Most of us are on a mission to simplify our lives. We switched to auto-billing, delivery services and mobile solutions, even before these options became a health and safety necessity.

On the IT front, this “quest for less” is being met by multi-vendor support providers. Recognising that it’s almost impossible to build a data centre, let alone a complex hybrid enterprise infrastructure, on one manufacturer’s products, IT vendors have broadened the selection of hardware they will maintain to encompass most of the server, storage, and network equipment markets. The result is a “one stop shop” for IT maintenance, which makes it easier for customers to manage contracts and access support when they need it.

Multi-vendor maintenance today comes in two main types:

  • OEM: Many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), such as IBM, HPE, and Oracle, will support other companies’ products alongside their own.
  • TPM: An alternative is the longstanding third party maintenance (TPM) option. These providers, of which Launchpad is one, specialise in support for a wide range of IT equipment and have always been multi-vendor.

More and more customers are asking, which one is better? Let’s take a look at the key factors:


The cost issue is pretty easy to settle. Third party maintenance is more affordable, almost across the board. For instance, Launchpad offers server, storage, and network maintenance contracts at around 50% below the OEMs cost, and these savings absolutely apply to multi-vendor scenarios.


An important thing to consider is contract flexibility, which can directly affect total outlay. OEM’s can be rigid with their contracts, expecting customers to commit to lengthy agreements with little flexibility when it comes to changing service levels or removing systems mid-term. Launchpad offers multiple support levels and, importantly, there are no restrictions on changing them as the environment changes. With Launchpad, you can reduce SLAs as hardware shifts to non-mission critical functions and you can even remove systems from contract at any time, so you only ever pay for the support you need when you need it – there’s no need to wait for a renewal window!


Some customers worry initially about leaving the auspices of the OEM. Gartner looked at this issue specifically and found that there is much to gain in switching to a TPM. Bottom line, their analysis reveals that TPMs can help reduce risk, in addition to saving money.

The fact is, the best TPMs offer the same or better support features as the OEMs.

Please contact us today to find out how we can help.


     Reproduced with the kind permission of Park Place Technologies.