Software Support Contracts – Antique Concept or an Irreplaceable Safety Net?
The concept of insurance dates back as far as the 14th Century although these early contracts would’ve been quite different to insurance policies we see today. In the modern world we often have little choice but to sign those documents and pay our monthly/annual fees for cover - whether it’s for our cars, homes, mobile phones or even our life! We simply dig into our pockets, shrug our shoulders with a resigned sigh, and make the payment.
Now, I make this sound like a complaint but it’s far from it. I’m more than happy to pay these small amounts so that if/when I break my iPhone I can contact my service provider and they will respond quickly, identify a possible solution and get me back up and running. In the end, what this all means is I’m safeguarded from uncertainty and any ‘what ifs’. Also, I feel a sense of security and reassurance that someone is there to help if my house burns down!
The concept is exactly the same when we’re talking about software support contracts and renewals. These contracts are usually a yearly fee, which enable the purchaser to mitigate risk and reduce the uncertainty of business loss as a consequence of experiencing issues with their software. Whether it’s internal or external problems, the support contract exists to ensure the best possible action to get all functionality running smoothly again.
Every support contract has this in common although specific Service Level Agreements may vary. For example, with Zetafax software we offer a two-hour response time once a case is logged. Other provisions include things like remote assistance, escalation capabilities with our in-house software developers and a searchable knowledgebase.
Either way, we all know the importance of insurance in everyday life (deemed so important that it is often a legal obligation) and software support ‘insurance’ is no different.
From a slightly more technical perspective, another important ability is to reliably and quickly adapt software to its ever-changing environment. This is crucial to businesses looking to improve efficiency and continue to innovate.
A Zetafax maintenance contract gives customers access to the latest version upgrades (Zetafax V16.5), new platform support (e.g. Windows server 2008) and relevant documentation (online knowledge base and technical notes). By doing so our customers benefit from new features and functions as well as gaining the ability to adapt to other internal IT projects. This agreement also includes telephone and email support, as two heads are always better than one!
To conclude, there is one final influencing factor behind my decision to purchase insurance and that is the insurer themselves as a strong reputation is essential. These providers need to be trustworthy, reliable and have a proven track record because the service they provide is so important.
Equisys are fax experts – we have over 60,000 customers worldwide and thousands of supported customers who trust us to help maintain their systems. We’ve been around for 25 years and you can tap into this expertise for a relatively low annual fee and gain peace of mind.
So, just like Medieval Europe and the home you live in now, a support contract is more than just a safety net, it’s essential!