Third Party Support – Is it worth the risk?

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When comparing the price of ongoing maintenance and support contracts with your Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to those of third party offerings, it may seem like a no-brainer to go with the third party. But is the third party route worth the risks that comes with a lower cost?

You may save some precious budget money upfront but at what long term cost?

scaleFor one, third party suppliers do not cover software updates. There are certainly times when this is not relevant, but it must be considered when weighing your options.

Understanding where replacement parts are coming from should also be considered. Is the supplier using OEM parts, or are they sourcing from another supplier that may not be certified for use in your system?

Ensuring the third party has extensive expertise with your equipment is also crucial. Do they have enough experience to compare to the OEM?  It’s definitely possible your own staff is knowledgeable in this area so third party experience would not be an issue, but what happens when that support call is made while your expert is on vacation?

At the risk of sounding like an insurance sales person, if nothing else, you should first and foremost weigh the risks against the rewards and do your homework before moving forward with a third party. After all, it’s your business you are putting at risk.

If you would like to read more, see NetApp’s considerations here:

NetApp Alternate Support