Considering Considering the transition from OEM service and support to a 3rd party solution is a serious decision to make for your customers as it can mean significant annual savings to an IT budget and provide the opportunity to extend the useful life of their established data storage solutions. It does not compromise the quality of support or
responsiveness that the customer has come to expect from the manufacturer. However, there are common
uncertainties and objections that customers have when it comes to transitioning away from OEM service
agreements. The following information addresses some of the common uncertainties and objections that your
customers may express in making a decision to transition to a 3rd party support solutions.

The most common objection/concern expressed by a customer is that 3rd party maintenance providers cannot
provide software licensing, firmware, and microcode upgrades and support. Here are a few responses which help
address and migrate these common customer concerns:

• 3rd party maintenance providers can offer help desk support for most major operaƟng systems if the firmware,
patches, and upgrades are publicly available.

• For post-warranty/end-of-life equipment, software is typically stable and upgrades are not always needed.

• Between the End of Life (EOL) and End OF Service Life (EOSL) of the customers hardware, the soŌware
development slows down considerably, therefore, there are not many updates generated. AŌer EOSL, there is no
further software development.
o End Of Life (EOL) is the date when the OEM stops selling and marketing the system
o End of Service Life (EOSL) is when the OEM stops supporting the system

• The cost delta between using a 3rd party maintenance provider for your software support
vs. the cost of purchasing a patch/update is often substantial.
Another Another common concern/question that may arise is; Why is 3rd party support significantly less expensive than OEM support? Does this mean that the quality of the support is inferior?
As OEMs are in the business of manufacturing, one of the areas that product research and development costs can
be recuperated is through support service. Additionally, as it’s in the best interest of the OEM to continually sell
new equipment, it is a common practice to increase the cost of post-warranty support. Third party support
providers can offer the same SLAs, with the same or better level of service quality, as the OEM for as much as a
60% reduction in cost.
Some additional common questions/concerns around 3rd party support capabilities that may come up specific to
an OEM support contract are as follows:


Q: Can you provide a firmware upgrade for my Hitachi disk arrays?

A: Although software support and upgrades are not covered under your annual equipment support agreement, we
can certainly help. We can assist with the installation and implementation of the upgrade on a OEM and material
basis. The firmware patch will need to be obtained by the customer directly from Hitachi.
Q: Can your organization assist me with optimization of my Hitachi array?

A: Yes, we can assist remotely on a Ɵme and material basis. We can assist with system optimization, configuration,
and volume/LUN changes and removals. Additionally, we offer remedial software support on all of the common
HDS storage software application such as TrueCopy, Universal Replicator, SANƟnel, Flash Access, and others.

Q: Can your organization provide remote monitoring for my Hitachi/NetApp disk arrays and SUN libraries?

A: Yes, we are able to offer 24×7 remote monitoring capabilities with all of the features and benefits equal to the
OEM’s. ISC uses its own software, ISC-CHS™, an in-house developed mulƟ-platform remote monitoring solution’s.


Q: Can your organization provide software support for my HP XP series disk arrays?

A: As long as your customer maintains access to software and firmware upgrades (is this sell applicable?), we can
assist with the set-up and installation of upgrades on a Ɵme and material basis. Additionally, we offer remedial
Level 2 and Level 3 software support for all HP XP series software application such as Continuous Access XP,
Business Copy XP, Flex Copy XP, LUN Configuration and Security Manager XP, and others.
Q: Can your organization provide remote monitoring for my HP XP series disk arrays?

A: Yes, we are able to offer 24×7 remote monitoring capabilities with all of the features and benefits equal to the
OEM’s for the XP series disk arrays. ISC uses its own in-house developed software ISC-CHS™

Q: Can your organization provide remote monitoring for my NetApp FAS series disk arrays?

A: Yes, we are able to offer 24×7 remote monitoring capabilities for the NetApp FAS series disk arrays with all of the
features and benefits equal to the OEM’s. ISC uses its own software, ISC-CHS™, an in-house developed remote
monitoring solution’s
Q: What type of support are you able to provide for my NetApp Storage OperaƟng System, Data ONTAP?

A: Although we do not provide any software patches or upgrades, we do offer remedial software support services
for the Data ONTAP OS for equipment covered under an annual support agreement.
Note sure whether to include: including set-up and installation of upgrades on a Ɵme and material basis.
Common Objections/Responses for Tape Libraries:

Q: Can you support our SL8500 tape library or 9310/L5510 data silo which has tape drive encryption enabled?

A: We fully support SL8500 hardware with KMA encryption. We can replace tape drives that utilize encryption with
a like tape drive. However, the customer will need to enter their KMA encryption key for the specific drive enabling
the drive to encrypt the data during the wriƟng to tape process. Without the key, the drive can sƟll write data to
the tape, but it would not be encrypted.

Q: Can you provide support for my ACSLS or HSC software?

A: With regard to ACSLS and HSC, we can provide remedial support as an opƟon to an annual hardware contract.
Also as part of our Professional Services we can help in the configuraƟon of the unit if the customer decides to
make modificaƟons to the system.< is this statement sƟll accurate? We cannot provide firmware or soŌware
patch upgrades, or licenses.

Additionally, it is important that the customer retains and knows their ‘administrative’, ‘user’, and ‘service’
passwords. The lack of any of these passwords can limit access to the unit for performing maintenance services.
The end-user owns these passwords and is entitled to know what they are. The can obtain the passwords from
the Oracle service organization.

Q: Can your organization provide remote monitoring for the SL8500?

A: Yes, ISC has created a special suite of its ISC-CHS™ remote monitoring software to pro-actively monitor the A:
SL8500. As soon as a hardware failure occurs, ISC will be notified and a service call will be opened in minutes. The
ISC-CHS™ for the SL8500 also offers the remote site survey functionality by inventorying all of the hardware
components in the SL8500 once the software is connected to the system.

STK 9310/L5510 Data Silos:

The LMU (Library Management Unit) contains a hard drive which holds STK’s proprietary OS and stores the entire
configuration of the silo. The hard drive is seldom used and therefore can be susceptible to failure. If this hard
drive fails, the entire system will be down. This has been identified by ISC as a major issue faced by 9310/L5510
customers. Therefore, ISC has developed a solution enabling mirror duplication of the LMU hard drive. It is a
unique service offered only by ISC Professional Services and provides the customer with a backup mirrored hard
drive on-site in the event that the currently installed LMU hard drive fails. It is highly recommended that this
service is offered to customers prior to taking them under a service contract. The mirroring process can be
achieved without system downtime.

Professional Services quotes are available upon request and will be priced depending on location and quantity of
hard drives to be mirrored.