The Dirty Secret Behind Declines in OEM Support Quality

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Posted on Tuesday, September 25, 2018

OEM hardware support and maintenance contracts are painful on two fronts. First, the cost rises annually for the duration, significantly increasing the overall lifetime cost of every new storage purchase.

Second, and most annoyingly, the quality of service received never seems to improve. In fact, anecdotal evidence suggests that these services have been declining in quality for years.

But why is that?

The dirty secret they don’t want you to know

OEMs derive a large portion of their annual profits from maintenance contracts which is why the prices rise every year. But in order to satisfy shareholder demands for increased profit margins, the OEM has to reduce the cost of providing support to you.

The solution to this conundrum is to outsource first- and second-level support to third parties. This means that initial queries are analyzed and, where possible, resolved by non-OEM engineers. Anything they can’t solve is then escalated to the OEM’s in-house line support engineers.

In theory, this outsourcing should allow the OEM to provide a better quality of service. Third-party engineers should be geographically closer to your business – and speak the same language for instance. Response and fix times should dramatically improve as result. Or so the theory goes.

But the reality is that some OEMs are now using these subcontractors as a way to deflect issues and reduce the burden on (and cost of) their in-house engineering team, even if quality of support falls as a result.

Instead of following the traditional issue escalation process through first, second and third lines of support, subcontractors are being encouraged to go beyond their experience and take on third-level support cases to bypass the OEM entirely. And they are being paid bonuses to prevent cases reaching the OEM.

This means that issues are taking longer to resolve, and fixes provided may not be up to the quality expected.

Bypass the BS

To avoid becoming a victim of this farce, your business would be better off choosing a third-party support provider who oversees the entire support process. CDS operates a support model which sees every call escalated immediately to a fully OEM-trained and qualified third-line engineer to significantly reduce the time-to-fix.

And when you take out a maintenance contract with CDS you can be sure it is our engineers you are dealing with– this is why we are confident that the quality of service on offer is better than you are used to from your OEM.

To learn more about the CDS difference and what it means for your business, please get in touch.

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