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TPM vs OEM Vendor Support

Previously we have explored what EOSL means and the benefits of a Third Party Maintenance (TPM) provider to ensure your hardware has comprehensive support moving forward to extend the life of your equipment.  We would now like to drill in to those benefits further to provide a thorough explanation and comparison of TPM vs Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Support so that you can make an informed decision as to which is best for your business’ IT environment.

There are many benefits of TPM vs vendor support which we will go through in more detail, however if this is the route you decide to take, make sure you check that your provider adequately covers all of these areas.  A good, reliable TPM will maximise the return on your IT investment which is achieved through all of these key benefits.

1. Qualified Engineers & In-house Facilities

First and foremost, having a TPM on board will provide you with highly qualified and experienced engineers who are trained and certified across multiple Tier 1 vendor brands.  This expertise is extremely beneficial, unlike OEM support that can only solve specific problems to a singular brand, TPM support gives you access to a much wider skill set and pool of technicians.  Therefore, providing extensive support to maintain any IT hardware irrespective of the vendor. A TPM provider may also have an in-house data centre for testing and remote monitoring as well as extensive workshop facilities for refurbishing technology.  Therefore, giving you quick access to updates, upgrades and patches through remote monitoring.

In-house Workshop Facilities at The ICC Group

2. Single Point of Contact (SPOC)

Another important factor to consider is that a TPM will bring your business a single point of contact (SPOC) for all your IT infrastructure requirements.   OEM support will usually mean that you have multiple vendors and multiple contracts to manage. However, a TPM will offer one point of contact with a simplified contract to manage all your equipment.

3. Customer Service

Excellent customer service and a dedicated 24/7/365 support Helpdesk will provide you will a stress free solution when a technical crisis breaks out.  A variety of ways to contact support should be available such as email, phone, web chat and/or an online customer portal.  A reliable TPM will have a good sized helpdesk team who are experienced and customer focused with a stringent incident response procedure right from the moment an issue is reported through to resolution.  TPMs will often prove to have a clearer and quicker process for communications, keeping the customer in the loop every step of the way.

4. Extended Life of Technology

With the right TPM provider you can extend the life of your technology through expert capability of legacy part supply and installation.  A support partner with multi vendor parts and equipment will be able to offer a reliable same day or next day delivery service which will therefore reduce operational downtime.  Choosing the right TPM provider beyond EOSL dates will ensure the life of your technology is extended and you will get the best possible return on your investment.

The ICC Group Distribution Centre with over 350,000 Parts

5. Tailored Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

A range of service level agreements are often offered by TPMs, however, few offer SLAs that are tailored to your business needs and requirements.  TPMs that offer comprehensive and flexible SLAs will bring even more reliability, cost savings and peace of mind for your business. Usually a TPM will offer differing coverage hours, onsite response times, onsite technical support, remote monitoring, unlimited phone support, guaranteed fix times, activity logs & reports and public holiday coverage; all tailored to your needs and within your budget.  OEM contracts do not usually allow for such flexibility and their costs are often fixed.

6. Cost Savings

A TPM support contract should save you money (up to 60%) compared to the OEM support contract.  Extended contracts with OEM often come with a price tag as they would rather you bought new technology than support existing old equipment.  Most TPM providers also offer flexible contracts so that you meet the needs of your business within your required budget, therefore keeping costs to a minimum.  You can usually save up to 60% on maintenance costs compared to OEM maintenance support prices. 

7. Global Coverage

A leading TPM will be able to offer global coverage allowing you to use the same support company across multiple locations across the world.  This service will also allow consistency across your business worldwide, now and in the future.

8. ITAD (IT Asset Disposition)

A TPM with extended services will also include ITAD management services.  Having access to secure asset disposal will complement your TPM contract and provide reassurance of these services provided by a company that is both reliable and trustworthy.

9. Case Studies & Customer Reviews

A good way of exploring a TPM provider is by reading their customer reviews and case studies on the company website.  By reviewing company case studies, you can discover the challenges, the solutions and the results customers have experienced.  Often customer quotes and reviews will also be available, which can be used as a reference. Reviews may also be available on platforms such as Google or Trustpilot which will also give you a good idea about the service a particular TPM provider offers.  Customer reviews are often a very reliable source of information with an overall customer rating. 

10. Accreditations

Look out for TPMs that have recognised accreditations such as ISO 9001, ISO 27001, ISO 14001 and ISO 20000.  These accreditations show that the company is serious about sustaining international standards and working towards continuous improvement and excellent customer service.  The company’s certifications give customers an assurance that they are in safe hands.

Survey Results for TPM Support Users

IDC’s infrastructure support survey 2019 results revealed that 42% use a TPM and the reasons they use a TPM are as follows:

  • Better Offerings (22.3%)
  • Easier to do business with (22.3%)
  • Provides multi-vendor support (20.7%)
  • Same offerings but less expensive (19.3%)
  • Less expensive (15.4%)

The survey also revealed that these are the most important support features in deciding what type of support services agreement to purchase for their business.

Technical features

  • Technical expertise and effective communication of support staff
  • Support of operating systems and/or remote monitoring
  • Ability to patch without scheduled downtime
  • Proactive/preventative support services

Management features

  • Quick access to updates/upgrades/patches through portal or website
  • Price/cost of support
  • Multiple ways to contact support (email, phone, web chat)
  • Ability to provide consistent support experience globally
  • Availability of on-line self-support

Summary

It is an important decision whether to stick with your OEM vendor support (if still available) or to switch to TPM, the decision should be based on what is best for your IT environment and company objectives.  The ICC Group are the perfect choice for your TPM provider and we would like to help your business cost save on your IT maintenance, extend the life of your technology and increase the return on your IT investment.  At ICC we can demonstrate all the qualities and benefits mentioned above which we believe mixed together provides the ultimate TPM support.  To find out more, please contact us via email at Enquiries@TheICC.Group or call us on 0333 220 0413.

Engineer Workshops at The ICC Group

Further Resources

Here are some further reading leaflets, if you would like to know more about ICC services, please click on the respective image below.

Helpdesk Support at The ICC GroupNetwork and Server Monitoring at The ICC Group

IT Asset Disposal Services at The ICC Group Support Contracts at The ICC Group Capability Matrix at The ICC Group Global Support at The ICC Group