Recently a new discussion about BMC’s support was opened in ARSlist. It was about the quality of the support provided by BMC and the related cost. The conclusion of most of my colleagues is very similar: Support is expensive, it has a low quality, but you are forced to buy it.
First, the license maintenance model of BMC is closely related to its support. In fact, you can’t buy or maintain licenses without contracting the support. Since it is insane to try to work without the license maintenance, you are forced to buy the support, even when you don’t need to use this support.
Going without license maintenance
What do you loose if you go without license maintenance. First, you loose access to Remedy documentation, white papers, know errors. You bought the product, but seems that you only bough the product, not the documentation. So you’re access to documentation is lost. So, you need to read the guide about SSO integration, published before you ended your maintenance contract, and you can’t access it.
Also you loose the right to download updates. This is normal and expected. When you buy Windows 7, you don’t expect a free update to Windows 8.
Finally you loos the right to patches and fixes. Summarizing you loos your guarantee of a free-of-errors software. You bough a malfunctioning product, and you can’t download the fix. Despite this fact can be considered illegal at some countries (At European Union you are forced to provide two years guarantee), it’s unmoral. Imagine that Microsoft would charge you for the windows updates, monthly. The product has a defect, but to fix it you need to pay an extra fee. There is no new functionality on patches or fixes, it is just solving what you sold initially broken.
Since you can’t go live without the patches and fixes, since you can arrive to some day where some error compromises your system, you can’t afford being without support.
Quality of support
Let’s talk clear, BMC’s support is slow and not always solves your problem. One year ago, a client almost executed an deployment SLA on me, because some functionality (regarding approvals) was not working correctly because of a defect on the product. BMC’s took more than three months solving the issue. That’s not acceptable.
Also, many times the go and back of messages for resolving the case is to much, asking you information that they already have.
When a customization is inside the problem, they usually respond that the support doesn’t cover your customizations.
Finally, some community forums (like ARSlist) are far much better that BMC’s support for resolving your issues. They are quicker, and provide you with a better solution, since its members are much more qualified than the support staff.
Forced for live
You can’t choose not to pay one year and the contract support for the next. If you don’t pay a year, you are force to pay it backwards before contracting support for future years. I must pay for something that won’t be delivered.
As always, BMC demonstrates an attitude that takes profit of its position over you. If you buy its product, they control the situation, because you can loose your investment if you don’t follow the rules. Maybe, some year ago this could be the best choice. But now there exist the Internet and the social network tools and everything is known. Maybe some future customer will read this post before choosing its IT service manager tool, resulting in a lost client after considering this new aspect. BMC, think about it.