software maintenance

Did Someone Break Something ?

Lexis Nexis’s Adoption of an Annual Maintenance Plan (AMP) for Time Matters, PC Law, and Billing Matters was, and still is a touchy subject.  While some firms didn’t even notice the change, others refused to pay, and needless to say it created issues.  In this article I will outline what the AMP is, what has changed and what it means to your firm.

Essentially the maintenance plan is a service contract with Lexis Nexis for technical support, upgrades, and training material.   An Annual Maintenance Plan is becoming a more and more common occurrence in the Software arena as companies struggle to keep a relevant product line in an extremely volatile marketplace.  The short story of what the Annual Maintenance Plan means to your firm is:

Users who have purchased an Annual Maintenance Plan have access to:

  1. Free Upgrades to New Software Releases
  2. Free Bug Fixes.
  3. Access to 24-7 Technical Support

The sneaky part of that statement is that users who do not, or did not pay for the Annual Maintenance Plan Cannot:

  1. Call technical support (for anything).
  2. Install bug fixes (even for their current version).
  3. Install security patches.

Lexis has changed the policy even further in the new Release of Time Matters 11 to go as far as to deny access to the release entirely unless an Annual Maintenance Plan is purchased.   The addition of Time Matters Mobility in Time Matters 11 at no addition cost to users who have an Annual Maintenance Plan is an attractive reason to reconsider.  Full explanation of Annual Maintenance Plan pricing and penalties for users who did not purchase the plan initially can be found here.

As a consultant it puts me in the difficult position of middle man.  Lexis Nexis wants me to talk you into purchasing the Annual Maintenance Plan.  You want to have working software.  I have already had several clients call me who do not have Annual Maintenance Plans (and refused to purchase them) where the issue required intervention from Lexis Nexis and it has gotten messy.

The Bottom Line

My experiences have led me to the conclusion that if you wish to continue using Lexis Nexis Products in the future, you are going to have to purchase an Annual Maintenance Plan; it is as simple as that.  If not you need to go to an alternative route, period.