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(16-Jul-10) Software support—upgrades, new capabilities, patches—come from the vendor. That’s the way it’s always been in the industry, although in other realms, people and companies are free to buy services from whomever they please.

Some independent companies have found a niche in product updates that they can do as well as the software vendors, without any need for access to source code. A number of customers have also decided they no longer want to pay the high prices of software support from the manufacturer. The two groups have come together for mutual gain, infuriating the vendors. There are plenty of risks, but using third parties for product maintenance can greatly benefit a customer who is happy with the current product version and sees no need for new features.

Two Types Of Third-Party Software Maintenance

Gartner Research defines two types of third-party software maintenance. One type is what Gartner calls application and support, says Bob Igou, research director for software support services at Gartner. “This is about a part of the application that’s been developed by the customer. That maintenance can be done by the customer or a third-party maintainer.”

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Search Code: 37342
Published: July 16, 2010
Last Revised: November 26, 2010

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