As a ReluTech employee, I prioritize being extremely flexible and ready to help with complex transitions in an ever-changing IT environment. In one of my previous posts, I discussed saying “no” to major manufacturers. In most cases, the big guys in the space aren’t great at being flexible. When you push them to be flexible it can come with a massive, unnecessary price tag. Recently, a customer who leverages ReluTech’s third-party maintenance reached out about a problem they were having with a few of their NetApp FAS series storage systems. They had purchased NetApp several years back, only to move to a different storage platform within three years. The customer decommissioned the five NetApp Filers and let them sit in a corner of their data center for two years.

Then something changed internally.

Business was booming, and the customer’s environment needed more space to grow along with the business. The client had the idea to be resourceful and power two of the old NetApp Filers in the corner back up. After all, they owned them outright, so why not put them back to use when the business demands it?

Naturally, my client called NetApp and asked for a quote to put the systems back under maintenance. He then called ReluTech and asked for a third-party maintenance quote. About three days later, he called me back and said that the manufacturer’s quote did not match ours. We’re used to hearing that, but in this case, the price disparity was even greater because the manufacturer wanted to charge the customer for two years of maintenance during which the systems were powered off before they quoted the requested 12-month contract.

This idea of backdating maintenance is completely bogus. The notion that this was a good idea and a way to keep customers happy is out of the realm of reason. Needless to say, the customer was dumbfounded when the manufacturer was unwilling to budge on having to pay for two years of maintenance on systems that were not even powered on or utilized in any way.

Since ReluTech is a third-party provider, we could not care less about how long a client has had a system or if it has had maintenance in the past. You will receive a quote for exactly what you ask for, whether it’s a 12-month contract, 6-month contract, 3-month contract, etc. I suppose if manufacturers want to continue playing games and remain rigid with their customers’ needs, it will continue to be a good thing for third-party providers. At the end of the day, it was an easy decision for the customer to use ReluTech’s maintenance to support the two NetApp Filers.

If you are facing a similar situation and the manufacturer’s quote doesn’t fit your need, or it’s simply outrageously expensive, let us know! ReluTech can help just like we did with the customer described above. Leveraging the manufacturer’s maintenance is not your only option. Speak with one of our hundreds of maintenance customers, and I’m certain they will attest to our ability to support these systems with the same level of expertise as the manufacturer–without all the rigid requirements and restrictions.


Adam Puckett is an Account Manager here at ReluTech. His top priority is to connect with customers to fulfill their data center needs and look to establish long-lasting customer relationships. Outside of the office, he likes to throw baseball with friends, work on his PC, and play guitar.

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