Companies Say Software Support Is Satisfactory
March 22, 2010 Timothy Prickett Morgan
IT shops surveyed by market researcher IDC tell the company that they are pretty pleased with the level of hand-holding they get from them for their enterprise software.
IDC yammered with more than 1,000 IT professionals worldwide to reckon how well or poorly their software providers did in giving them support when things went awry, as always happens with software, of course, and rarely with hardware. As is IDC’s wont, it makes reports out of survey results and then charges money for them after giving away a taste for free. You can get the support report, called IDC Customer Satisfaction Study: Top Performers in Enterprise Software Support Services, at this link if you want to shell out $500.
Elaina Stergiades, the senior research analyst for software support services at IDC and the author of the report, says that IT staff polled by IDC have a “high level of satisfaction” for the support they get from the top five enterprise software vendors they deal with. Ranked in order of satisfaction, but not size, were Hewlett-Packard, followed by Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and IBM. IDC did not elaborate on how the other players in he software racket did or describe how even these five vendors were ranked. And it did not differentiate the vendors by what kind of software the support was provided for. But IDC did point out one important aspect of software that often gets overlooked at the front end of a software deal.
“The reality is that the majority of an enterprise’s experience with a software solution will occur after the implementation is complete and, given the complexities of enterprise software, typically lasts for five to ten years,” explains Stergiades. “As a result, software support services should be a key consideration when enterprises are evaluating software for mission-critical processes.”
Of course, if getting feeds and speeds and prices for competitive hardware is relatively easy, and problematic for competing software products, getting a good sense of how software support–or indeed, any kind of service in the IT racket–stacks up against the competition is damned near impossible.
Which is why we keep companies like IDC, Gartner, and Forrester Research, among others, around. It is also why companies join user groups and online communities relating to their primary application and systems software, if they exist, and spend time with their colleagues sussing out support issues.