Being on Sustaining Support means (a) you’re paying maintenance and support fees, (b) you’re getting a lower level of support service, © you’re not getting fixes for any new bugs that you might find, (d) you’re running a version of the software that Epicor thinks is “out of date” but (e) you do have access to future releases.
Your ERP system IS meeting the business needs.
If the version of Epicor ERP (Vista or Vantage) you’re running IS enabling you to meet your current business objectives and your future growth plans then that would imply that you’ve already got all the fixes, or have implemented all the workarounds, that you need. And that you’re not contacting the Epicor support organisation.
If this is your business, then you should be asking yourself:
- What are we getting for being on sustaining support?
- What would the risk be to the business if we stopped paying for support?
- How long are the underlying technologies (e.g. Windows Server, SQL Server, etc.) going to be supported for?
- What’s it going to cost for us to “re-purchase” the software when it can’t meet our needs and when is that likely to be?
- What would the returns be if we invested the ERP software maintenance and support fees elsewhere in the business?
The answer to the why question will depend very much on your individual business circumstances, however, if you’re in sustaining support then you should be asking yourself these types of questions regularly and well before the software maintenance renewal notice lands on your desk (if I remember correctly, you need to give Epicor 90 days notice of any changes to your support and maintenance agreement).
Keep in mind that the sustaining support fees are very valuable for Epicor; they’re probably collecting the same fees as if you were using a current version of software and they’re doing a lot less for it. All of which means that they’re going to put up a lot of reasons why you should keep paying. Some of those reasons may be valid for your specific business, and others are certainly going to be to sow Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.
Your ERP system is NOT meeting your business needs.
If the version of Epicor ERP (Vista or Vantage) is NOT enabling you to meet your current business objectives or won’t help you achieve your future growth plans then you need to make a change. While it is easy to blame the ERP system for not supporting the business, the real issue is probably that the business has left the ERP implementation behind.
In this case, the questions to ask include:
- What will my business look like in 1, 3 or 5 years?
- How do / will my customers, and suppliers, want to interact with my business?
- How will my employees want to work with the ERP system?
- Can my key business processes be improved?
The last ERP implementation may have been a painful experience but that doesn’t mean the next one needs be. However, putting it off could be.
Do what is right for your business.
Sustaining Support means that at best you’re paying the same to get less, and that is NOT good business. Doing nothing doesn’t make sense, so take a hard look at what your business needs and make a change. Your options include:
- Continue running and don’t pay.
- Optimise what you have to get more out of it.
- Upgrade and get a system that is in line with the current and future needs of your business.