Companies have a lot of Computers/ Laptops and other IT equipments (Servers, Networking components, etc). All these products come with a warranty for a limited period of time. After the warranty period, vendors/ their authorized service providers engage AMC – Annual Maintenance Contracts for the equipments supplied by them. Some customers may also opt for FMS – Facility Management Services from service providers, in which trained manpower is deployed in the customer premises. Let us look at both AMC and FMS slightly more in-depth, in this article.
AMC – Annual Maintenance Contracts:
For IT based equipments, Annual Maintenance Contracts generally includes replacement of defective parts/ replacement of whole units along with On-site support. Sometimes, Annual Maintenance Contracts would require the customer to hand over defective units/ send them over by courier (to the manufacturers facility) which would be returned to them after the fault is rectified.
If On-site support is not provided by a vendor, customer would log-in a complaint (through web or phone) and the service desk personnel would contact the customer to identify the exact fault. They can even access the network based equipment from a remote location (if remote access is enabled by the customer) to identify the fault, and try to rectify it. If the problem is identified as a hardware defect, the vendor normally ships a new unit in advance and the customer is required to send the old dysfunctional unit back to the vendor.
For certain equipments, On-site support is provided by the vendor or their authorized partner for that location. In such cases, service personnel visit the customer’s location to determine the exact fault. If possible, they would try to rectify the fault. Otherwise, they would request for a replacement part for the defective unit which would be installed by the service personnel, once the new unit arrives.
Generally, the Annual Maintenance Contracts are provided by the same vendor/ partner/ service provider by whom the equipments were supplied. Occasionally, AMC contracts can be provided by separate service partners who are tied up with the same vendor. In some cases like Assembled PC’s, any service provider can provide support as all the components used in such PC’s are standard components which are not particular to any vendor.
Not all AMC service providers replace the faulty parts with new ones. They may replace faulty parts with fully working used/ refurbished parts.
Its important to sign up for AMC contracts before the warranty/ previous AMC contract expires. Otherwise, the vendor may insist on checking if all the equipments (to be covered under AMC) are in working condition, before accepting the AMC contract. Generally, vendors undertake a Preventive Maintenance check for all the equipments covered under the AMC, at least once in a quarter.
The cost of the AMC contract per year for IT equipments varies from 2% to 15% of the original cost of the equipment. This can also vary based on the vendor and type of the equipment. It is important for the vendor to check what is covered/ not covered under the AMC contract. For example, the UPS batteries are generally not covered under AMC and similarly, consumables (like toner, print cartridge, projector lamps, etc) are generally not covered under AMC contracts.
There is one more type of service contract called as the ASC – Annual Service Contract. Here, the customer is charged a specific amount that covers the servicing/ repairs, etc. On-site for a year. But, if there are any defective hardware components, the same has to be replaced by the customer at their own cost.
FMS – Facility Management Services:
FMS (Facility Management Services) is different from AMC. FMC does not include any replacement of defective parts but the customers who have signed up for Facility Management Services get a trained man-power from the Service providers who would co-ordinate with the vendors to provide On-site IT support to the customer. These service personnel are generally deployed On-site (full time), at the customer premises.
Customers who are under FMS contracts with the service providers receive, i. Trained man-power, who are able to take care of the IT equipments in a facility; ii. Replacement man-power, if the existing personnel leave their job for any reason; iii. On-site support during working hours and coordination with vendors to trouble shoot and obtain any replacement parts.
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