Monday, March 31, 2008

Never buy Platinum or Silver support again

I can't take credit for the following insight; it comes from one of our Account executives who speaks with IT executives every day.

First, an analogy: When you get a flat tire you don't call a mechanic and expect them to send a truck to diagnose the tire, patch/repair it on the roadside, and re-install it. Instead you carry a replacement spare, and worry later about what to do with the flat one.

But in contrast, IT pays scads of $$ each year for the equivalent of the truck to rush on-site and fix the tire (usually termed sub-12-hour "platinum" support) . If a system goes down, IT ops expects the serviceperson to show up on their doorstep and diagnose & fix on-the-spot. The cost to do this this is absurd -- sometimes as high as 40% of the original system cost -- annually.

So, instead what we see is an end to paying for "platinum" support. It’s a scenario where IT carries "universal spares" -- essentially bare-metal servers that can be re-purposed and re-provisioned in a matter of minutes. BTW, this does not imply that they need to be virtual, since we have special IP that can re-provision physical-to-physical instances of software. Set the failed hardware in a maintenance pool, and just have the serviceperson swap-out the hardware once/month. That should add-up to some savings.

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