We have discussed the importance of renewals on your software licensing contracts, but you must also take into consideration that support and maintenance contracts must also be renewed. Take Oracle, for instance. Too often, companies wonder why they weren’t alerted that their support and maintenance contracts expired and action was required to renew. They had to kiss their well-negotiated Terms & Agreements good-bye. The truth is…it’s not Oracle’s responsibility to remind you.
Think about it like the warranty on your new car, if something goes wrong and your warranty is expired, it could cost you in a big way. Most companies will purchase support and maintenance together and directly from the manufacturer. Some will purchase these from outside companies, depending on what cost comparisons they can offer. They are typically 1-3 years in length, with the bigger discounts given for the longer term contracts. Obviously, compliance issues do not come into play here if a maintenance contract lapses, but the cost of a fix or upgrade can often exceed expectations, and sometimes even be more than the original cost of the software. Some vendors will demand that support and maintenance be valid for the life of the software – this you have to watch out for. In this case, if the contract lapses, there may be a penalty to bring the support back to that product from the vendor. This is why you must always read your contract!
Your support and maintenance needs aren’t likely to vary, unlike licensing needs, therefore managing this process is much simpler, but equally as important!