The Supplier shall provide the following support and maintenance services to the Customer: - Telephone support: The Supplier will provide telephone support to the Customer during Business Hours to assist the Customer with questions and issues regarding the Services. - Error correction: The Supplier will investigate and use reasonable commercial endeavours to correct any errors or issues in the Services that are reported by the Customer. - Updates: The Supplier will provide updates and patches to the Services to fix any errors, security issues or software bugs, as well as provide any general improvements to the Services as released by the Supplier from time to time. The support and maintenance services shall be provided for the duration of this Agreement at no additional cost to the Customer.
Here is a plain English explanation of the suggested Support & Maintenance clause:
This clause requires the Supplier to provide ongoing support and maintenance services to the Customer for the Services being provided under the contract.
Specifically, it states the Supplier will:
- Offer phone support during regular business hours to help the Customer with any issues or questions about the Services.
- Investigate and make reasonable efforts to fix any errors or problems in the Services that the Customer reports.
- Provide any updates, patches and fixes that improve the Services or address bugs, security issues, etc.
- Do all of this at no extra cost to the Customer, for the full term of the contract.
In summary, this clause ensures the Supplier will continue supporting and maintaining the Services they provide to an acceptable standard, without charging the Customer extra fees for this ongoing service. It aims to give the Customer reassurance that the Services will be properly supported and kept updated during the contract term.
The concept of including support and maintenance provisions in technology contracts emerged in the 1960s and 1970s as the software industry was developing.
As software programs and hardware systems became more complex, buyers realized they needed vendors to provide ongoing support to help them properly utilize and maintain these systems.
Initially, support was often provided on an ad-hoc basis. Vendors would assist customers when asked but there was no formal agreement or process. This resulted in inconsistent and unreliable support. To address this, buyers started demanding formal support and maintenance be included as part of their contracts with tech suppliers.
By the 1980s and 1990s, support and maintenance clauses had become a standard part of most IT procurement contracts. They evolved from simple clauses stating the vendor will provide basic support, to much more comprehensive provisions detailing specific service level agreements, response times, escalation procedures, etc.
The development of support contracts reflected the maturing software industry. As programs became more sophisticated and mission-critical for buyers, high-quality ongoing support became essential to realize the full value from software investments.
Formal support clauses gave customers recourse to demand sufficient vendor assistance. Today support provisions are considered vital in technology contracts to safeguard customers' interests in our increasingly digital world.