Companies invest a lot of money in IT-related services. Nowadays, most of these services are cloud-based, which reduces running costs for businesses, but most still require some onsite hardware. When helping your customers select and setup said hardware, you should help them maximize their investment by getting more years out of the gear. This is known as hardware lifecycle management.
Typically, hardware only needs replacing when it dies or technology renders it obsolete. Most manufacturers roll out updates to prolong deprecation, but most components start to show age after five years. More commonly, businesses switch hardware because of changing demands. For example:
The business tweaks its security policy and requires new networking hardware to support it;
The business switches codecs to reduce bandwidth or optimize voice quality and must order new devices to facilitate the transition;
The business requires more extensions per phone but has already exceeded the line count on existing devices.
In either scenario, replacing hardware is a reactive decision—it comes about from changing circumstances. When a business looks for hardware to satisfy the needs of today rather than tomorrow, it demonstrates poor hardware lifecycle management. Consequently, it is a bad investment. Help your customers avoid such mistakes by learning more about them and recommending products that allow for forward movement.
Hardware faults can happen unexpectedly. However, in many cases, hardware problems stem from improper handling over time (i.e. inadequate air supply or poor placement). The following tips correct common mistakes businesses make with new hardware that decreases its lifespan. Share this advice with customers to keep their operations running smoothly.
Overheating: Most electronics can withstand moderate heat—most even include onboard fans to cool down the interior components. That said, by placing hardware directly in the sun, next to radiators or nearby other sources of heat, the chance of frying equipment increases.
Datedness: Without proper firmware updates, some devices lose compatibility with other devices on the network. Firmware updates that deal with security flaws and operational bugs, in particular, are important to download and install.
Dirtiness: Dust is a hardware killer! Remind your customers to periodically vacuum or spray the vents on their VoIP and networking gear to prevent buildup.
Surging: Hardware plugged directly into the wall can sometimes surge in severe weather. Voltage spikes can blowout a power supply and cause permanent damage. Connecting critical electronics to surge protectors can help to avoid costly accidents. Recommend such accessories to all new customers.