Smaller third-party support vendors are generally more able to wheel and deal than, for example, the support division at Oracle, Anderman says. These companies do nothing but offer support, so they typically are more willing to accommodate your needs.
But even bigger support vendors can bend a bit if they really want your business.
Regardless of size, if you have certain demands that a support contract must meet, a vendor that wants to land that contract will try to accommodate you. If a support vendor presents you a contract on "take it or leave it" terms, your choice is simple, Anderman says: Take it or leave it.
You can also try playing third-party support against vendor support. Go to the software vendor and ask, "This is what this other company is offering me; can you come with a better deal?" Presenting a company with a credible threat of losing your business can go a long way toward convincing it to make some concessions to keep you. After all, with the support revenue stream becoming critical, even big software vendors are learning the value of losing a small piece of that revenue versus losing the whole contract to a competitor, Anderman says.
Ultimately, what's most important is that you get your software support needs covered at a price that works for you. These days, you have many more options than just your software vendor to accomplish this goal.
This article, "Is it time to switch to third-party software support?," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in enterprise software at InfoWorld.com.
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