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Message Posted: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 @ 18:55:53 GMT

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Subj:   Separate Hardware and Software Maintenance Contracts
From:   Balchunas, John

For sometime now we have had separate maintenance contracts for our NCR4700 4-node system.

Why? Budget crunch. The savings by having a 3rd Party maintenance all the hardware was so significant that it saved two employee's jobs.

NCR/Bull does the software. A 3rd Party does the hardware including the mainframe and printers.

But the 3rd party does not have any employees familiar with NCR equipment. So they call a 4th party which has a former NCR maintenance guy - but he does not know the database or anything else related to software changes.

Problems: with two separate contracts, the two parties are at arms length, and do not communicate with each other since they are competitors in the same market.

Result: Boards were replaced last month by hardware vendor but software was not changed and database was trashed (almost a Terabyte). 6-days downtime at the student/fiscal year-end. Could not have been at a worse time.

But thanks to the wonderful techies at the GSC and fallback, and the backups on NetVault, I did get 99% of it back and without a loss of anything critical.

Is anybody else farming out hardware maintenance to a 3rd party?

I need some comments about the dangers of this path to help convince management that the next time I might not be so lucky and why a better path needs to be chosen. I also want to keep everybody working.

John Balchunas
Jefferson County Public Schools

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