It is very likely that the products you purchase today will come with some sort of maintenance agreement attached. The agreements can be attached to hardware, software, or both. From time to time customers get comfortable with the solution they have and fail to see the many benefits of maintaining their support contract. Firmware upgrades, new features, access to support, hardware replacement, and hardware refresh are some of the main reasons why maintenance agreements should be maintained. There are two main struggles customers face with maintenance agreements.
The first struggle is justification. How can you justify the expense of the maintenance agreements? The way it should be approached is by looking at the technology and determine how critical it is to your environment? If that piece of hardware dies, or that piece of software stops functioning what is the business impact? Can the business operate without these services just as effectively as it can with these services? More often than not, the piece of hardware or software in question is critical to the customer’s environment and should be renewed. Some vendors, such as Barracuda, will send you a brand new device at no additional cost after 4 years of the maintenance contract being in place. So in this instance, how can you afford not to keep maintenance on the device?
The second struggle is simply keeping track of these agreements. Agreements can exist on switches, firewalls, access points, software applications, Cameras, Servers, laptops, desktops and SAN’s. As a result, the list grows quite quickly. To add complexity, most of these items will expire at different times and possibly different years. Furthermore, some devices could have an EOL (End of Life) announcement and who is going to be responsible for looking at these technologies and carving out a migration plan? Imagine a scenario where a maintenance contract is overlooked on a core switch and doesn’t get renewed. Out of the blue the switch decides to take a nosedive. You call into support and tech support tells you “Sorry your maintenance contract expired and without that you are not entitled to support.” Now you have to purchase a maintenance contract in the middle of an emergency. That is the last thing you want to deal with while your entire site is down right?
M.A. Polce has a dedicated renewals team that can proactively make you aware of maintenance agreements coming up for expiration and make you aware of any products that are announced EOL. When M.A. Polce maintains your maintenance agreements, it allows you to focus on more pressing tasks and not get bogged down with monitoring maintenance renewals and EOL items.