maintenanceSome of the network gear vendors cast a wary look at network management vendors, particularly those who do continual, automatic discovery of the network inventory and connectivity.  Why?

We know what’s actually out there, and what’s actually being used.

We had one customer in the insurance industry who was due to renew their maintenance agreement with a large, well-known network gear vendor.  The typical scenario was to be handed a spreadsheet by the salesperson, listing the serial numbers of the network devices they had purchased, together with a summary of maintenance charges.

Prior to the meeting, the network manager ran an inventory report using Entuity, and – not uncommonly – discovered that the list of devices under maintenance as tracked by the network hardware vendor did not match the list of devices currently running.  In fact, they were considerably off.  30,000 euros worth of maintenance or thereabouts.  They were paying maintenance on devices they had retired two or three years ago.  Needless to say, they aren’t any more.

Scarier still, some  of their core routers and switches were NOT on the list, and were not under maintenance!   Imagine the conversation had they failed.

I’m reminded of an old woodworking adage:  “measure twice, cut once”.  It is your responsibility to ensure that you are paying for what you get, and only for what you get.

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