I heard the other day that the FCC is moving to get more aggressive in getting phone carriers to do all they can do to block spam and robocalls. I absolutely hate those calls on my cell or house phone that get through the basic spam filter only to be told that "my car warranty has expired".
However, there is a time and place for extended warranties. Over the years CSI has tried to help our clients balance what type of warranties are appropriate for various types of equipment. Sometimes just having a few basic switch spares are enough to deal with immediate, simple issues. Other times next day business is adequate. However, for your most important network and server infrastructure, we believe you absolutely must maintain those devices under 4 hour on-site warranties 24x7x365.
Our rule is simple, if this device being down means your building is down, your district is down, or your district is severely crippled, whatever that device is must be redundant (i.e. firewalls, UPSes, power supplies), or under 4 hour on-site warranty - or both. Also some vendors like Cisco and VMware will only talk to "named" users under those contracts.
It is true that this is a rigged process, but the alternative is being completely dead for a day or in some cases days.
I can't tell you the number of times over all my years of working with technology that I have been told one of the following:
- I am sorry but it is 5:30 pm and you only have a next day warranty, but it is after 5 pm on Friday and Monday is a holiday so you will receive your repair next Wednesday which is the "next" business day after your service request is processed!
- I realize you are willing to pay the difference to upgrade the warranty to 4 hour on-site, and that will be effective on the "next" service call you place, but this service call is next day business!
- I see you have next day business warranty and you have called in before 5 pm so you should expect your service in 4 days - Process request = day 1. Send the order to the parts warehouse = day 2. Ship the order = day 3. Repair = day 4.
- I am sorry, but you are not authorized to call on this contract, so I have sent a note to vendor (insert name here) or the person named on the contract to authorize you to speak to us. Once they approve you, we can begin processing your service request.
When we have next day business warranties, the question is generally more like, "It is 7 pm, is someone going to be there at 11 pm to allow the repair to happen?" And that happens whether is it a weekend or a holiday. It just happens.
When the district is dead and they are going to come for your head, this is your way out.
In closing you have the following to dos:
- Make sure that you have all your critical, production servers, software systems, switches and routers under the appropriate warranty for the functions they do.
- Make sure you are not using any "out of warranty" devices for critical, production functions.
- Make sure you understand which of your warranty/contracts have named users and re-evaluate whether the names are still appropriate.
If you need help sorting this out, please give us a call.