Software Support and IT Network Maintenance for Your Special Cases
Custom software, software resells, proprietary software, government or client furnished equipment, and white label equipment are becoming more common as organizations bring together a mix of technology solutions to best fit their needs. While these solutions provide organizations with more flexibility and greater control over their technology assets, it also adds a layer of complexity to their support options.
This article addresses these special cases and explains how each of these situations influences your ability to access support.
If you know the system well enough, you can do things that aren’t supposed to be possible. – (Click 2 Tweet)
Right to Use
A common question is whether or not organizations have the right to implement used hardware. Outside the technology world, the issue of “right to use” is handled by the First Sale Doctrine, which states that a single party cannot benefit from the sale of a given item more than once. For example, if you buy a car from Toyota and then later sell that car to Joe Smith, you do not owe Toyota a fee.
However, in the technology space, OEMs flirt with this line through Right to Use licenses. According to the First Sale Doctrine, OEMs must provide free Right to Use license transfers as long as the purchase involves authentic equipment sold by the rightful owner.
This specifically relates to non-subscription software, like base operations system software. Where things get cloudy is in the maintenance of this equipment.
OEMs may threaten clients with “recertification fees” as a contingency of providing support. For this fee, OEMs verify that the equipment is authentic and that it is in working order.
However, clients can easily prove the authenticity and condition of the equipment without the help of the OEM, circumventing the need for “recertification” or “re licensing.” In most cases, OEMs rarely assess this fee, and it is little more than a scare tactic to prevent businesses from purchasing used equipment (at discounted prices from non-OEM resellers).
Client and Government Furnished Equipment (CFE and GFE)
This refers to proprietary hardware or software that runs on top of or in place of the operating system. It is built to meet the specific needs of a client by a custom developer and comes with its own license agreement.
Support options for proprietary hardware and software support are limited to the license agreements imposed by the developer. In some cases, these solutions can be supported by an independent support provider and sometimes they cannot.
When proprietary software runs on OEM-furnished equipment, the license agreement for the proprietary software is mutually exclusive to the end user agreements of the OEM.
Software is the great combination between artistry and engineering. – (Click to Tweet)
Open Source Equipment
Open source or white label equipment that runs licensed software is a hybrid case that requires soliciting support from a provider that can maintain both aspects of the solution. It is like installing a Chevy engine in a Ford; you need a mechanic that understands how both Fords and Chevys work to maximize your maintenance dollars and receive the best possible repairs.
In the networking world, this approach is becoming more popular as the costs associated with service level agreements rise. Clients are replacing OEM hardware with their own equipment and then leveraging the software of industry leaders like Cisco and Juniper.
When leveraging independent maintenance firms (one for software and one for hardware), an overlap in knowledge ensures that each side can identify where a problem exists (in the hardware or the software) and communicate effectively with the other side.
However, there is a risk that in a moment of crisis, each side will blame the other and refuse to collaborate to ensure the fastest possible resolution. Many organizations find that the best option for supporting a hybrid solution is an independent service provider with the ability to troubleshoot, restore, and resolve issues in both aspects solution (open source hardware and licensed software) using in-house experts.
So much technology, so little talent. –(Click to Tweet)
Finding the Right Maintenance Service for Your Network
Expert network maintenance providers understand end-user agreements and how they apply to specific sets of equipment and the software that runs on that equipment. They also know how to manage Right to Use license transfers to ensure that all required notifications are completed to ensure maximum utilization of entitled support.
High-quality independent maintenance firms can quickly evaluate your current IT support needs and identify where those needs are met by current support agreements, policy mandated entitled support, and where the gaps exist. In most cases, an independent firm with the in-house talent to support custom, white label, and OEM solutions can provide better coverage at a cost that is significantly lower than OEM support.
To ensure that your network support agreements are optimized and that your business is receiving the best level of support without overspending, contact a high-quality independent network maintenance provider.
Topics: OEM Support