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Curvature Unveils Top Five Best Practices for Reducing Network Equipment Support and Maintenance Costs

März 3, 2015

Randi Mitev

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., March 3, 2015Curvature, an innovative IT infrastructure services provider, continues to help organizations replace rigid, costly OEM maintenance and support contracts with flexible, affordable alternative services. As a result, Curvature is on the frontlines helping companies from global e-commerce providers and world-class financial services firms to budget-constrained county governments and higher educational institutions. Curvature customers implement best practices for lowering network equipment support and maintenance costs.

According to Gartner, maintenance costs represent about 15 to 25 percent of total enterprise IT costs each year.[1] The research firm also acknowledges that IT procurement professionals are increasingly evaluating used-hardware resellers and third-party maintenance providers to reduce costs and extend the functional life of IT assets.[2] To that end, Curvature provides its global customer base with best practices, use-case scenarios and savings of as much as 50 to 90 percent on hardware maintenance and data center support—without compromising network security, reliability or performance.

Best Practice No. 1: Assess network growth projections, OEM support terminations, and areas to reduce costs

In-depth assessment of network assets and business objectives enables companies to identify mission-critical, business-critical and secondary components; plan for future applications and network performance requirements; as well as determine alternative support options plus hardware, support and maintenance improvements.

Best Practice No. 2: Analyze existing maintenance and support contracts for appropriate SLAs

Two rules-of-thumb should be taken into consideration when determining maintenance service levels and associated costs. In analyzing Service Level Agreements (SLAs), companies should rank network devices in order of their importance to the business.

The most critical devices require the highest service levels, whereas less important gear can be supported at a lower maintenance level or perhaps no maintenance at all, if the company uses a sparing strategy to reduce downtime and costs. Another point to consider: whether an OEM’s “best endeavor” service guarantees are effective, especially when compared to many alternative support options, which comply with strict SLA guidelines including penalties for non-compliance.

Best Practice No. 3: Seek opportunities to extend equipment life

According to a Forrester Consulting Study[3], up to 79 percent of organizations refresh their wired network infrastructures every five years, based on industry averages guided by OEMs. In reality, companies can avoid both premature upgrade and change management costs by keeping viable gear in place for an extended lifecycle using an alternative support service.

Best Practice No. 4: Consolidate multiple maintenance contracts

The ability to co-terminate and manage multi-vendor maintenance contracts through a single point of contact simplifies the process of determining and managing service contracts—regardless of OEM or service provider. Additionally, avoiding vendor lock-in to rigid multi-year contracts and instead opting for flexible monthly service agreements with a third-party provider enables organizations to tailor their support services based solely on business need.

Best Practice No. 5: Evaluate benefits of hybrid support services

The continuing rise in hybrid support services validates a growing trend for companies to leverage both OEM and independent, third-party maintenance (TPM) offerings to deliver the best value, capability, and affordability. Gartner recommends evaluating hardware support from used-hardware and TPM providers in any of the following categories: non-critical, post-warranty, end-of-sale or end-of-support. Third-party support also is well suited for devices with a high-product density as well as situations when flexible terms and conditions are required.

Use Cases Reinforce Best-Practice Implementations

  • A global e-commerce company slashed operating expenses on support for more than 100,000 network devices by embracing a hybrid services model, which blends OEM and NetSure support from Curvature. By reaping more than 50 percent cost savings over SMARTnet alone and extending the life of mature devices, the organization reduced annual OPEX by more than $4 million.
  • A company operating worldwide in the communications, media and services sector planned to refresh its network hardware, according to the OEM’s end-of-life agenda. After investigating a used-hardware reseller, however, the company acquired hardware with next-business-day and four-hour response for 114 locations in 18 countries at a savings of $1.3 million.[4]
  • A large, global communications service provider (CSP) engaged in a hybrid used-new network strategy across 60 offices around the world, covering nearly 5,000 devices. For most of the sites, the CSP was able to secure service contracts for next-business-day, on-site response. For remote locations, the company leveraged a focused on-site sparing plan for hardware replacement when needed. By partnering with a reseller of used hardware and maintenance services, the CSP saved nearly $5 million in hardware and service costs.[5]


About Curvature NetSure

With Curvature’s NetSure technical services, companies can deploy hybrid services that complement OEM support, including 24X7 global technical support, four-hour and next-business day hardware replacement worldwide, onsite sparing and field support at up to 50-to-90 percent savings over traditional maintenance contracts. With NetSure, customers can access a service portal to centrally manage all their NetSure and OEM server, storage and network maintenance contracts.

About Curvature

Curvature is transforming how companies procure, maintain and upgrade equipment and support for multi-vendor network and data center environments. Founded in 1986, the company, formerly known as Network Hardware Resale, has become a trusted strategic partner for more than 10,000 organizations globally, including some of the largest telecommunications carriers, top financial services firms and Global 1000 organizations. Based in Santa Barbara, Calif., the company specializes in delivering 24X7 global technical support, advanced hardware replacement, and complete lifecycle management of networking and data center equipment from corporate locations in the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.curvature.com


[1] Gartner, “Top Five Recommendations to Reduce Your Network Equipment Support and Maintenance Costs,” Caio Misticone, November 2012.

[2] Gartner, “Used-Hardware Resellers Offer Hardware and Support Cost Savings,” Eric Goodness, Christine Tenneson, February 2015.

[3] Forrester, “Challenging the Status Quo on Maintenance Contracts and Refresh Cycles to Lower Costs,” a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Curvature, May 2013.

[4] Gartner, “Used-Hardware Resellers Offer Hardware and Support Cost Savings,” Eric Goodness, Christine Tenneson, February 2015.

[5] Gartner, “Used-Hardware Resellers Offer Hardware and Support Cost Savings,” Eric Goodness, Christine Tenneson, February 2015.