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When dealing with IT hardware, you may occasionally encounter the phrase “post-warranty support”, but what does it mean, and why should it interest your business?

EoSL and the end of warranty

Every item of computer hardware is supplied with a manufacturer’s warranty, which covers manufacturing defects and other failures. Mid to high-end IT systems often come with a maintenance and support contract that ensures you get the assistance you need in the event of a failure or outage.

IT hardware is designed to have a finite lifespan. The hardware manufacturing industry builds in recommended cycles of upgrade for all systems, at the end of which owners are invited to replace the hardware. To support these refresh cycles, older hardware is identified as ‘End of Service Life’ (EoSL), at which point all general manufacturer-provided support and maintenance is withdrawn.

Post-warranty support

When hardware is classified as EoSL, businesses face a choice: replace the hardware with the up-to-date equivalent or take out a post-warranty support contract. Some manufacturers offer bespoke post-warranty support services, but these can often be the more costly solution, making the upgrade option more attractive.

As a strong third alternative, third party IT support providers offer excellent maintenance and troubleshooting services for older hardware without the involvement of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). These services tend to be significantly cheaper than the OEM’s, but without any drop in quality.

Extending service life pays dividends

If a system continues to work and deliver the performance your business needs, it may be unnecessary (and expensive) to replace it simply because the OEM needs to sell more units. Your business should consider costs and only upgrade when this offers a clear and significant operating benefit.

Post-warranty support services do provide major benefits. For instance, by extending the lifespan of equipment you immediately increase the return on investment. Similarly, the longer hardware remains operational, the lower the total cost of ownership becomes. Both of these factors have a positive impact on your profit margins, and will free up cash that can be invested elsewhere in your business.

Seek advice

Not every item that is designated EoSL can be supported indefinitely though; shortages of spare parts, or software issues in ageing hardware would indicate that the vendor-approved upgrade route makes better business sense. Before making a decision seek independent advice from experts in outsourced IT support and business hardware sourcing. Our experienced team at Complete I.T. will be able to explain your options, and advise whether post-warranty support is right for your individual business needs and systems.

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