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.
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.
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.
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.
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.