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New Report By IDC: How TPMs Provide Cost Benefits, Stability and Technology Enhancement in Times of Global Business Pressures

With our world filled with wars, political upheavals, massive inflation, broken supply chains and uncertainty about how to achieve post pandemic “normal”, the challenge to maintain datacenter performance is increasing. We’ve recently sponsored a study by International Data Corporation (IDC) to look at how Third-Party Maintenance (TPM) is becoming an even more important solution for IT executives.


The IDC Analyst Brief was authored by Rob Brothers, Vice President of IDC. It’s entitled “Cut Operational Costs: Use Third-Party Maintenance Providers for Stable Datacenters and Better Digital Transformation”.

IDC Has Long History of Studying the TPM Market

Rob notes at the outset how much benefit the TPM industry has been for data centers: “For the past seven years, IDC has been tracking enterprises and their propensity to utilize someone other than the vendor to support their datacenter environment. These support providers supply a valuable resource for customers looking to support their stable environments that are two – three years or older, systems that are in steady state (limited or no changes to the firmware and/or bios), or end-of-life assets until they can refresh their technology, retire
an old application, or need a bridge solution during a migration.”

In short, third party maintenance providers have become mainstream as a way to overcome problems associated with rigid and costly OEM asset support policies.

Three major observations were telling:

  1. There has been an increase in the propensity of companies to use a TPM provider. In 2013, it was 40% of enterprises and then that number increased to close to 70% in 2021.
  2. When enterprise representatives were asked why they chose a TPM provider, “better offerings” and “easier to do business with” were the top 2 responses.
  3.  Price was also a consideration, but surprisingly, it was not in the top 3 reasons why companies switched to a TPM. During contract evaluations IDC has seen savings of up to 50% of what the OEM charges for similar services (Caveat being that the company is doing an apple to apples comparison).

While we at Smart 3rd Party have always been able to guarantee the best prices for our partners, it’s gratifying to see that end-users have come to realize that we offer more than just cost savings. Our systems, network of engineers, equipment suppliers and worldwide network of support are the bedrocks of our organization and ensure that we will deliver quality support even while meeting cost demands.

The Mix Between Strict Hardware Support vs. The Evolution of Software Creates New Dynamics

IDC states that legacy hardware is still a major component of IT infrastructure and much of this hardware has built in software to run it. Note that OEMs are not really interested in supporting these legacy systems while they are trying to introduce new products. At the same time, the Cloud and smart devices are also affecting the way that assets are managed. “IDC also realizes that as cloud-based computing and the software-defined world begin to come to fruition, the ability to swap out systems, storage, and networking equipment without the worry of the intelligence running on that device will become more of a reality.”

In line with these changes to how the IT infrastructure is supported, companies are demanding more from their network hardware providers.

The following chart from the IDC Report sheds light on how the market for TPM is changing and is entitled: How important are the following features in deciding what type of support services agreement to purchase for your enterprise?

IDC Report TPM

The key conclusion from this study is that TPMs and their partners must offer a full array of support tools and communication protocols to give clients the peace of mind to monitor their systems and respond quickly to problems.

The Benefits of TPM Support (Per Users)

One more chart lays out the benefits that end-users expect from experienced TPMs:

IDC Report Data Chart TPM


In short TPMs need to demonstrate a good value for the services they offer.

We were pleased to collaborate with IDC and Rob Brothers as sponsors of this new report on the TPM Industry. In our next article we’ll review more of what the report says about the Ecosystem that surrounds TPMs and the advantages that independent service providers like TPMs offer to the market. Finally, Rob has identified some key “Considerations” for those interested in TPM either as an end-user or partner.

Summary of Takeaways:

  • While legacy systems still comprise a large part of datacenters, TPMs provide a growing set of systems and services to support older devices.
  • End-users are dealing with so much instability in the global economy that they are finding TPMs can fill important holes in their support almost always saving drastically while enhancing asset management and problem resolution.
  • IDC and Smart 3rd Party have provided this new report on the TPM industry to highlight growing trends in TPM and the key considerations that users face when embarking on new support services.






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