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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Computer Maintenance Strategies: Is a Fixed Price Affordable?

While not all areas of the computer services business work well with a fixed price strategy, computer maintenance contracts are a part of your business that work well with that technique. Time and materials pricing is usually better for you, but clients are more receptive to fixed price computer maintenance contracts.

If you operate on a price-fixed computer maintenance agreement you need to cover certain items to protect yourself. Protection means writing a very air-tight computer maintenance agreement. Provisions will prevent mistakes by the computer guru (your go-to guy). The computer guru will undoubtedly expect you to come out and do computer maintenance on items you didn’t expect and shouldn’t be spending any time on because they were not broken initially.

Avoid the Risk and Address Questions with Computer Maintenance Agreements

Your computer maintenance agreement must be a solid document. The following issues should be considered when you draft your fixed price agreement for computer maintenance.

1. Will you include training?

2. Are you accountable if an ASP stops working?

3. Are you accountable for company expansion?

4. Are you responsible for disasters like fires or floods?

5. Do you need to do computer maintenance if someone unwanted hacks into the system?

6. Are you responsible for ISP or phone company outages or web and email hosting company issues?

7. Does your computer maintenance agreement include office politics-related issues?

8. Are cover patches, updates and upgrades included in your computer service agreement?

9. What is the policy on pirated software?

10. Do you have built-in computer maintenance time to fix errors or negligence issues created by the internal guru or other users?

11. What if the system is internally sabotaged, there is a theft or users download unauthorized software?

12. Do your computer service maintenance agreements cover viruses and worms?

Before you offer price-fixed computer maintenance, think about all the above issues. If you don’t account for as many scenarios as possible, clients with fixed price computer maintenance contracts will hold you responsible for everything that goes wrong. You can’t afford to take all this on yourself, so you have to really consider all your options.

Blogged By: Computer Consulting Kit