Third Party Maintainers (TPMs) provide a breadth of services that help companies work smarter and more efficiently. They look for ways to help companies leverage and optimize what’s working well in their existing IT infrastructure to free up dollars and hours for innovation and digital transformation. Here are just a few key services that TPMs can offer, allowing you to partner with them a la carte or on full turn-key solutions.
So... What services can I expect from a TPM?
Multivendor Onsite Hardware Support
TPMs have capabilities on most Major OEMs. This allows end users to have one vendor help manage all their assets. This creates clarity and increases communication by allowing clients to have all their equipment managed on one contract. This makes it easy to manage and maintain a large amount of equipment with just one vendor under one contract, rather than juggling multiple vendors and contracts.
Collapsing one datacenter and moving equipment to a new location is a huge undertaking. Many TPMs offer logistical support to ensure datacenter moves go smoothly. The TPM will ensure everything is taken down and packaged properly before the move and then unpacked, properly set up and ready to go in your new location.
Lifecycle Service & Assessment
Because TPMs are not limited to any one OEM, they offer a unique perspective when analyzing the product lines that businesses deploy. Hardware is constantly being upgraded, and TPMs provide services to help you perform better and optimize your existing IT infrastructure along the way. They help you keep up with device changes so you know when specifications are changing, upgrades are needed, or it’s end of life for a product. They also facilitate depot and onsite repair, warranty management, e-waste disposal, and product refreshes. Some also offer an assessment discovery process in which a snapshot is taken of existing systems to see how they’re being used, how they’re interdependent on one another, and mapping between applications and systems. Tech experts then analyze the data for areas of improvement. The end goal is to optimize performance by finding areas to leverage for cost savings that you can then use toward facilitating innovation within your company.
Hardware Sales & Leasing
Many TPMs maintain large testing facilities and warehouses stocked with previous generation hardware that’s tested, configured, and ready to deploy. Unlike most OEMs, which don’t keep large amounts of stock on their shelves, TPMs keep sizable amounts of product warehoused so it’s ready to ship immediately when needed. This ability to quickly acquire pre-owned network and datacenter equipment allows companies to enjoy lower capital expenditures, usually anywhere from 50% to 90% below the list price. Some TPMs also sell new hardware to clients, so it’s worth asking about all your options.
TPMs that offer IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) oversee and manage the secure erasure and drive destruction, recycling, or resale of hardware assets. When deploying new systems, companies can easily ship their old product to the TPM offering this service. The TPM will then ensure items are properly decommissioned and receive the proper certification from a certified disposal company.
Custom Logistics / Deployment Services
If you’re deploying new hardware or devices, such as laptops, mobile devices, or payment terminals, you need to ensure the product arrives onsite and on time. Many TPMs offer logistical support to guarantee products arrive exactly when needed so you’re able to deploy them without disturbing business. TPMs offer complete services to configure, activate, deploy, and install your technology infrastructure.
For many companies, the IT team is strapped and in need of extra help performing anything from day-to-day tasks to larger-scale deployments of laptops and migration of data. Staff augmentation through a TPM allows the internal IT team to focus on growth and innovation in the company. Some TPMs also provide project consulting in areas where a company has identified a skills gap, and they also can help in hiring full-time positions.
TPMs offer a wide variety of managed services to help optimize a company’s IT infrastructure, from facilitating multiple OEM warranties under one contract to providing remote enterprise monitoring (REM) of datacenter hardware. Through REM, a server can send a notice to an IT team of engineers when service is needed. This provides an extra layer of monitoring and protection.
Depot repair is a service that allows companies to extend the life of their hardware well beyond the OEM’s original warranty date. Most TPMs offer maintenance contracts customizable to your needs and turnaround times. Technicians will troubleshoot and repair any issues with your hardware and then send it back to you in a timely manner. Some TPMs that focus on point-of-sale (POS) terminals also help facilitate and manage repairs via advance exchanges. They keep payment terminals stocked so when one needs repair, the device is easily swapped out for a new one. The TPM will then make necessary repairs and place the item back into the pool so it’s ready for use.
As you can see, partnering with a TPM provides significant value outside of just maintenance and support for your hardware assets.
Deciding whether to stay with an OEM, switch to a TPM, or engage in a hybrid approach is an important decision. Working with a member of the Service Industry Association will ensure that you are partnering with a quality provider.
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