Making the Case for Third-Party Support

Spend Matters welcomes another guest post from NPI, a spend management consultancy, focused on delivering savings in the areas of IT, telecom, transportation and energy.

Here at NPI, we routinely advise companies on the benefits of working with independent and certified third-party support providers for IT infrastructure and applications. In fact, we were just interviewed by CIO.com on this very topic.

The main reason companies choose third-party support is cost. These providers can deliver quality software/hardware support for a fraction of what you would pay for vendor-provided support. But cost is not the only reason to consider third-party support alternatives. Here's another one:

What happens when an IT vendor stops supporting a perfectly good product?

I see this happen all the time, especially in the network hardware space where switches and routers are built to last decades. Vendors often sunset support on these products even when they're still functioning perfectly within the network. In these instances, companies are forced to throw away gear that works and start the buy-support-retire cycle all over again.

Third parties can continue to provide lower-cost support on products that have reached "end of life" And many providers also stock up on these products just before they sunset so they can (affordably) replace client equipment as needed. Furthermore, they have the inventory on hand to even help you expand your IT infrastructure using the trusted legacy solutions you already know.

In short, third-party support providers can do more than just provide support. They can extend the value and lifespan of your current infrastructure. In a time when IT professionals are challenged to prioritize IT spending on new initiatives, this is an enticing option. Why throw away stuff that works when you can spend your money on something more critical?

- Gregg Spivack, Director of Client Services, NPI

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