Evaluating TPM Providers? Use Our Convenient Checklist!

Third Party Maintenance Vendor Checklist

Is it time to explore third party maintenance (TPM) as a support alternative? With so many options to choose from, it can be confusing to find the TPM provider that offers the right mix of reliability, affordability, and expertise. However, it’s a critical decision that will affect your data center’s operability and stability for years to come. The right decision can offer peace of mind and security, while the wrong choice could result in high costs, a lack of service, and possibly even system failure. 

Whether you are an IT manager, a sysadmin, or a business owner, there are simple, effective ways to understand all your options. It is possible to make an informed decision. We designed the checklist below to help ensure that you’re able to make the best possible decision for your budget and your organization.

What Is a Third Party Maintenance (TPM) Provider?

Is your hardware is approaching its end of life (EOL) or end of service life (EOSL) and you don’t want to upgrade to the latest and greatest or pay the manufacturer’s exorbitant rates for an extended warranty (or you’ve missed the last date to get that protection)? Working with a third party maintenance provider is the solution. A third party maintenance provider can:

  • Offer support and service on your IT assets long after the OEM stops
  • Save you a ton of money over what you would pay the OEM for an extended warranty
  • Deliver storage, switch, and network support, along with recertified hardware 
  • Offer email, phone, and in-person support depending on the situation
  • Provide remote monitoring of your data center assets
  • Maintain all of your IT equipment, including from multiple manufacturers
  • Offer more flexibility than most OEMs can provide

But the problem is that there are many different third party maintenance providers out there and they are not all created equal. Use the checklist below to ensure that you’re able to compare your options and make an informed, data-driven decision.

Responsiveness and Downtime
  • Does the TPM provider offer designated engineers that specialize in your equipment/brand/needs?
  • Does the provider deliver on-site response, troubleshooting, and repair? Many only offer parts shipping and phone support.
  • Does the provider have a local parts inventory so the wait for a replacement is minimized?
  • Does the provider employ a strong network of engineers to ensure quick, efficient responses to problems?
  • Does the provider force you to escalate a situation to speak with an engineer?
  • Is the provider’s first-trip success rate at least 90%?
Getting Access to Help
  • Does the provider offer 24/7 support or are they only available during “standard business hours”?
  • Does the provider offer a client portal with robust communication and coverage viewing options?
  • Does the provider offer a single point of contact for all of your hardware needs (co-terming) or must you make multiple calls for multiple contracts?
Flexibility in Support
  • Does the TPM provider offer true multi-vendor support?
  • Does the provider offer robust multi-platform support across servers, storage devices, and other networked assets?
  • Does the provider deliver gap coverage options?
  • Does the provider offer both short-term (1 month) and long-term (5 years) service agreements?
  • Can you customize the terms of your service level agreement (SLA)?
  • Are the provider’s SLAs easily understandable or does the company use obscure language and hide a lack of service behind lots of jargon?
Support Costs
  • How much does the TPM provider charge in comparison with OEMs? With other TPMs?
  • Do support rates increase year after year for the same level of coverage?
  • Do you incur penalties if you delete equipment coverage? 
  • Can you add equipment coverage on the fly without penalties?
  • Are there hidden cost increases tucked into the contract?
Reputation and Recognition
  • What is the TPM provider’s reputation like with other clients?
  • Does the provider publish customer satisfaction and retention information?
  • Can the provider offer real customer references/testimonials?

Riverstone Technology: Your Third Party Maintenance Provider of Choice

While you have no shortage of options when it comes to choosing a TPM provider, Riverstone Technology should be your first choice. How do we compare to others and to the checklist above?

First, we’re there when you need us. 24/7 support is baked into two of our four service level agreements. With 24/7/4 coverage, you get 24/7 help desk access and monitoring, along with a four-hour response window so you’re never left waiting. We also operate a global network of forward-stocking locations over 1,200 strong. You’re never more than 50 miles away from replacement parts, plus we offer the option of on-site spares so there is no wait for delivery at all!

Secondly, we employ over 2,500 world-class engineers drawn from the same talent pool as the OEMs and sourced locally. That means ultra-fast response times and a very low engineer-to-account ratio for the best service possible. And, unlike other TPMs, there’s never a need to escalate a support ticket to speak with an engineer. Just call or email us. It’s that simple. 

You also benefit from our industry-leading customer portal, which provides a real-time view of your coverage and service tickets, as well as other critical information that you need to know quickly. When it comes to multi-vendor, multi-platform support, you’ll discover that our engineers are truly brand agnostic. Each one has years of experience working with today’s IT technology across all brands and asset types. 

Furthermore, our contracts are easy to understand and never contain any hidden fees, and we don’t penalize you for adding or deleting coverage. It’s your data center, and our goal is to deliver the support that you need, not dictate terms to you. 

Finally, you’ll find that not only are we more affordable than the OEMs (40% – 90% less), but our rates are on average 10% lower than other TPMs. That ensures you get the coverage you need for peace of mind and protection without breaking the budget. 

Your TPM Provider Search Is Over

With the provided checklist, you should be well on your way to selecting a TPM provider that’s reliable, affordable, and highly experienced. With this in mind, we hope that your choice is clear now. Riverstone Technology offers the right combination of parts locations and expert engineers, coupled with ease of use and the customization that you need. Contact us today to learn more about our adjustable SLAs, our team of expert engineers, or how we can support your success. Call (877) 819-6757 or request a quote right now.