Last October, I posted some tricks to stretch your dollar on provisioning new network equipment. Sometimes you can get lucky, however. One IT professional had a funny story in that a demonstration of a new software solution failed miserably. In exchange for the poor pitch, an additional price cut was offered. While we all can’t be that lucky, we do need a little ammunition to keep vigilant in this environment. Here are some additional strategies to save costs.

Change support providers

Support contracts are a necessary evil in most environments, but frequently the quality of the actual support is less than satisfactory. So, what can we do with that money to spend it better? Chances are you can find a company to provide support for various network equipment and services that will provide a better price than the equipment manufacturer or software publisher. This can be everything from network hardware, to servers and applications. These organizations may be smaller and local to you, providing more personal service. But, they also may be able to escalate directly to the equipment manufacturer through their support programs. This may be something to look at for any support contract that you are less than satisfied with.

Turn equipment off and trade it in

While green IT is overemphasized at times, we can take that another way with network equipment. Many of us have network gear, namely switches, that may have a large number of unused ports. In exchange for a little downtime, those ports can be consolidated from older switches and allow us to remove selected equipment. While there is the benefit of reducing power consumption of the unused switches and creating a consolidated footprint, the equipment can be removed. With unused switching gear, many vendors provide buy-back credit for certain types of networking equipment. This can help reduce costs on new purchases.

Consider alternative vendors

It may sound crazy, but you would be surprised what you can buy from “out of the box” vendors. The easy candidate here is eBay. Many small retailers have had a boon selling on eBay, including new gear. See what you can buy there and on other online retailer sites, and use that as leverage with the traditional vendor or move your money there. Of course, make sure you get the warranty that you would from traditional retailers.

We need to save money every way we can. What strategies have you employed to manage and equip your network? Share your comments below.