Spend Matters welcomes another guest post from Gregg Spivack of NPI, a spend management consultancy focused on eliminating overspending on IT, telecom and shipping.
“How can I cut my support costs?” It’s one of the most common and important questions that IT and sourcing professionals ask-- and rightfully so. As discussed in another post here on Spend Matters, the cost of “keeping the lights on” in IT has grown at an alarming pace.
It has also fueled an entire industry of third-party hardware and software support providers. These options range from hybrid offerings that combine direct support from OEMs and vendors with support from their certified partners, to providers competing directly with OEMs and vendors.
The benefits are numerous, and the most obvious is significant cost savings - often 50 percent of vendor-direct support fees. Additionally, third-party providers can help companies avoid unnecessary upgrades, as well as maintain hardware and software that may no longer be supported by vendors. Lastly, third-party support providers often provide better support levels with senior engineers fielding tier 1 calls.
So, how do you know if your IT operations are a fit for third-party support? Here are a few characteristics:
- Static environments with minimal support issues and no imminent plans for upgrades
- Openness to pilots and an environment suitable for segmenting to support a POC
- Companies expecting to use a system for 2-3 more years that may not have identified a replacement solution but are expecting to retire the current one
- Companies with mandates to reduce costs
When it comes to reducing support costs, the first step is understanding and evaluating your options. Companies need to look beyond traditional direct support and consider the alternatives. Those that do will most likely find that there is room in their IT operations for third-party support providers – not to mention the cost savings and improved service levels.