“Warranty & Support” is that sneaky line-item expense that is often an add-on to your IT equipment purchase. It’s not exactly cheap so you have to consider if accepting these expenses are advisable.
In this blog, I’m going to discuss how you should go about evaluating whether ‘warranty and support’ is a good investment for your IT. And for purposes of brevity, I’ll herein refer to ‘warranty & support’ as W&S.
First of all, it seems that W&S is being offered for just about everything we purchase today. Corporate America has locked on to the fact that W&S increases their margins nicely, routinely tracking the ‘attach rate’ of these add-on sales. So one should know that for everything IT that you buy, there will be a suggested W&S agreement to go along.
But is it worth it? The answer, as always…it depends - which is the part that you want to understand.
W&S provides access to the vendors’ top-tier technical support, software updates and priority equipment replacement. These things can matter when dealing with a critical component of your IT, especially if your entire network is down. When you need same-day emergency support this is how it gets done.
On the other hand, same-day emergency support may not be as needed if the problem impacts only an individual, or small group of users.
To determine what components of your IT network should have W&S, begin by classifying your IT hardware, servers, workstations, devices, printers and all other equipment into two categories based on how critical or essential.
Based on a failure of this hardware/equipment, determine if:
all users would be impacted, or
only a single user, or small group of users are impacted.
Equipment that impacts all users typically includes on-site file servers, firewalls, switches, and network storage. If any of these devices were to fail, access to key business applications would cease, or the internet would not be available. For equipment in this category, W&S is most likely a good investment and quite possibly a necessity.
W&S is an especially good investment for file servers and firewalls as these devices are expensive and take more time to replace. However, for other key networking components you might be able to provide a similar level of protection by procuring identical equipment as a backup spare.
For example, you might have multiple network switches in which it might make more financial sense to procure a single backup, rather than purchasing W&S for all of the switches. You can apply the same logic to wireless access points and storage drives.
If the equipment impacts only a single user, or small group of users, then consider other more affordable ways other than W&S. The most obvious example being desktop workstations, notebooks and mobile devices. For many devices in this category, you can purchase a replacement and have delivered next day. Or, you might consider procuring a spare device, as discussed in the paragraph above for immediate replacement.
To summarize, I highly recommend purchasing ‘warranty & support’ for key file servers and firewalls as a minimum. From there, it’s making the determination if there is a failure of other hardware/equipment if it would result in a company-wide network disruption. All others, review the strategy discussed above to determine the most efficient and economical way to provide next-day replacement and remediation.
Contact RIATA Technologies to learn more about how we can help you with reviewing your ‘warranty & support’ needs. We’ll work with you to develop a strategy that provides the coverage you need in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.