With decades of experience auditing data centers, we find that maintenance programs are often a weak link in the chain. There are numerous reasons: change of staff, lack of clear roles and responsibilities (IT/Facilities/Procurement), poor turnover from construction team to operational team, lack of sufficient documentation, etc. As on-going maintenance is foundational to achieving availability, it is critical to ensure your program reflects operational excellence.
At Bick, we have developed a process for investigating maintenance programs. It combines rigorous review of SOWs, written processes, schedules, and contracts with site surveys and personnel interviews of internal staff. It can be extended to include your vendor’s technicians and field support staff.
We look at a program holistically and consider the appropriateness of service levels of existing contracts as well identify gaps in your program. Age of your systems must be considered and, in certain cases, the scope of service must be adjusted. Our deliverable comprises a report and/or presentation outlining areas of concern, risk, and corresponding recommendations.
Our Point of View
- Availability is your primary concern. Don’t risk that by selecting the lowest cost provider.
- Too many people being held responsible winds up being no one is. Make sure that responsibility is clearly delineated. Even better – give one person lead responsibility.
- A longer maintenance contract with established not-to-exceed escalations could help you solidify your budgeting. It also might be an avenue towards cost reduction.
We Work Differently
We spend time upfront with our clients iterating on an SOW until they feel comfortable. In addition to empowering our clients to have significant input into the creation of the SOW, it provides an opportunity to see how we work and get to know us. This builds confidence in the relationship and results in a tighter and better financially targeted SOW.
Our clients seek independent advice to solve difficult issues. Consequently, Bick Consulting’s operating model has no business agreements with the vendor community – no manufacturers, contractors, service
providers, etc. We are not engaging in a consulting opportunity as a means to an on-going revenue stream.