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The IT service provider for data center third-party maintenance looks back upon its successful history and ponders a rapidly changing market with a host of opportunities
30 years ago, the foundation stone of a market-leading company was laid in Flörsheim, near Frankfurt am Main. Today, Technogroup IT-Service GmbH has 54 service hubs, 19 logistics bases, and a global network of partners. It looks after the needs of 5,200 customers, employs almost 300 people in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Poland, and generates an annual turnover of more than 40 million euros. “Hardly any other sector has changed as rapidly as the IT sector over the last 30 years. Our success is down to the fact that we always tailor the further development of our portfolio to changed market requirements,” explains CEO Klaus Stöckert. “Data center third-party maintenance is our DNA, but increasingly, we also offer supplementary value-added services such as monitoring, IMAC, and cross-manufacturer single-point-of-contact support.”
When the history of Technogroup IT-Service GmbH started on May 25, 1990, IT was just starting to penetrate the everyday lives and working worlds of many people. IT experts were seen as exotic. There were no recognized defined occupations or degree courses in the sector. The employees taught themselves, continuously acquiring knowledge through fine-tuning their work and using their impressive technical insight. In this way, Technogroup developed from an exotic startup to a market leader for third-party maintenance (TPM) in the Germany/Austria/Switzerland area, exhibiting top expertise and enjoying uninterrupted growth since it was founded.
“Especially in the present circumstances, the increasing importance of IT and digitalization is clear. IT systems must guarantee top availability, security, and performance. Maintenance, repair, and replacement play a decisive role here. The market for TPM is practically limitless,” says Stöckert with conviction. More and more companies are outsourcing tasks to specialized IT service providers. But TPM is not yet familiar to all. Particularly in economically challenging times with stagnated investment and budget cuts for IT hardware, third-party maintenance can offer a cost-effective alternative to maintenance by the original manufacturer without compromising on quality. Globally renowned research and advisory firm Gartner believes that switching to third-party maintenance can bring about a saving of up to 70%. The lifetime of systems is an important point here. Often, maintenance by the original manufacturer is offered only for between three and five years. However, servers and hardware in data centers can remain in use for more than ten years. In such cases, third-party maintenance can be used to extend the lifetime of data center hardware past the official end of service life (EOSL).
In particular, third-party maintenance makes sense in the case of companies whose IT landscape consists of different systems and hardware from several manufacturers. Instead of having a range of contacts at different manufacturing companies, such customers can contact a single point of contact at the third-party maintenance enterprise when malfunctions occur. This contact person is manufacturer-independent, familiar with the systems, frequently has access to spare part stocks for machines that the manufacturers no longer sell, and can react quickly to solve the problem at hand. This avoids long, expensive downtimes or restricted performance.
“Today, customers want an all-round program for services at their data center. For this reason, we’ve expanded our project business over the last few years,” Stöckert explains. “Whether it’s monitoring, IMAC, or network services, we can take on standard tasks for our customers so that they can concentrate on their core business and innovations.”
The last 30 years have been highly formative for the Technogroup company. “We’re sure that our success will continue. We aim to keep the best of what the Technogroup family has built up over the last three decades while mastering the challenges that the changing sector will continue to throw up in the future,” affirms Stöckert.
In Technogroup’s anniversary year, long-time managing director Alfried Netzband will withdraw from operational business at the end of the year. After 30 years of successful work he will gradually hand over his area of responsibility internally over the next few months. He joined the company as one of the first employees, shortly after it was founded and has been responsible for technical service since the mid-1990s. “With Alfried Netzband we lose a big part of Technogroup’s tradition. His determination, technical expertise and openness made the company what it is today – colleagues and shareholders are grateful for it,” says Klaus Stöckert.
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