We all get the notices. “Dear Customer, your maintenance agreement is expiring in 90 days”, “Dear Customer, your maintenance agreement is expiring in 60 days”, and so on. Where do these emails end up? Usually deleted or ignored until it’s too late. In my 7 years of IT consulting, I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve had a customer call and say “I have a down device, let’s get a replacement in here.” Most of the time, it’s not an issue but Murphy’s Law says that the one device you didn’t renew or forgot to renew, will be the one to go down.
Keeping track of your all of your maintenance agreements can be a daunting task as well as a very low priority. However, the importance of staying up on these contracts can be worth thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars to your organization. For example, the average cost of a 1 year maintenance on a core switch can be around $800 or so. Should that core switch go down and your business cannot operate until the replacement goes in, can be worth much more than you paid for that 1 year agreement. And of course, we can never put a price on keeping the boss happy by having that agreement in place as opposed to multiple days of down time. So take it for what it’s worth, but I would highly recommend that you go through an audit of all of your maintenance agreements (both for hardware and software) to ensure that you’ll be covered in case of disaster. You don’t want to be the one holding the bag of no maintenance contract when that vital unit goes down.