In the previous articles, we’ve looked at the various steps that are involved in taking a startup’s idea from concept to a full-blown digital product and then launching this product to the world.
In the 6th part of our 7 part series, we focus on the support and maintenance of your digital product and why this is crucial to your business.
SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE
Although this article is part 6 in this series, the support and maintenance is something that should be discussed and finalised in the later stages of development, to ensure that when the product launches live there is adequate support and maintenance on hand.
A support and maintenance contract is a service agreement, also known as a monthly retainer, where the client will pay a monthly fee in advance to ensure that their project is supported and maintained (for X support hours).
REASONS FOR SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE
When a project goes live there are likely to be many new users engaging and using your new digital product. With any new concept and project, there are likely to be a few users who experience problems or issues and need assistance. This is where the support and maintenance come in whereby we are able to look at the data and assist these users with their issues.
Support and maintenance is also valuable to ensure that the platform is maintained and improved constantly. With any digital product, it is never “finished”, there are always new feature requests from clients and users. The support and maintenance make provision for minor feature enhancements and also the development of system improvements.
This provides the client peace of mind that their product is evolving constantly and being improved upon, as well as if there are issues that these will be attended to timeously.
TOOLS THAT WE USE
We use central online tools to allow clients to log and prioritise SLA requests and track the progress of the various SLA items that are currently being attended to.
Our tool of choice is Monday.com which is packed with features and is really easy to use, allowing swift management of SLA items with streamlined communication all through a user-friendly interface.
This tool runs in a web browser, therefore our clients don’t need to install any fancy software applications.
WHAT IS NOT COVERED BY SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE
As mentioned previously, the support and maintenance agreement does allow for minor upgrades and improvements as well as the development of new smaller features.
However, it is important to note that major new feature requests and functionality developments are not covered by this agreement but are rather treated as separate projects.
Therefore each of these requests will have their own scope of work (the breakdown of deliverables), timelines, costs, etc.
Each project will then be planned in and communicated with the client accordingly.
BENEFITS TO THE CLIENT
Many of our startup and established clients, make use of the support and maintenance offering and have the pleasure to know that their requests, support tickets and minor enhancements are taken care of timeously.
They have the peace of mind that our development team is constantly improving the digital products, ensuring they advance their business on an ongoing basis.
Central software (Monday.com) provides clients with real time updates and statuses of tasks anytime and anywhere, when required.
Lastly, our SLA clients can take comfort in knowing that their requests will be attended to timeously as per the agreed upon turnaround times stated in the support and maintenance agreement.
It is clear that there is a definite need for a support and maintenance agreement if you are serious about your business and startup.
In the next part of this series, we look at the role digital marketing plays for startups who are looking to launch digital products into the market.