OEM Support VS Third Party Maintenance Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic: Which is Better?

As if life and business were not challenged enough during the global Coronavirus pandemic, the effort, time, and cost to maintain your IT equipment while protecting your staff have not decreased.  Perhaps in light of dwindling revenues and limited savings, one challenge is that you still rely entirely on a whole slew of different Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) representatives to provide support.

While enterprises and their network of clients develop, they acquire a broad range of IT equipment, including computers, peripherals, smartphones, and other tools, to sustain growth and expand market potential. In most instances, each piece of equipment is:

  • Manufactured by a different OEM
  • Assigned warranties with differing expiration dates
  • Serviced only by the OEMs' designated representatives

The result and reality of the situation? Your company invests considerable money, plus many interruptions, by relying on several OEM companies to perform an ongoing level of service. The better alternative is to consolidate all IT support services with a single third-party maintenance provider (TPM) that will oversee, monitor, maintain, update, and secure your IT assets with a single contract.

How to Save Money and Resources by Consolidating Your IT Maintenance with Proven Third-Party Maintenance Providers

  • Extend the Life of Your IT Assets and Equipment

As your warranty runs down, an OEM representative's primary motivation will be to encourage you to replace and upgrade your existing equipment or agree to an expensive extended service contract. Since this may occur after only three to five years while your equipment is functioning perfectly for your needs, you may assume that the equipment could remain productive for several more years with appropriate maintenance and upgrades.

  • Consolidate All IT Support Contracts and Operations with a Single TPM Company

Extending the useful life of your IT equipment is never an OEM's mission. However, making your equipment perform longer, better, and less expensively is the explicit mission of any third party maintenance company.

And, while extending the productive life of all your IT assets, a well-positioned global third-party support company will monitor and maintain all assets simultaneously. Relying on several OEMs for support places an unnecessary demand on your time and involves collectively much higher costs resulting from multiple contracts.

  • Reduce Exposure During the Covid-19 Pandemic

The ability to work with a single maintenance company for all IT assets reduces the number of technician visits to your operations to perform services and upgrades. With flexible options for scheduling and 24/7/365 support, especially during the Coronavirus Crisis, customers may request routine maintenance appointments at a time when the fewest employees and teams are present.

Many of the functions handled by your professional third-party maintenance company are managed remotely. Technicians will monitor your IT equipment's performance from their location and provide you with updates, even testing and correcting particular interference and bottlenecks and without a personal visit to your site.

Maintain Compatibility and Security within your Entire Network

The third-party maintenance company will strive to give you appropriate access to upgrades and security elements that will be compatible across your server and each IT asset.  Multiple OEM service representatives can make unilateral adjustments to their products that may not be the most efficient for the entire network.

The TPM company will view your network holistically, not as individual components, and provide you with the best long-term solutions.

Contact thomastech as your Third-Party Maintenance Provider

Headquartered in Medina, Ohio, thomastech provides effective, secure, and ongoing IT maintenance support for companies across the U.S., Europe and the globe. A leader in Data Center Hardware, Service, and Expertise, thomastech specializes in securely providing hardware services and storage seamlessly for businesses and organizations.

As an extended, closely connected component of your IT Team, thomastech will make sure your Data Center performs at peak performance levels regardless of any emergency, disruptions or challenges at-hand. Visit our website to learn more about the company's valued experience and knowledge, proven process, comprehensive services, capabilities and flexibility.

To arrange a confidential consultation and evaluation of your IT systems and networks, complete the Contact us information form on our website, and one of our professionals will contact you promptly.

Why third-party maintenance and not OEM?

Maintaining your systems to prevent interruption or malfunction is an essential part of your IT budget. In fact, sources estimate that between 55% and 70% of most organization IT budgets are explicitly directed toward maintenance and upkeep. IT maintenance expenditures mostly focus on maintaining service levels, reducing overall information costs, and making the most of existing systems.

At an early stage in the development of a company, owners or managers must decide what hardware will be required to manage their enterprise’s information and communication. Where should the server reside? What equipment will be required? And who will lead the ongoing operations and maintenance?

Addressing the systems maintenance issue, must your system operate with support from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM)? Or, can your information services be more efficiently overseen and maintained by a third-party maintenance company (TPM)?

What is the Role of an OEM?

OEMs or original equipment manufacturers primarily engaged in selling their equipment and then offering services contracts to maintain your investment once the warranty runs out.

In the long run, the OEM representative’s motivation will be to sell as much equipment as possible. To that end, they are more likely to advise adding replacement equipment than helping you extend the useful life of what you already have.

What Can You Expect from a Third-Party Maintenance Company?

A reliable third-party maintenance company can perform the complete range of IT functions required to support your business. TPM support is customizable and scalable, often offering services that range from performing the role of your CIO and IT department to providing maintenance,  monitoring, and replacement parts for your systems to ensure smooth operation.

Your TPM will be committed to maintaining your success, keeping your systems in top working condition with sufficient capacity for your current and near-future business.

Maintenance, repair, and expansion will be focused on your objectives, not in selling more new equipment.

Comparing the Quality of Services from TPMs and OEMs

1. Service-Level Agreements: SLA

At the outset, you will need to determine the cost and frequency of the maintenance operations your provider should provide. The parameters will be defined in your SLA.

OEMs typically offer fixed service level agreements for all clients with few variations. Modifications to the standard maintenance program can be expensive.

A multi-service third-party maintennce company can help you tailor your service agreement to fit your needs. You pay only for what you want or need.

2. Equipment Life Objectives

There will come a time when a decision is needed regarding whether adding new equipment or extending the useful life of your current system is more economical.

  • As an equipment manufacturer, an OEM will always recommend investing in new equipment. A new replacement may be offered even though the existing hardware is still capable of maintaining your current and future volume with some modifications. As a manufacturer first, always expect the OEM to prefer a new sales contract over a service contract.
  • The third-party maintenance company will employ strategies to effectively extend the life of your existing hardware, always adjusting to your business growth. By maximizing what you already have, you will be reducing your overall IT expenses dramatically. Extending equipment life may include locating and installing necessary replacement parts or supplemental components, rather than purchasing a whole new system.

3. Versatility and Coordination

Over time, companies accumulate equipment produced by several different manufacturers. The reasons can be due to cost or differences in capability at the time you acquired the equipment.

  • Each OEM technician is only qualified to maintain their company’s equipment. When you have multiple OEMs to handle, you must deal with several service-level agreements and more complicated scheduling and communication. Expect disruptions when several OEMs become involved.
  • Expert technicians at well-established TPMs are qualified to work on and repair specialized hardware from any manufacturer. Also, these professionals can link your whole network of equipment from different manufacturers to provide a seamless, high-performance system.

Make thomastech, llc Your Professional TPM

Since 2007, thomastech, llc has provided flexible third-party maintenance services and hardware replacement solutions for successful companies around the globe. Based in Medina, Ohio, thomastech maintains a highly skilled engineering staff, multi-function testing laboratory, and a 24/7 Support Desk to address any client issues at all times.

Thomastech also maintains a 36,000 square foot Distribution Center that houses spare parts and components from many of the world’s leading equipment manufacturers.

From the location in Medina, OH, thomastech provides global overnight shipping to reduce any operational disruptions.

For more information, visit the thomastech, llc website where you may learn more and even submit any questions or requests you may have.

Alternatively, you may speak directly to one of our professionals at +1-(330)-225-3117.

Enterprise Hardware Buy Back

Are you trying to part ways with your old or used hardware? Look no further! Here at thomastech we have our own buyback program. We purchase a variety of products that range from all major OEMs like Dell, HPE, EMC, Hitachi, NetApp, Cisco, Sun, Oracle, and IBM.


With our buyback program, we offer the best prices for your outdated or used products, and we buy from both businesses and individuals. With thomastech’s purchasing services, you’ll be sure to get the best value out of your old devices and hardware. We have devised 3 quick steps to make this process as easy as possible for you.

      1. Send in your product and receive a quote
      2. We test the product to make sure they are in working condition
      3. We put cash in your pockets


With our buyback program, you could possibly pay entirely for your new upgrade. The longer you wait, the more your products depreciate. We want to help you, so why wait? Give thomastech a call today at 330-225-3117 and receive a quote on your items or use the contact us page.

Friday Feature: HPE 3PAR 8440

We are happy to introduce the HPE 3PAR 8440. This device, offered by HPE, comes stacked with useful features and is versatile in any business structure. Many organizations today use this model of the HPE 8000 series storage as it offers unified storage of block & file protocols, application managed data protection, and simplified fabric zoning coupled with SAN diagnostics.

This storage system is classified as a flexible enterprise Tier 1 storage. Its flash-optimized structure offers performance advantages, stepping up HPE’s game. Durability, efficiency, and mobility of data when transferring are just a few characteristics IT professionals find attractive to them. The HPE 3PAR 8440 cuts operating costs up to 75% because of its HPE 3PAR Gen5 Thin Express ASIC.


      • Accelerate Fiber Channel
      • Offers Assured Storage Efficiency for your Workload
      • Respond Effortlessly to Unpredictable and Changing Demands
      • Compatibility with numerous operating systems
      • Total Storage
      • Offers RAID 1,5 and 6 for extra data protection 


Listed below are the operating systems supported by the HPE 3PAR 8440 as stated by HPE in their fact sheet. 

Citrix® XenServer® | HP-UX® | IBM® AIX® | Microsoft® Windows® Server, including Microsoft® Hyper-V™ | Apple Mac OS

OpenVMS* | Oracle® Linux® (UEK and RHEL compatible kernels) | Oracle® Solaris | Ubuntu | VMware vSphere™

Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® | Red Hat® Enterprise Virtualization

SUSE® Linux Enterprise | SUSE® Linux Virtualization | IBM Virtualization | Oracle VM


 The reduced operating costs of the HPE 3PAR 8440 are helping IT departments stretch their operating budgets. They are able to use the saved money to acquire additional hardware or purchase support and maintenance SLA’s from a provider like thomastech. These support and maintenance plans help simplify process and reduce stress associated with the daily operations of growing IT infrastructure. Support and maintenance from thomastech bolster the system’s reliability with a supply of hardware and technicians ready to help at a moment’s notice. 

While on the subject of reducing costs, departments save even further by purchasing hardware from thomatech’s vast inventory of engineer refurbished hardware, thus helping departments go farther and keep data moving. All refurbished hardware is engineer-inspected and covered by a 90-day warranty. Here at thomastech we focus on empowering IT professionals like yourselves to keep data moving. Do more with your IT dollars! Visit www.thomastechllc.com to learn more or call (330) 225-3117 and find out how we can help.

Product Feature: Hitachi G1500

One of the “big guns” in the Hitachi line-up of data storage devices is the Hitachi G1500 model. There is so much to be said about this device which will have to be saved for another day. The G1500 is a storage device specially designed for enterprise-class data centers. In this feature, we will only cover a few details about this storage system.

Operating Systems:

Running this storage device is the Hitachi Global Storage Virtualization operating system, or SVOS for short. Storage operating systems supported by the G1500 include IBM® mainframe operating systems (OS) and open-system OSs. According to Hitachi, the open-system OSs supported are “VMware®, Windows®, Solaris®, AIX®, Linux®, HP-UX™, XenServer®, and OpenVMS™.”

Key Features:

The G1500 provides high performance, availability, and reliability of data and storage. To protect data, the G1500 utilizes an industry trend setting local and remote data protection suite that has true active-active metro-clustering.

Scalability, Networking, Configuring:

Another plus to the G1500 is its scalability and SAN (Storage Area Network) capabilities. With its ability to scale, the G1500 is a perfect answer to organizations that are growing with ever-expanding data storage needs. The G1500 can connect to mainframe hosts using FICON front-end directors and when connecting to open servers it uses iSCSI, Fibre Channel, and Fibre Channel over Ethernet front-end directors. All of the before mentioned front-end directors in different combinations can be used to configure the G1500 to support mainframe hosts and open servers at the same time.

The back-end scalability of a G1500 is quite flexible. It can control up to a maximum of 65,250 logical volumes and 2,304 disk drives. In total, it can contain an approximate capacity of 11,278 TB of space when using 10 TB disk drives.


If you want to stretch your IT budget and do more with the allotted IT dollars, you can with thomastech. At thomastech, we have a large inventory of enterprise hardware, systems, and devices, including the Hitachi G1500 model. We have both new and refurbished hardware available. All the refurbished hardware is engineer inspected and covered by a 90-day warranty. In addition to providing reliable hardware, thomastech offers enterprise maintenance and support to help IT departments keep data moving. Do more with your IT dollars! Visit www.thomastechllc.com to learn more or call (330) 225-3117 and ask about the Hitachi G1500.

The facts behind new vs. old enterprise IT models that OEMs don’t want you to know

Is the newest model the best choice? The answer would be yes, right? Unfortunately, the answer is not that simple. There are many factors that influence the answer.

OEMs are constantly releasing new models. With each new model, the OEM proclaims it as an upgrade that it solves many IT problems. Not only are IT managers flooded with this information in OEM ads, they experience additional pressure while attending IT conferences and shows from both the OEM and other attendees. All this pressure pushes for a spontaneous purchasing decision versus a planned transition. When an impromptu purchasing decision is made, many IT managers overlook their multi-year plans and stabilization exercises. Is the offer provided by the OEM along with the outside pressure to buy worth discarding all the careful planning that has been put into place?

With every new piece of equipment released, OEMs advertise upgrades made over the previous model. Yet these changes between models are often minor and have little real-world impact. Most of us have had a similar experience even when purchasing consumer IT products. A feature is promoted as an upgrade, but later it is discovered the change/upgrade did not help in the way expected. In some instances, the changes made between models actually decrease the usability of the product thus increasing user frustration. In order for a model change to be accurately called an upgrade, its features must have a measurable benefit to the organization and IT department rather than some extra “chrome”. They should make a noticeable and valuable contribution to mission critical operations within the system’s environment. If the benefit is not significant enough, the older model currently in use may be the better option.

A general consideration for IT departments is if the inter-model feature change is significant enough to merit the additional work and increased capital expenditures. On release, often a new model has undergone only a few slight alterations since the previous model, sometimes just two or three. If these changed features are not vital for mission-critical operations, it may be wise to wait for one or two models to be released before upgrading. This waiting allows departments to jump over intermediate models and pay the price for one system replacement while accumulating multiple features instead of just two or three. This waiting allows for budget maximization while reducing downtime associated with system migration.

As with many other forms of tech, enterprise system models are not without their defects when first released. Often IT products display a bathtub shaped curve demonstrating the failure rates of systems and hardware. When a model is first launched it experiences soaring failure rates. After a while, the failure rate drops and the issues and bugs are worked out as the innovators and early adopters experience the problems. Often it is better to be a member of the early majority, or even in the late majority, on the product adoption bell curve as many of the problems will be fixed and the systems will be more reliable. Waiting too long, on the other hand, places users in the last 16% along with significant chances of system failure rates spiking due to the age of the systems.

Some IT products do not demonstrate the traditional failure rate curve; instead they demonstrate more of a flat or a steady increase in the failure rate. This unusual behaviour results from the root cause being impractical for the OEM to resolve or additional problems becoming apparent over time. For IT departments without unlimited funding, it is safer to remain in the early or late majority when purchasing and adopting the new model of enterprise hardware. New models are especially risky to innovators and early adopters as they have no previous history to determine whether the systems have a high failure rate and are thus unreliable. On the other hand, those following early adopters will know from their experience whether the model is a wise and safe investment.  

When implementing a system swaps for new models, IT departments must determine their system swap procedure to avoid additional costs. There are usually two options when swapping a drive. The first is to maintain a redundant system for transitioning data and users to during the swap, while the second is to shut down the system and cut access to the data. Both methods for swapping systems generate additional costs either from purchasing and managing another system or costs resulting from downtime.

Choosing option two and shutting the system down results in down time. As many know within the IT field, downtime is costly. Probably the highest cost from downtime associated with a system swap is lost revenue. Following lost revenue, other costs are incurred, including those resulting from reduced productivity, lost opportunities, and decreased customer confidence. To avoid or reduce these costs, a solution must be designed around compatibility with existing infrastructure and employees’ usability to allow for a seamless transition. The lower the frequency of system swaps in an IT infrastructure the lower overall associated costs and downtime.

When considering upgrading to a new system, IT managers should consider the additional man-hours incurred as a result of the transition. Not only is work required to move the entire system that is being swapped, but work is also required to reconnect and troubleshoot potential compatibility issues. Once the system is in place, IT staff and company personnel must be retrained. Not only is this time-intensive for production and office staff, but it also requires a significant time investment from those providing the training. A major cost to organizations and their related IT departments is man-hours. As a result, efficient man-hour use is a major consideration for many IT managers so they can maintain their given IT budgets. Increasing the intervals between system swaps decreases the overall man-hour costs.

Many managers at this point are thinking about their legacy hardware and their related support and maintenance needs. The OEM places additional pressure to upgrade systems so they can sell more and increase their profit margins. They do not consider what is best for IT managers and their budgets as their goal is to increase sales. As a result, support costs skyrocket when it is time to renegotiate the SLAs. Once a system is sunsetted by the OEM, no support is provided by the OEM regardless of the price, leaving departments without support for functioning systems. Thomastech provides a solution.

With Thomastech’s support, many managers receive up to a 70% savings compared to the OEM’s SLAs. Thomastech focuses on streamlining and simplifying the support and maintenance process. Thomastech accomplishes this by providing direct access to level three engineers, extensive internal hardware inventory, support for all your OEMs in one place and a streamlined ticketing and triage process. All of these features ensure a faster resolution, lower costs, and reduced downtime.