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What Service Customers Care About - OEM relationships, Access to parts


Today I'll continue the 12 points that customers care about when choosing a support services provider, discussing 5 & 6:





 (5) Relationships with OEMs / product certification




This is a big one for customers, and let me tell you why.  While the consumption side of IT is being made easier and more flexible, the underlying architectures required to deliver this flexibility are becoming more and more sophisticated.  Consider examples like IT Appliances, Cloud, and Converged Infrastructure.  These are all great architectures in terms of what they deliver to our customers, but effectively supporting these architectures so they deliver the level of availability expected is NOT a simple task.   You have to understand how all the individual piece parts work, and how they all work together.  You need access to tools, engineering expertise, key intellectual capital like patches and diagnostic software, and much more to be able to effectively maintain the infrastructure versus just replace broken parts. 


At HP, we have invested a tremendous amount of time and money to build intelligence into our infrastructure components as well as build industry leading tools like SIM and Insight Remote Support that allow us to effectively connect to our intelligent infrastructure components and monitor what’s going on across a converged environment.  These capabilities, coupled with our Technology Services Portfolio offers, allows us to proactively address issues before they lead to an outage – or more quickly resolve issues that do result in downtime.  This is key HP intellectual capital, and it’s only available to HP Support Customers or customers of our authorized Support Partners.  If an unauthorized Support provider represents they have access to this intellectual capital, this is an area to immediately probe to ask 'how'.  Without this intellectual capital, our competitors just can’t provide the same Support experience as HP or an HP Authorized Partner.  HP also has global relationships with many other key OEMs and Software Vendors that provide us with immediate access to the intellectual capital and engineering support required to support their products. This is a key advantage, and something unauthorized Support providers can’t match.


(6) Access to spare & replacement parts




Despite what some competitors may say – a ‘part’ is not just a ‘part’.  HP goes to great lengths to ensure our HP Genuine parts come from quality providers, and that they are fully compatible with our Products.  We also do extensive testing to ensure we understand things like mean time between failure for not only individual Parts, but for the ecosystem of Parts within our Systems.  We monitor every aspect of the Parts supply chain from manufacturing to transportation to stocking to ultimate use and performance in the field.  We ensure firmware levels are current on our Parts before we install them, and we constantly scan field incidents to look for any Parts related issues so we can work with our customer base to proactively address the issue. 

Do you know where many of our Support competitors get their Parts? Often, it’s through online grey market websites where they buy refurbished Parts that were removed from old Products, or Parts that come from unknown origins.  Some of these Parts may even be counterfeit – which creates a great deal of risk for the end customer.  Another risk is that using grey market Parts may invalidate a customer’s warranty if it’s still in effect.  If you are using someone other than HP for support of HP equipment, ask your support provider where they get their parts.  Ask if they use HP Genuine parts.  If requested, we can help you determine this given that we have special coding on our Parts that allow us to identify if it’s Genuine HP.


In my next blog – I’ll talk about points 7 and 8.  Specifically, information related to HP’s value points of Logistics Capabilities and Customer Account Makeup.   Both are critical to delivering the Technology Services Support experience customers expect from HP.


For more information on Technology Services go to - Technology Services


Previous blogs in this series:  The 12 Points of Value/1-Customer Needs2-The Service Portfolio; 3-Skilled Personnel & 4-Geographic Distribution



Steve King, VP TS SalesIf you like this blog and are interested in hearing more ideas about the IT industry, IT services, and similar timely topics, please follow me on Twitter. My handle is @SteveKingatHP.


Steve King is WW VP of Global Deal & Field Development for HP's Technology Services Organization.  He has 25 years of experience in the IT industry with an extensive background in Services and Sales.  Steve works with customers and HP teams on a worldwide basis to help them leverage the unique and comprehensive capabilities of HP to accomplish their business and IT objectives.  He is a frequent speaker at HP events as well as a recognized leader in developing HP's Sales talent.








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About the Author


I like to listen as much as I like to talk. Why? My 25+ years in the technology industry has taught me that the key to delivering value to customers is to understand what they value in the first place! I developed this passion for customers and consultative selling during my 12 years with Accenture, and I have continued to approach customers in a consultative way during my 12+ year tenure with HP. I also have a passion for HP given my knowledge of our Product and Service Portfolio and the differentiators we possess that position us as a leader in the areas our customers are telling us they want to go. Converged Infrastructure, Converged Cloud, Big Data – and the associated Service and Support implications – all such exciting technology trends where our success will hinge upon our ability to differentiate ourselves versus others in the areas that matter most to our customers. Right up my alley, and I am proud to be part of the great HP team where I know we have the best solutions in the industry!

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