Whether you work with Worldox or PCLaw, Amicus or Abacus, Time Matters or WorkSite your firm must keep up with software maintenance & upgrades. Software if often upgraded and there aren’t any real benefits to be seen on the front end by the attorneys or paralegals but fixes may be applied on the back end for known glitches making the product more stable overall.
Often we see firms using an old version of PCLaw or Quickbooks. Be sure to check with your particular software vendor but these vendors often do not support software more than 2 or 3 versions prior. What this means is that your firm is out of luck as far a support from the software vendor as well as future patch fixing updates if you default on your maintenance agreement. This then forces firms to hire a third party Guru to fix any issues as they arise. These consultants can be expensive and unless you’re in a special situation we really do not recommend working without a maintenance agreement, relying on consultants for break/fix issues.
In Rekall’s opinion, you always want to be covered by your software vendor’s support & maintenance but we have seen situations where support is limited and cannot help with training or special circumstances. In these situations you should be looking for certified people that specialize in the software that you’re working with. Often the software vendor can guide you in this search and may have lists of local professionals. As IT professionals we have often done the leg work to find our clients software specialists with very positive results.
In the end third party vendors have their place and so does software vendor maintenance. Think of both entities as insurance against downtime. We have seen that steady upgrades over time are cheaper and cause less downtime overall than tremendous firm jarring upgrades once every few years. Finally, never forget that a piece of software is only as good as its support.