a team of experts ensuring you upgrade at the optimal time for your business. You won’t have to delegate management objectives and steps among your tech team members, allowing them more time to handle internal affairs and provide support for your other employees.

Some of the other benefits of employing IT management services include:

Continually Updated Assets

It can be challenging to know what time is right for replacing your assets. It may seem more comfortable to hold onto older models and continue to perform maintenance. Still, there’s a point where you can begin to lose money by continually investing in outdated computers and units.

investing in old technology can cost a lot

When you work with a reliable partner, you can rest assured that your assets will be updated and compatible with modern systems. You’ll know precisely when the right time is to upgrade your equipment, and your team can help you stay on track with each element necessary to your business. As your hardware and software systems age, your lifecycle management team will monitor and provide support.

Higher Productivity

Many of the most significant issues that can negatively affect productivity are related to outdated tech. Old units can hold back your employess, either by posing problems with slow processing speeds, being general headaches or occasionally having a failure resulting in downtime. Slowed productivity caused by outdated systems can affect job quality and morale for your employess and cost your company time and money. With lifecycle management, you can focus on keeping productivity high.

With newer assets, your employees will face fewer support issues caused by old or incompatible elements, meaning more time for them to work. The latest equipment will also provide them with the best tools for success, such as heightened security measures and improved computational systems.

Effective Cost Management

While many businesses think they can get the most for their money by holding on to old units as long as possible, it can end up costing you more in the long run. As equipment ages, it requires more frequent support and maintenance, using your time and money. Those resources could be better spent elsewhere, advancing your company rather than fixing issues.

With a dedicated lifecycle management team, you’ll be able to save money and make the most of your resources. From procurement to disposition, your team will help you decide how long to keep your assets based on cost and ROI, as well as whether or not they serve the same purposes they did when you first purchased them. They will also assist you in making better-informed decisions in the future when it comes to buying new equipment.

Early Detection

Not every company has time to monitor their hardware and software consistently. The IT team typically has multiple responsibilities to handle, as do the individuals in upper management positions. Many companies only catch attacks or failures when one of their employees reports an issue or red flag, which can be too late to prevent damages entirely. This problem can be especially challenging when there is sensitive data on the line.

In between procuring new assets and disposing of old units, lifecycle management teams will monitor your systems closely. If they catch a potential issue, they’ll provide quick support and notify you as soon as possible. Early detection is the key to preventing downtime and data loss. They’ll also keep the tech backed up, so if you do experience any downtime, you can get back up and running shortly.

early detection of equipment deterioration and downtime

Custom Tools

Not every company wants to delegate their entire IT management to a third-party service provider, but others welcome the idea. Some would prefer to outsource parts of the lifecycle management while still retaining some responsibility. Many companies that provide technology lifecycle management services offer custom tools to suit every business’s expectations and needs. You can get the support you require while still retaining control over your processes.

Access to Skilled Professionals

When you partner with a company that provides lifecycle management services, you’ll also have the benefit of working with trained IT professionals who are knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the network lifecycle. They can provide you with expert advice and speak from experience working with other companies similar to yours.

Work With an IT Expert at Worldwide Services

When it comes time to choose a company to handle your IT lifecycle management, it’s essential to find one that’s reliable and experienced. Worldwide Services offers you comprehensive management, helping you reduce your tech expenses, increase network efficiency and receive the maximum return on your investments. We also help you reduce risks and provide your customers with faster, more streamlined services.

At Worldwide Services, we understand the value of partnership. We do our best to serve your company and meet all your needs. With over $250 million worth of equipment in stock, immediate delivery services, teams of certified engineers in-house and 24/7 remote support, we can provide you with fast, reliable assistance.

Let Worldwide Services take care of your IT lifecycle management — browse our services or contact us with any questions.

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What is Third-Party-Maintenance

What Is Third-Party Maintenance? | November 27th, 2019

When you build a company and expand your reach in the modern age, you are likely to amass an extensive computing infrastructure. If left to deal with different manufacturers for service support, you could end up with incomplete and contradictory advice when compatibility issues are taken into account. Regardless of the size or scope of your company, it is crucial to have an integrated support system in place for your computing arsenal.

Thankfully, today’s businesses have an alternative option to the basic support packages of original equipment manufacturers. If you’re looking for an integrated support service that can accommodate the unique design and scale of your IT infrastructure, your best option is a third-party maintenance service. To understand the benefits of this option, we first need to look at the definition of third-party maintenance.

What is Included in TPM?

Third-party maintenance is a type of system-support service offered by a third-party service provider, outside the confines of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). A typical example of third-party maintenance is when a company hires an independent service for IT system monitoring beyond the scope of the manufacturers of the organization’s equipment.

A range of areas are covered under third-party maintenance. Depending on the reach or scope of the service you hire, third-party maintenance may include one or more of the following:

1. Phone Support

A third-party maintenance service could offer support over the phone for issues like computer troubleshooting, system upgrades, virus removal, firewall protection and other IT-related issues. Some companies will hire a third-party service for technical backup on computer issues once a warranty plan has expired with the original equipment manufacturer. Third-party phone support is an ideal option for smaller companies that cannot afford to hire an in-house IT staff.

2. Online Technical Support

Similar to phone support, third-party online support is a money-saving option for companies of varying sizes that need assistance with computer-related issues. A company might enlist the services of a third-party maintenance provider when the time comes to scale up, scale down or roll out a new computing infrastructure on a local or international level.

3. On-Site Engineering Assistance

Some third-party maintenance services offer on-site support and assistance with various aspects of engineering and equipment use. Companies may hire this type of service for help with the details of organizational infrastructure.

4. Remote Monitoring

As you roll out a system and interact with different branches and partnered entities, a third-party maintenance service could offer valuable insights into the safety and efficiency of your operation. If holes exist in your network that could expose your company data to cyber thieves, a remote monitoring provider could alert you to these dangers before a breach affects your system.

5. Operating System Support

Each time you install an upgrade to your operating system, a third-party service could help you ensure a smooth transition. For smaller companies, this can be a huge time-saver, as rollouts can sometimes take more than a week to complete across large companies with devices of varying compatibility. Third-party maintenance can also be helpful when you switch to a competing operating system.

6. Cost-Management Strategies

One of the main advantages of third-party maintenance is the money-saving benefits. The third-party service can help companies in numerous areas, saving valuable time on computer and engineering-related issues, all at a lesser charge than most OEMs. In a variety of areas, third-party maintenance services will often extend far beyond the bounds of what OEMs have traditionally offered customers.

It is important to note that with third-party maintenance, your company retains full control of its own data center and computing infrastructure while benefiting from the support and expertise of a qualified, certified, independent third party.

What are the elements of Third party maintenance

Who Uses Third-Party Maintenance?

The money-saving benefits of third-party maintenance are advantageous for companies of all sizes. For the smaller company, it makes expansion more manageable and affordable. For the global giant, third-party maintenance helps reduce overhead and boost profit margins. As such, third-party maintenance is used by a vast range or public- and private-sector entities that could be broken down into the following categories:

1. Small Companies

Third-party maintenance services are the perfect option for smaller companies that need to save money on IT support. If you are just starting to grow and expand as a company, you could significantly cut your overhead by hiring a third-party maintenance provider for help with all of your computing issues, from system upgrades to device integration and repairs.

For small companies, the services offered by OEMs can be especially confining because you must cope with the limited help of one or several companies. When you are starting out and trying to save money, you are more likely to buy discounted equipment from several manufacturers and combine the various devices into a single integrated arsenal. If you rely on the OEMs with this kind of setup, you are likely to wind up with a confused and incomplete service arrangement. By opting for the third-party option, all of your maintenance is included in one service at a fraction of the cost of an OEM.

2. Expanding Companies

If your company is expanding into other territories, your IT service costs could skyrocket as you add more equipment from various manufacturers. As you open up locations in different states and countries, you could end up with dozens of OEMs, each charging high fees for service support at your growing number of operating locations.

A third-party maintenance service can help you seamlessly expand the scale of your operations across state, regional and national lines. As you upgrade your system and link your international staff onto a centralized cloud network, the third-party service will help you roll out these updates and handle the more complicated aspects of updates and integration.

3. Organizations and Agencies

Third-party maintenance services are the preferable option for organizations across various industries in both the public and private sectors. For manufacturers in the automotive and food industries, third-party maintenance makes it possible to consolidate system support on complicated computer arsenals. This allows these manufacturers to save money on overhead and pass these saving along the supply chain.

For organizations that run databases with sensitive private data, a third-party maintenance service makes it possible to maximize system security with a single group of trusted service hands. Each time a firewall or anti-virus software must be installed onto a system, the rollout can be conducted instantly and seamlessly across an arsenal of machines and devices, all thanks to the diverse expertise of third-party maintenance specialists.

4. Large Corporations

When it comes to IT support on a national and international scale, third-party maintenance is the preferred option among some of the world’s largest corporations. As a company grows, it becomes more likely that its computing costs will grow out of hand as different parts from different manufacturers are added to ever-expanding infrastructures at dozens of facilities. If an OEM service package is retained for each of these purchases, a company could rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual IT overhead.

For large corporations, the complexities of managing a computing infrastructure can be complicated at numerous levels, especially when you have headquarters in different cities throughout the world. When it comes time to roll out a system upgrade or install a security patch, the task should be assisted by a unified team with extensive prior experience and a vast understanding of a range of computing equipment.

Who uses Third party maintenance

What to Know About Third-Party Maintenance

Should you use third-party maintenance providers? If your computing equipment includes products from various manufacturers, one of the most practical and cost-efficient choices you could make is to hire a third-party maintenance provider, especially for benefits in the following areas:

1. Objective About Hardware Choices

Third-party maintenance providers are neutral when it comes to the hardware purchases of client businesses. When you hire these experts to come to your headquarters and examine your equipment, they will not push one brand over another or try to steer you toward a particular manufacturer. The job of the third-party service technician is to examine what you have and offer solutions for system operability.

2. Able to Handle Virtually All Equipment

Third-party maintenance specialists have worked with many different types of equipment from numerous manufacturers. Some companies use computers purchased at the same time from the same manufacturer, while others have many different types of computers purchased across a 35-year timespan. Regardless, third-party maintenance specialists can quickly find solutions for even the most unorthodox setups.

3. Capable of Integrating Equipment From Various Manufacturers

Some companies collect computing equipment over long periods from numerous manufacturers, both domestic and international. If you have a computing system that consists of components made in the U.S., Japan and Europe, you could run into complications if you opt for OEM service packages. With a third-party maintenance provider, the techs that come to your IT department will know from past experience how to integrate systems comprised of parts made in different parts of the world.

4. Seamless Rollout of System Upgrades and Security Patches

For most companies with computer networks that store high-security information, annual system upgrades are essential. For security, it is also crucial to update security patches and upgrades to anti-virus programs periodically. With a third-party maintenance service, such upgrades can be conducted seamlessly and instantly, allowing your company to carry on without interruption.

TPM helps with system upgrades

Is Third-Party Maintenance Right for Me?

What can third-party maintenance do for me? That is one of the most common questions among companies of various sizes when they first hear about the third-party maintenance option. The answer is yes if you wish to save money, consolidate your service support and extend the life of your equipment. The benefits of third-party maintenance can be summarized as follows:

1. Save Money

Third-party maintenance services are more cost-efficient and longer-lasting than the typical OEM service, which can cost more than twice as much and be far more limited in scope. While an OEM can only offer support for its own products, third-party maintenance techs can generally offer help with a vast array of makes and models within an IT system.

If like many companies, your computing arsenal consists of devices from different generations and providers, third-party maintenance can offer a more complete and integrated form of tech assistance. With a third-way maintenance service, you can extend the life of your IT equipment and boost your return on investment.

2. Streamlined Support

With third-party maintenance, you can get support from a single source on a range of computing equipment. This can be especially advantageous if your IT arsenal consists of numerous machines purchased over the years from various manufacturers. Third-party maintenance relieves you of the trouble of having to cope with conflicting services from competing OEMs and consolidate your support into one maintenance service.

With third-party maintenance, you can avoid the confusion that the advice of an OEM that fails to understand the complexities of your integrated IT infrastructure may cause. Most third-party maintenance providers offer customized service choices that you can pick and choose from to suit the scale and design of your operation.

3. Availability

Third-party maintenance providers can usually provide replacements parts for a range of makes and models in an IT system. If you deal instead with five different OEMs, you are not as likely to get all the parts you need when you need them. For instance, you might have a defect on an old machine that is nonetheless unique and crucial to your arsenal, yet the OEM in question will no longer offer replacement parts for the corresponding device.

Due to the sheer volume of systems that they service, third-party maintenance providers generally have access to a wider range of parts. Even when a part is out of stock, the third-party service will usually know who to contact to get that part back in stock and deliver it to you.

4. Extend the Lifespan of Your Equipment

Third-party maintenance providers can extend the life and operability of equipment that would otherwise be rendered unusable due to compatibility issues with newer systems. If you want to upgrade your equipment slowly and continue to use some older devices, a third-party maintenance provider can offer you that luxury. On the one hand, they’ll help you update the parts of your system that can accept new generations of software. At the same time, they’ll help you find ways to incorporate older devices into your updated system.

Most OEMs will simply tell you to upgrade your system across the board and not even entertain the more creative solutions offered by third-party maintenance providers.

Choose Third-Party Maintenance From WorldWide Services

In an era where computing is integral to business operations, it is crucial to consolidate maintenance services and reduce operating costs. At WorldWide Services, we offer third-party maintenance and managed IT services for companies throughout the manufacturing, medical, retail, enterprise, construction, gas and utility industries. Contact us today to learn more about how our services can help you streamline your computing needs.

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