Software Support Fees

Software support fees have been sticking points with clients for years. Sometimes the value of support fees is difficult to see. Software vendors charge from a low of about 15% to a high of 25% per year for “maintenance” and “support.” Depending on what is included in “support,” this may be a good deal in the beginning. The definition of support ranges from “software upgrades and bug fixes only” (on the low end) to “telephone support” and sometimes “electronic support.” Electronic support uses a tool to allow the support personnel to connect to and resolve issues with the customer’s system. Telephone support is usually limited to suggestions for operating the software, not problem resolution. It can be difficult to diagnose software problems via telephone. This difficulty translates into cost for both the customer whose resources are tied up and the support provider.
SAP and Oracle are fighting about who gets to support old applications. In the SAP market, where products are typically highly customized and migrating to the next version can be very expensive, many clients stay on their old versions. This means that the longer the client is on the version, the lower the cost of providing service. SAP and Oracle haven’t reduced prices, though. Now third party companies that have expertise in Oracle and SAP are offering these services. Take a look at the article from eWeek to see if this issue may relate to your situation.
Oracle’s Suit Against SAP Raises Customer Concerns