Are you overspending on your network maintenance and support?
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Insights•6 minutes read
Are you overspending on your network maintenance and support?
Cost-effective solutions are a must for any business or organisation but it is equally important to ensure the solution you do have meets your needs.
An increased network demand with less budget
IT teams across Australia are experiencing budget cuts but demand on your network continues to increase.
For these teams, it is now turning into a balancing act; making sure they are receiving the right network and maintenance support for your organisation whilst also ensuring they’re not overspending or paying too much.
How to get a smart and cost-effective solution
There are a few things you can do to ensure a balance between keeping your procurement department happy and not causing a headache with inadequate services in place.
People fall into two camps when trying to solve this problem. The first is that you must spend more to get a better service – premium service always comes with a premium price, right? The second is going with a cheaper option to getting upfront savings and worry about the possibility of future fall outs when they happen. However, they both are problematic if you choose to focus on one solution.
The camp of ‘premium pricing means premium service’ could result in you paying for more for support you do not require. For example, if your device is not critical – is it really important to have a 2-hour service level agreement on it? Paying for a service that isn’t required for a device can quickly eat away at your budget, limiting your teams reach on more important tasks.
The alternative of ‘enjoy the upfront savings but worry about the possible future fallout’ is just as complicated. It may seem like a good idea at first but could result in more stress for your team down the track. If a major issue occurs on a critical device, it could mean your team using up resources and time to fix issue, resulting in major downtime or additional fallout due to poorly fixed incidents.
Key insightAlthough upfront savings seems great, it is highly likely it will cost the company more down the road. It's not about cost-cutting or choosing the most expensive option – it's about achieving the ‘right spend’ for your network and maintenance support.
1. Take a holistic approach to your maintenance support contracts
Businesses are not ‘one size fits all’ and requires their maintenance contracts and support strategies to reflect their requirements. When reviewing your strategies, you should investigate all elements to see where trade-offs can be made that still ensure an appropriate but safe and smart solution. In doing this, it will help you identify smart ways to save that don’t elevate risk or lower service so you’re getting the same or better service but for lower costs or less wastage. After, make sure due diligence is done on any cost savings. Try not to just focus on the numbers otherwise you may end up with a solution that looks great from a budget perspective but is not right for your organisation. Ensure your support aligns to the business’ needs making sure you’re not overspending but spending in a way that ensures you’re getting operational and capital expenditures right.
2. Review your supplier – is a third-party maintenance provider better suited for business requirements?
We know that switching suppliers does not sound like the easiest solution to make sure you’re not overspending on your network, but we promise it can be seamless. The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of your maintenance devices not always give you the best support for your buck. As they have new products being developed and launched every year, they tend to push clients to upgrade devices rather than extending their maintenance contracts. As a result, many over charge clients on maintenance contracts to encourage them to upgrade. In addition, be cautious about customer loyalty discounts from your OEM. They still ultimately need to manage their operational expenditures and if they’re threatened with losing your business then they need to find a way to fund the discount – when it’s too binary, or device-based [in isolation] they may not have the measure/resource/skills in place to deliver.
3. Critique your hardware maintenance contracts
Are your hardware maintenance contracts working for you or your supplier? In many cases, suppliers constrain you to inflexible contracts not accounting for any changes to your budget, requirements or any updates made to your network. Consolidating these can seem daunting as devices tend to be on separate maintenance contracts, various support start or end date, countless service level agreements, the list goes on. We recommend auditing your devices – whether you do this internally (if you have capacity) or use a third party like Interactive, it is up to you. This will give you the information you need to make core changes allowing you to maximise the value of what you’re already invested in, over time.
Determine that you’re actually receiving the service you believe you’re getting.
This last point is an important one. You do want to make sure that you are not only getting what you’re paying for but also that you get the support you need when you need it most. If you go with a cheaper or discounted support piece, do they have the capacity to actually provide the right support when you need it? Do they have secure partnerships in place that enable them to provide the right level of service without limitations? You don’t want to be left in the lurch when they can’t service/support something that is critical for your business to keep going.
How we help
There really are so many approaches and factors that can be taken into consideration when ensuring the right network maintenance and support solution, without overspending. What is really important is finding the right support for your business and it’s needs.
With over 30 years of experience, Interactive’s hardware maintenance team can help you. We support over 2000 clients across A/NZ and offer 100% parts guarantee, flexible hardware support contracts, best in class service level agreements, local engineers with expert knowledge to help achieve the best outcome for your network and budget.
Stop overpaying for IT support
Tired of off-the-shelf support plans that don’t reflect your service needs? Talk to us about tailoring a plan for your business.