It’s become standard operating procedure to offer maintenance contracts on a variety of electronics that we purchase. Maintenance and warranty offers extend far beyond cars, televisions, and appliances.
You have already committed to buying the product, and that extra 2 year warranty just seems like added expense that is unnecessary. Most of the time, you can get away with saying, “No” to maintenance fees on small appliances, but when it comes to skipping maintenance on higher price tag items, there are many reasons to reconsider.
Most of us take our vehicles for regular oil changes, and scheduled maintenance. Vehicles are too costly to skip the maintenance that keeps them running properly. Another reason to maintain your vehicle is to keep from being stranded and broken down calling the tow truck. The time that is lost with a broken down vehicle cannot be recuperated and is frustrating, not to mention the expense.
ERP software is very similar to a car. It is the vehicle that takes your company from point A to point B. So, if you let the maintenance slip on your company’s vehicle, you could find yourself stranded and needing a very expensive tow.
Once a manufacturer invests in ERP software, the reality of the cost of installation and software services settles, it is clear that services and maintenance are an investment. Unfortunately, when it comes time to look at the company budget, maintenance is often a line item that has a question mark next to it.
Here are some things to consider before you cut the maintenance and support on the vehicle that drives your company:
· Vendor delivered patches, security patches, or hot fixes may no longer be delivered.
· You may need a new source of payroll, tax and regulatory updates.
· You will no longer have the right to upgrade to new releases of your ERP software
· Support services may be cancelled
These items represent hard costs to your business. Unless you have the technical expertise on staff to support the software, you will need to consider whether or not you can do without the services that maintenance provides. And if you do have the technical expertise in house, consider whether or not you will be able to continue hiring people with the skills to maintain your aging ERP software.
Another consideration is the dreaded software audit. Software audits have increased across the board, and you need to decide if you have the ability to accurately maintain license counts, or if you are going to risk it.
Before striking the maintenance and support line from your budget, make sure you are considering the true costs of dropping your software maintenance.