IBM Cuts Deals To Get IBM i, AIX Shops Back On Maintenance
April 16, 2012 Timothy Prickett Morgan
If you let you the Software Maintenance, or SWMA (pronounced “swamma” in IBMese), lapse on your IBM i or AIX operating system licenses, you have to pay a big fee to get them back under support at IBM. IBM wants to cut customers a little slack, and recently modified a long-running deal from November 2008 that now allows them to finance the maintenance after-license fees.
If you extract the Software Maintenance fees from an IBM i license, then the software itself costs from $1,945 per core on a P05 machine to $53,000 per core on a P50 machine. The Software Maintenance fee costs from $1,200 to $6,000 per core per year on those machines, which entitles you to tech support calls and software patches. The maintenance after license fee (or MAL, as it is abbreviated, and very appropriately if you speak French or Spanish) runs from $2,600 to $14,000 per core to get it back on maintenance. Obviously with that charge to get current, IBM is assuming that customers lapse for more than a year and is trying to recoup the money it would have otherwise gotten had they stayed on maintenance, which no doubt will help cover the increased service costs related to getting a customer current on iron.
In any event, in announcement letter 312-046 for IBM and in announcement letter 312-045, IBM wanted to remind everyone that it does have a heart of sorts, and if customers slip out from under the Software Maintenance umbrella with IBM i or AIX, it does have a deal that cushions the maintenance after license blow a little in the first year. Here’s how the discount works:
Obviously, the sooner you get back to cutting IBM checks for Software Maintenance, the better in terms of reducing the MAL fees, and if you go out beyond a year, there’s no break for you at all. But at least now, if you are hard up for cash, IBM will let you finance the MAL charges and spread the costs out over a 12-, 24-, or 36-month term if that suits your budget better.