IT firms are struggling with escalating prices of software licenses and support charges levied by software vendors. A significant share of the revenue of global giants like SAP, Oracle, and IBM flows in from the software support charges paid by IT firms. This is one of the key factors contributing to the growth of alternative technical support vendors and maintenance service providers.
The idea of relying on third party service providers for software support may seem offbeat initially. Several doubts arise when considering the third party alternative. Are third parties capable of meeting the proprietary software maintenance requirements? This is one of the primary questions most CIOs will ask.
The software life cycle challenges
The software application industry operates in a dynamic business environment marked by rapid technology changes and new upgrades. CIOs find it challenging keeping pace with these developments while ensuring optimum performance of their operational systems. Consider a scenario where a business deploys IBM software ERP application to manage its entire business operations.
Software life cycle follows a linear path beginning with the purchase of license from the vendor. The firm has selected this software application to meet specific business objectives. The vendor also provides any customization support as required by the firm. Customization of the application is a crucial requirement that cannot be compromised in any case. The enterprise identifies and resolves any system bugs. Once the initial glitches are removed, the application is well adapted to the specific needs of the business and running smoothly. Subsequently, the vendor releases new updates for their software and support services for older versions of the application is slowly phased out. The legacy software maintenance needs are widely ignored by the software vendors since new upgrades are now available.
The only option left for the vendor in such circumstances is disposing the legacy software and upgrading to the recent version. The entire cycle is repeated all over again. However, this is not a desired solution for the firm since the existing application is now stable and well-tuned to specific business requirements. IBM will not be able to provide the fixes and patches required to ensure the application keeps running smoothly for the business.
The third party software support service providers like All Blue Solutions come to your assistance. Third parties have experienced teams who have worked with the enterprise applications before and know the intricacies of the platform well. They offer specialized and skilled services required for customization and managing system configurations. Their expertise and experience in dealing with these applications adds value to your business. They not only assist you in resolving problems, they will also provide you customized solutions to your evolving business requirements. As such, you can avail the benefit of getting required patches and ensure your application remains relevant to your needs always.
Cost and legacy support considerations
One of the key factors why firms switch to third party support service providers is cost-benefits linked to such arrangements. However, if you contemplate the other factors such as maintenance and upkeep of legacy systems, the value proposition improves dramatically. Your systems receive individual attention of experts combined with the leverage of availing tailored solutions that are tuned to your shifting business needs. You are not vulnerable to the enterprise decisions of withdrawing support for older and phased out versions of the application anymore. You can still avail the benefit of access to patches and updates provided by third party specialists who will integrate it effectively for you.
Recent studies on cost benefits linked to third party support services highlight that enterprise support and maintenance contracts account for nearly 50% to 60% of the IT budget annually. Third party contracts offer a wide range of expert services at significant lower prices. This translates to reduced expenses incurred on support and maintenance activities. Hence, your savings can be channelized to fresh initiatives.
Selecting the right service provider
Third parties are giving a tough challenge to software enterprises such as IBM or Oracle. This is primarily because a lot of the enterprise customers are switching to third parties for support and maintenance that translates to loss of significant revenue for the enterprises. However, the key is to find the right service provider.
Support and maintenance contracts with third parties can be a boon in disguise provided you select the right service provider. Cost savings is good but at the same time you should know what is the scope of services available to you. The overall package and clearly defined terms in support contracts are important parameters determining the quality of services that will be available to you.
We at All Blue Solutions provide a dedicated team of skilled system specialists who have hands-on experience in working on IBM products. Contact us today to learn how we can add distinctive value to your software support and maintenance services.