As the wave of vendor consolidations in the content management, content services and information management space continue, it’s important to be watchful for some common tactics used to maximize the value of the existing customer base that can bust your software renewal budget through balloon charges.
- Increased license renewal and maintenance fees – It is smart to anticipate that maintenance fees and license renewal charges will increase, so it is best to allow for some additional cushion in your budget planning. Keeping informed through user groups and sharing experiences with other customers will help make sure you have a sense of what to expect. It may make economic sense to migrate or cease product usage, in which case planning the timing to avoid paying for a renewal when you will not be staying on the platform for another year is critical to saving money.
- Extended support charges – Many times an acquiring company will look to consolidate users onto common applications by announcing end-of-life timelines and forcing upgrades. Those organizations that are looking to stay put on the current product while they plan a new strategy may be hit with extended support charges. Staying put and paying the additional extended support may make the most sense, but don’t forget to keep track of all of the related application, hardware and infrastructure lifecycles too. The deployed hardware systems, operating system, database and compatible software may also reach end-of-life or become obsolete. These can result in surprise costs and the need to make an urgent upgrade or migration plan. Be sure to carefully track the lifecycle of all relevant components so the plan can properly account for all anticipated costs and avoid the added expense of an upgrade or replacement crisis.
- Health checks, aka license and deployment audits – Under the guise of introducing existing customers to the new team or providing a system “health check”, acquiring customers will often be presented with an offer to come on site and meet to review the existing deployment. This really serves as an opportunity for the new software product owners to come and audit the deployment and to confirm the software hasn’t been over deployed and the footprint and components in place are properly licensed. Be cautious and wary of these free “health check” offers or “system tuning sessions”. These may serve as a distraction from the planning efforts for a migration or upgrade, proving to be less about helping you, the customer, and more about maximizing the product maintenance revenue.
These tactics are being used right now with customers deployed on legacy print stream systems which have been through acquisitions in the last 5 years. This budget and economic pain is creating interest in pursuing a new means of addressing print stream and data stream needs. When considering how to future-proof your print stream solution, modernize your systems and drive cost predictability, you might want to take a look at Viewpointe’s OnPointe for Print Stream and Image offering.