For original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), IT deployment and maintenance services are critical in sustaining long-term relationships with customers over multiple renewal cycles. Enterprise customers see support, deployment and IT maintenance services as deciding factors in purchasing decisions. But providing these services isn't without its challenges. Fortunately, outsourcing multi-vendor global field services, technology deployment and IT maintenance services can help OEMs maintain ongoing, high-touch relationships, broaden their customer base in the IT market and truly become their customers' trusted advisor for all their deployment and maintenance needs.
Use this comprehensive IT deployment and maintenance checklist as your guide to protecting your position in the marketplace and staying closer to your customers during the IT lifecycle — and learn how innovators like you are already doing just that through outsourcing partnerships.
Historically, enterprises have outsourced IT maintenance services to achieve scale and implement best practices in a cost-effective strategy. And as the IT value proposition shifts toward everything-as-a-service (XaaS), there's a compelling argument — involving numerous benefits — for outsourcing IT deployment and maintenance services to a trusted third-party provider.
In 2022, enterprise technology executives plan to spend 21% of their IT budgets on managed IT services — including outsourcing certain IT functions — with 9% of that spend going toward managed hardware support and IT maintenance. For companies of varying sizes and industries, the overall boost in IT spending is driven by different factors, such as technology end-of-life (EOL) events, upgrade/refresh cycles and company growth initiatives.
Technology buyers are moving away from purchasing products to relying on XaaS services covered by service-level agreements that deliver value for the business. And most enterprise customers — 85% according to one survey — consider maintenance and support services to be a key differentiator when choosing a vendor.
Entrusting technology deployment, support and IT maintenance services to a single outsourcing partner promotes a consistent, positive customer experience and eliminates the hassle of managing multiple third-party providers. Partnering for deployment and maintenance can generate a wide range of benefits:
However, handing over critical functions to even a single provider can feel like a big step. Outsourcing customer touchpoints may feel like a loss of quality control and brand loyalty. But choosing the right global field services partner can make all the difference in maintaining both service quality and customer loyalty.
Outsourced service providers deliver comprehensive IT deployment services on a global scale and provide ongoing IT maintenance services that support your brand reputation while maximizing value for your customers. Leveraging an experienced partner's white-label, non-competitive approach to IT deployment and maintenance services enables you to deliver support services more efficiently and seamlessly.
Before selecting an outsourced service provider, consider the following case studies featuring technology companies who've already found success in outsourcing and partnering for IT deployment and maintenance services. And then follow our checklist to consider the critical factors of choosing an outsourcing partner for your company.
Many technology companies are already successfully outsourcing IT deployment and maintenance services to cost-effectively scale customer service and retention and increase customer lifetime value. By outsourcing these critical functions, enterprises get to accelerate their own digital transformation and focus on producing revenues and growing margins. Sales and marketing costs may represent up to 40% of revenue for XaaS companies, so outsourcing can relieve stress on the bottom line.
The following success stories demonstrate how companies like yours can benefit from powerful services partnerships designed to withstand any challenge.
Tech Data Global Lifecycle Management* has helped us ensure we can deliver for our customers, which included meeting a number of unique challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, we may need to have a technician go on site to complete service delivery while complying with local travel restrictions and unique facility protocols. Having a services partner with the flexibility to meet these challenges head on ensures that we’re delivering excellent customer outcomes and experiences around the world.”
Next-gen technology innovators like Cohesity work with a robust ecosystem of partners for a range of services — including installation and implementation — that can scale with business requirements. Cohesity can stay focused on innovating its data management solutions without having to invest in building a large internal services organization.
In its transition to focus solely on core digital offerings, Fujitsu America, Inc. found a single global partner to manage its Technical Maintenance Services (TMS) business, which included outsourcing related field, integration and repair services. And the partnership expanded even further when Fujitsu Denmark needed to outsource its TMS business as well.
To meet customer demand for service-level agreements with a narrow response window, an OEM in the backup storage space needed a partner who could support its global reach with IT maintenance services. The data storage company was growing quickly and was excited to find a partner who could grow with them.
A fast-growing technology company in the data storage market needed an IT deployment partner to help them keep up with installation growth. The company's initial partner did not have the geographic reach they needed, and using internal resources wasn’t an option. Instead, the company partnered with an experienced IT deployment services provider to train resources, close service gaps and focus on critical areas to support the expanding business.
Many companies rely on cloud environments today, so connectivity issues can be damaging to business success. A leader in data management for hybrid cloud environments was experiencing connectivity issues that impaired employee performance. Together with the experienced engineers of a trusted IT deployment services partner, they were able to implement solutions to improve long-term performance and stability.
A leading telecom solutions provider developed new ground-breaking technology but didn't have the in-house expertise necessary to build and install customized applications for its customer base. Fortunately, the company found a partner with installation experts who could manage the development and integration process from end to end as well as provide ongoing IT maintenance and customer care.
When considering your company's capabilities and resources in global field services, the first question you usually ask your team is whether or not your company should outsource its technology deployment and IT maintenance services. The next question is usually, "how do we choose an IT deployment and maintenance services provider?"
The following checklist reviews some of the critical factors in answering both these questions and finding the best partner to help you take your business to the next level in innovation.
Most IT OEMs' core competencies are product innovation and sales and marketing, not building and supporting field service groups and supply chains. Leveraging an IT deployment and maintenance outsourcing partnership ensures consistent service delivery quality, predictable margins and the financial position to invest in continuous product innovation.
A trusted outsourcing partner can handle the services that don't align with your core competencies or are no longer a high priority in your current market strategy. Outsourcing service operations enables your company to maintain its brand image and commitment to customers with improved efficiency and outcomes. Plus, with your resources more focused on supporting your core competencies, your value in the marketplace gets a boost.
To build a high renewal rate in customer relationships in the IT market, it's critical to become the go-to trusted advisor for your customers. Outsourcing IT maintenance operations helps nurture those relationships throughout the lifecycle because your outsourcing partner functions as a white-label extension of your team to maintain the relationship well after the initial deployment. This enables you to solidify customer success throughout the relationship and continue building it to help keep customers close and loyal to your brand during and after the installation. Your partner provides the branded service that helps with sales and renewals, enhancing revenue to support your growth.
Find a partner who will develop customized services to meet the needs of your customers and your products. While simple IT deployments can be handled by "rack and stack" services, more sophisticated implementations and service requirements demand experience in managing global teams as well as the ability to scale according to business needs.
Many OEMs value white-labeled, multi-vendor IT maintenance and support services for every step of the customer support journey. A global field services partner can offer fully remote support options and manage in- and out-of-warranty IT hardware maintenance with parts and installation. With a single worldwide IT maintenance partner, you benefit from one point of contact for support, which helps to reduce expenses, mitigate risk, improve efficiency and streamline communication.
Successful IT deployment services can make the difference between a one-time sale and a lasting customer relationship. As an extension of the relationship established during the sales process, an experienced deployment services team helps deliver the return on the resources invested during the sales process.
In many ways, market dynamics are shifting, and IT deployment services are now an expected part of the technology purchase, whereas customers historically ordered components from OEMs and installed systems themselves. Your outsourced IT deployment team manages the end-to-end process with high-touch, high-quality support before and after installation. By staying engaged with customers throughout and beyond the deployment, you can deliver a differentiated experience that lays the foundation for a longer-term relationship.
One key to partnership success is working with a global IT maintenance services provider who respects your relationships with your other partners and doesn't compete for warranty and service contract revenues. Your partner should engage IT maintenance service contracts through the channel rather than directly. With that relationship securely intact, the channel partner can leverage the provider's infrastructure to offer global service and warranty coverage. At the same time, you can enhance and protect your brand's market position and manage customer relationships throughout the IT lifecycle.
High-touch IT maintenance services are a critical differentiator, but building and maintaining the infrastructure to support them can be costly and time-consuming. Partnering with an expert IT maintenance services provider allows you to protect your brand presence and stay closer to your customers without impacting investments in your core focus areas. An IT maintenance strategy that provides ongoing, high-touch relationships increases the likelihood of being the supplier of choice for your customers.
Outsourcing IT deployment and maintenance services does more than provide predictable costs and high-quality services. With vital services managed by your partner, your organization can focus on growth and scalability while meeting revenue goals. At the same time, your IT deployment and maintenance services provider can offer insights into customers' operations so you can continue to innovate in delivering differentiated products and services. This helps keep your brand at the forefront of customers' minds, well-positioned for contract renewals, asset upgrades and cross-selling — ultimately maximizing lifetime customer value.
*Tech Data Global Lifecycle Management (GLM) is now Shyft Global Services