Third-Party Maintenance and the IT Core of Assets

By Carl Ford September 28, 2017

Looking at the effect the Internet’s worldwide connectivity has had upon IT has been astounding. From the days when I managed data circuits for mainframe systems to today’s outsourcing of much of IT development to Asia, the market has been shown to be dynamic.

Mobility has also had a tremendous impact on IT management. In the financial sector, there is still a strong expectation of having remote access systems and mobile device management, but mobility is pushing past these concepts of command and control. The result is that much of today’s IT, mobility is no longer a strategic initiative, but an operational expense.

This shift has changed the way companies are looking at relationships with hardware and network equipment manufacturers. Maintenance fees and associated upgrades are being replaced, even though using third parties to provide support services has been the bread and butter of many systems integrators.

While talking with Peter Weber, CEO of Curvature, we discussed the recent merger of Curvature with System Maintenance Services and with Partners Group as the primary investor. The impact is that Curvature is now a powerhouse globally with more than 2,000 employees and over $500 million in revenue and 1.25 million devices under support contracts. Curvature’s customers use a management portal called SinglePoint that lists assets under contract and manages incidents.

Most large corporations have a legacy of mixed systems that could represent decades of system-specific hardware, while the requirements are commoditized, relying on open source architectures. As the drive to the cloud comes back toward the enterprise with Fog Computing and Edge Routing, it’s likely that third-party services, like those provided by Curvature, will play a vital role in the migration going forward.

“The complexity in the market today is what’s driving more and more companies to consider outsourcing the maintenance and support of both their networking and data center assets,” Weber said. “Our goal is to help global enterprises extend the lifecycle of certain assets to reduce both capital and operating costs, enabling them to focus on innovations that take their business to the next level.”

According to the first-ever market guide for data center and third-party hardware maintenance, issued recently by Gartner, there are more than 10 million devices under Third-Party Maintenance (TPM) and 71 percent of very-large enterprises leveraged TPM support of some kind in 2016.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Partner, Crossfire Media

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