security products

When is it Appropriate to Move From OEM Support to Third-Party Maintenance?

No doubt you've had considerable experience with OEM support ending on your IT equipment over the years. If you're experiencing this for the first time, it might incite a bit of minor panic since you've perhaps relied on this support for a while. Original equipment manufacturers frequently want to move on from legacy support because they want to build their own future.

In many ways, OEM support ending after two or more years is a symbiotic process, if by force. They're essentially weaning you off OEM support reliance so you can benefit from third-party maintenance.

Going with a third-party maintenance plan isn't a bad transition for various reasons, though you'll want to know when it's appropriate. It's better to transition before your OEM support ends so you won't have to scramble to find something suitable.

Declining Value in OEM Support Agreements

For some IT equipment, it's sometimes possible to enter a longer OEM support agreement than others. Often, they'll allow you to enjoy several years of support and then extend to a limited point through contract renewals.

Maybe you're doing this now. Regardless, it's worth noting as each year ensues, you're receiving less support value. Since many IT manufacturers want to move forward to provide new technologies you'll want to buy, they don't waste time with an entire decade or more of support privileges.

When you start losing OEM support value, it could place you in jeopardy if you have a serious IT issue arise. An emergency might come up and you'll realize the 24/7 support you once enjoyed is now extremely limited or non-existent.

If you find yourself in a tech emergency on a weekend or holiday, you're basically left on your own to find technical help.

This is why you're better off switching to third-party maintenance before your OEM support starts to degrade in quality.

The Growth of Third-Party Maintenance

Dissatisfaction with OEM support is one of the main reasons companies switch to third-party maintenance recently. According to statistics, 75% of companies make this switch because OEM support didn't help with changing business requirements.

Data like this shows why maintenance from outside sources has rapid growth in IT departments worldwide.

When you find a new maintenance team, you're going to discover they give you far more benefits than if sticking long-term with the OEM process.

Costs and Customization

It's going to cost less hiring a third-party maintenance company because you're basically outsourcing much of the technical help. They already have a dedicated team that's going to monitor your IT equipment and even provide remote support when needed. In many cases, this means using pre-owned equipment, despite many businesses preferring this to save money.

You're also giving yourself far more freedom. OEM support systems frequently prevent you from using your network for the entirety of its useful life. Now you can, including adding things to it the original manufacturer didn't allow.

Better IT Management

Keep in mind you're going to receive excellent IT management going through a third-party source. Many of these maintenance companies offer IT advisors, something you wouldn't find with the OEM.

Through your advisor, they'll guide you through any upgrades you want to do, the best equipment to use, and how much money you should spend.

With the new trend being decoupling hardware and software to extend the tech life cycle, a new IT paradigm is already here. Keeping costs under control is obviously a major hurdle for all companies. Now you can stop playing risk, especially when relying on security technology.

Visit us at Abtech Technologies to ask about our security products to augment business continuity and compliance.

Top 5 Security Products and Services for IT Businesses

Security is always an important concept to consider for IT businesses. They are dealing with large volumes of sensitive information that is targeted by hackers and other malicious actors both inside and outside of the firm. Depending on the business, the value of this data could be millions of dollars or more. Spending to protect it is imperative as insurance against this loss. There are 5 products that are most important.

Vulnerability Assessment

All IT businesses need to be aware of the potential threats to their network. Without the initial understanding of the obvious and not so obvious threats, you will not know how to defend yourself. A vulnerability assessment determines all of the threats both outside and inside the network. At that point, a risk assessment report is created to highlight all of the potential issues and how they may be resolved. Companies use an end-to-end, point to point vulnerability assessment to get at their root risks.

In fact, certain organizations are required to conduct a vulnerability assessment. That includes publicly listed companies and also those medical companies that must comply with HIPAA requirements.

Penetration Testing

A Pen Test usually follows a vulnerability assessment. It includes a harmless payload that mimics a virus to attempt to infiltrate and disrupt a network. The payload acts in the same way a virus does to exploit vulnerabilities but does not actually cause any harm. This tests may identify problems that were not apparent in the risk assessment. This takes a little more time than the risk assessment but produces valuable insight from a real live test.

Malware Training

No matter how much software and equipment you purchase, there is always the more prosaic ways to infiltrate a network. By tricking an employee into voluntary downloading a malicious virus, a hacker can cause enormous damage. This was the case in the hacking of Sean Podesta (Hillary Clinton's chief advisor) and possibly also of Sony Pictures.

To avoid falling victim to these programs, employees should undergo extensive training sessions to learn about phishing, web links, public wifi and other potential vulnerabilities. Companies must establish strong programs to create a culture of safety.

Back-up Data

Managed cloud services providers must protect data from being wiped by malicious attackers. While excellent firewalls and anti-virus software does some of the work, keeping segregated data centers is another crucial tool. Cloud data has the advantage that it can be held in multiple locations, not simply in the hardware of the employees on site. For that reason, skilled cloud service providers can keep data in different locations so that even if the hacker is successful in infiltrating one storage center, they will need a new set of approvals to access the other one. Even better, if the first server is attacked, the other ones may automatically shut down to prevent further disaster.

Anti-Virus Software

Of course, the old stand-by is having anti-virus software installed on every computer, in the network and in the data center. Large companies such as McAffee, Kaspersky and Norton have successfully attracted large and small clients around the world. They keep a running tab on malicious software and quickly work to prevent them from damaging the hosts.

Corporate policy at virtually every large company in America instructs employees to keep their anti-virus software up to date. In fact, IT departments usually install and update these programs on the computers themselves. Without it, companies would be much more vulnerable.

Abtech Technologies provides a range of products and services to help IT businesses protect themselves. The company has helped large and small companies all the way to Fortune 500 firms to upgrade their defenses and protect themselves from hackers. For more information, please contact us.