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  • 5 Ways to Reduce Network Hardware Maintenance Costs

    5 Ways to Reduce Network Hardware Maintenance CostsLooking for ways to lower your Cisco networking maintenance costs? Many IT departments are doing the same thing. Network hardware maintenance can take a big bite out of the annual IT budget. Plus, the network is mission critical so most companies require some type of maintenance plan. Here are 5 ways to reduce the cost of maintenance without sacrificing quality:

    Shop Around: Getting quotes from multiple potential vendors is one of the easiest ways to cut costs out of your IT budget. By shopping around, you can get a better sense of what a reasonable price is for the level of coverage you need. As with anything, if a particular estimate seems too good to be true, it probably is.

    Consider a third party maintenance provider: Third party maintenance providers can offer maintenance plans that provide similar coverage for a fraction of the price. Plus, a third party provider has greater flexibility to tailor a plan to your needs. Concerned about quality? It depends on the organization. However, sometimes the manufacturer uses the same third-party provider to handle some of their maintenance coverage.

    Ask for the best possible deal: Rates are negotiable! Always ask, "Is this your best price?"

    Avoid automatic renewal clauses: As you read your contract, keep an eye out for auto-renewal clauses and do your best to avoid them. Automatic contract renewals might be positioned as a benefit for you (no lapse in coverage) but without an end date in sight, you may lose the opportunity to ask for better pricing or better coverage.

    Consider locking in your annual rate for three to five years: One of the best ways to save money on your maintenance program is to negotiate a set rate for the next three to five years. This will eliminate the need to renegotiate each year and will make budget planning simpler. But be sure to arrange for the opportunity to negotiate a new contract at the end of the term of the agreement.

    Networking equipment maintenance is often an important necessity, but there are ways to lower your costs. Shop around, and you're on your way to significant cost savings!

    World Data Products offers basic networking maintenance services as well as custom-designed options to meet your organization's needs. Our Worldtech™ programs utilize certified technicians to deliver fast resolution to keep everything running smoothly, or repaired/replaced as quickly as possible when that is necessary.

    Questions? Call 888-210-7636 or contact one of our Networking Maintenance Specialists today for a free consultation.

  • Alternative to Cisco Networking Maintenance

    Alternative to Cisco Hardware MaintenanceIt’s no secret that Cisco Smart Net Total Care is expensive, but IT departments continue to buy Smart Net coverage because it works and provides peace of mind. What if you could obtain a similar maintenance program complete with options for next business day replacement, but for a lot less money?

    It's like this: Network maintenance programs are a lot like car insurance. You need to have it but only use it once in a while. Like car insurance, you can pay a range for the same coverage depending on which provider you choose. The good news is that Cisco is great networking equipment and very reliable. The other good news is that it's often mission critical and there has to be a plan that includes a spare on the shelf or in the rack, or at least next business day replacement.

    Imagine paying 50% less for the same network hardware coverage and working with a trusted company that has been in the IT hardware industry for thirty years and has thousands of networking items in stock. The Worldtech™ maintenance program from World Data Products provides the peace of mind you need, at a price that is well under the OEM, and very competitive when compared to other third party maintenance providers.

    Here is how a third party network maintenance program can be a benefit to your department:

    Third party network maintenance offers considerable savings versus OEM plans. The biggest reason that companies use third party maintenance is because of the significant savings. Who wouldn't be interested in a plan that offers most of the coverage options that the OEM offers, but at half of the cost?

    Third party plans can cover legacy products no longer supported by the OEM. IT hardware manufacturers encourage or require upgrading to their newest equipment on a schedule, roughly every three years. As a result, it can be difficult to maintain support for legacy hardware that is working just fine. Third party maintenance providers are much more flexible with the hardware that can be covered, this extends the life and return on investment for gear that is stable and working.

    Third party maintenance works well side-by-side with OEM program. Maintenance plans are not an “all or nothing” proposition. You can keep your OEM coverage on some of your networking gear and have third party coverage on other components. Whatever makes the most sense for your department and your budget.

    Excited to learn what the Worldtech™ third party network maintenance program can do for your company? Request a complimentary network maintenance cost analysis or call 1-888-210-7636 to speak with one of our Worldtech™ specialists today.

  • How to Dispose of Cisco Networking Equipment

    Looking to sell used Cisco switches and routers?

    stack of refurbished cisco switches Used Cisco switches ready to be refurbished in our tech center

    Do you have Cisco networking hardware in the rack that you want to sell or recycle? Not sure how to dispose of it? Let's take a look at the options for disposing of that surplus or decommissioned Cisco gear. Here we go!

    Option #1: Do nothing. OK, that’s a bad option. Hiding used Cisco products somewhere around the office or the data center storeroom isn't an effective solution for the IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) problem.

    Option #2: Pay a company to dispose of your Cisco networking equipment for you. A fairly common way of getting rid of used networking equipment is to pay an electronics recycling company to take it and recycle it responsibly. While this gets rid of the problem, the service comes at a price and doesn’t do anything to help the bottom line or increase the return on investment.

    Option #3: Sell the switches or routers on your own. Is your company a sales organization? Do you have the time to deal with listing, marketing, selling, packing and shipping networking equipment?

    Option #4: Sell the used Cisco networking equipment to World Data Products! Hint: This is the best option. Why?

    1. The used switches, routers, and wireless products go away within days of contacting us.
    2. Your company can make money in the process.
    3. It’s easy, we take care of the logistics.
    4. With thirty years of experience, we are reliable and one of the most active used Cisco equipment buyers in the industry.

    Disposing of used Cisco IT assets doesn't have to be hard, expensive, or time-consuming. Selling networking or server equipment to World Data Products will save you time, money and the hassle of other disposal methods. We have been doing this since 1987, let's get it done!

    We are currently seeing a lot of buying and selling activity for the following used Cisco Catalyst switch models: 2960 and 2960x, 3560, C3560x, C3750g, the 3750 and the newer 3850. 2900 series routers, and Adaptive Security Appliance firewalls such as the ASA 5505 and ASA 5506 are popular as well.

    To discuss how to sell used Cisco network equipment, use our form to contact a Cisco Networking Specialist  or call us at 888-210-7636 today!

  • Network Hardware Maintenance or Spare and Repair?

    It’s Thursday morning and you’ve just settled into your desk with a hot cup of coffee. You’re about to get started on a pressing project when a coworker sticks his head into your office to tell you that one of your switches has failed. All of a sudden you find yourself squarely in the middle of a crisis. You have to get the network back up and running as quickly as possible. What do you do?

    Getting your network back online will depend on a number of factors: the size of your organization and your network, whether you have a maintenance program in force for your network, and whether you have a spare switch available on hand. For most organizations there are two main ways to handle a network failure. The first is to contract with a network maintenance company to manage your network hardware and handle failures for you. The second option is to have spare components on hand to swap out whenever a part of your network fails and then to have the failed component repaired. Below I look at the pros and cons of both methods to help you choose the best possible solution for your company:

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  • Choosing Third Party Maintenance

    Choosing Third Party MaintenanceWhat's the number one difference between a maintenance plan offered by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and one offered by a third party maintenance (TPM) company? Not sure? I will give you a hint: It’s flat and it’s green and you keep it in your wallet.

    Yes—money. The biggest difference between OEM and third party maintenance programs is the cost. Most maintenance plans for servers and networking equipment offered by TPM companies will look and feel exactly like an OEM plan. In fact, OEMs often use TPM companies to fulfill their IT hardware service contracts only they charge you much higher rates than the TPM company would if you did business with them directly. Clearly third party maintenance is an excellent cost-saving option for today’s enterprise organization.

    Are you wondering how to go about choosing a third party maintenance company? Questions you should ask potential TPM partners include:

    • Are your technicians OEM certified? Reputable TPM companies utilize technicians that are OEM certified on the equipment they service. Don’t assume that your TPM uses certified technicians—ask.
    • What types of coverage do you offer? Most TPM companies offer maintenance programs that mirror what the OEM is offering. Some will offer completely customized solutions as well—so if you don’t see a program that will meet your organization’s needs, be sure to ask if they can customize a program for you. Even some refurbished IT hardware can be covered by OEM and third party plans.
    • What’s included in my maintenance plan? Clarify the specifics of each plan you are considering and what services might cost extra. If a server fails, will it be replaced with the same equipment—or better? Will the replacement parts be new or refurbished?
    • What’s not included in my maintenance plan? Can the TPM company cover all of your technological equipment under one plan? (For example, including your printers with your servers and networking equipment?) Is anything specifically excluded from the plan? If so, what—and why?
    • Who will be my point of contact? Will your organization have a dedicated point of contact for maintenance claims? Are you funneled to the next available agent in a massive call center? Who will answer the phone if your network fails in the middle of the night on a weekend?
    • What number do I call? And is there more than one? An often overlooked detail during the buying process, knowing how many phone numbers you will need to wrangle when your network is down is an important consideration. Ideally, you should be able to call one dedicated number regardless of the type of equipment that failed and get the service you need.
    • How do I file a service claim? What do you need to do in the event that you need to file a claim? Is there an online website where you have forms to complete? Paper forms that need to be submitted? Or will a phone call to the claims center suffice? Knowing what hoops you need to jump through to file a service claim before the server crashes will ensure that you get your system back online sooner rather than later.
    • What does the coverage cost? Is your network covered with your monthly payment or annual contract? Or are there additional fees for particular services such as rush requests and sparing services? If some services are available via ala carte pricing, be sure to get a copy of the pricing list before you sign an agreement so that you can consider total maintenance cost against any other full-coverage programs.
    • Is there a satisfaction guarantee? Does the TPM company stand behind its work and guarantee customer satisfaction? How do you report a concern with service or product quality? How are those concerns handled—and how quickly? Does the company have customer testimonials on its website or references you can talk to?

    Third party maintenance is a fantastic way for your organization to fully leverage your IT budget and save money. Most organizations save at least 50% and sometimes up to 80% over OEM maintenance pricing. With that in mind, third party maintenance is a no-brainer, but knowing who you are doing business with and the services they will provide is essential. Do your research. Ask lots of questions. You could be on your way to serious savings.

    Questions? Call World Data Products at 888-210-7636 or contact one of our IT Hardware Specialists today for a free consultation.

  • What You Need to Know About IT Hardware Maintenance

    What You Need to Know About IT Hardware MaintenanceIT hardware maintenance is an important aspect of keeping the data center running smoothly. The good news is that there are ways to make your maintenance program more affordable without sacrificing the coverage, reliability and quality your network or servers.

    Here are 6 things that you need to know in order to make an informed decision about your IT hardware maintenance program:

    OEM-managed maintenance is a monopoly controlled by the manufacturer. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) want you to believe that they are the only ones who can service your servers, storage or networking equipment. Leveraging their brand name, manufacturers imply—or sometimes state outright—that third party providers don’t have the knowledge to successfully service your network. This is not true. Why would manufacturers care who services your network as long as you buy your equipment from them? Quite simply, hardware maintenance is big business for the OEM. Physical hardware is becoming more and more of a commodity all the time, while maintenance continues to be the cash cow manufacturers depend on.

    Your servers, switches and routers are more reliable than they used to be. When the hardware maintenance business model was created, components in the data center were considered more vulnerable to failure. With advances in modular construction and general reliability, component replacement is far simpler than it was ten years ago.

    A significant amount of OEM maintenance is actually performed by contracted third party maintainers (TPM). So, here’s one that will leave you scratching your head: while OEMs want you to dismiss third party maintenance contracts on the basis that third party maintenance firms don’t have the knowledge or skills to maintain their hardware, these same OEMs are contracting with these third party maintainers to conduct the OEM maintenance without having to expand their in-house maintenance teams. So, the third party maintenance companies are good enough to do the work for the (expensive) OEM maintenance program, but not good enough to do the work under their own (cheaper) maintenance agreements? Hmmmm. Sounds fishy to me.

    Maintenance programs allow the OEM to maintain control over their share of the market. No one likes to see a lower priced competitor enter their market and steal market share. And no one can blame an OEM for leveraging their maintenance relationships to ensure their advantage with their customers. Unfortunately, IT hardware maintenance programs are a way for manufacturers to limit the introduction of refurbished equipment, keep track of future equipment acquisitions, and keep customers on a three year upgrade schedule.

    OEM hardware maintenance can result in premature hardware obsolescence. IT hardware manufacturers are in the business of creating new products and then selling them to their customers. With new products coming out all the time, OEMs declare existing product lines to be “end of life” every two to three years and reduce or eliminate support of those products. This can leave you forced to upgrade before you are ready to and while your organization’s existing hardware is still useful in order to avoid losing maintenance coverage.

    OEM hardware maintenance is not the only choice. One of the greatest kept secrets of IT hardware maintenance is that an OEM maintenance program is not your only option. Maintenance programs offered by reputable third party resellers and maintainers are just as effective as the OEM programs, only at a fraction of the price. Investigating third party maintenance programs as an option for your organization can save you considerable amounts of money.

    You don't have to choose between using your IT budget for hardware maintenance and fulfilling other strategic IT initiatives. There are easy ways to make your maintenance program more affordable without sacrificing the coverage, reliability and quality your department requires.

    Questions? Call 888-210-7636 or contact one of our IT Hardware Specialists today for a free, no-obligation consultation regarding IT hardware maintenance or our other services.

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