What often comes as a surprise to many clients is the yearly ongoing cost of Business Objects support. This normally comes in at 20% of the licence cost and provides access to Business Objects support.
Many clients question whether it is worth paying the yearly fee for support, particularly if they haven’t make use of it during the year. A number of clients have stated that they make use of the excellent and independent Business Objects forum, or if the problem is particularly tricky or time critical, call in a consultant as and when a problem arises.
What is often overlooked however, is that the yearly fee entitles you to free upgrades to the latest releases of their software. You can argue the case that your company is perfectly happy on the current release of the software. However, at some stage, Business Objects will stop supporting old versions of their software. There is also a case to be argued that you don’t want to be left behind with the latest features, or give your competitors a reporting advantage.
I personally would prefer it if Business Objects would split the support and maintenance fees and give their customers a choice. Those that want official Business Objects support, can elect to take it and pay the relevant fee. For those that don’t, they are free to choose third party support or use the various forums. With regards to major releases, if the company feels that it gains value from a new release, then it can pay the relevant upgrade fee. This seems a lot fairer to me.