Typical cost of software support / maintenance


Does anyone know of a study / resource / website regarding the average cost of software support / maintenance for a given software package? We are curious if there might be some industry standard or known value for what is typically charged for software support. I know this is a broad topic and subject to each company and software function, but I'm curious if someone might know of more details to help figure out what's appropriate and see if we are over paying.
WPI HelpAsked:
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WPI HelpAuthor Commented:
Yeah, not so much.
Well, I don't think you are going to really find anything.  Each vendor charges their own way.

Some vendors prices look high (say like IBM) when compared to equivalent products from another vendor (say like Microsoft).  But you have to compare apples to apples.  IBM's "maintenance" costs include maintenance and support.  If you have a problem you can call IBM and get support.  Whereas MS's maintenance typically does not include support, you have to pay for that separately.

Then you have how they charge.  Some charge per concurrent user, some charge per user, and some charge per installation.  The different between per user and per install is:

  per user - one person with multiple computers but only running one copy at a time is charged for a single copy
  per install - one person with multiple computers is charged for each copy installed period, even if the only run one copy at a time

Then you have server software.  Some is based on concurrent users, some is based on total possible users, some is based on a 'per box basis', some is based on a per CPU basis, and some is based on a processor "rating."

Example:  IBM has what it calls processor units.  A single core Intel CPU is 100 processor units, a dual core is 50 units per core - total of 100 units for a single dual core, and a quad core is 50 units per core - total of 200 units for a single quad core.

Then there is the size of your organization.  Some companies will charge you less "per license/unit" the more licenses/units you have.  

I don't know the name of any off hand, but there used to be a few companies that would come in and review your support and licensing contracts and to help you identify if you were being charged too much, the "norm", or if you had a real good deal.  They have the information you are looking for, but they keep a tight hold on it or they would put themselves out of business.

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