September 27, 2018

Extended warranties for electronic devices have always been a contested purchase. Be it a camera, PC or a server, the option and conversation about a warranty is always brought up. For consumer level purchases, warranties typically don’t make financial sense. When weighing the cost of the warranty against the price to replace and the risk of failure, the warranty doesn’t typically seem worth it.

The story is different when it comes to small businesses. Instead of just having to deal with replacing the critical device, a server for example, you must account for Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO). Otherwise known as DOWN TIME.

Servers are the most crucial piece of technology for almost any small business. If a server goes down, you are looking at a loss of:

  • Crucial Data

  • Providing services to clients/customers

  • Billable time

  • Employee productivity 

 

Your company’s ability to serve its customers and operate as efficiently as possible is worth the cost of a server warranty. Consider this real life and surprisingly common example from one of our clients from earlier this year:

 

One of our clients, a local transportation company, opened for business as usual one day but they were unable to connect to their server. We had received an alert from our monitoring software and had already started diagnosing the issue. Nothing was displayed on the screen, no lights flickering, nothing. Even though they were prepared and had good backups in place, this effectively put the breaks on their day to day office operations.
Because this server was protected by a manufacturer’s warranty we were able to open a support case and get the part replacement to the site and installed within SEVEN HOURS! This is a perfect example of how a warranty can save you from down time and all the headaches associated with it.
Without a warranty this story has a much different ending with more down time spent combing the internet for replacement parts only to find they are no longer in stock.

 

For our customers, we employ a suite of tools that allow us to track and monitor warranties on their devices. These tools also alert us to end dates, so we can begin discussing extending warranties to avoid a lapse in coverage.

We will almost always recommend 3-year warranties for new machines and extending warranties for devices that provide business critical services. This guarantees and maintains a relationship with the vendor and support for your business. Something to consider is an annual warranty review process. This will help plan for the future and mitigate any risk of missing your renewal window.

If you choose not to purchase or extend a warranty for your devices, it is good to understand that this puts an increased demand on your backups. In case of failure you need to be sure that your backups are current and accessible to avoid as much down time as possible. We have discussed backups and their importance before, look at these past posts here and here to learn more.