Don’t Pay Maintenance–and Use the Money For?

June 29, 2009

Top 10 things to use the money for, once you stop paying maintenance.

10. Reducing the backlog at internal support. This doesn’t take much money, of course, since you’re already saving the hours your people had been on hold waiting for the software company to answer.

9. First-Aid. You know all those open, raw spots in your current installation, the ones you hoped would be fixed by the latest version, if you could ever get it installed? Take charge and fix them, ’cause now your former supplier ain’t gonna do it. You’d be surprised what rudimentary first-aid tools can do: a few user exits, a virtual machine for low-profile Java apps that the exits talk to, a little user training, a few reports. You’ll get people back to the front in no time.

8. Raises. You know life just got easier. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use some of the money to reward your staff for all the effort they put out over the years dealing deal with your former supplier.

7. Shutting down the patch testing environment. Of course, once you do that, you have even more money, so…

6. Buy something you couldn’t afford. Go on, live a little. Here are some suggestions…

5. Invest in mobile. Every one of your executives wants cool stuff on their iPhone (or an iPhone if they don’t have it). Make yourself a star. Give it to them. They’ll go to their graves believing that IT support improved on the day you stopped paying maintenance.

4. Invest in the cloud. Face it. With the end of enterprise support, you don’t have an excuse not to do development that you can’t afford to do. So start by reducing the cost of development. With EC2 or Force.com or Rackspace, you can suddenly start doing it right, that is light and cheap.

3. Don’t invest in social networking. But do take the shackles off. Spend a little, tiny bit of money encouraging people to figure out what they ought to be doing with these new tools (if anything). And maybe use some of the tools to help everybody keep track of the efforts.

2. Return some of the money to the CFO. He or she has been walking around the halls looking for some spare change. Now you can reach in your pocket, pull something out, and feel good for the rest of the afternoon.

1. Hold a check-burning party. Write out 10 of those big checks made out to whoever it is, go out to the parking lot, and reduce them to their constituent elements. Hint: bring some beer.

Got your own suggestions about what to do with the money? Add some comments here.

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3 Responses to “Don’t Pay Maintenance–and Use the Money For?”

  1. Oracle Guy Says:

    Dust off your resume. Because you’re going to need a new job when it becomes clear that your decision to cancel maintenance on a critical application has jeopardized the company’s success.

  2. toppundit Says:

    Interesting comment, certainly defensible, if a bit strong. But even more interesting is the question of who is talking. The author identifies himself (or herself) as Oracle Guy and left an Oracle e-mail address with the blog software that I’m using. However, possibly unbeknownst to the author, the blog software also identifies the author’s URL. And that URL belongs to SAP Labs. Naturally somewhat puzzled, I sent an e-mail to the author’s putative e-mail address, which bounced.

    So explain this to me, Mr. Oracle Guy. Why don’t you want to take responsibility for the comment? And since it’s surely not possible that you work at SAP Labs–the people who do work there are pretty smart, and especially after the TomorrowNow experience, they all have to know not to do anything this silly–where do you actually work? Looking forward to a response.


  3. so this is what’s it come down to. “Value selling” for maintenance is threats about losing jobs if you do not renew.

    If an auto company threatens you with car problems if you did not buy their extended warranty, how many class action suits do you think would result?

    I raise the auto example because repeated Consumer Reports surveys show independent garages which service high-end European and Japanese cars have better customer sat and cost less than the official dealers.


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