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The Importance of Timely Network Support Renewals

21st October 2016 | In Lifecycle Services
Much like an insurance policy, IT support contracts are something you hope you’ll never need to use, but if a situation arises where you do need them, they can serve as something of a lifeline for your business. Without a support contract you could be faced with some very expensive system downtime. While you try to find an engineer to fix whatever equipment failure has occurred. The engineer in question is also likely to charge a significant per-hour sum. In addition to the cost of any new parts or equipment, which will, of course, take extra time to source. A simple support contract ensures all this is covered. Giving you 24 hour access to engineers who will guarantee a problem resolution in as little as 4 hours, depending on your agreed SLA. With full knowledge of your equipment, prior to any failure, a support provider will also have fast access to any relevant spares required to ensure your systems are back up and running as soon as possible. Support contracts therefore save your business from both expensive engineer fees and costly loss of productivity. For this reason, it is important for businesses to ensure all of their equipment is covered at all times. It is all too easy to wait until the support contract has actually ended. Or allow the renewal date to slip past, or even forget about it until something actually goes wrong. But this could be a costly mistake to make.

Best Practice

It’s best to engage with the renewal process with time to review changes to your estate before your contract expires. Network infrastructures change all the time. So it makes sense to complete a full audit of your equipment prior to each renewal. This will ensure any new equipment is fully covered under the new contract. And will also save you from paying extra to cover equipment that is no longer being used. It’s also a good time to consider what new equipment may be added. Or what may be removed over the coming months. For large estates, this can be something of a time-intensive process. But one that a good support provider should be able to help with, relieving some of the pressure on your own, in-house team. Aside from operational security, timely renewals also make good commercial sense. It’s common for vendors to demand back- charges for lapsed policies to close the gap between the official renewal date and the time you choose to renew. This essentially means businesses can end up paying for support they haven’t actually had. Furthermore, some vendors are now introducing a policy on end-of-life equipment to say that if support lapses, they will no longer offer a renewal option at all. Thereby forcing the customer to upgrade. With EOL mandates coming sooner than ever, as vendors try to promote their new technologies, this is an important clause to be aware of. If organisations want to ensure business continuity, whilst avoiding the costly pitfalls of lapses in their support contracts, it is important to be vigilant. And act upon renewal notifications promptly.
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