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Software Support / Maintenance Contract


Licences for business systems, especially the larger and more expensive ones, will usually be priced such that an annual support and maintenance agreement is incorporated, in additional to the software license agreement.

The price of such contracts will vary, but it is not unusual to see an annual figure of between 15% - 20% of the original software license fee. The support contract should offer a level of support in response to problems and issues, and specify precisely how such responses will be dealt with. Where such response is seen as critical to your organisation's business operation, you should consider a separate Service Level Agreement, in which specific metrics will be incorporated.

The 'maintenance' side of the agreement should specify the nature of such maintenance. For example it might specify that "clients will receive a minimum of two maintenance releases per annum which will include general software fixes together with general enhancements". To prevent expectation mismatch, it is suggested that you speak to a current customer of the system, who has some experience of the vendor's support and maintenance contract. Where this is not possible, seek tangible evidence of that which has been delivered over (say) the previous year.

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