Your data – its security, stability and reliable access – are one of your organization’s most critical assets. Ensuring that your organization’s data is consistently accessible and reliably backed up, in case of unforeseen disaster, are top priories for effective IT management.

There are many costs associated with your data storage infrastructure, therefore, many factors should be considered to ensure your various levels of data storage needs and support of your storage infrastructure maximize your return on investment (ROI). Addressing performance, needs, and reliability with cost per MB for continuously growing amounts of stored data is a fine balancing act.

There are various ways to maximize your ROI when it comes to data storage. One of the most significant ways to realize significant savings on your operation costs is through the support cost of your equipment. The annual support contract that ensures continual performance and reliability of your storage is not only critical, but is also a significant cost factor in your annual IT budget. As an industry standard, support of your storage equipment is typically included in the first year after the equipment is acquired, and is then available at a significant cost in years two and three. After the third year, support contract costs typically increase or are not offered at all by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).

The reason for this is that the OEM wants you to replace your existing equipment with new equipment. It’s in the OEM’s best interest to keep customers upgrading their existing equipment every 3 years to ensure the continual equipment sales. However, most storage equipment is still functioning perfectly fine after three years, does not need to be replaced, and will continue to perform well for several more years. Keeping your data storage solutions in continued operation after the 3 year mark can provide you with an opportunity to realize significant savings in your IT operational costs. In addition to not making new investments in capital equipment, it also affords you the opportunity to realize a significant costs savings on your annual support agreement through a 3rd party vs. OEM support agreement.

Selecting a 3rd party support option can save you 40-60% on average compared to the cost of an OEM annual service agreement. This significant savings in cost does not have to translate to significant degradation in quality of support. In fact, in choosing a good 3rd party support provider, your quality of support will be equal to or better than the level of support you have been receiving. As support is the core focus of many 3rd party service organization, they tend to have a high level of competency, expertise and efficiency when it comes to supporting your equipment.

When considering the selection of a 3rd party service provider, here are some key criteria to seek and consider:

▪ 24x 7 technical support help desk coverage.

▪ 24x7x4-hour Service Level Agreement response Ɵme and/or alternate response Ɵmes that meet your specific needs such as 5x9x4 or Next Business Day options.

▪ An organization that has your specific storage equipment on premise and has fault replication capabilities ‘in-house’.

▪ Field Engineers that have received the latest training on servicing your specific equipment.

▪ Ability to stock and provide critical parts near your facility in order to meet/exceed response times.

▪ Remote monitoring and ‘daily heartbeat’ capabilities.

▪ First call fix rates of greater than 86 percent.

▪ Industry recognition and published customer satisfaction ratings.

▪ Defined escalation process to engage various levels of technical expertise (Level 1, 2, 3, etc.) in a timely manner.

▪ Track record of high first-call problem resolution rates.

▪ Cost savings of 25 to 50% compared to OEM annual service contract costs.

▪ The ability to offer continued service on end-of-life data storage equipment.

Transitioning to the right 3rd party data storage support provider can provide uncompromised support levels and peace of mind while affording significant savings to your IT budget.