Deciding between OEM or multivendor support services? 4 things to consider

By: Juhi McClelland

When data center equipment reaches the end of warranty, IT management is faced with an important decision concerning their equipment’s availability and serviceability: opt for renewal with the OEM, or shift to a multivendor services provider?

It all comes down to achieving the right balance of service and cost for their IT infrastructure. An OEM will probably offer a similar level of service as during the initial agreement. A multivendor services provider, on the other hand, will supply the same level of support as an OEM, with the added benefits of lower maintenance cost, faster support response, and a single point of contact

An OEM scenario makes sense if you’re working with a handful of providers, while the multivendor solution is a better option if you have many suppliers.

To the point, in a recent Forrester study, respondents using multivendor services providers cite a 25% reduction in maintenance and support spending, and a 20% reduction in time spent on hardware support-related tasks.

Multivendor service provider benefits

Apart from these quantifiable advantages, here are the top four ways multivendor services can improve your data center operations:

Software support for your OEM equipment

Multivendor support services offer software technical support for OS, virtualization, open source and cloud stacks with OEM specific level I and II engineers experienced in complex IT solutions.

Software patches and updates that you rely on

Proprietary software patches, updates and upgrades are exclusive to the OEM. And some warrantied systems no longer receive patches or upgrades. Open source support helps you simplify software upates and managed multiple packages and more through one solution.

Certified engineers to support your data center

As data centers can contain equipment from a diverse set of vendors, highly trained engineers are a must. Often, multivendor support engineers with OEM specific certifications are equally as, if not more qualified than their OEM counterparts, and can provide the best support and maintenance for storage, server, and networking data center equipment.

Innovative tools for modern IT support    

Advanced engineers access a diverse set of diagnostic tools for innovative support such as augmented reality and predictive maintenance to deliver a better support experience and effective monitoring and maintenance.

For more information on this topic, join me at this Think 2019 session — I’ll discuss my experience working with businesses to help them with multivendor decisions based on the ideal balance of service, cost and automation.   


About The Author

Juhi McClelland

General Manager, Technology Support Services – North America

As General Manager of IBM’s Technology Support Services (TSS) business in North America, Juhi leads a multi-billion dollar P&L directly teams across Sales, Delivery, Offerings and Business Operations. She spends much of her time with clients building strategic partnerships to deliver compelling support solutions. She’s passionate about enabling technologies like Predictive Maintenance, Cognitive Support, Augmented... Read more