Luckily, there are steps you can take to reduce the cost of your network maintenance and support contracts.
If you’ve been struggling under the weight of hefty network maintenance contracts, here are 5 ways to start saving…
1. Partner with networking experts who understand the vendor’s technology
When you partner with networking experts, they should be able to help you leverage the best options available within your vendor’s service contracts.
This includes determining where upgrading ageing equipment could be more cost effective than continuing to support it. Ideally, the team will work with you to understand your CAPEX and OPEX budgets, put together a full inventory of your assets, and determine what’s available to renew in terms of vendor options.
They can also assess your existing contracts to make sure you’re only paying for what you’re using. This is an area where we have helped countless clients save big money. For example, we may conduct an audit and find you have key equipment that is not in your service contracts. Instead of missing the renewal and being up for thousands in repairs or a replacement, you can rest assured that everything has been accounted for.
2. Assess the need for Same or Next Day Support vs Return to Factory
Same Day support contracts are understandably more expensive, as vendors need to account for the time and resources required to provide emergency support. The same applies to Next Day support contracts, which can also be costly as they require vendors to mobilise resources and replace hardware within 48 hours.
While Return to Factory does take longer, the savings can be significant due to the decreased pressure on vendors to act fast. With this in mind, there are a few ways to leverage Return to Factory without negatively impacting your operations.
3. Keep spares of common equipment on hand
One way to reduce the impact of delays associated with Return to Factory agreements is to keep cold spares of common equipment on hand.
For example, smaller run rate network devices such as switches, access points, edge routers, and firewalls are relatively inexpensive to buy, yet valuable to keep in case of failure. You might even be able to score a discount by purchasing multiple devices at the same time which adds to longer term cost savings.
4. Architect highly redundant network architecture
Another way to reduce the impact of longer lead times from a Return to Factory agreement is to architect your network with an automatic failover so you always have back up.
While this is already best practice, having a high availability network and strong redundancy practices allows you to consider opting for lower-level maintenance agreements such as Return to Factory or Next Day – rather than Same Day.
If you don’t have an automatic failover set up for your business, consider engaging network specialists to assist in deploying an effective solution.
5. Consider a multi-year maintenance agreement and negotiate a discount
Regardless of the type of maintenance agreement you decide on, there can be decent discounts associated with negotiating longer terms.
While your provider may not advertise this, it’s worth speaking to them to find out.
Ask what you would pay if you entered a 3 year contract vs re-signing for 12 months. You may find the savings are significant!
Why work with ICT Networks
We help our clients evaluate and manage their support contracts for all vendors, including offering co-termed renewals so you only need to worry about a single renewal date (saving you lots of time and stress and making it easier to budget).
Our engineers also have deep expertise in all networking solutions, and understand the fine print in your maintenance agreements. As respected partners with world leading vendors, we have strong working relationships and great access to products and services at the best prices.
Whether you’re currently happy or unhappy with your maintenance agreements, we would like the opportunity to help you do better.
To find out how we can help reduce the costs of your network maintenance agreements, please get in touch.