Software maintenance programs refer to regular software updates, modifications, bug fixes, patches and the addition of new features to existing software solutions to increase performance. Depending on the software vendor, these maintenance updates may need to be scheduled between the vendor and your business, or they may happen automatically. A good software maintenance program not only keeps the application in warranty, but it also provides you with peace of mind that you’re always using the latest and greatest technology and that you’re always covered for bug fixes without having to pay out of pocket. Why is Software Maintenance Important? It should be obvious from the description above, but software maintenance is an important part of managing your business and operational systems. Having software that is always up-to-date helps you to react quickly to new opportunities and threats. Software maintenance programs will include regular upgrades that address common issues reported by other software users, as well as feature requests from customers and changing industry trends. As technology and the business environment continue to change at unprecedented rates, it is important that your business is always taking advantage of the newest technology and software trends and that your software matches the requirements of the time. Learn More About the Importance of Software Maintenance When evaluating different software options for your business, keep in mind that each software vendor will include its own version of a software maintenance program which can significantly vary in terms of services and costs. Therefore, it’s important to always check with your software vendor to make sure you understand what you’re paying for and what their software maintenance program includes. Blue Link ERP – Software Maintenance Program Blue Link’s cloud-based ERP software includes a maintenance program that provides customers with annual upgrades and keeps the application in warranty. Below we answer some common questions around our maintenance program. How Often Are Maintenance Upgrades? Blue Link maintenance upgrades are scheduled for once a year; however, you have the option to skip 1 year in the case of extenuating circumstances. By upgrading our customers every year, this ensures we are able to provide you with the highest level of customer service as our support team and developers don’t have to try to support old versions of the software based on outdated technology and fix issues that have been addressed with a newer version. It also means that you’re always using the newest and best version of our software. Even though you receive an upgrade once a year, internally, we are constantly updating the software, and so customers may be on a different version of the software depending on when their upgrade is scheduled/delivered. How Are Maintenance Upgrades Scheduled? We work with your business to schedule your annual maintenance upgrade based on what works best for you. Usually, this means you will receive your upgrade around the same time each year, and even though upgrades cause minimal business disruptions, we work hard to avoid scheduling upgrades during your busy season. To further minimize business disruptions, upgrades happen after hours and not during business hours and then you become a priority for our Help Desk team the morning after as an added service. What About Customization? One of the benefits of Blue Link ERP is our ability to customize the software to meet the specific needs of each of our clients. When it comes time for your annual maintenance upgrade, all customizations are reapplied to the newest version at no additional cost. This is an important consideration when choosing a software vendor as some will not upgrade your custom work or they will charge an additional fee to do so. Is Training Included? Because we are providing our customers with regular maintenance upgrades, there is no additional training required when you receive the newest version of Blue Link. Instead, we provide detailed documentation on what has changed from one version to the next and will provide supplementary training videos and documentation where appropriate. What is the Cost? For Blue Link hosted (cloud-based) customers, the costs of our maintenance program is built directly into monthly license fees. This means maintenance upgrades are covered as part of your regular monthly fees giving you a predictable cash flow. Want to learn more about Blue Link ERP software? Download our Blue Link Buying Guide.