6 Replies Latest reply: May 15, 2014 10:16 AM by Olly Bond RSS

    Maintenance Contract

    elginreigner _

      I have just been made aware of the maintenance contract. No representative has attempted to contact me regarding this. I found out as I have user in my department tried to sign up for the forums, but was denied a user as we dont have a maintenance contract.

       

      I am still on v10.5, our testing of v11 ended up being slower.

       

      Can someone explain why I would even want maintenance?

        • Maintenance Contract
          Olly Bond

          Hello Elgin,

           

           

           

          Maintenance is there to give you two things - support, and upgrade protection. Support pays for the first line phone and email support in the Philippines, who on the few occasions I've had to ask them have been very helpful. Incidents that need to get escalated to the developers - the few I've heard about - do seem to get prompt attention also. Upgrade protection is there because you will need it one day. Most Monarch users get data into Excel, which changes versions every few years. So does Windows, and so does the underlying database engine that Monarch runs on. Throw in the updates to the .NET framework and WPF and Silverlight and all that, then you will at some point need to run a newer version of Monarch to get it to work.

           

          There are two ways to upgrade - through maintenance, when upgrades are free - and through paying the upgrade price - these days $1000 per user or so? - and through buying new versions. In the old days when I was selling Monarch in the UK, new versions appeared every 2-3 years, and the upgrade charge was set too low ($250 or so) and maintenance was $100 or so per year, so many customers didn't bother paying for it. In the financial crisis of 2008, a lot of customers needed to make savings and software maintenance was a pretty easy budget line to cross off. I know a few good folks at Datawatch back then who lost their jobs as a result of companies making those savings.

           

          The result is that a lot of users don't have maintenance, and no-one seems to have rung up the customers and tried to sell it to them. Nowadays Monarch costs $2000 to buy new, and I don't know what deal you'd get on an upgrade from 10.5 to 11.8. If you want to use desktop automation, since 11.5 that costs extra, as Datawatch are trying to encourage customers to migrate away from desktop automation to the server-based DataPump solution. I can see why that makes sense - for Datawatch but also for customers - but this is quite a journey for a lot of customers to embark on. If you'd like to have an unbiased chat about it, please drop me a line.

           

          Best wishes,

           

          Olly

            • Maintenance Contract
              AlexM _

              Hi there,

               

              I too find Datawatch's direction somewhat mystifying as they've a number of loyal Monarch users who are obviously keen to see the product develop and, depending on budget and need, would be agreeable to stumping up for maintenance and support but there's not been any communication on this since v11 was released. I'm extremely grateful that as a beta tester, there are certain contacts I've been in touch with who have helped get me to v11.7 but it's only through the forum that I've found out that v11.8 has now been released and I now need to contact them again! From a practical point of view, how difficult can it be to proactively announce patches and make the process of acquiring them much simpler?

               

              On a related note, has anyone had any problems opening up Excel 2013 (32-bit) files using v11? I can't seem to find any queries on the forum relating to this which means I'm either alone with this issue or ahead of the game...

               

              Alex

                • Maintenance Contract
                  Guy Chowning

                  I have been a forum member for many years and never new we needed a maintenance contract to be a member? How does one know if they have one because I did not know I had one?

                   

                  Thanks

                  Guy Chowning

                    • Maintenance Contract
                      Olly Bond

                      Hello Guy,

                       

                      If you try to register for these forums as a new member, you are asked to quote a Datawatch support contract number.

                       

                      This change was introduced a year or so ago, silently. Existing members were unaffected.

                       

                      Best wishes,

                       

                      Olly

                        • Maintenance Contract
                          Guy Chowning

                          Thanks Olly,

                           

                          I did receive a replay from:   [FONT=&quot]Mark C. Burns[/FONT][/B][FONT=&quot]

                          Account Manager[/B][/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]

                            Federal-South East-Mid-Atlantic[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

                          [EMAIL="Mark_Burns@datawatch.com"]Mark_Burns@datawatch.com[/EMAIL]

                           

                          He said now customers would now receive an annual bill for this. Mine was about $343 for a single copy of Monarch Pro. They should have sent out a mass email advising their Customers of this change but unfortunately did not.

                           

                          Best Regards,

                           

                          Guy Chowning

                          /B[/FONT]

                            • Maintenance Contract
                              Olly Bond

                              Hello Guy,

                               

                              Charging 20% of a new licence price for maintenance (including upgrade protection and support) is about standard for the software industry. So with Monarch costing $1500-$2000 for a single user copy, that sounds about fair.

                               

                              I've dealt with better vendors (well, vendors with more transparent pricing and more pro-active communication) and alas, some worse vendors (where features, contacts, support arrangements, licence terms etc are all changed silently).

                               

                              As we move towards SaaS (software as a service) as a standard licence model, I think vendors are having to up their game a bit.

                               

                              Best wishes,

                               

                              Olly