For as long as companies have been digitally connected, there’s always been a question of how to best service their IT infrastructure. Staff an in-house, factory-trained tech team? Pay for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) support? Outsource to a third party? There are pros and cons to each option. But there’s also an interesting anomaly. Despite being the most cost-effective, comprehensive option, many companies avoid third-party maintenance. Why?

The connotation has always been that third party lacks the capabilities of OEM and isn’t as reliable as an in-house team. That is, of course, incorrect. No one is sure where the mischaracterization comes from, but it certainly isn’t refuted by OEMs.

Third-party maintenance (TPM) has had a bad rap for too long. Thankfully, the time for a rebranding has come due – chiefly in part to the changing nature of the industry. Today, companies are starting to take a second look at Alternative OEM Maintenance (AOM).

AOM offers modern IT service solutions for businesses seeking a smarter way to keep their digital infrastructure up and running.

The shift from TPM to AOM

Many companies are familiar with the acronym, TPM, as well as its connotations. TPM engineers don’t have the skills or knowledge to service OEM equipment. TPMs deliver a lower caliber of service. The list of myths and misconceptions goes on and on. OEMs have made an entire industry out of misguided mistrust of TPM service providers.

AOM represents a rebranding of what TPM is and always has been: an affordable, reliable, flexible service. More importantly, AOM brings new qualities into the fold. As demand for solutions providers grows and evolves at-scale, AOMs have harnessed streamlined supply chains and factory training to deliver adaptive solutions. The result? Companies enjoy OEM-caliber maintenance at a fraction of the cost.

AOM is the new TPM. And like TPM, the flexibility makes it an enticing option over OEM.

AOM empowers companies to recapture ROI

AOM’s benefits are immediately clear in a world of planned technology obsolescence. The name of the game becomes return on investment (ROI). How much of an initial investment in IT infrastructure can a company recoup by maintaining its technologies?

 

Instead of paying for astronomical service level agreements (SLAs) that grow more expensive as the technology ages — or shelling out significant cost to upgrade perfectly viable equipment — companies see higher ROI on equipment thanks to lower AOM costs.

The opportunities to maximize ROI don’t stop there, either. They’re continually compounded throughout the service life of the equipment, lengthened by AOM. Companies see additional bottom-line savings in the form of:

  • Longer useful hardware life, beyond OEM end-of-service (EOS) dates.
  • Flexible coverage options and company-specific AOM SLAs.
  • Broader competition in the TPM market, driving competitive AOM rates.
  • Single service provider partnerships for multiple OEM hardware lines.

The cost savings compound as companies continue to invest in their established IT infrastructure via AOM. 

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it

IT spending represents a significant portion of most mid-sized companies and large-scale enterprises. And that spending will increase as demand for larger infrastructure becomes apparent. These companies need to ask themselves an important question: is it worth the cost to re-tool an entire system to support growth?

For many, the answer is no. There’s real value in incremental upgrades, piggybacked onto a system that’s well-maintained and proven to work. Upgrading for the sake of expansion simply isn’t cost-effective — especially not in the current economic climate, which is trending deeper into a cost-conscious mindset. And while OEMs continue to push upgrade cycles as the path to staying current, it’s a business model that’s just not feasible for many businesses. These dollars are better spend maintaining and expanding what already works.

Product and system life cycles are getting shorter and the cost of replacing these systems is only getting higher. But replacement isn’t the only option. Companies aren’t as resigned to planned obsolescence as they might think. AOM takes the benefits of TPM and reinvents them for a new era of IT cost management.