When looking at your infrastructure expenditure, one sure way to reduce costs is to examine and interrogate the current approach to support management. We address both the management framework and the actual service deliverables of the contract itself:
- The number of contracts you have
- The number of support processes involved
- The assets to be supported, and the role they play in delivering business services
Importantly, we also consider whether your current approach is consistent with your organisation’s Recovery Point and Time objectives (RPO and RTO). Specifically, how long you can afford to be without a business services and, in the event of a failure, how much data you can afford to lose?
The most common approach organisations take is to buy support service directly from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and consider each vendor product deployed in isolation, while accepting the SLAs they offer. At this point many ask, “What is the alternative?”
Take a business service view
The alternative is to take a business service view and narrow it down. This isn’t anywhere near as time consuming as it sounds, but a baseline needs to be established:
- Start with the business service being delivered, for example, a quoting system, built on Dynamics.
- What is the RPO and RTO of this service?
The RPO and RTO help provide the design framework for the infrastructure, its backup and Disaster Recovery Strategy, and feeds data to address what support is required from the infrastructure layer.
- What is the connected infrastructure required to deliver the business service: server, storage, network and any software and/or appliances?
- Do you have any single points of failure?
The next area to address is contract management. Do you have any gaps? Contract consolidation can help reduce the number of agreements in place, saving time and money from fewer contracts and leveraging the consolidated power of a collective spend.
When helping our customers to develop a support strategy, we ensure it is consistent with their commercial goals, our approach is to:
- Consolidate the number of contracts they need to manage
- Consolidate the support process – ideally, one number to call and one process to follow
- Assist in incident and problem management with regular monthly reporting
- Provide a simple view to see what is and is not under maintenance (effectively, a portal to the contract)
- Smooth transition from initial warranty to contracted support
- Reduce risk by aligning support contracts with the commercial objectives
- Enable change, through flexible terms where appropriate, and
- Continue supporting infrastructure assets after an OEM has declined to support the asset and wants you to refresh.
This last point is highly pertinent because, if an asset is still ‘fit for use and fit for purpose’, why must it be replaced just because the OEM will no longer support it? Interactive will.
Bringing it all together
Other IT services providers can perform contract consolidation, on-sell OEM support or resell you a Third-Party Maintenance (TPM) service. But very few deliver all three as core business. Many people know Interactive historically as an alternative to OEM Support. However, what you may not be aware is that we are the largest privately owned IT services company in Australia. We provide Support and Maintenance Services, Cloud and Managed Services, and Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Services.
Keeping ICT infrastructure running at peak performance is part of our DNA. We both partner and compete with industry OEMs. As a Cisco Gold Partner and a partner with organisations like Juniper, Riverbed, F5 and the like, Interactive is uniquely positioned to deliver cost savings and improved service levels without compromising reliability.
If you’d like to understand how we can help you reduce your operational ICT costs, visit the website to speak to our experts, or talk to your Interactive Account Manager.