What it is and why you need it!
Just about every software vendor requires you to pay an annual fee based on a percentage of the software list price.
Gartner’s IT Glossary defines it as: “Software maintenance and support services include long-term and pay-as-you-go (incident-based) support contracts. Software support contracts include remote troubleshooting and support provided via the telephone and online channels, as well as installation assistance and basic usability assistance.”
A comprehensive support service is essential to ensure top performance of your digital asset management (DAM) infrastructure components throughout their lifecycle. Software Maintenance enables you to effectively and efficiently deploy and administer your DAM solution. It allows you to achieve the greatest return from your DAM investment.
DataBasics DAM solutions
When you purchase a digital asset management solution from DataBasics, it comes bundled with a Software Maintenance (SM) agreement for the first twelve months. This SM agreement covers the DAM suite of software products and add-ons. After 12 months, you have the option to renew – and there are good reasons to maintain the agreement.
What it covers
1. Technical support¹
Accessible via email or phone during business hours, each new issue or query is sent or called in to the CustomerCare team so it can be actioned and a support ticket opened. Responses are provided by email, or by phone if necessary. The team of support staff are able to provide answers to operational questions, or provide advice on any software issues that operators may encounter in their standard day-to-day usage of the solution.
This means that anyone can contact technical support and ask for:
- assistance in resolving issues occurring during standard operation of the software or issues that arise with functionality
- assistance in diagnosing potential bugs within the software
- advice on performing minor and technically simple modifications.
2. Free product updates and new releases²
Canto developers apply agile methodologies in the development of the Cumulus suite and release regular updates, usually quarterly, with a major release available once a year. New versions to accommodate operating system changes and to provide significant enhancements to the software are usually released every 2-3 years.
As part of their SM agreement, customers are entitled to access these releases free of charge. You are kept informed when these are released and have the opportunity to update to the latest version. DataBasics Professional Services team can discuss your current implementation with you and provide a quote to assist you with the update/upgrade so there is minimal impact on your day-to-day business.
Software Maintenance renewals
After 12 months, the Software Maintenance agreement comes up for renewal.
If you choose not to renew and your SM expires, then you lose all support and updates. Sooner or later, if you have made a significant investment in your DAM, you will want to upgrade – either to add new functionality, take advantage of enhancements and the like.
Then it’s crunch time. To renew SM after it has lapsed will cost at least 35% of the original price – more if the agreement has lapsed for over one year.
With updates to operating systems and new ways of working coming onstream all the time, can anyone afford to let their major software investments languish? Especially if they form part of mission critical operations in the organisation.
Even if you want to forego updating versions every year and your staff are trained up, what happens if people leave or you want to expand usage? Can you afford not to have support?
All software vendors eventually cease support of older products. So if you are tempted to let your SM lapse with plans to sign up again when the next version is released, make sure you understand what’s involved so you can determine whether this will really save you money. Remember, if you cancel your agreement you may not be eligible for special promotions.
Maintenance fees are like insurance. We all wish we didn’t have to pay them, but when we need it, we’re very glad it’s there. So just add the SM fee into your annual budget and leave it there!
¹ DataBasics provides technical support via our CustomerCare centre – accessible via email or phone during business hours. Each new issue or query is sent or called in to the support team so it can be tracked – queries can be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 886 238 (+617 3733 1510) if urgent.
² With each major release, which is tested first by our technical team, DataBasics sends out an Annual Update Delivery email to all Cumulus administrators with a current SM agreement. This email documents the changes, what’s new, the enhancements and includes links to What’s New blogs, Release Notes and other relevant material.
Written by Linda Rouse, Information Manager