Now is the time to call your support agreements something other than support and make services other than help desk/ break-fix be the focus of those recurring plans. You are offering recurring agreements to customers, right?
For MAS90 we are largely over the complex upgrade hump so creating an “access agreement” where you:
– provide x on-site planning and strategy meetings – up to y product update installs – up to z version upgrades
This is our “special sauce” that will keep out most competitors who don’t have a local presence.
Our strength = local
Not every customer is looking for that. But the good ones worth pursuing are.
This is our wakeup call. Software publishers have been up front about wanting to sell premium support
This will be helpdesk/break fix.
I believe most publishers will be successful but only on the smaller customer.
If we continue selling “support” then the publisher can and will compete aggressively and start winning against our own offerings.
They will also compete on the remote access component.
The time is now to pivot and begin including on-site services as that has been the silver bullet few larger organizations have been able to match (see ePartners initial failed plans and ultimate
collapse sale et al).
When large organizations try to get local with smaller MAS90 type customers they have proven again and again that they fail.
It is way too expensive for publishers to field a local consulting force (even if outsourced) since managing this is prohibitive when typical projects are measured in days and not months.
If you are looking at creating support offerings — include some local component and brand these offerings as other than support so that the customer doesn’t think they need to select between you or the publisher.
In 2012 the ability to be face to face with a customer will run rings around any publisher’s offerings. Be sure you exploit that.