Five Basics for Disaster Preparation and Business Continuity in the Data Center

These days, it seems that unexpected business interruptions are coming all too frequently.  In this light, business continuity and disaster planning must be the foundation for any successful business.

Disaster, in its many forms, can strike suddenly. Events like fire, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, severe and lengthy power outages, or a host of other unexpected events may occur. You may no longer be able to access the vital records and data that your business relies on for day-to-day operations.

Disaster recovery preparation is the key to a failure-proof business continuity plan. And, a competent professional third-party IT maintenance company can ensure that your data and systems are securely preserved and available when the unexpected occurs.

What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

A disaster is an event that can put your company at serious risk, interrupting normal, seamless operations. As a subset of your overall business continuity plan, Disaster Recovery Planning involves establishing contingency or backup strategies in case of a shutdown resulting from an unanticipated event. Being able to adapt quickly is key to remaining operational.

With data center activities, creating offsite or remote backup data storage and recovery capabilities can keep your business running even in the most challenging conditions.

Vital Elements of an Effective Disaster Recovery Plan

Disasters can have long-term effects. Understanding that some customers may be lost to competitors either temporarily or permanently as you try to recover should be a significant motivation for effective disaster planning.

As many business managers are aware,  the occurrence of a natural and other business-disrupting event occurring is usually not a question of “if,” but “when.” Naturally, as you struggle to recover, your better-prepared or undamaged competitors may quickly move in to replace you.

Whether your business is manufacturing, retail, or services, your data center is the heart of everything you do. Here are five essentials for effective Disaster Recovery Planning relative to your Data Center:

  1. Create a Disaster Team

Gather each department head or stakeholder in your organization. Because your IT systems and data are essential to continuity in the face of disaster, make sure you involve your most knowledgeable Data Center representatives. You may find it is necessary to bring in outside expertise, people who have dealt with disaster recovery situations in the past.

  1. Develop Possible Disaster Recovery Scenarios: Risk Management

Ask each department head to imagine what could happen if a variety of disasters should occur. What if the entire site is compromised or destroyed? What will you do if your primary onsite IT system is destroyed? How can clients be served?  How much time will be needed to bring the business back to full recovery? Will communications be lost?

  1. Develop a Disaster Recovery Plan with a 3rd Party IT Maintenance Company

Your IT Data Center should be your main priority. Your IT Disaster Recovery Team must present a contingency plan that addresses all possible outcomes to provide a seamless transition. In most instances, engaging an outside third-party maintenance company will help to secure your data and allow instant retrieval.

  1. Working with a Reputable Third-Party IT Maintenance Company for Disaster Recovery

One of the functions of a reliable third-party IT maintenance company is to provide redundant, remote backup storage for your Data Center. If a disaster occurs at your primary site, professionals can help you restore data securely without interruption.  The company will ensure data transfer is automatic and safe and should be able to replace damaged hardware quickly.

  1. Simulations

With the support of your third-party IT Maintenance Company and your internal Disaster Team, you can simulate a range of potential business disruptions. By following the protocols created in the Plan, your Data Center will be able to recreate all data quickly and without any interruption to service.

And, companies like thomastech, an international third-party IT maintenance company, can resupply necessary hardware components to bring all activity back to normal.

Contact thomastech for Data Center Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning

To assist with your IT disaster recovery planning, data backup, and implementation, contact thomastech. The company provides backup engineering and an inventory of spare parts to clients throughout North America and Europe.

Also, thomastech offers a portfolio of solutions to help companies with data backup and recovery.

For more information about thomastech’s capabilities, visit their website at

What is Third-Party Maintenance in the Data Center?

Quality third-party maintenance (TPM) providers are outsourced hardware and systems support companies that will professionally manage a client’s server, data storage, and network equipment. In most instances, a TPM takes the role of a replacement for the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), whose principal objective is to sell their latest equipment, often recommending shorter replacement cycles than are necessary.

Computer and other electronic hardware do become obsolete eventually. But, as your business grows, a qualified third-party maintenance company can help you forestall that next stage investment while maintaining top-level performance.

A competent third-party maintenance provider strives to extend the useful life of your systems and prevent investing hard-earned assets prematurely. With focused technical support, the TPM company will optimize your IT budget while ensuring your data is safe, hardware breakdowns are minimal, and your data center produces everything you require to make timely business decisions.

A Comparison Between Qualified Third-Party Maintenance Providers and OEM Companies

OEMs like Dell, HP, IBM, EMC, and others generally offer up to a three-year warranty. At the end of the warranty, you will be offered an option to purchase an extended service level agreement (SLA).

However, after around 6-9 years, when the rising cost of the OEM’s continuing service has reached its peak, you will be offered an End-of-Service-Life Notice that says that they can no longer provide support. The sales representative for the OEM  will then advise that you need to invest in the newest version of their hardware.

Remember, the letter “M” in OEM stands for “manufacturer.” Selling new equipment is the OEM’s primary objective.

Third-Party Maintenance Providers have a different objective. The “M” in their name represents “maintenance.” Their primary function is to be available to provide top quality personalized service when your OEM’s warranty has expired. Their involvement allows your systems to continue performing flawlessly at a lower cost.

And, with professionally certified support, your equipment will last longer, and your company’s capital can be applied to more productive, customer-focused activities.

Third-party maintenance providers like thomastech, a global systems support company, employ professional technicians who are OEM-certified to maintain equipment for all of the leading equipment brands. And, the company carries an extensive inventory of spare parts from leading brands.

What are the Advantages of Working with a Quality Third-Party Maintenance Company?

Data centers who partner with the top third-party maintenance providers like thomastech realize certain tangible advantages. These include:

  • Reducing your long-term IT expenditures
  • Extending your equipment life cycle without jeopardizing performance
  • Personalizing service in a “partnering relationship”
  • Providing quicker response times
  • Maintaining readily available spare parts
  • Establishing state-of-the-art security
  • Assisting with IT Asset Disposition and resale, when needed

How Do You Determine if a Quality Third-Party Maintenance Company is Warranted?

The first step in determining if your data center would benefit from working with a third-party maintenance company is the perform an internal assessment. The assessment should involve the following elements:

  • What percentage of your entire network is under an extended service warranty with the OEM?
  • How much equipment is out of warranty and are being serviced by the OEM under a service level agreement? What is your cost per year for the OEM service?
  • Review the records of downtime for each piece of equipment.
  • How much of your equipment is nearing or has reached the OEM’s End-of-Life status that indicates your OEM service support will end?

Having quantified the answers to these questions, contact a proven third-party maintenance company to discuss your situation and who can offer a program to reduce your long-term hardware and maintenance costs. Look for a candidate with top-notch reviews and references from similar clients, appropriate industry certifications, extensive inventories, and available resources to support your business.

Learn More About thomastech, a Leader in Third-Party Maintenance

thomastach is a third-party maintenance leader in managing enterprise hardware servers and data storage with certified, professional IT support. Their company professionals provide scalable support that will expand as your needs grow.

Visit the thomastech website to learn more about how the company will enhance your entire team and efforts while providing expert and economical support.

How to Prepare to Change ITAD Vendors

Companies grow. Information needs expand, hardware becomes obsolete or less productive, and the renewal cycle for new electronics and computer equipment gets shorter. As new IT equipment comes onboard, management is continually challenged with finding ways to retire old hardware best safely and economically.

Managing IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) is becoming a critical worldwide industry. In 2018, for example, ITAD vendors oversaw the safe disposal or remarketing of 500 million metric tons of used IT equipment, according to a United Nations report.

The reasons for creating a plan for change may be that you:

  • Believe your current ITAD vendor service is inferior or has become unresponsive.
  • Learn that your current ITAD vendor is ceasing operations.
  • Wish to be ready if you need to make a change in the future.

Here are some guidelines for managing the process of changing ITAD vendors.

Having a Transition Plan is Critical

If you are planning to change ITAD vendors, certain steps will facilitate the process to ensure your records are secure, the change is seamless, and minimize confusion, and help you get a fair return on your IT assets.

Closing Out Current ITAD Vendors

  • Keep an accurate record of all your company’s IT assets. The information should include all computers, mobile phones, and accessories, as well as drives and other equipment that contain your company’s data. Know the who, where, what, and when of every component.
  • Record all recent Data Destruction and Asset Disposition details with your current ITAD vendors.
  • Communicate with all essential stakeholders within your organization to assure them that assets and information will be safer following the changeover of ITAD vendors.
  • Review any existing contracts for any early termination issues that must be addressed.

Preparation for Choosing New ITAD Vendors

As you begin to look for a new ITAD vendor, you should carefully organize your pending ITAD needs. The new vendor will need to know:

  • How many assets will need to be managed?
  • What types of equipment will be handled?
  • How many drives will need to be sanitized or destroyed onsite?
    Where are all the assets located?
  • When will the new ITAD vendor need to start?
  • What is your average asset volume?
  • Will the be any special needs or handling required?

Having this information in advance gives candidate ITAD vendors a clear picture of how to present their quotation.

Selecting New ITAD Vendors

When vetting new ITAD vendors, you must be sure you are not going from bad to worse. Do not jump for “specials” and price breaks unless they make sense. Also, be sure to check references and related outside industry resources to determine reliability, past performance, and reputation. During the interview, ask specific, in-depth questions to assess how the vendor has handled similar circumstances.

Vet the prospective ITAD vendors carefully. The first step is the make sure they have the proper certifications which may include Ban e-Stewards Certified Recycler, NAID (National Association of Information Destruction) Certification, or Microsoft Registered Refurbisher  

Most important, examine how the prospective ITAD vendor will handle the issues in which the current one is underperforming. It would be best if you considered creating a test case project to determine the company’s professional approach and timeliness. A multifaceted test case can determine any ITAD vendor’s organizational aptitude and identify weaknesses.

Finally, make sure you establish mutual expectations, eliminate performance gaps, and create mutually acceptable success measurements.

Transitioning New ITAD Vendors

Create a process document that outlines the objectives, projects, success measures, and description of the optimal outcome.

With large projects, particularly ones that span considerable territory, you should consider creating an internal team to oversee the effectiveness of the new company. Key personnel, notably IT experts, can take responsibility and champion the change.

Learn About thomastech, a Third-Party Maintenance Company

For complete support for all of your hardware, service, and technical expertise, check out thomastech, a global third-party maintenance company. Visit the thomastech website to learn more.

What is IT Asset Disposition?

All successful businesses, large or small, depend on IT to manage their enterprise. Computer-managed sales information, invoicing, accounting, internal operations, human resources and personnel support, data collection, real-time decision-supporting analysis, and more define the entire picture of an enterprise’s activity. As companies grow, data volume increases, and new computing and storage capacity will be needed. Older, outdated assets may need to be disposed of.

IT assets may consist of mainframes and individual desktops, portable computers, tablets, mobile phones, and more. According to one United Nations report, the world disposed of 50 million metric tons of electronics or “e-waste” in 2018. This quantity of asset disposition, says the UN, outweighs the total tonnage of all commercial airliners ever produced.

Sooner or later, older IT equipment becomes obsolete and must be replaced. ITAD, or Information Technology Asset Disposition, comes into play at this point.

So, where should the old equipment go? How must companies dispose of the old to make way for the new?

Finding an Effective IT Asset Disposition Provider

Out-dated or insufficient electronics should never be placed on the curb or put in a dumpster to be carried away with the next trash pickup.

In the first place, your equipment must be disposed  responsibly to eliminate risks from ecology-damaging components.

Also, proper asset disposition eliminates the risk of your organization’s information remaining with the equipment.

Lastly, older equipment may be resold to individuals or companies that can benefit from the equipment’s residual capability. AEven though your company may have outgrown the technology, another may find that it fits their needs perfectly.

The objective of a professional third-party global IT maintenance company like thomastech is to provide ongoing support, systems maintenance, storage, spare parts, and user training that will extend the lifetime of their clients’ IT systems. Their support spans the time between initial planning and acquisition to the eventual asset disposition.  

In the case of asset disposition, the objectives of a third-party IT provider are to:

  • maximize the equipment’s value
  • eliminate any security risk,
  • minimize the total equipment cost

Replacement cycles are shortening as technology continues to evolve. While IT demands of a decade ago were less than today, thomastech uses creative strategies and an extensive inventory of replacement and supplemental parts to extend equipment effectiveness. While IT equipment manufacturers often recommend premature replacement, your third-party IT company can help to extend the effective life of the original equipment before IT asset disposition  is needed.

What Should Happen with a Proper IT Asset Disposition?

A professional IT asset disposition company will:

  • Sterilize the System: Before final asset disposition occurs, the asset disposition company will sterilize all elements, removing all data according to industry guidelines to ensure none of your information remains with the equipment.
  • Determine Residual Value: As part of the asset disposition process, the company will determine how much value remains with each component and determine whether some or all the system may be resold.
  • Offer Asset Remarketing Options by finding a buyer for all or part of the system.
  • Responsible Asset Disposition: If components cannot be resold, the company will handle the asset distribution according to industry and international guidelines.

Thomastech, a Global leader in Third-Party Maintenance and Support

Rather than waste substantial assets on complete IT staffing, unnecessary equipment, data storage, and state-of-the-art systems security, outsource your IT maintenance needs to professionals. Thomastech’s overall strategy is to delay capital equipment capital equipment expenses while professionally maintaining existing assets and helping clients to gain control of their IT budgets.

When the time comes for IT asset disposition, thomastech will manage your disposal in the safest, most economical manner, but only when the equipment has reached the end of its useful life.To learn more about the company and services, visit the thomastech website. While there, you will learn more about thomastech’s People, Processes, Products, and Services that encompass the entire range of computer support and maintenance services.

Why is third-party maintenance better for business

Why is third-party maintenance better for business? Survival in a competitive business environment demands that you utilize all available resources as efficiently as possible. Wasting or misapplying assets can result in a setback from which recovery may be difficult or impossible.

As entrepreneurs and businesses engaged in the early stages of business development or wishing to grow to the next level, you cannot afford to waste money on in-house IT functions that you can outsource more efficiently and effectively.

Third-party IT Maintenance is an essential external resource that can provide you with professional, round-the-clock, real-time IT support while protecting you from the risks of sudden computer crashes, natural disaster interruptions, and, very importantly, harmful intrusion from cyberattacks, viruses, and malware.

Outsourcing your hardware server, storage, and maintenance support to a proven third party maintenance provider will reduce your IT expenditure, eliminate potential disruption, and provide you with the peace of mind that allows you to focus your energy and capital on improving products and services while strengthening your customer relations.

How Third-Party Maintenance (TPM) Creates Value for Businesses

As a business owner or manager, you have two options for handling your information needs.

  1. Depending on the scale of your enterprise, you can employ in-house specialists to design, purchase, and maintain your entire information and communications systems. Even for a start-up, you can easily spend hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in compensation and benefits, in addition to cost of expensive hardware and software.
  2. Pay only for what you need at any stage of your company’s development by working with an proven, multi-service third-party maintenance (TPM) provider. Your TPM partner is equipped with the skills and hardware to manage and protect your information, train your employees, provide 24-hour monitoring and emergency response, and more. 

Working with OEMs vs. a Third-Party Maintenance Provider

As companies grow and evolve, their IT needs change. More equipment and software mean additional cost, maintenance, and repair services. Companies that rely only on the expertise of their OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) can easily find themselves burdened with multiple suppliers and recurring interruptions while attempting to resolve system issues.

Partnering with a proven TPM company, outsourced systems are scalable, secure, and customized. As your business expands in size or geography, the TPM can adapt the system to accommodate, while your hardware maintenance activities will be managed primarily off-site, seamlessly, without disruption of normal activities.

And, your third-party maintenance partner can ensure your data is safely stored and backed up offsite. In the event of a natural or other disaster, your TPM can recover all data quickly, keeping your business operating while your competition may be severely impacted.

Having Experts Always Available

The TPM professionals will create a platform that is customozed to your company needs. They will employ a team of dedicated specialists whose talents bridge all the disciplines of IT management.

At any time, 24-hours per day, you and your associates will have trained professional support available to help you with questions, instruction, information recovery, and hardware maintenance and repair issues.

On the other hand, if you happen to be relying on the support of the various OEMs to provide the same support, you will always experience delays while you wait until someone can schedule a visit to your site.

Scalable and Customized

As your business grows, your third-party maintenance provider can add capacity as needed. You will not be faced with burdensome hardware and staffing additions to manage new business. The TPM system will adapt seamlessly to added demand, and your business can expand without interruption.

Servicing Your Systems

While many of the support functions provided by the TPM will be handled remotely, your trained TPM Specialist will conduct regular onsite maintenance and replacement on all platforms without disrupting your company’s routine.

And, if your business employs staffing at other locations, the TPM company will ensure your field representatives are equipped with compatible remote devices.

Contact a Proven Third-Party Maintenance Provider

To save money, avoid interruptions, and keep your data secure, partner with an external team of professionals to manage your IT needs.

Growing businesses cannot afford to be distracted by the disruptions and unnecessary expense resulting from poorly developed and ill-matched information systems.

How to pick a third-party maintenance provider

At some point, any computer system will fail, often because of ineffective maintenance or malfunction. So, to minimize the impact of downtime, administrators must implement comprehensive support that ensures solutions are promptly available, proactive, and effective in solving any problems that might arise.

Business owners, systems administrators, or data center managers are responsible for procuring cost-effective hardware support services that involve professional technical support, proactive hardware maintenance, and much more.

Usually, after the equipment warranties expire, maintenance support can be continued through your OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) in the form of long-term maintenance contracts.

Or, the OEM may offer upgrades to your aging system.

However, highly capable and experienced third-party maintenance providers have evolved that tailor their services to provide the identical functions of the OEM’s maintenance programs but at a lower cost.

What Does a Third-Party Maintenance Provider Do?

Qualified third-party maintenance (TPM) providers offer support services that include:

  • Ongoing maintenance support
  • Server replacement or repair
  • Network support
  • Data-center hardware
  • Immediate on-site, online, or by-phone engineering assistance
  • Remote monitoring
  • Data storage solutions
  • Extended warranty service options
  • Maintenance coverage for all equipment, even from multiple OEMs

In most instances, a third-party maintenance providers are more flexible and responsive than the OEM representatives.

What Are Your Options When Your Equipment Warranty Runs Out?

Suppose the warranty on your equipment will be expiring soon. You must commit to some viable option since continuing without a maintenance contract is risky and expensive.

Until now, your systems have worked smoothly with the support of warranty-assured maintenance in place.

So, before your warranty expires, you have three choices:

  • Sign an extended maintenance contract with the original manufacturer
  • Consider an expensive upgrade or replacement of your system
  • Identify a qualified third-party maintenance contractor (TPM)

In the first instance, your OEM would like you to know that they are the only professionals with the knowledge and equipment to maintain and extend the working life of your system.

If your system is humming along with no issues and has been properly maintained from the beginning, replacing or upgrading the system is unnecessary.

The third option of selecting a qualified third-party maintenance provider has become the best solution for many companies. Certified and professional, these companies’ professionals perform all the functions of an OEM but at a lower cost. And your third-party maintenance company will be more focused on your company’s needs.

What Do I Look for in a 3rd Party Maintenance Provider?

As with any industry, competitors differ in their strengths and weaknesses. While the total cost of support is a decided advantage with TPM companies over OEMs, expenses should not be your sole criteria for selection.

Investigate the company’s ability to serve in four different areas. These are:

  • Certifications and Qualifications

Most importantly, are the company’s professionals sufficiently experienced and capable of maintaining all the equipment you use? Third-party maintenance companies hire and train technicians to work on a wide range of product brands and types. By contrast, OEM personnel are typically experienced in maintaining their company’s products, but not necessarily others.

Checking with some of the candidate TPM’s other clients, notably ones that are the same size with a similar mix of equipment, can help you decide. High grades for service, responsiveness, and professionalism are the performance standards you should be seeking.

  • Focused Support

Will the TPM company make your business a high priority?

Combining support for all equipment with a single company can eliminate confusion and potential conflict about who is responsible. Does the company have expert staff available to provide maintenance and technical support for all of your equipment?

How important will your business be? A regionally-based TCM is likely more capable of immediate response to your issues that a global OEM. In an emergency, personalized attention can be a substantial benefit.

  • Availability

Breakdowns and interruptions in information systems can be devastating to a company. A crucial question to ask all your TPM candidates pertains to lead-time for replacement parts. In most cases, with expedited freight and overnight shipping, replacement parts can be on hand as quickly as they would for the OEM’s technician.

Consider developing some hypothetical emergencies for the candidate to explain how and how quickly they might solve the problem. Can they provide an interim back-up solution?

  • Lower Cost

Whether maintaining your principal computer or a whole range of diverse elements, a competent TPM company can offer more for less cost.Remember, the principal function of an OEM is to sell their equipment. By contrast, the primary purpose of a TPM is to support and maintain equipment, focusing only on the system needs of their clients. As a result, TPMs tend to be leaner, scaled, and tailored to the demands of their clientele.

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.

How much does third-party maintenance cost?

An assessment of the comparative long-term costs of working with an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) instead of a proven and reliable third-party maintenance provider begins with an understanding of the financial motivation of each company.

An OEM’s Mission

Growing businesses and organizations that allow original equipment manufacturer’s representatives to influence their IT purchases and maintenance decisions will likely pay more than necessary during their development years.

Original equipment manufacturers will sell you the necessary equipment, hoping you will buy more accessories and upgrades than you may need at first. The systems will usually come with a two or three-year warranty for service, repair, and parts replacement.

When the original warranty expires, however, the OEMs usually offer a limited long-term maintenance contract. Or, ideally for them, they will suggest plenty of reasons to buy new equipment or a take on a substantial and expensive upgrade.

Selling new equipment is naturally the OEM’s preferred solution since maintenance contracts happen to be a necessary, less-profitable evil in their industry.

What Can a Professional Third-Party Maintenance (TPM) Provider  Do for You?

Once you have pondered the deeper motivations of any OEM, understanding what compels a professional third-party maintenance company is vital.

In addition to offering ongoing professional maintenance for all systems, including those from other OEMs, your TPM will help ensure your systems remain adequate to meet all your demands.

A professional TPM company provides far more than the service contract offered by your equipment manufacturers.

Working more closely with you and your team, your TPM:

  • Is dedicated to extending the life of your existing systems, not selling new equipment before it is necessary.
  • Will work as a team member in a collaborative relationship. The TPM’s success is directly related to your company’s continuing success.
  • Can customize your system to match your needs at any stage.
  • Will recommend and upgrade your systems to match only the capacity your business indicates.
  • Charges only for services and repairs that you require.
  • Is available 24/7 to help with any advice or emergencies.
  • Secure system and data from undesirable intrusion.
  • Be trained to work on several brands of equipment.
  • Maintain spare parts inventories as needed.
  • Ensure proper backup storage.
  • Provide maintenance convenient to your schedule without disrupting your normal operations.

Cash Flow Enhancement

IT decision-makers should be aware that an OEM representative’s primary mission and livelihood depends on selling new equipment. Success to an OEM representative is an order for additional equipment, perhaps long before your existing systems or components are anywhere near the end of their useful lives.

In the past, many owners and managers of growing companies have overspent on IT equipment and capacity long before their business demands justify the expense.

And, after the warranties expire, OEMs will continually increase their support and maintenance costs to the extent that the purchase of new equipment seems to make sense.

Also, note that most companies develop systems that involve equipment from multiple OEMs. Eventually, this can become cumbersome and intrusive while adding additional costs to the IT budget.

Conversely, a proven TPM partner like tomastech, LLC, a global support provider, commits to forestalling capital equipment expenditures as long as possible to help companies control their IT budget and divert capital to essential revenue-generating activities. Extending the life of your existing hardware by keeping your systems up-to-date and well-maintained allows you to focus more of your assets on product improvement and customer relations.

Investing much-needed capital in products and customers lays the groundwork for your company’s future growth far more effectively than owning the newest IT hardware does.

With the best TPM company, pay only for what you need, when you need it.

Contact thomastech: A Proven Global TPM Company

Since 2007, thomastech has expanded its support network across the globe. By providing a precise, individually tailored support system to each client, the Company delivers optimal performance and resiliency to a broad portfolio of clients.

With professional, highly skilled staff situated throughout North America and Europe, the thomastech team specially tailors systems and services to help you lower your overall IT costs while maintaining top-level performance.

For more information about thomastech’s custom third-party maintenance programs, visit their website or phone +1-330-225-3117.

Types of TPMs

To state an old truth, not everything that looks similar is the same. If you are hungry for an apple, then you want an apple. It is not the same if you get a potato instead. They are both food, but their differences are readily apparent. In the same way, there are different types of TPMs, third party maintenance providers. Using this analogy, while many TPMs can be good options, they may be a potato and not your apple. Get what you really need. Based on research by Gartner (a global research and advisory firm), there are seven different types of TPMs in the industry. In this post we will discuss all seven, what you can expect from them, and the services they usually offer.



Pure-play TPMs usually offer only maintenance options. They may have hardware, but it is not sold and distributed outside of their support and maintenance service. Some Pure-Play TPMs do not have level 3 engineering personnel on staff, but all have staff with some technical aptitude. To make up for their smaller pool of technical expertise, Pure-Play providers may outsource their support to other providers with a dedicated engineering staff.

2. Secondary Hardware Reseller

Secondary hardware reseller TPMs focus on selling hardware while also offering support for their clients as a secondary service. In some instances, these TPMs have their own field engineers and provide technical support for networks, storage, and servers. Secondary Hardware Resellers turn to other TPM partners for level 3 engineering support as they are incapable of providing this level of support and maintenance.

3. TPM Agrigators

TPM agrigators only resell the support and maintenance services of other TPMs and do not themselves offer any technical services or sell enterprise hardware. They will resell the services of both Pure-Play and Secondary Hardware TPMs, and they will add value by providing consultations. TPM Agrigators may also possess development tools to provide recommendations to clients about which type of TPM best fits their needs. 

4. TPM Selling Agents

TPM selling Agents only sell other TPM services, acting as an independent sales department for a portion of the contract fees. This could be a VAR, an MSP, or an independent consultant.

5. Resell OEM Support

Resell OEM Support is the most common type of TPM with a twist. Instead of a third party actually providing the maintenance and support, the OEM does. What differentiates this from direct OEM support is that it is purchased through another party. This type of TPM resells hardware and adds support as a packaged deal. The support side of the deal is then covered by the OEM.

6. Collaborative/Co-delivered TPM

Collaborative/Co-delivered TPM is a third party maintenance option that consists of a third party provider backed by an OEM. The third party handles level one and two while the OEM provides level three support. The OEM only gets paid when the ticket is scaled up to level three. As a result, this type of maintenance provider has a financial reason to keep the ticket from escalating all the way to level three and will try to handle the issues at level 2.

7. Multi-Vendor Support (MVS) TPM

MVS TPM can be a hybrid of any of other types of TPMs. As the name indicates, they support many OEM’s like IBM, Hitachi, HPE, DELL EMC, CISCO, NetApp, and more. The MVS TPM simplifies the support process and significantly reduces ticket resolution time, as the ticket is received and solved in the same place. 

What Type of TPM is thomastech?

To best assist the IT industry, thomastech was designed as an MVS TPM. Over time, we have  taken our support to new levels by including features beyond the scope of a typical MVS TPM. Besides simplifying the process by supporting multiple OEMs, thomastech has a large in-house hardware inventory and a level three engineering staff. Calls and tickets are directly received by our own employees and engineers, and we have partnerships and stocking locations throughout the United States and around the globe. If hardware is required for a break fix scenario, thomastech has equipment readily accessible for speedy dispatch. For a TPM, thomastech stands out with the best features of other types of TPMs combined into one with a personal touch for all clients. To learn more visit our home page,, leave us a message on the contact us page, or give us a call at (330) 225-3117.

Saturday Spotlight: Andrew Champlin

Andrew is a tech at thomastech who works tech magic in the background, helping keep the wheels spinning. He is a friendly and versatile person with many skills and is often spotted in the halls with a steaming cup. To learn more about Andrew, we asked him a few questions. Here are his answers.

What’s your typical day at thomastech like?

Coffee and spreadsheets in the morning, and tea and everything technical in the afternoon!

What’s one thing on your bucket list?

Drive the Pacific coast from north to south in a convertible!

How would you solve problems if you were from Mars?

With a lot less oxygen than I do now.

What is your favorite hobby?

Traveling, photography, hiking, writing… wait, I have to pick just one?

In 5 Words or less what advice would you give to someone in your profession?

Never stop learning!

What do you like to do when you are not in the office?

It’s a 50/50 chance that you’d either find me searching for new trails to hike or new coffee shops to try.

Fill the blank: I once met…

Jeff Tweedy of the band Wilco. I was the monitor engineer at a show he was playing. Chill guy, interesting music, pretty great guitar player.

If you could switch jobs with someone else at thomastech, who would it be, and why?

Probably Zack Meinke, because he has crazy programming superpowers.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

See answer to question 8.