Buying, Supporting, Maintaining Software and Equipment: An IT Manager's Guide to Controlling the Product Lifecycle, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Buying, Supporting, Maintaining Software and Equipment

An IT Manager's Guide to Controlling the Product Lifecycle, 1st Edition

By Gay Gordon-Byrne

Auerbach Publications

359 pages | 42 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2014-06-25
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Description

Describing how to avoid common vendor traps, Buying, Supporting, Maintaining Software and Equipment: An IT Manager's Guide to Controlling the Product Lifecycle will help readers better control the negotiation of their IT products and services and, ultimately, better manage the lifecycle of those purchases.

The book supplies an inside look at the methods and goals of vendors and their contracts—which are almost always in conflict with end-user goals. The text is set up to follow the way most people experience technology products and contracting decisions. It begins by explaining the significance of the decisions made at the time of product selection. It details what you need to focus on when negotiating service and support agreements and describes how to use purchase orders to negotiate more favorable agreements.

  • Covers product acquisition, support, and maintenance
  • Examines hardware and software warranty and support models
  • Considers finance and accounting issues for maintenance and support
  • Spells out technology product details
  • Explains postwarranty support and maintenance
  • Provides the understanding to better negotiate with vendor sales teams

Illustrating the types of problems typically experienced during product use, the book describes how to better control the useful life of your equipment. It supplies tips on how to avoid excessive charges from predatory vendors and concludes by delving into issues of product end of life.

Explaining how to manage support and maintenance issues for the long term, this book provides the understanding you need to make sure you are more knowledgeable about the products and services your organization needs than the vendor teams with whom you are negotiating.

Table of Contents

INITIAL PRODUCT ACQUISITION

Equipment and Application Acquisition

Introduction

Application Selection Dictates Hardware Selection

Background

Application License Acquisition

Going Naked

Operating System Acquisition

Acquisition Model: Direct from the Original Equipment Manufacturer

Platforms as Monopolies

Multiyear Commitments

Operating System and Machine Code License Lock-Ins

Strategic Partnerships

The Win Room

Credible Competition

Acquisition Model: Channel Partners and Authorized Resellers

Competition between Partner or Channel Sources

Controlling Discounts

Selecting Partners

Acquisition Model: Wholesale Distribution

Gray Market

Counterfeit

Acquisition Model: Retail and the Internet

Retail Service Plans

Internet Buying

Acquisition Model: Used Equipment

Summary

Notes

Initial Support and Maintenance

Introduction

Maintenance in the Digital World

Hardware Maintenance

Software Maintenance for OS and Applications

Consumables

Defect Support

Hardware Maintenance

Redundancy, Self-Healing, and Fault-Tolerant

Gaming the Service Level Agreement

Software Maintenance

Serviceability

Disaster Recovery and Backup

"Appliances" and "Black Boxes"

Summary

Notes

Hardware Warranty Models

Introduction

Limits and Purposes of Hardware Warranties

Precontracted Parts and Labor Warranties

Accounting for Prepaid Service Agreements

90-Day Parts and Labor Warranties and 12-Month Parts Warranties

Self-Repair

Parts Only

Original Equipment Manufacturer Depot Repair

Labor

User Depot Repair

Time and Materials

Transaction Volume Sensitive Warranty Models

Preventative Maintenance

Scheduled Maintenance

Summary

Notes

Software Warranty and Support Models

Introduction

Initial Acquisition

Software Warranty Functions

Copyright and Piracy

License Audits

Maintenance Pricing

Treatment of Upgrades and New Releases

Patch Management

Controlling Maintenance Pricing

Going Naked

Independent Support

Switching Systems Software Vendors

Summary

Notes

Finance and Accounting Issues for Maintenance and Support

Introduction

Initial Purchase

Tangible Assets and Intangible Software

Lending and Leasing

Internal Accounting

Manufacturer (Original Equipment Manufacturer)

Captive Leasing

Ease of Contracting

Operating Lease Treatment

Residual Value

Licensed Software and Residual Value

Tethered and "Black Box" Products

End of Lease Issues

Summary

Notes

POSTWARRANTY SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE

Responsibility for Defect Support

Introduction

Software Defect Support

Types of Patches

Hardware Defect Support

Logic Flaws (Hardware or Machine Code)

Updates versus Upgrades

Defect Support of Component Failures

Engineering Change Levels

Remote Diagnostics

Summary

Notes

Postwarranty Hardware Maintenance

Introduction

Limitations of Warranty

Voiding Warranty

Purpose of a Warranty

Carry-In Warranty

Warranty Pricing

Original Equipment Manufacturer Postwarranty Support

Independent Service Organizations

Downside of Independent Service Organization Offerings

Parts Warranties

Machine Code and Embedded Software

Self-Repair

Automotive Repair: Converging Issues

Five Requirements for Repair

Diagnostic Tools, Diagnostic Software, and Error Codes

Tools

Documentation

Service Parts

Machine Code

Summary

Notes

TECHNOLOGY PRODUCT DETAILS

Machine Code and Embedded Software

Introduction

Defining Machine Code

Machine Code Divides Hardware from Software

Tangible Asset Limbo

Functions of Machine Code

Machine Management and Access Control

Feature Activation

Service Access and Setting Passwords

Maintenance Access Control

Feature Validation

Diagnostic Routines and Error Reporting

Remote Diagnostics

Configuration Access Control

Feature Activation

Repair Issues

Consumer Issues

Copyright Issues: Digital Millennium Copyright Act and World Intellectual Property Organization

Copyrightable Code

Litigation and Legislation

End-User Litigation

Competitive Attacks

Legislative Efforts

Summary

Notes

Service Parts

Introduction

Proprietary Parts

Commodity Parts

FRAND/RAND Parts

Original Parts

Plug Compatible Parts

Remanufactured Parts

Refurbished Machines

Gray Market Parts

Counterfeit Parts

Used Parts

Obsolete Parts

Summary

Notes

Service Restoration and Support Process

Introduction

Reporting

Call Centers and Ticketing Systems

Nonticketed Events

Specialist Hand Off

Severity and Call Triage

The Service Level Agreement

Service Entitlement Database

Diagnostics

Specialist Handling

Technicians

Closing Tickets

Categories of Repair

Monitoring the Service Level Agreement

Reverse Logistics

Return Merchandise Authorization Monitoring

Summary

Building Blocks of the Machine: What Breaks and Why

Introduction

Basic Hardware Components

Circuits

Semiconductors

Simple Semiconductors: Transistors, Resistors, and Diodes

Integrated Circuits

Chips

Capacitors

Printed Circuit Boards

Power Supplies and Fans

Batteries

Controllers

External Connections

Central Processing Units

Specialized Processors

Memory

Channels

Reliability Issues of Components and Materials

Summary

Notes

Repair Issues by Product Type

Introduction

Printed Circuit Boards

Central Processors

Environmental Damage

Manufacturing Defects

Machine Code

Peripherals

Tape Drives

Disk Drives

Solid State Disks

Output Devices

Networking Devices

Displays

Accessories: Cabinets, Frames, and Connectors

Cabinets, Frames, and Connectors

Summary

Notes

CONTROLLING PRODUCT LIFE

Building Blocks of Using the Machine: Software Layers

Introduction

Software Layers

Top Layer Content and Media

Applications

In-the-Box Applications

Commercially Developed Applications

Homegrown Applications

Customized Applications

Horizontal and Vertical Applications

Mobile "Apps"

Programming Languages

Operating Systems

Patching

Peripheral Drivers

Security Patches

Systems Software (Accessories and Utilities)

License Forms

Systems Software Support

Machine Programming

Machine Languages, Programmable Language Code, Assembler, and More

Accounting for Software

Ownership of Embedded Software

Licensed Software and Residual Value

Purchase, Rental, and Leasing of Software

Summary

Notes

Software Support Issues

Introduction

Developer Control

Source Code

Perpetual License

License to Use/Right to Use

Rental

Pay for Use

Open Domain

Version-Level Tracking

Product and Version-Level Conflicts

Software Maintenance

Jailbreaking

Application System Hardware Dependencies

Configuration-Dependent Licensing Models

Usage-Based Licensing Models

"Black Box"-Type Products

Virtualization

Cloud and Software as a Service

Summary

Notes

Support Restrictions to Control Purchases

Introduction

Advantages for Vendors

Account Control

Wolves in the Hen House

Tactic: Controlling the Request for Proposal and Award

Tactic: Monolithic Purchases

Tactic: Strategic Partnerships

Tactic: Trimming the Vendor List

Tactic: License Audits and Compliance

Tactic: Return to Service Premium

Planned Obsolescence

Tactic: Require New Versions to Access Routine Functions

Tactic: Manipulate End of Support and End of Service Life

Tactic: Refuse to Allow Transfer of Equipment, or Prepaid Support Contracts to Secondary Buyers

Tactic: Restricted License Transfer, or Software Maintenance Contract within the Enterprise

Tactic: Refusal to Transfer Licenses or Maintenance Contracts to a Secondary Market Buyer

Tactic: Refusal to Allow a Used Market for Licensed Products

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

Without the Vendor Maintenance Agreements, the Equipment Will Fail at Higher Rates

More Costly Service Contracts Result in Better Service

Fear of Complexity

Multivendor Conflicts

Hardware FUD

Physical FUD

Physical Obsolescence

Fear of Losing Defect Support

Confusing Hardware Defect Support with Software Defect Support

Fear of Inadequate Skills

Fear of Counterfeit Parts

Summary

Note

Business Intelligence for Support and Maintenance

Introduction

Uses of Analytics

System Availability

Total Cost of Ownership

Basic Measurements

Sources of Analytics

Manufacturers

Hardware Maintenance Providers

Anecdotal Sources

Self-Evaluation

Software Failure Rate

Useful Life

Tolerances and Specifications

Future Proofing

Summary

End of Service Life and Obsolescence

Introduction

Defining End of Service Life

Sweating Assets

Practical versus Physical Obsolescence

Refresh and Replacement Programs

Failure-Based Refresh Programs

Warranty-Based Refresh Programs

Rolling Refresh Programs

Bring Your Own Device

Service Parts for the Long Haul

Secondary Markets

Principle: Used Equipment Is the Best Source of Parts outside the Manufacturer Service Desk

Principle: Broken Machines Do Not Sell Unless Repairable

Recycling and Repurposing

Used Equipment Sales

Donations and Employee Sales

Recycling

Summary

Notes

Index

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUS087000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Production & Operations Management
COM032000
COMPUTERS / Information Technology
COM043000
COMPUTERS / Networking / General