Are you evaluating support from a third-party provider against that of the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)? A lot of businesses have faith in OEM server maintenance, which is understandable. The expectation is the OEM knows the equipment inside out and is therefore best placed to fix it should an issue arise.
However, we’ve been providing third party server maintenance which not only beats the OEM on price, the speedy fixes and hands-on-support has led some customers to remark that we go beyond the support expected from an official provider.
The importance of a well-maintained server
Your server is a critical component of your IT estate. You need as few outages or disruptions as possible. It always falls on IT to keep customer satisfaction, employee productivity and company profitability as high as possible. No short amount of pressure then.
The knock-on effect for many, is to go with the safe option of staying with the manufacturer. They designed and built the hardware, they know it better than anyone else, right? Wrong.
We are specialists in extending the life of hardware and sweating assets until they no longer meet your performance needs, rather than when the manufacturer decides it is time for you to upgrade.
Here are the 4 key elements you need to consider when selecting your hardware strategy for 2021 and beyond.
People – there for when IT hardware failures happen
When failures occur, you want the best person for the job to come to your rescue. A common assumption is that the engineers from the original equipment manufacturer understand the equipment better than anyone else.
At Blue Chip, we employ highly trained multivendor engineers, with many of our engineers having a strong background in working with the original equipment manufacturer. We ensure they are trained to the same certifications, if not higher, than the manufacturer.
Furthermore, they are trained on a range of data centre equipment, from Dell to Cisco, HPe to Nutanix, and IBM to Lenovo. They have the range of skills to deal with an entire IT estate, rather than a single brand.
Our field engineers cover the entire UK on a 24x7x365 basis. We assign each customer with a primary and a secondary engineer, which they can build direct relationships, leading to them being an extension of their team. Our UK-based 24-hour call despatch is trained to a technical standard and then has access to a breadth of knowledge and experience across our 130 UK-based technical engineers.
This means we have the experts available to understand and diagnose the complexities of any server outage, recommending the necessary parts and ensuring availability to the engineering team when attending your site.
Parts – the autonomy to minimise disruption to your IT estate
“A workman is only as good as his tools.”
This statement could not be truer in IT hardware maintenance. What good is the best engineer, with all the experience and expertise to solve the problem, if he does not have the parts he needs?
In our vast experience, a major incident can be a combination of several failing components.
What you may not know is that the manufacturer typically sends the most common part based on your self-diagnosis, one part at a time. If that part is wrong, they order the second part, and so on.
Over the past 34 years, we have learnt a thing or two about hardware maintenance, and our customers acknowledge the fact that the OEM process is long-winded and time-consuming, the very opposite of what you need when a business-critical server goes down.
On the flip side, our engineers have the autonomy to order all parts they deem necessary to deal with the failure. If they have not already got the item in their unlimited boot stock, our engineers are empowered to request as many parts as they feel they need to deal with incidents and keep our first-time fix rate at 97%.
The reason we can do this, is that when we agree to cover a piece of hardware, we agree to always keep all necessary parts in stock in the UK. Many manufacturers do not have all the parts they need in this country, because their head office is usually based elsewhere in Europe.
Consequently, this can mean long lead times, and unnecessary downtime. Other third-party maintenance providers are not much better, with many utilising the third party for their parts, meaning they have no control over stock levels or the availability of the parts you need.
We own all our parts and are in full control of stock management, with dedicated employees managing the stock levels. We only store genuine OEM parts, loaded to correct firmware levels, and put all parts through our rigorous in-house testing regime, which we run on a 3-month cycle to limit any Dead On Arrival (DOA) reports to less than 0.05%. Beat that!
Process – simple processes to enable faster recovery from IT outages
The process could not be simpler at Blue Chip. We give you one number to call throughout day and night. We are in our fourth decade at being a reputable Managed Services Provider (MSP), we have created a simple procedure to get your issue resolved as quickly as possible.
First, we hold a 0–15-minute internal technical support triage to decide on a severity impact and agree on a plan moving forward. If the issue is unclear, we can set up a remote diagnostic on your servers and/or storage equipment, enabling rapid analysis before the engineer arrives on site. Once the issue is highlighted, our in-house logistics function is notified of the necessary parts to be shipped to meet the engineer on-site.
With a range of SLAs to suit all business requirements, you can have your business-critical infrastructure on a 24x7x365 4-hour fix, and your legacy or non-critical equipment on the next business day. This means huge cost savings and the flexibility you need to get the specialist engineer to the site as quickly as possible for your core business systems.
To put into perspective how quickly we can get to you, we typically take 2 urgent callouts per day (regularly less than 2). With our wide coverage of the entire UK and our vast number of engineers, we can get to your site within 4 hours depending on impact and based on the agreed SLA. We trust the customer, letting you determine the priority of the call and always aim to beat the SLAs we have in place.
Price – savings that allow for IT advances
In 2021, we are still unsure of the full impact of the pandemic. Cost savings will be important in almost every sector. This means there has never been a better time to leave the manufacturer and save upwards of 40% on your extended warranty costs, and even more, if you planned on refreshing the entire estate, based on the simple reason the warranty expired.
Moving to Blue Chip can increase your IT budget to spend on advancing your IT, not maintaining it. We give you the control to time your next hardware refresh based on your business need, not on the manufacturer’s. We do not believe in any hidden or additional charges, operating on trust the customer basis. With free health checks, site surveys and warranty management as standard, Blue Chip takes all the pain away from running infrastructure on-premises.
In summary, you have more options than meet the eye. If you concentrate on these four key elements; people, parts, process, and price – not only is there no risk of leaving the manufacturer, but you can improve the service you receive and sweat your assets long into the future.
Blue Chip is uniquely positioned to support your entire estate, with a history that spans over four decades of providing mission-critical support to many of the UK’s household names. Get in touch today.