We realize that this question is often asked when a customer is looking for ways to reduce costs for themselves or for their company. On the surface, software maintenance appears to be a cost that can easily be cut from the budget. However, I encourage you to look a bit more closely at the value maintenance adds to your users and your company.
WHAT IS SOFTWARE MAINTENANCE?
I often compare software maintenance to auto maintenance. For example:
You probably get oil changes and tuneups on a fairly regular basis to keep your car in tip-top shape, right? Now, imagine if the same money you pay for your oil changes and tuneups ALSO gets you all of the latest and greatest features when they are released. Things like heated leather seats, turbo-boost, 6-disc changer, satellite radio, chrome wheels, a Hemi engine, new tires, etc., every year. Over the space of a few years, your car might be entirely different on the inside- more functional, more up-to-date, more powerful, and easier to drive. The controls might change a bit, but the frame will remain the same, and you never need to buy a brand new car.
Software maintenance works the same way! As defined by Wikipedia, software maintenance is the modification of a software product after delivery to:
- Correct faults
- Improve performance or other attributes
First and foremost, your maintenance investment goes to hiring and keeping people: software developers, Siemens support resources, your reseller’s support team. Maintenance gives you access to our Acuity support-line as well as support from the GTAC portal. But let’s break it down a bit further…
~20% of your maintenance dollar goes towards fixing problems in the software. Siemens PLM Software believes in fixing issues promptly, and, with an average of 12 maintenance packs per version of software, leads the competition in actual problem resolution.
The rest (~80%) goes to software improvement:
- New features (initiated by user input and market trends)
- Update software according to new system requirements (XP retirement, Windows 8, etc)
- Annual new version release schedule
As a maintenance-paying customer, you are entitled to all new releases of the software package upon their release. Currently, new versions of NX are released in early October; new versions of Solid Edge are released in late July. You are also able to download Maintenance packs and releases as needed, and updates will be posted to our blog upon announcement.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Having an issue with your software? Let us know! If we can resolve it internally, we will do so. If we can’t fix it, we will enlist the help of Siemens to get your problem resolved, either in a maintenance pack, or in a new version.
Want to see a new feature? Let us know that, too! We can submit as an enhancement request to Siemens for inclusion in future versions.
STILL NOT CONVINCED ?
If you are still on the fence, talk to us! There may be arrangements we can make for your needs. However, if you do decide to discontinue your maintenance contract, there are a few things you should know:
- You will not be eligible for phone support (Acuity or Siemens)
- Your access to the GTAC web portal will be deactivated
- No new features or maintenance packs available
- There may be additional reinstatement fees to renew maintenance at a later date (if your software is eligible for renewal)