Navigating Mergers and Acquisitions: Hardware Maintenance in a Changing Environment
Let’s face it: Mergers and acquisitions involving a larger IT provider can go one of two ways from a customer’s point of view. In the first option, things work out great; you never notice a thing. In the end, you will have better technical support options as a customer and be glad the company took the step forward.
But then there’s option two: Things will go badly. The company you know and trust will change — and not in a good way. You will lose technical support service options, and the transition period will be painful.
Understanding the Real-World Impact
There is no crystal ball that can show you the future. In the 1990s, Compaq attempted a merger with DEC. In the words of the Harvard Business Review, “They failed, except that HP bailed them out with its even bigger acquisition of Compaq.” Many customers don’t have good memories of this time; it’s hard to have good memories of a period filled with confusion and uncertainly of how to get technical support.
But that was decades ago. How will mergers and acquisitions in the news today impact your technical support tomorrow?
The truth is that we won’t know whether the results of a merger or acquisition are good or bad until a few years after it occurs. If you’re concerned about your current original equipment manufacturer (OEM) going through a merger or acquisition, or simply don’t want to worry about it in the future, then this is a great time to evaluate your options for hardware support. Have you considered a third-party maintenance provider?
Getting Help Throughout Mergers and Acquisitions
When looking for third-party technical support services that are comparable to an OEM, you should consider the following elements:
- Call home or other self-service/diagnostic features will help you match the service provided by the OEM.
- The provider must have a robust parts infrastructure.
- It needs skilled service technicians. Look for a focus on maintaining expertise and certifications.
- Seek companies who invest in cutting-edge technology. You are looking for innovation in social, mobile and analytics capabilities.
What’s next? Any third-party maintenance provider will need an inventory of your equipment to give you a quote. For a quick quote, many will only need the manufacturer name and model of the device along with the number of them you’ve installed. If you prepare this information ahead of time, getting an estimate should be easy.
The last and most important step is to evaluate your options. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Shopping around for quality and service in combination with a good price will deliver the best outcome in the long run.