Paul McCartney sings My Brave Face

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Support makes all the difference

Customer support makes all the difference for long term happiness. Yet, rarely do people investigate it before they purchase.

It is almost the norm that people buy the cheapest software or service, and then discover why it is so cheap. Rarely has cheap prices saved money. In fact, they almost always cost money due to the money lost when problems occur.

For example, I can count on one hand the number of cheap programs or services that worked well in 20 years of IT work. The ones that did work had dedicated support, and it was the support that made it work.

As an IT person part of our job is to work with the creator of the product when problems occur. Sometimes they are interested and helpful. When they are not, it becomes a very difficult job for IT. Sure you can always find a workaround, but that often creates an unsupported configuration and that is just the start of your problems. When companies don’t support their software, it often is in the companies best interest to change software. The cost of supporting a custom configuration is often much more than standard off the shelf software.

I don’t mind supporting custom configurations when they make sense. However most companies are not in the position to need custom software and workarounds. Most companies benefit more from standardization than customization. It is very common to work for companies and everything is different and unique. This is what is normal in most companies. It takes hard work to standardize things, and the easiest thing is to just keep changing things to try to make people happy.

Yes people should be happy, but part of being happy is also being able to support it. When things break, you need a rapid solution to fix it. You can have the most custom environment in the world, but if it isn’t reliable and resilient it is useless.

When custom things break and the person who did it is busy who you gonna call? As long as it is standardized you can get help from the Internet, the vendor or other IT people. That is value.

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