Transforming IT Blog
Join us in the Transforming IT HP Blog where we will discuss reinventing IT to overcome obstacles and take advantage of Instant on Enterprise opportunities.

Fool me once …

Sherry Foster is Director of Marketing for Technology Services in HP’s Enterprise Group. She is responsible for delivering the go-to-market strategy, demand generation, communication, sales enablement, and digital marketing for Technology Services across the Americas region. She has been with HP for more than 20 years and has held a variety of marketing and operational supporting all of HP’s business units – enterprise products, services, printing and PCs. Sherry holds an MBA and a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) from McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada.

 

It is nothing short of maddening. Unauthorized service providers will say practically anything to get the initial sale. Usually, they’ll insist they provide support for HP products that’s “just as good as HP’s” at a lower cost. And the most maddening part is that all too often, it works. After all, it’s a claim that’s hard to resist. Who doesn’t want to save money? But the real reason it usually succeeds is that it’s hard to prove or disprove. What’s worse, the decision is even hard to undo when proof is found that the claim was just that: only a claim.  

Inaccuracy and inertia
Unauthorized service providers use the double whammy of inaccuracy and inertia to get the business. They know they simply can’t deliver on the claim of providing support that’s just as good as what HP and its authorized service providers can deliver. For example, unauthorized service providers do not have access to the same quality replacement parts or diagnostic tools. Their engineers can’t take the same, in-depth training.  This and other key differences mean there is no way they can deliver on the claim of equal support. But how do you disprove that claim without experiencing the shortcomings of their service first-hand when you need support? By then, it’s too late. You end up with a support experience that’s less than ideal and results that are far from acceptable.  

That’s when unauthorized service providers count on inertia to keep the business. They know that it takes a lot of time and effort in the areas of finance and contract administration to switch the entire environment back to HP support. And they rely on everyone’s dislike of major change to keep the business. “After all,” they hope customers will say, “the service really wasn’t that bad. And look at how much we’re saving.” As I’ll show in upcoming blogs with actual case studies, those “savings” can turn out to be pretty expensive.    

No Fooling
HP has developed a series of questions you can ask potential support providers to help you understand their capabilities and limitations. There are sixteen questions in all, covering seven key areas:  Service Portfolio, People Certification and Training, Tools and Diagnostics, Geographic Coverage, Genuine HP Parts, Infrastructure and Escalation Capabilities, plus Software, Firmware and Patches. Some of the specific questions to ask potential providers include:  

“Are you able to support discrete systems, converged systems, virtualized infrastructures, and cloud-based architectures at the service-level agreements (SLAs) my organization requires?”

“Do you and your service engineers have access to the ongoing training and certification from HP that ensure they have the latest information on how to support HP products?”

“What automation, remote support, and other tools do you leverage—including proactive support?”

“Where do you get service parts? Are they genuine ‘HP Certified’ parts?”

“How do you ensure that all parts have the latest firmware updates, and that chain of custody and parts validation are managed to ensure no counterfeit parts are used in support of a customer?”

You can find the complete set of questions in the HP “Protect Your Business” brochure available here. Armed with the answers to these questions, you can make an informed decision about the best service provider for your organization right from the start. You’ll also be able to quickly see that the promises of unauthorized service providers are usually empty, while HP and its Authorized Service Providers deliver results and true value.  

 - Sherry  

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About the Author(s)
  • I’m a Global Strategist, a certified (PMI) Project Manager, specializing in business to IT alignment, agility consulting, Infrastructure Transformation and Strategic Architecture for Big Data, Mobility, Private Cloud, Unified Communications and Collaboration. I drive the strategy, vision and content of strategic consulting services in the Big Data IT Infrastructure services area at HP. As part of this, I meet with senior level customers to understand their challenges, conduct workshops to determine future vision and roadmaps as well as presenting at industry and analyst events.
  • Craig Partridge is the WW strategy lead for HP Technology Services Networking group. His role now covers strategy for consulting, professional and support services. The major areas of focus are Mobility, UC, Cloud Networking and IPv6. All aligned to core HP networking solutions - simplified, secure, optimized and available.
  • Don has held roles with the business and marketing of consulting for HP. Currently he supports HP's Client and Microsoft Solutions and the emerging Mobility Consulting services. He holds a MBA from UCLA's Anderson School.
  • Over 12 years of consulting, new technology services development and marketing experience covering data center, IT infrastructure, cloud technology domains. Hande holds a M.B.A degree from Bentley College, MA.
  • Having joined HP in 2003 Ian Jagger is the world-wide marketing and program manager for HP Technology Consulting's Strategic Consulting Services, Critical Facilities Services and Energy and Sustainability Management Services, as well as emerging IT services Prior to his current role, he served as the HP Services Marketing Manager for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, having joined HP in a similar role in the Middle East. Prior to HP Jagger had a 15 year international sales career, culminating in being Sales and Marketing Director for Steelcase Inc addressing Northern Europe before focusing more specifically on marketing. His initial focus was consultancy and interim marketing management, primarily for small to mid-sized customers based or looking to expand in the Middle Eastern region. Immediately prior to joining HP he was a strategic marketing consultant addressing investment targets for a technology fund. Born in Rochdale, United Kingdom, Jagger holds an honors bachelor of science degree in economics and a degree in social psychology from Loughborough University, England. He also holds a Masters Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Chartered Marketer. He has one daughter and lives in Cary, North Carolina.
  • Jeff Enters works in the HP Technology Services Networking organization and consults with customers on their IT strategies. He has over 20 years of consulting, design and integration experience in multi-vendor Voice and Data environments.
  • Editor and writer with 12+ years experience in the corporate software and technology sectors.
  • Jordan Lee has over twenty years of consulting and industry experience, helping some of the world’s largest firms craft and implement their business and IT strategies. His priority is to advise Hewlett-Packard clients how to best prepare for and take full advantage of the dramatic shifts in the IT economy taking place today. Over his career, Mr. Lee has held executive positions both in industry and consulting organizations, where he has provided consulting to some of the largest firms in the US. Over the years, he has helped his clients redesign business processes and organizations, and implement strategic IT programs around ERP, System Integration, Business Intelligence, and IT Infrastructure.
  • Jordan owns the worldwide mobility portfolio for TS Network Consulting and is a OneHP Mobility ambassador. His expertise centers on mobility strategy, client and applications virtualization and enterprise mobility management technologies.
  • Eduardo Zepeda, WW TS Social Media Program Manager & Internal Communications for WW Technology Services Blogging on behalf of HP Technology Services (TS_Guest)
  • Ken Larson has over 30 years of experience in Information Technology aligning business to technology. As an Enterprise Architect, he has delivered many successful architecture related services across business and government sectors in manufacturing, insurance, banking, oil, utilities, US state and federal governments. He is certified in TOGAF and IT Service Management.
  • Laura Cunningham is a CPA and business consultant with HP Technology Services Consulting. She helps CIOs and their teams bridge the gap between what the CIO wants and what the CFO requires by building a comprehensive business case that can withstand financial scrutiny.
  • I am on the WW Cloud and Big Data Solutions Team. I help our customers adopt HP advanced solutions that are made up of products and services from across HP. I have over 30 years experience in the technology business including 17 years of business ownership.
  • Broad mix of experiences developed in more than 20 years of technology-driven innovation. Fascinated by changes triggered by mix of behavior, needs and technology. Bachelor in Theoretical Physics.
  • Working for EMEA TS Consulting, I am a Specialist in end to end management of customer data, from creation through consumption, to protection and preservation and ultimately (controlled) destruction. This includes, host, connectivity, storage, data protection and backup and archive, from a technical and more importantly, operational perspective. I have worked in the storage and data management industry for over 15 years, on both sides of the desk, as a customer and now as a consultant.
  • Patrick Lownds is a Senior Technology Consultant and is involved in designing and delivering both Client Virtualization and Cloud Computing solutions in the datacenter. Patrick co-authored “Mastering Hyper-V Deployment
  • I’m a Global Chief Engineer certified Exchange Architect and Master (MCA and MCM), specializing in Messaging, Mobility, Private Cloud, Unified Communications and Collaboration. This relates to all work to coordinate sales, pursuit and delivery readiness in all services that relate to HP's portfolio around Microsoft Exchange. Includes internal readiness as well as external events, analyst briefings. With 25+ year’s experience in the industry. Thomas has been involved with Microsoft products since 1993. Specialties: - Architecting complex public and private Cloud solutions for Exchange, SharePoint and Lync in standard, dedicated or hybrid scenarios. - Lead the HP specialists team unit to win and acheive our business targets and budget - Drive HP's Exchange Services for Private Cloud - Working with partners, vendors and internal teams to align, expand and grow HP's strategy.
  • Tim Swiader has twenty plus years in the Information Technology industry. He has worked primarily with the fortune 100 and legacy carriers transforming their applications, networks and data center facilities.
  • Tom Clement has over 30 years experience in the areas of adult learning, secondary education, and leadership development. During this time Tom has been a consistent champion of “non-traditional” training delivery methods, including blended learning, virtual delivery (self paced and instructor led), the use of training games and simulations, and experiential learning. Tom has spent the past 25 years of his career at Hewlett Packard, focused most recently on HP’s global Virtualization, Cloud, and Converged Infrastructure customer training programs. Tom manages the strategic direction and overall performance of these training programs, ensuring these worldwide programs help HP’s customers capitalize on the business opportunities made available by IT advancements in each of these subject areas. Tom and his global teammates utilize best in class instructors, course content and supporting equipment infrastructure to deliver these training programs to HP’s customers. The team prides itself on providing the Virtualization, Cloud, and Converged Infrastructure content customers need when and where they need it, anywhere in the world. Tom is based in the Washington, DC suburbs and can be reached at tom.clement@hp.com.
  • Tari is a Distinguished Technologist with 30 years of IT and cyber security experience. He is dual board certified in information security/business continuity and is responsible for a wide range of management and technology consulting services encompassing information security, disaster recovery, privacy, and risk management. His problem-solving skills, knowledge of various technology platforms, compliance statutes, industries, as well as his experience in deploying defense-in-depth and InfoSec Program solution architectures is commonly applied when advising CIOs/CISOs as well as leveraged in numerous HP client engagements throughout the world. Tari has designed, built, and managed some of the world’s largest InfoSec programs allowing them to defend against even the most aggressive attackers.
  • I provide technical consulting services at all phases including analysis, planning, design and implementation. I have a wide range of experience in WAN and LAN technologies, as well as providing security solutions and deploying operating system infrastructure. Besides working directly with clients to deploy technology in their data centers, I also find myself architecting or discussing solutions with a business’s chief information officer, helping to lay out a roadmap for the coming years.
  • Bill is the Principal Data Center Energy Technologist for HP Technology Services. Kosik is a licensed professional engineer, LEED Accredited Professional, a Certified Energy Manager, and a Building Energy Modeling Professional. He is responsible for research and implementation of sustainable, energy-efficient, and environmentally responsible design strategies for data centers. He is currently a subject matter expert for the USGBC on the new LEED Data Centers, the EPA/DOE on unification of energy metrics, and the Green Grid on responding to the EPA’s Energy Star for Data Centers program. He has an engineering degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


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