Data centers are like houses: How to support multiple vendors

By: Aaron Purcell

Most companies use products from many vendors in their IT environments, making support and maintenance complex. An example of a similarly complex environment can be seen in your own daily life. Have you ever thought about all the appliances in your house? The typical home includes at least one:

  • Television;
  • Washer;
  • Dryer;
  • Vacuum cleaner;
  • Refrigerator;
  • Microwave;
  • Air conditioner.

There are quite a few, right? Now think about how much you use these appliances on a daily basis and how important it is that they keep working properly. What do you do when one has a problem?

The trouble with tech problems

Let’s use the television as an example: You want to watch your favorite TV show, but something isn’t working. It may be the TV itself or it could be the cable. Do you call the electrician or the cable provider? Or do you contact a friend and ask him or her to try to fix it?

Let’s say you identified that the problem was with the TV itself. Luckily, you still have a warranty for it, so all you have to do is take it back to the store and it will be fixed or replaced. It’s easy.

But what if it isn’t that easy? What if you don’t know what the problem is or the product is no longer covered by a warranty? Do you have the time and energy to waste on solving these issues? I think the answer is no.

Imagine that you could call just one number and get a solution to any problem with any of your appliances. It could save you a lot of time, worry and money.

Finding multi-vendor support for a data center

If you are responsible for a data center, you probably encounter this problem a lot more often — and on a bigger scale. You have servers, storage, network appliances and numerous other components of various models. Some are under warranty and some aren’t. They are all supported by different vendors under separate contracts. In this more complex environment full of compliance obligations, having a single 800 number to call for simple, easy support could save you and your business a lot of aggravation.

What if you could experience that simplicity now? With a multi-vendor support provider, having a single point of contact for your IT support is possible. Because these solutions provide maintenance for a broad range of manufacturers and models, keeping your data center running becomes easier and more convenient.

Let’s go back to your TV for one moment. Imagine that before you even experience a problem with it, you are notified that your system is about to crash or receive some information on how to extend the life cycle of your system to prevent errors and potential failures. Wouldn’t that be a worthwhile resource? Technical support services can help you avoid downtime by discovering potential problems before they occur.

Image Source: Flickr

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About The Author

Aaron Purcell

IBM Global Technology Services Offering Manager