Phase 5 – Support
Empowering users and ensuring reliability
Once the software has been launched the development phase of the project comes to a close and the support and maintenance programme begins.
As you start using your software you may find that there are areas where you need further guidance on how to get the most out of the functionality or you may notice areas that you would like to further improve or tweak, its only natural if you have a bespoke developer on tap that you will want to use their expertise to further refine your system.
The beauty of the Angelfish support and maintenance programme is that you only pay for our time as and when you need it, so you get to benefit from having software experts on your team, but without having to pay the annual salaries and benefits associated with employees.
Charges for support and maintenance are split into two areas:
- A fixed price annual fee – which covers secure hosting for your system and acts as a retainer for our services to ensure our availability should you require any further programming support, technical maintenance or further development going forward. It is important to note that the annual fee specifically does not include the cost of our time for providing such support. This is quoted and charged separately.
- Ongoing support and maintenance charges – once the software has been launched any further programming time spent on the system is chargeable on a time and materials basis. This effectively means that our developers and technical support team charge by the hour for their services to help resolve any further issues or further develop the system, regardless of the nature of the issue. It is important to note that this also includes fixing or correcting any bugs in the software that were not identified during the two week testing and deployment window.
We currently have hourly fee rates for programming work (i.e. any support requiring a software programmer) and technical admin support (such as adding prices or other data to the system, investigating reported user error issues, assessing system improvement recommendations).
Regarding future invoicing for ongoing support you can specify the following:
- The approval threshold for a chargeable support task. For any task costing this amount or above we will request your approval before proceeding. For any task costing less than this amount we will proceed without approval and charge the cost to your support account.
- The support account invoicing threshold. Once your support account reaches this amount we will automatically notify and invoice you.
With both of the above parameters we can adjust the levels to suit your requirements as we appreciate that some clients are comfortable with higher threshold, whilst others prefer to be quoted for all work no matter how small
We do not include a user manual as standard with your software system. Your user manual requirements are also likely to be entirely bespoke, which is why we cannot provide 'standard' user manuals with your software. In our experience the need for a user manual and its level of complexity varies greatly depending on:
- the complexity of the software;
- the number of users;
- the staff turnover at the client company; and
- the technical capabilities of the user.
As such we will usually have a discussion with you at the outset to determine how much of the budget you want to dedicate to the development of integrated user support systems within your software. It is entirely your decision to determine budget allocation within this area, but whatever your requirements we have the expertise to provide you with well written, easy to follow user manuals, searchable user support systems or in-software hints and tips.
User support enquiries
If you ever have any ‘user manual’ type questions, or simply want advice on how to use the system we provide this service free of charge. Our email user support desk is available 9am-5pm Monday to Friday (excluding Public Holidays). In the first instance we ask that you email us with any support requirements as this gives us the opportunity to investigate any issues before reporting back to you by either phone or email as appropriate. We aim to initially respond to all enquiries within 1 working day.
Angelfish are available provide remote or on site training assistance to your team, however, this service is provided at an extra cost and is not typically included in our quotes, unless specifically stated. We have found over the years that training requirements can vary hugely depending on the size of the company, the number of users and the complexity of the software so we prefer to have a conversation with you to assess your training requirements and we can then provide you with an accurate quote on a time and materials basis.
Forward compatibility and other third party updates
When developing bespoke software it's important to set aside some budget annually to spend on ongoing annual investment to ensure that it remains compatible with any third party software and hardware updates. For example changes to operating systems (e.g. MSWindows or MacOSO), web browsers (e.g. Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, MS Internet Explorer), database architecture (e.g. ASP.net latest versions) or third party integration requirements (e.g. Merchant service providers such as Stripe and Worldpay, channel managers or OTAs such as Siteminder, Booking.com etc).
These types of system updates are specifically not included in either any initial quote we provide or in any ongoing annual fee and you are responsible for the cost of making such updates to your system.
Phase 1 - Discussion | Phase 2 – Specification | Phase 3 – Development | Phase 4 – Deployment | Phase 5 – Support | Phase 6 – Evolution