When you purchase software, you’re probably already making a big investment. You might think one way to cut down on cost is to skip the product protection or support plan. Dodging these add-ons might not be a big deal for software that has limited reach in your day-to-day operations, but enterprise-level software is a special case with more to consider, such as complexity, number of users, and potential customizations.
One thing to think about as you decide whether support will benefit you is the complexity of the software. This complexity doesn’t just refer to the application’s features, but includes how many people will use or be affected by the software, how important it is to the health of the business, and if you’ll want to customize the software to fit your specific needs.
As the user base for the software grows, so will the number of people that are affected when there is a technical issue, software defect, or need for new features. When an application is integral to day-to-day activities, the loss of this tool can create stress on both the users and internal IT support. To avoid these concerns, it’s important to build a strong support relationship with your vendor to help you quickly resolve issues and limit downtime. You can also expect to receive expert guidance on available features to increase user productivity and, because the vendor will be able to understand your specific issues and requests, see features that are important to you added to the software.
Though not all software can be customized, some can. While some software features, e.g., a mail alert in an e-mail program, probably wouldn’t require support, more complex applications often need to be customized to handle the specific business requirements of an organization. In some cases, consultants can help you implement customizations, but what happens in the future when a new version of the software is available? Will you require all that consulting again? For Zasio customers, an active support contract means you can discuss existing and new customizations to ensure the most efficient and cost-effective upgrade process.
Frequency and complexity of software updates can also influence whether to opt for software support. When internal IT staff has a good grasp of a software application, their ability to manage updates is greatly increased. The opposite can occur when staff is outsourced, stretched thin, or has no previous experience with an application. An active support relationship with a vendor means quick access to expertise that can ensure an upgrade is completed in hours or days instead of months.
Key features offered with Zasio support are:
- Access to software updates
- Guidance from both a technical and application vantage point
- Assistance with installations or upgrades
- Best practice recommendations
Vendors offer a variety of support contracts, so it’s important to ensure you get the features you want. When you discuss a support contract, you might ask some of the following questions:
- Does the contract includes upgrades or do upgrades come at additional cost?
- Is support available during the times you need it?
- What kind of documentation is available?
- Does more advanced assistance come at an additional cost?
Making the most of support can be a key factor that determines if you are able to successfully implement an application and how that implementation will impact your business—and whether the result will be a small ripple of benefits, a tsunami of frustration, or a mega wave of productivity.
To learn more about the support Zasio offers, browse to Zasio Support Services.