Understand Your OEM Support

Previously I have talked about the difference between an Open and OEM licensing here.   Why OEM license are cheaper in general since they are provided by OEM vendor instead of direct from the Principle.  This applies not to just software but also hardware although I used software as a subject in writing.

Following on the different support structure contact point between Open and OEM licensing here. Support are typically directly from OEM rather than from the original Principle vendor of the hardware of software.

Question why would OEM support cost cheaper than Principle support or why Principle support is more expensive than OEM support?  Is it because the Principle owns the product (software/hardware) that makes it more expensive?

There are several reasons why OEM is less expensive if you do a study.  Below is what I have observed:

1) Principle vendor owns the product, in such, it cost more.  OEM vendors use their own support and only to a certain level will they have support from Principle which makes the cost less expensive from OEM.

2) Typically you have a certain type of support level.  A basic eight by five support or a production support where you are covered 24 by 7.  This support is directly provided either from Principle vendor if you purchase the product directly from them or from OEM vendor who sold you their support.

3) From OEM vendor who sold their support to the customer, the support level is between the customer and the OEM vendors.  Assuming a customer purchase a production support from the OEM vendor, they will receive 24/7 support response from them.  However, there is another contract which is between the OEM vendor and the principle vendor.  This contract also has a support level. Assuming if an OEM vendor has only a basic support with the Principle vendor who they OEM'ed the product from, even though you have a Production Support level with the OEM vendor, your issue requires the Principle vendor, will be constraint by the contract between OEM vendor and the Principle Vendor.

Let see this example:
  • You have a production support (24 by 7) from your OEM vendor for a hardware from Vendor A.
  • Vendor A has a basic support (next business day) from the Principle vendor.
  • You log a case with Vendor A on Friday, you receive a response from Vendor A.
  • Your issue requires Vendor A to escalate to the Principle vendor, at the backend, Vendor A would log a case with Principle vendor.
  • The contact is basic support between Vendor A and OEM vendor, in such, Principle vendor will only response to Vendor A on Monday.
  • Vendor A will response to you only when they receive the response from Principle Vendor.

What have you seen from here?  Vendor A can only response to you the next step only when Principle vendor response.  During this period even with a 24/7 support with OEM vendor, you are still constraint to a basic support (next business day) answer.  For an issue that requires OEM vendor to escalate to Principle vendor, you would suffer this delay.

That is also a reason for a decision making what type of licensing or purchase you should make when purchasing a software or hardware that is OEM'ed was mention in my original post explaining the OEM use case.

So should you have OEM hardware or software in a production environment or a UAT environment boils down what kind of service level you require for that specific environment.  The higher the service level, the lower the risk and also means the higher the cost.  Nothing comes cheaper without a caveat.  As an architect/consultant, you need to make that decision.

Hope this post allows you to understand this difference and apply the right purchase for whatever case you are looking at.

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