What's the difference between OEM and TPM?

Not All Third Party Maintenance Providers are the Same

A comparison between support through original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and third party maintenance providers (TPMs) might show you some of the basic differences between the two, but this comparison is going to dig a little deeper into the specifics of what you can expect from M Global Services as your TPM provider.

Since not all TPM providers offer the same level of service or features, knowing exactly what you can expect is essential to a true and accurate comparison.

OEM vs TPM (M Global Services)

Flexible SLAs
Built-in Escalation
Dedicated Parts Stocking
Custom Expiration Dates
Brand Recognition
Software Updates
Cost Savings
EOSL Service
Certified Specialists

Different Philosophies About Hardware Support

Attitude is Everything

The biggest difference between OEM support and the service that M Global provides is based in their basic philosophies. OEMs fit their customers into their SLAs, while M Global creates SLAs to fit their customers. OEM companies focus on hardware sales rather than service, and they are generally very large companies making it necessary for them to stick to more rigid protocols in their service plans. Their SLAs are usually spelled out, and there is very little flexibility. OEMs often have broad disclaimers, so if they aren’t able to meet their SLAs, they are covered.

At M Global, our basic philosophy centers around putting the clients’ needs as our top priority. Our business is providing service, and we are always out to prove that the service we provide is better than what you would receive through the manufacturer. We focus our attention on giving our customers the best possible experience, and we will do whatever it takes every single time. That level of care is not something you will get from the manufacturer. Our ability to be flexible allows us to customize SLAs and work with clients to build the service they need.

Show me the Money

Obviously, cost is a huge factor when it comes to hardware support. Compared with OEM support, a service contract with M Global could save you up to 70%. These savings point us back to the basic philosophies and focus.

The focus of the manufacturers is to get people to buy more hardware, so service prices are often inflated, especially as equipment ages. In fact, once a piece of equipment reaches its end of service life (EOSL), manufacturers stop providing service for the device altogether. M Global can step in and provide service for the equipment preventing you from having to spend the money on costly device upgrades if you aren’t ready yet.

Consolidate that Contract

When you work with M Global, you can have all of your support needs serviced through a single service provider with all of your equipment under one contract. We can simplify your contract by consolidating expiration dates so they will all come up for renewal at the same time. For example, if a client has 100 devices with an expiration date of December 31st, and they want to add another 50 devices in mid-November, we can quote out for either 13 months or 1 month to add those devices on to the contract. That way, whether it is at the end of this year or the following year, the expiration dates will match up. This makes managing contract renewals much easier. We can put multiple devices from multiple manufacturers on one contract and continually update—adding devices or removing them as needs change. We also help manage contract renewals so there won’t be a lapse in coverage.

With OEM support, if you have equipment from different manufacturers, you will need to have relationships with all of those companies. If you have equipment from 5 different manufacturers, you will have five different phone numbers to call and five separate plans to manage. Most likely, there will be different renewal dates on all the equipment. Even if you are adding devices from the same manufacturer, most of the time, you will end up with multiple contracts with different expiration dates. And with OEM service plans, you are usually responsible for making sure your coverage doesn’t lapse.

Parts Stocking the Honest Way

One of the things that sets M Global apart even from other third party maintenance providers is our parts stocking strategy. While other TPM providers often leverage inventory across contracts, we have a dedicated inventory for each client. Leveraging inventory might look something like this. Let’s say there are two clients in the Seattle area with similar devices that would require similar parts. Instead of stocking the same parts for both companies, the inventory of parts would be shared between the two companies. This can be risky because if both companies have an outage of the same part, they would not be able to fill both of those requirements.

At M Global, we are all about managing expectations which is why we not only have dedicated inventory for each client, but we provide an inventory list of all the parts that we stock for them with breakdowns of part numbers and descriptions. This takes away the guesswork for our customers from the often-heard phrase “commonly failed parts” will be stocked.

Why does it have to be so complicated? (Hint: It doesn't.)

The escalation process is another area that OEMs differ from M Global. OEMs usually have a fixed and often complicated escalation process that must be followed before speaking to a technician on the next level. Customers might start by calling an automated system, then moving onto a basic help center before moving on to the technician on the next level. Before the issue can be escalated, certain procedures, much like a checklist, have to be carried out. Progressing through each step can take time as each level comes up to speed on the issue.

At M Global, our escalation process is built into our system. The subject matter experts (SMEs) are always copied on emails throughout the service ticket process, so they will be in the loop from the beginning of an issue. If the SME is needed, customers don’t have to start from scratch explaining their issue and what has been done so far in the process.

Let’s be Real — Sometimes You Need OEM Support

It would be unrealistic to only provide a comparison where M Global outshines OEMs in every way. In fact, there are reasons why some people choose to stick with OEM support. Often new equipment comes with a contract provided by the OEM, and it usually makes sense to keep that contract. Also, manufacturers are usually very large companies with recognizable brands, and sometimes people feel more comfortable with brands they know. This is especially true of companies with very traditional business policies and an old-school mentality that may not be as open to trying different options.

Hybrid Choice to the Rescue

OEMs also offer software and firmware upgrades and support that TPM providers can’t provide. Sometimes customers will decide to keep some of their equipment under contract with the manufacturer to have access to those software updates while putting some of their other equipment under contract with a third party maintenance provider. There is no rule saying you have to have all of your hardware support through the manufacturer or third party maintenance providers. It is very common to have a combination of both. We talked more about this in our post about hybrid maintenance plans.

Hardware Support from a TPM Provider

Striving To Be The Best

Understanding your options can help you to make an informed decision on hardware support. We can’t really speak for all the other TPM providers out there, but we can share with you what you can expect when you do business with M Global. It is always our goal to provide hardware support that leaves no room for comparison. We want to be the best!

Support from the original equipment manufacturer vs third party maintenance

Learn some benefits of both options to help you decide between them or if having both would work for you.

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