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June 10, 2020
The companies did not disclose the value of the deal, announced last week. While CHE Consulting extends Park Place Technologies’ third-party maintenance (TPM) service footprint, the company is expanding on multiple fronts.
Park Place’s Jeff McCullough
In recent years, Park Place Technologies has broadened its TPM offerings by expanding into infrastructure and operations management services. To support its growth efforts, the company recently tapped channel veteran Jeff McCullough to establish a formal partner program.
McCullough, who led NetApp’s Americas partner organization before leaving the company last fall, is now Park Place Technologies channel chief. The company tapped him to deliver a new channel program, set to roll out later this year.
“It’s one of the fastest growing technology companies, you’ve probably never heard of,” McCullough recently told Channel Futures.
Founded nearly three decades ago, Park Place Technologies has accelerated its growth in recent years. The company competes with providers of TPM services such as Curvature, Maintech, Service Express and XSi. Park Place Technologies said it provides maintenance for 17,000 enterprises and 58,000 data centers globally.
When enterprise infrastructure warranties expire, TPM providers offer an alternative to purchasing new equipment or buying a vendor’s extended support. The company claims it can provide multivendor service contracts that are often 30% to 50% less.
Zones’ Tony Balistrieri
Tony Balistrieri, vice president of business development for digital solutions at IT services provider Zones, corroborated that figure. “If you went head to head, they offer maintenance that’s a third to half the OEMs’ prices,” Balistrieri said.
Park Place Technologies services and repairs gear from Brocade, Cisco, DellEMC, HPE, IBM, Lenovo and NetApp, among others. Notably, the company also supports Oracle hardware, including older Sun servers and storage equipment.
In 2017, Park Place Technologies launched a remote monitoring service designed to use predictive AI to detect hardware faults. The company partnered with BMC Software to use its TrueSight AIOps platform as the underpinning of its ParkView service.
ParkView is a proactive monitoring option to customers with the company’s third-party maintenance service and support plans. When ParkView detects a potential fault, for example, in a server or router, it will deliver a trouble ticket. ParkView also distinguishes between non-critical and critical events.
“We can help improve efficiency and really increase the performance of the customer support experience,” McCullough said. In 97% of cases, Park Place Technologies technicians can repair a fault during a single customer engagement, he noted.
McCullough said ParkView has reduced the average number of engagements overall from eight to just two. “Our mean time for repair in general is about 31% faster with ParkView than without,” he said.
As a partner for five years, Balistrieri said ParkView is a complimentary option. “It’s a great offering for partners like us,” he said. “With a single pane of glass, we can see where the alerts are, and where we’re getting failures, he said. “That’s huge. Instead of having to buy maintenance on everything, you can see the mission critical part of your environment. And then you can decide what coverage is really necessary.”
In addition to ParkView, the company added a network performance management service with last year’s acquisition of Entuity. Besides extending its acquisition spree, Entuity is the first company Park Place Technologies acquired outside the third-party maintenance business.
Entuity offers its own network operation centers (NOCs) for enterprises as well as for managed service providers. The company also uses BMC’s TrueSight software, specifically the operations management component.
Amid this expansion, McCullough is charged with growing the company’s partner ecosystem. The amount of its services sold through the channel currently ranges between 40% and 50%, according to McCullough. “It ebbs and flows from quarter to quarter,” he said. “It’s a testament to the fact it’s really been done without a formal channel program here at Park Place.”
McCullough added that the new program will offer growth to existing partners and bring in new ones for expanded coverage.
“We have a lot of great partners globally that we have great relationships with,” he said. “And there are a lot of partners that we haven’t…
…really done a lot with. My job is really to elevate Park Place in terms of awareness in the channel.”
Key to that effort will include attaching the monitoring and network management services tied to its TPM service offering. “We deliver maintenance at a strong level and do it at a better price generally than OEMs can,” McCullough said. But that’s not the whole story. You can add on to that monitoring, both at the physical platform level and the network level.”
Meanwhile, last week’s CHE Consulting deal signals that Park Place Technologies remains committed to growing its flagship hardware maintenance business.
CHE Consulting provides TPM for storage, network and mid-range equipment, as well as mainframes. It has coverage in 37 states throughout the U.S. and has an extensive government business, according to the company.
McCullough officially arrived at Park Place Technologies about three months ago, just the U.S. entered full quarantine mode.
The resulting economic uncertainty has led many IT decision-makers to pause purchases of new infrastructure. But when warranties expire, customers must either to upgrade or purchase maintenance and support contracts.
Consequently, that has put the spotlight on third-party maintenance providers such as Park Place Technologies as an alternative.
Evaluator Group’s Camberley Bates
“Right now, they’re in a nice sweet spot with the COVID crisis,” said Camberley Bates, managing director and analyst at Evaluator Group. “Everybody’s in a crunch on expenses and being asked to save.”
Bates acknowledged that recommending third-party maintenance providers to customers can put partners in a bind with their OEM partners.
“That pressure will be there,” she said. “But it’s one of those things you have to, as a partner, balance. Go back to the vendor and pressure them for better discounts.”
Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.
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