Protronics offers two different support arrangements: fixed price / fixed scope; and pay as you go.
Fixed price support allows client to budget for core support costs and related services, and also us to plan our resource levels.
Pay as you go means that costs are less predictable, but also often lower. Perhaps most importantly it provides a simple mechanism for commissioning small pieces of chargeable work, and avoids endless debate about whether particular actions are within or outside the scope of fixed price support.
Over recent years there has been a rapid evolution of support, from a largely reactive service dealing with faults after they occurred to one which through planning and monitoring seeks to pre-empt problems while still providing a rapid help when problems escape and trouble business systems or users.
It is odd that that support, with all its positive connotations - "supportive", "supporter" - so commonly attracts dismay, even despair in those who call upon it. As a provider we have support staff with the right attitude ie very willing and helpful. To this they add technical capability.
The other pillar is agreeing service levels which are appropriate to business needs, and then communicating these service levels. There is no reason why most support requests shouldn't be looked at and immediately and the great majority resolved with and hour. Conversely, and bluntly, some organisations set service levels which leave the disinterested observer wondering if support is seen as important to many of their staff.
Other support providers
Not all services are popular in the UK there is one outsourced support organisation with a dire reputation, to the detriment of many families and children sadly. Indeed "support" is offered worryingly widely by government and quasi-governmental organisations, examples include the Department for Children, Schools and Families' StandardsSite and the NHS's Clinical Governance Support Team