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4 min read

Ask an IT Guy: Does Hardware Need IT Support AND Manufacturer Support?

It seems like everything is a gimmick these days. It’s easy to feel like everything has an add-on that’s just trying to skim another dollar off the top. But one place that deserves your hard-earned cash is the warranty, or manufacturer support for your hardware.

You’re probably thinking, “I’m already paying for the device and it comes with manufacturer support. Why would I still need IT support? Isn’t that the same thing? Can’t the manufacturer just make it work?”

In a word, no. They aren’t there to support your company, just the hardware you purchased from them. Whether it’s a router, switch, firewall, server, etc. But this isn’t to say that you should opt out of manufacturer support either.

Jonathan Barger, CIO (Chief Information Officer) at VC3, Inc. spoke to us about the role manufacturer support plays in the world of managed IT services.

What is Manufacturer Support?

Starting with the basics, what is manufacturer support?

When your company buys a piece of equipment, like a new server, it comes with a warranty. That warranty guarantees product support. The manufacturer will support any error, defect, or dysfunction of the server, but won’t support any of the software or even Windows. Things like email, the Cloud, or network security all lay outside of the manufacturer’s scope of coverage.

You see, manufacturer support is there for their product, exclusively. They don’t care if it won’t sync with something or won’t integrate x, y, and z software. They also aren’t going to maintain it for you.

It may not seem like they offer a lot, their service is super important in cases like these:

“The reason you want the manufacturer’s support, otherwise known as warranty, is for things like parts. If your server’s power supply fails, the manufacturer could be there same day or within 24 hours with a new power supply. If you don’t have support, you are left scrambling to find the power source on your own.”

Who better to fix something when it’s physically broken then the company who made it.  Are you catching my drift?

What is Managed IT Services?

Managed IT services is a fancy term for ongoing information technology services. In a nut shell, it means a team of experts assume responsibility for some or all of your IT operational needs.

Yes, you guessed it, they are the ones making sure that software x, y and z are integrating and syncing smoothly with your new server. And doing the daily maintenance to make sure it keeps doing what it’s supposed to do.  Plus, they can help with an almost endless amount of other services including:

  • Backup & Disaster Recovery
  • Email
  • Strategic Technology Planning
  • The Cloud, or Hosted Services
  • Help Desk or End User Support
  • Data and Network Security
  • Partial/ Full IT Support & Management

“IT services, whether they’re in house or outsourced, are crucial to have even if you have support from the hardware manufacturer. Just having manufacturer support doesn’t guarantee complete support of how you use your product. An IT service provider will be able to support your products, hardware and software alike. Combined with the fact that they keep your business’s technology operating at peak performance so it can run smoothly. They will use the hardware warranty support as a resource to maximize your uptime.”

There’s a good chance that your company uses some sort of managed IT services right now.

How Do They Work Together?  

The distinction is who has responsibility. With managed IT services, the outsourced IT provider is responsible for the performance and management of the specified service(s). Whereas, manufacturer support makes sure the physical equipment is running how it should run.

So how do they work together?

“A perfect example of a manufacturer and an IT provider working together is when a router goes down. The IT provider is the first in line to analyze the issue. The goal is to resolve the issue(s) immediately. If hardware/manufacturing is determined as the issue, they will work closely with the manufacturer to resolve the issues ASAP.”

Together, they are like the perfect PB&J sandwich. Equal parts peanut butter and jelly to give you the best sandwich on the market. Each contributes to the overall health of your company.

Related: Ask an IT Guy: Should I Replace My Server?

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