Helpful Insights When Choosing Your TPM Partner

By Chris Miller, Top Gun

The third-party maintenance (TPM) industry continues to experience market disruption due to the M&A frenzy, leaving behind a wave of distrust and concern within its MSP/VAR Channel.

If you happen to be one of the MSP/VAR providers that’s been selling TPM for several years, it may be time for you to re-inspect your TPM partnership(s), especially if your clients are expecting a support program that’s capable of handling mission critical, enterprise-class systems.

On the surface level, TPMs make similar claims of cost savings and multi-OEM capabilities. However, with a deeper look, there are significant differences to be studied. Perhaps it would be helpful to share some key factors that will help you choose a TPM partner that is not only trustworthy, but will meet your clients’ expectations and protect your brand:

Is your TPM’s service infrastructure suitable for mission critical infrastructure?

Multiple TPMs entered the support market within the last ten years and discovered a lucrative business opportunity by focusing on non-critical computing platforms, such as x86 servers, where next-day or best-effort support service is deemed acceptable for your clients’ operation.

By focusing on less-critical systems, these “New Gen” TPMs escaped building a multi-million-dollar service infrastructure, often forgoing the need to purchase pre-stocked parts, test systems and staffing L3 engineering expertise.

It’s wise to confirm that your TPM has made the required investments to satisfactorily reach all their SLA commitments.

Do you clearly understand your TPM’s dependencies on downstream providers?

Hopefully it won’t come as a surprise to you to recognize that many TPMs subcontract to other TPM providers, who in turn subcontract to even more providers.

When your client experiences delays caused by multiple providers in the service supply chain, how will you explain a fragmented delivery program?

It’s critical to understand your provider’s delivery process and which stages of your clients’ experiences are outsourced versus owned and controlled by your provider. 

Are there signs that your TPM might be morphing into an MSP?

The lines between some TPMs and MSPs are beginning to blur.

These TPMs are looking to capture more footprint and increase revenue by moving up the stack. If your TPM is now requiring networking monitoring services be added to their contracts, could this eventually compete with your own managed network services?

It’s definitely worthy of your critical review.

Long-standing, trusted service delivery partnerships are hard to come by and require ongoing, careful consideration. You work incredibly long and hard to earn and retain your client’s trust. Invest the time to scrutinize your service partners. Perhaps referencing this additional Blog “Check Under the Hood” by Craig Wilson, EVP of Service Delivery, will offer you additional suggestions to “trust, but verify” your chosen partner.

As a departing thought, we hope you will also take the time to understand your partner’s Core Values and Business Principles, as they are equally important to their technical and financial traits.

At Top Gun, we take great pride in living our company’s Core Values – to us, they’re much more than words.

As always, I welcome conversations that can lead to mutual long-term benefit! At LinkedIn, your connection requests are a great way to get us started.

Blog Author Details

Chris Miller

Partner Development Manager

Top Gun

Chris’ LinkedIn Profile