Software Application Support and Maintenance
In the late 1970s, a famous and widely cited survey study by Lientz and Swanson, exposed the very high fraction of life-cycle costs that were being expended on maintenance. They categorised maintenance activities into four classes:
The survey showed that around 75% of the maintenance effort
was on the first two types, and error correction consumed about
21%. Many subsequent studies suggest a similar magnitude of the
problem. Studies show that contribution of end user are crucial
during the new requirement data gathering and analysis.
Software suport and maintenance is important because it consumes a large part of the overall lifecycle costs. Furthermore, the inability to change software quickly and reliably means that business opportunities are lost.
Software development and support of software over the past twenty years, as predicted by Edward Yourdon's seminal 1992 book "Decline and Fall of The American Programmer", has seen a key migration of support services to external providers located in parts of the word that that provide the cheapest resource. From offshoring to nearshoring to reshoring, from co-sourcing to hybrishoring, experiences of service provision in software support have been variable. Offshoring and its variant combinations has suffered from logistical issues, time zone issues and cultural barriers increasing leading to the overall degredation of the experience and end result.
Dunstan Thomas’ support services range from standard third party software support all the way up to full 24x7 helpdesk facilities. Dunstan Thomas are able to provide a flexible support arrangement including T&M, Fixed Price or Call Off to ensure that the most cost effective commercial structure is put in place and we are able to perform to our customer’s unique Service Level Agreement (SLA) requirements.
Transition of services
Dunstan Thomas has extensive experience in managing support projects and understands the complexity of outsourcing software applications. It works with its clients throughout the transitional period to ensure effective knowledge transfer, embedding itself with the customer for a period of on-site deployment to gather the appropriate level of product knowledge initially. Dunstan Thomas is also sensitive to the HR issues, has expertise in HR legislation and employment transfer procedures that can be present during transition its consultants always act in a professional, empathetic manner whist working at client sites.
Dunstan Thomas has a support team that can provide 24/7 support globally.
Online support through a dedicated support website
Each client is provided a dedicated client support extranet, that provides a knowledge bank of articles, FAQ, tips and tricks as well as a place for users to collaborate with the support team on issues and requirements.
We have an in depth knowledge of a wide range of development platforms as displayed below:
As Delphi specialists and partners with Embarcadero, Dunstan Thomas provides expertise in supporting Delphi applications across all versions, as well as transitioning systems from Delphi to other environments.
Legacy systems and technology
Dunstan Thomas helps clients with legacy software systems to devise software support roadmaps. These enable creation of structured migration paths to newer versions of a software platform, operating system or database. It is also able to offer an insurance policy within agreements to maintain a technology roadmap and avoid third party software support issues. Finally, Dunstan Thomas can build enhancements to legacy software to provide for change requirements or new legislation. Dunstan Thomas is also a Delphi specialist with a strong partnership with Embarcadero and provides expertise in supporting Delphi applications across all versions.
Dunstan Thomas has provided outsourcing services for software support and maintenance since 1986. With ever decreasing IT budgets and legacy technology becoming harder to support internally, outsourcing has become the cost effective method of supporting internal applications. From its support base in Portsmouth, it uses remote connections to its customers’ sites to support a range of applications across a wide choice of software development platforms. Dunstan Thomas offers a comprehensive support infrastructure which can be tailored to each customer’s requirements ensuring that development teams replicate their environment as closely as possible.
Despite the risk that will arise over time, many businesses have justification for keeping a legacy software system, such as:
- Cost and ROI – re-writing a system in newer technology is not cheap
- "If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it" - the software is doing the job and replacement cannot be justified
- Stability – the software has become stable and works well
Outsourcing your software support can have the following key benefits:
- Reduce total cost of software support and increase product lifetime
- Free internal resources to work on new software development
- Avoid internal resource being trapped on legacy technologies
- Improve customer experiences through rapid turnaround of support issues and changes under defined service level arrangements
Dunstan Thomas partners with global energy company to outsource the support of its mission critical IT platform to provide 24/7 global support. Read more...
- outsources the support of its mission critical IT platform to provide 24/7 global support