How to Save on Your Next Server Purchase

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.

Big Data, mobile computing and the cloud are just a few reasons why you may be adding new servers to your IT infrastructure. In fact, you're probably ready for another "routine" purchase with your vendor of choice. But just because server purchasing is old hat doesn't mean you shouldn't be cautious. Here are three things to consider before your next buy:

  • Most vendors' quote systems are fraught with disparity. Pricing and discounts for server offerings are all over the map with little rhyme or reason. Depending on whether you're purchasing directly from your vendor or a reseller, and who your individual account representative may be, pricing can be 20, 30 or even 40 percent above fair market value.
  • You may be paying for premium support...unknowingly. Don't be surprised if your vendor automatically signs you up for premium support, then buries that detail in your contract. Remember: there are many support options with most server vendors as well as with third-party providers. Exploring these options can reduce support costs by 30 percent or more.
  • Direct isn't always best. Most people think it's better -- and more affordable -- to purchase servers directly from the vendor. That isn't always the case. The largest server vendors are deploying increasingly aggressive channel strategies, which means you may very well get a better discount through resellers versus direct.

Before you buy your next server, keep these insights in mind. The value of vendor pricing and contract transparency shouldn't be underestimated. And, a 15-30 percent savings is a pretty sweet bonus.

-- Gregg Spivack, Director of Client Services, NPI

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