1 Enterprise Software: A Journey, Not A Destination The Core Value of Maintenance Contracts This paper describes how enterprise software is unique from other company assets and why the maintenance contract is the optimal way in which to buy. It concludes by detailing PTC s specific maintenance offering.
2 White Paper Maintenance Contracts Page 2 of 10 Executive Summary The Nature of Software Software is Different Dynamic Requirements and Drivers Business Needs Technology Infrastructure Technical Improvements Continuous Improvement There is a Cost PTC s Maintenance Program Key Benefits Protects and Enhances Your Investment Keeps Systems Running and People Working Makes Management Easier than Ever Offers the Level of Support You Need For More Information Get the Precise Level of Support You Need Planning for Upgrades Maintenance is the Right Path Benefits Partnership Risk Management Protect Your Investment Pooling of Risk Financial Argument Plan for the Long Term Maintenance Costs Less Over Time Cash Flow: Predictable is Always Better than Variable
3 White Paper Maintenance Contracts Page 3 of 10 Executive Summary In terms of driving productivity advancements, enterprise software can be a manufacturing company s most powerful asset. But since it is purely an information-based product, enterprise software differs substantially from most other capital assets that a typical company purchases. With a unique evergreen model that enables continuous incremental enhancement in response to dynamic business and technology drivers, software gives rise to a different cost model, a different pricing model, and a different way of delivering value. Because software is so fundamentally different, it is important that a purchaser s initial license investment continues to pay productivity dividends well into the future, even as underlying business needs and technology infrastructure evolve. The unique attributes of software suggest that a different, but more efficient, transaction model is appropriate one which should be executed not through a one-time purchase, but through an ongoing relationship that is defined by a maintenance contract. Maintenance contracts offer a series of benefits to buyers who, in turn, make nominal annual payments to the vendor. While maintenance contracts vary from vendor to vendor, they typically offer a variety of benefits such as: Immediate shipment of new product versions and upgrades Access to multiple forms of customer support (e.g., telephone hotlines, , Web-based libraries of helpful information) Quick remedies to technical problems And more Those customers who are active on maintenance form a stronger partnership with far better access to software developers for activities such as scoping future product enhancements or diagnosing critical problems. In addition, these maintenance contracts help to further the initial software investment by pooling the necessary costs of software evolution and innovation across many companies with similar needs and interests. Finally, financial analyses demonstrate that purchasing software licenses with an associated maintenance contract represents a significantly lower total cost of ownership than is associated with a recurring license-only purchase model. PTC offers an industry-leading software maintenance program that is designed to ensure that our customers continue to maximize the return on dollars invested in our software. Because the world of technology is always advancing, customers who stand on the sidelines may soon find themselves at a distinct disadvantage as their solution fails to keep pace with changing business needs. The PTC maintenance program is designed to keep our customers productive and competitive in the most cost-effective and low-risk manner possible. The Nature of Software Software is Different Software is costly to produce but cheap to reproduce. 1 To an economist, this means that software vendors have extremely high fixed costs but almost no marginal costs. It is these economic characteristics that set information-based products like software far apart from traditional physical products. In producing traditional products, manufacturing costs are incurred as labor and raw materials are consumed; there is a variable cost with each additional unit of output. Software, on the other hand, does not display such a matched balance between inputs and outputs. Instead, it requires a large initial input of labor to produce the first copy but little to no additional raw materials are required to produce each additional copy. Recently, the advent of the Internet as a software distribution channel has taken this dynamic one step further by bringing distribution costs down to a negligible level as well. However, software can be costly to deploy at the customer site, especially at an enterprise level. Enterprise software deployments typically involve infrastructure investments, a degree of business process reengineering, and organizational change management to ensure user adoption and subsequent realization of productivity gains. As a result, costs associated with switching from one solution to another can be relatively high, as compared to the amount of capital invested in the initial software purchase. Still, a company s business needs and technology infrastructure are continually evolving. As markets mature, companies specialize and evolve toward horizontally integrated business models; a critical process that was purely an intra-enterprise matter may now become a complex inter-enterprise concern. Information technology infrastructure is constantly improving to accommodate faster and more cost-effective computing systems and networks. New business models and new threats combine to place a premium on security, driving continual re-evaluation and restructuring of information technology assets. The bottom line is that software that isn t flexible enough to accommodate these changes can lose its value overnight, leaving companies confronted again with the prospect of disruption and enormous switching costs. The unique characteristics of enterprise software high development costs, low distribution costs, high deployment and switching costs, and dynamic business and technical requirements naturally combine to drive an evergreen model of incremental software development as well as a corresponding business relationship between the vendor and customer to match. Software companies that have invested to develop a valuable initial product continue to enhance that same product to keep up with dynamic requirements for new and existing customers. Thanks to a unique distribution model, via the Internet, these new enhancements are easily distributed to existing customers, where they can be incorporated into current deployments to maintain the viability of the deployment by keeping it aligned with dynamic requirements, thereby avoiding the costs and disruption associated with starting over on a periodic basis.
4 White Paper Maintenance Contracts Page 4 of 10 Dynamic Requirements and Drivers Given the nature of business today, the way in which software delivers value is constantly changing and evolving. This change is driven by the fact that specific information has different value to different people at different times, as well as changes in three key drivers: Business Needs why software is used Technology Infrastructure how software is used Technical Improvements which influences who uses software Business Needs Technology-driven globalization and a natural maturing of industry have driven widespread change across business. New markets have been created, new competitors have appeared, and new ways of creating value and transacting have sprung up. For example, manufacturers are seeing trends like outsourcing, lean engineering and manufacturing, designanywhere-build-anywhere (DABA), and others that did not exist even 10 years ago. As the economics of business evolve, companies too must adapt their processes for creating value and wealth, or risk obsolescence. Technology Infrastructure The technology industry is also continually evolving and adapting as opportunistic specialists uncover better ways of solving problems and boosting performance. In the area of infrastructure, models have evolved from the mainframe, to client-server, to multi-tier to Internet. Mainframe Source: Goldman Sachs Research Client Server Client Processing Data Web Services In operating systems, proprietary software like VMS yielded to UNIX, which in turn has ceded its domination to Windows, which is now being challenged aggressively by Linux. While UNIX was powerful and stable, Windows delivered many of the same attributes in a simpler package and at a lower price point. Linux is but another chapter in the same story. The computer industry is a telling example of this change. The graphic below illustrates how, over time, this once tightly integrated industry matured and fragmented as specialist firms chased profits by focusing on more and more specific value opportunities. In time, the foundations of initial growth became commoditized and it also became clear that no single firm could be good at every stage of the production value chain. Likewise in the database arena, the once-dominant Oracle has been effectively challenged by IBM, Microsoft, and now open source varieties. In each case, the new provider offered more functionality at a cheaper price. In addition, open source vendors have exposed the application s source code to enable more robust customization and integration options. 2 Technology is always changing and companies will want to take advantage of those changes in order to be more competitive. Where in 1960 companies like IBM, Control Data Corporation, and Digital Equipment Corporation did everything from product design (hardware and software), to assembly, to sales, to field service, it soon became too much for one firm to profitably manage and specialists began to capitalize on the opportunities that these massive enterprises had overlooked. Microsoft is one such firm that specialized first in operating system software and later in applications and, because of that focus, has now become one of the largest corporations in the world. What this more specialized and fragmented industry structure has meant is that power has diffused as value creation has migrated away from the few initial leaders of the industry. In light of that migration, cross-company collaboration has become necessary, complex, and difficult and more important than ever. Accordingly, technology vendors must monitor and assure compatibility with a variety of different infrastructure and software platforms. Company shifts in strategy regarding operating systems, databases, Internet, and web infrastructures are common and natural. Many times these strategies yield significant benefits in terms of adding new capabilities, other times a drive to standardization yields infrastructure cost savings. Either way, those same changes may incapacitate an otherwise effective enterprise software solution unless provisions exist to move to newer or different versions of the same underlying software to maintain compatibility with the newer infrastructure. Technical Improvements As technology vendors continue to make improvements to their products, customers seeking cheaper, faster, higher quality, and more efficient ways of doing things adopt that technology at all levels of the technology stack. In the ideal case, a reasonable incremental investment pays for itself by delivering increased efficiency within just a few months. As the natural progression of technological improve-
5 White Paper Maintenance Contracts Page 5 of 10 ment advances, those who do not adopt more modern technology will invariably be left behind. They will find themselves in a position where they cannot easily collaborate with customers and partners because they have failed to keep pace with changes in business processes, file types, communication protocols, and use of networks. Given the natural maturation and fragmentation of most industries, it is rare to find a company that does not have to interact with other participants in its value chain. In many cases, it is the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) at the top of the industry that sets the pace for technology adoption throughout the remainder of the supply chain. The economic principle at work here is called the network effect. It dictates that the value of a network is proportional to how many other users are on that network the more users, the more useful the network. While this is readily apparent with networks like the telephone system and the Internet, collaboration networks (i.e., groups of people using the same software, for example) demonstrate similar principles. For example, the more people that use Apple s Macintosh computer, the easier it is to exchange files and tips with a broader group of people and the more encouragement it gives software developers to write applications for the Macintosh platform. 3 The opposite is true as well, and Macintosh computers are sometimes discouraged or relegated to small niches in companies simply because they lack effective interoperability with the mainstream operations of the business. Continuous Improvement Software vendors must react to change on many different dimensions, always working to ensure that their product remains compatible and effective despite the fact that the technology infrastructure and other aspects of the external environment are continually changing. If that weren t enough, customers aggressively demand a continual improvement in capabilities, quality, ease-of-use, performance, etc. As customer business problems get more complex, the software that addresses those problems must continually adapt, improve, and ideally, simplify. An Enterprise Software Model There is a Cost But there is a cost to meeting this continuous demand for improvement innovation is expensive and it forces software vendors to make tradeoffs between delivering new products or capabilities and supporting existing software that is widely deployed in the field. As a given software release ages, it becomes increasingly expensive to support. Over time, the code in the current release of the product begins to diverge substantially from the older release making it more difficult for vendors to go back and work in the older environment. With fewer and fewer customers utilizing old releases, the profit potential of continued support diminishes. This is an example of the down-side of the network effect where the value of the software to both the users and the vendor diminishes as fewer and fewer users remain. Vendors who walk a delicate balance between continuing to deliver cutting-edge software applications and providing effective support for older releases of the software typically publish guidelines indicating various timeframes when support for older releases will end. Customers must realize, too, that they need to keep their environments reasonably current or they risk accidentally disconnecting from the evergreen model and its advantages. Ever-changing infrastructure and customer needs coupled with economics that support incremental product releases and updates have yielded the current enterprise software business model of one-time license and ongoing maintenance contract payments. Those customers that pay maintenance are typically entitled to customer support (e.g., telephone and/or Web knowledge base), maintenance builds of the software correcting issues identified post-release, and all future new releases of the product assuming that they stay current on their payments. In this way they can upgrade their software with relevant maintenance builds that incrementally improve their software as each new release is launched. Even beyond any single software vendor, the principle of continuous improvement holds true because it is ultimately driven by market needs. The Linux phenomenon is a good example. In this case, independent developers are given full access to the source code of this operating system and are free to submit improvements at any point in time... and they do. The code base of the Linux kernel has grown steadily from 10,000 lines of code in 1991 to over one million lines in Therefore, companies who rely on Linux for critical business applications have an implied maintenance contract and are motivated to improve it themselves when shortcomings are identified. Payments are effectively made in kind as developers donate code that they have created to the common code base. Though many companies still purchase support for their Linux implementations (e.g., from Red Hat), they also incur an added cost of maintaining a deep level of technical capability regarding Linux to ensure they have the ability to address significant concerns that may arise in the face of changing requirements. Likewise, commercial software vendors also are motivated to continually and incrementally improve their proprietary applications and focus those investments on the specific business needs and communities they address. Whereas Siebel Systems focuses on customer relationship issues, SAP focuses on enterprise resource planning issues, Ariba focuses on enterprise spend management issues, and PTC focuses on product development. Most commercial software companies dedicate substantial
6 White Paper Maintenance Contracts Page 6 of 10 professional development resources to incremental improvements and related maintenance activities. Because most commercial software applications are used by smaller, more specialized communities of users (compared to general use of Linux, for example), those users must collectively fund the cost of the improvements that are necessary to continually evolve the software in response to business needs and technology drivers. By amortizing the maintenance costs over a broad base of users, enterprise software companies charge each customer a tiny fraction of the true cost of the ongoing development effort. Planning for Upgrades Given that most companies value the innovation that comes from adapting and improving technology, the informed customer understands the natural evergreen model and plans for future upgrades even when initially purchasing enterprise software. That customer understands that, in evolving fields of technology, each subsequent release will continue to get better at addressing business needs; adopt an increasing number of positive new technology infrastructure components; and incorporate technical improvements that both deliver new capabilities and improve existing ones. In addition, a smart customer realizes that his purchase is not a one-time, isolated event but instead views it as the start of an ongoing relationship with the software vendor. Knowing that you will transact over and over again with the same vendor means that there is opportunity to eliminate switching costs as well as to remove recurring transaction costs. In this way, the customer benefits by paying a lower total software cost over time and the vendor benefits by removing significant transaction costs like negotiation and other aspects of the sales process. Maintenance is the Right Path When you know that you will be using software over an extended period of time (versus an isolated transaction) maintenance contracts become an effective and efficient way to transact. So what exactly is a maintenance contract? It is an arrangement where a customer who has purchased a software license agrees to make a series of smaller, ongoing payments in exchange for a string of tangible benefits; including access to all future releases of the same software modules. In most cases, the annual maintenance payment is a percentage of the original license fee. Today, most maintenance payments range from 15% to 25% of the original license fee and are paid annually. For customers who pay maintenance, the process of evaluating each new software release to determine whether it is worth paying incremental license fees is made simpler there are no incremental license fees. Of course they must still consider upgrade costs (e.g., new infrastructure, services, business process change) but because they are active on maintenance contracts, they can adopt the new release with controlled license costs and maximum flexibility. Benefits Typical enterprise software maintenance programs offer a variety of valuable benefits to customers. These often include items such as: Continued Access to Software Upgrades: As discussed above, software s continual evolution implies an ongoing stream of new product releases. These can be both proactive and reactive. Upgrades are proactive releases; they are planned releases of next-generation functionality and improvements that have been strategically conceived and delivered by the software vendor. Hot Fixes and Service Packs: Reactive releases are known as hot fixes, service packs, maintenance-only-releases (MORs), patches, or downloadable software updates (DSUs). They are all designed to remedy technical issues that have been identified since the last release of the software. Reactive releases are necessary to maintain quality standards while allowing great deployment flexibility. In many cases, hot fixes are made in response to macro environmental changes that did not exist when the last release was distributed. For example, a new virus or worm that exposes a formerly unknown vulnerability or a modification that is made to underlying infrastructure such as the operating system, application server, or database. This type of fix does not warrant an entirely new release but does merit a targeted remedy to ensure customer uptime. Comprehensive Product Support: While vendors make best efforts to make software generally easy to adopt, each individual customer environment is different. Given the magnitude of investment made in software technology, it makes good sense to educate users and ensure that they are achieving the intended productivity gains as promised by the software. At a minimum, most vendors deliver telephone and Webbased support in varying degrees or availability (i.e., 24 x 5, 24 x 7) and responsiveness (i.e., all calls returned within 24 hours ). Beyond that, face-to-face training sessions are offered and sometimes dedicated account managers are deployed to ensure personal attention. Collaborative User Forums: Software vendors derive most of their best ideas from users. For this reason, they host regular meetings where users gather to discuss relevant topics that relate to using the software. These forums are a chance for users to voice concerns, offer suggestions for future functionality, interact with other users to share experiences, and learn new ways of enhancing their own software experience. Partnership Given that enterprise software vendors derive most of their product enhancement ideas from customers themselves, software development should be seen as a collaborative partnership. Customers often ask for more than a software vendor, who has limited resources, can deliver. But through the process of qualification and negotiation they arrive at product specifications that meet the most important needs of both sides.
7 White Paper Maintenance Contracts Page 7 of 10 Being an active maintenance customer makes a company a more valuable partner to the software vendor because they are more likely to be running current versions of the software. Those customers who are running outdated releases are less able to comment meaningfully on future enhancements because they are not well-versed in the most current, already-available enhancements. Collaboration is improved when both parties are starting from the same place. Risk Management Any time a major investment is made, risk is introduced. Will it work? Will a positive return-on-investment be realized? Was it worth it? Maintenance is an effective way to contain that risk. Protect Your Investment Companies that view their business processes (e.g., product development, order administration, sales, warranty service, etc.) as strategic will invest in them accordingly. Software is both a direct and indirect expense. The direct cost of the licenses, maintenance, and related services is often large in and of itself. In addition to these direct costs are the indirect costs of training employees, embedding the software into core business processes, etc. All of these create enormous switching costs that make changing to another solution an expensive proposition. Assuming that the initial decision to select a given technology vendor was well-founded, it only makes sense to ensure that the relationship with that vendor remains productive. Maintenance is the best single way to ensure the health of this relationship and as the adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A great example of this concept at work in more traditional industries is Caterpillar Inc. s field service program, which it uses to successfully differentiate itself from aggressive competitors. 5 Caterpillar machinery is expensive it represents a major capital asset to its customers who must ensure a return on that investment this means that reliability is critical. In many cases, customers will pay a premium for a machine that they know will perform in the field. Most of Caterpillar s customers are asset-intensive industries (e.g., mining, construction, forestry, etc.), which, due to extremely high initial investment costs, stand to lose a lot of money quickly if their equipment does not perform. To ensure reliable operation, Caterpillar has instituted a proactive maintenance system that hinges around a series of electronic sensors placed on the machines. These sensors notify a central data center when particular parts of the machine need to be replaced and/or upgraded. Once this is known, Caterpillar contacts the customer and suggests the appropriate service. This system ensures that Caterpillar s customers stay productive by helping them to proactively maintain their machines before a breakdown occurs. Software is no different. A proactive approach will help ensure that the initial investment continues to produce a healthy return over time. Pooling of Risk By joining the community of maintenance-paying customers, you are effectively pooling your risk with all the other members of that community. For example, if a customer identifies an issue with the software and the vendor publishes a patch to address it, the entire community benefits by avoiding this same problem. Such issues could include enhancements made to underlying architecture (e.g., operating system, application server, database, etc.), resolutions to defects, etc. In each of these cases, the user expects the application vendor to take action to address the issue. The cost incurred by the vendor to address a particular issue is usually many times the amount that any one customer pays in maintenance so, in this way, maintenance is an efficient way to pool risk and share the financial burden. All maintenance-paying customers receive these maintenance builds immediately instead of having to wait until the next major release. Financial Argument Most business decisions must be made to ensure performance over time this is certainly true of financial decisions that involve the capital budgeting process. The goal of making these decisions is often to minimize cost and, at a minimum, make those costs predictable. Incurring costs is never desirable but the blow can be softened when the magnitude and timing are understood in advance. Plan for the Long Term Enterprise software is a strategic purchase. In many cases, a customer is making a commitment to a particular vendor by choosing to invest in their technology. When this is the case, the customer should approach the relationship with an eye toward the long term. Assuming that the software vendor continues to deliver quality products, the customer will want to remain with them to minimize switching and other nonproductive costs. At the point of the initial transaction, the customer can choose two basic paths: buy the software license alone or buy the license with a maintenance contract. While the lower perceived cost of license seems like the best option, the actual cost contains a significant risk component. The customer will likely have to buy the licenses again when a business or architecture condition changes and they choose to upgrade down the road. As discussed earlier, maintenance is a means of protecting against change and the unknown elements of the future.
8 White Paper Maintenance Contracts Page 8 of 10 Maintenance Costs Less Over Time Looking more closely at the distinction between perceived and actual costs, it is useful to review an example that compares the models of: The repeating license purchase model (i.e., no maintenance contract) The initial license plus maintenance purchase model The following assumptions apply: Analysis time period: five years Customer upgrade frequency: every three years Initial software purchase: $500,000 Maintenance charge: 18% of license Three percent discount rate (the approximate long-term rate of inflation) As the chart below shows, the maintenance option is more economical in addition to being a better way to manage uncertainty and risk. The license-plus-maintenance option costs almost $62,000 (8.4%) less than the recurring license-only option. This analysis does not even begin to consider the considerable switching costs involved in doing a radical upgrade to a different package or even from a software release that is more than one version prior than the current. Nor does it consider the business disruption that may be associated with a software solution that no longer works due to changes in the business environment. Switching costs can dwarf software license outlays by a factor of 10:1 or more. Cash Flow: Predictable is Always Better than Variable In addition to costing less, the maintenance model has another financial advantage predictability. By purchasing maintenance, the customer is protecting himself by controlling future cash outlays to a predictable amount. Given that initial license purchases are frequently large, one-time, capital expenditures, they require careful consideration and are usually part of a complex budgeting and capital outlay process. Maintenance payments, on the other hand, are smaller and paid annually. They are usually budgeted as an operating expense and more easily justified and processed by the customer. For planning purposes, repeating, predictable, smaller cash outlays are always preferable to large, unpredictable expenses. Once again, because change is a fact of business, maintenance is the most effective way to protect against the potentially high cost of addressing that change in the future. PTC s Maintenance Program Knowing that enterprise software has a unique business model and understanding why maintenance is the most effective way to maximize the value of enterprise software purchases, PTC offers several best-inclass maintenance program options. PTC invites customers to choose the maintenance support level suited to their individual needs and budget. An affordable basic package provides software updates, 24-hour Web-based support, and timely phone responses. When uptime is critical, PTC offers priority response, 24 x 7 phone support even an assigned Technical Support Account Manager or Dedicated Technical Support Engineer. Whatever the situation, PTC offers a broad array of maintenance offerings to suit every need and budget. Key Benefits The PTC maintenance plan: Protects and Enhances Your Investment Automatically receive new releases that have been enhanced with the latest technology Get fixes as soon as they are available Exclusive access to package upgrades that include added functionality at significant savings It is also important to note that customers who are active on maintenance realize continuous value through steadily improving software performance, quality, and functionality during the term of their agreement. The ongoing delivery of these new attributes, provided to customers via maintenance version release levels, directly and steadily improves user productivity, which leads to an ever-increasing returnon-investment. Keeps Systems Running and People Working Up to 24 X 7 support available in multiple languages Worldwide ISO 9001 certification means high-quality service Award-winning Web tools provide updates and alerts Online Knowledge Base provides quick resolutions
9 White Paper Maintenance Contracts Page 9 of 10 Makes Management Easier than Ever Business Asset Summary Web Tool helps you manage licenses, orders, maintenance information and more Self-service Web tools log and track support calls Update Advisor tool helps you identify needed releases Offers the Level of Support You Need Choose from two levels of maintenance support and optional services Add an assigned Technical Support Account Manager (TSAM) Get full-time access to a Dedicated Technical Support Engineer (DTSE) Receive Weekend Support For More Information To obtain more information regarding PTC s market-leading maintenance program and the core value that it represents to your company, please visit the Maintenance pages on PTC s Website at 1 Shapiro, C. and H.R. Varian. Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy, Harvard Business School Press, 1999, p. 3 2 Kirkpatrick, David. How the Open-Source World Plans to Smack Down Microsoft, and Oracle, And..., Fortune, February 23, 2004, p Shapiro and Varian, p.13 4 Professor Alan MacCormack, Lecture: Leading Product Development, Harvard Business School, July 11, Fites, Donald V. Make Your Dealers Your Partners, Harvard Business Review, March-April 1996, p.88 Copyright 2004, Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC) All rights reserved under copyright laws of the United States and other countries. Information described herein is furnished for informational use only, is subject to change without notice, and should not be construed as a guarantee, commitment, condition or offer by PTC. PTC, the PTC Logo, The Product Development Company, Product First, Create Collaborate Control, Simple Powerful Connected, Pro/ENGINEER, Wildfire, Windchill, Windchill PDMLink, Windchill ProjectLink, Windchill PartsLink, Windchill DynamicDesignLink, and all PTC product names and logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of PTC and/or its subsidiaries in the United States and in other countries.
10 White Paper Maintenance Contracts Page 10 of 10 Get the Precise Level of Support You Need: Automatic Software Enhancements and Updates Gold Silver (MCAD products only) Automatic shipment of new releases Within 10 days Within 30 days Maintenance releases and fixes Yes Yes Significant discounts on functional software package upgrades Yes Yes Real-Time Support Gold Silver Technical support access Weekdays, 24 hours Weekdays, 8 A.M. to 6 P.M. Phone support response Within 1 hour Within 2 hours Weekend Support (2 x per year)* Yes Gold Desk Priority Support Yes 24 x 7 Technical Support Optional Assigned Technical Support Account Manager Optional Dedicated Technical Support Engineer** Optional Online Self-Service Support Tools Gold Silver FAQs, techniques and instruction Yes Yes Technical Application Notes (TANs) Yes Yes Technical Points of Interest (TPIs) Yes Yes PTC s supported hardware and software configuration information Yes Yes Support call logger and tracker Yes Yes Request software products and track order Yes Yes Update Advisor Yes Yes alerts about new issues via Knowledge Base Monitor Yes Yes Technical documentation Yes Yes License Management tools Yes Yes Business Asset Summary Web Tool Yes Yes i*center productivity learning sessions Yes Yes Automatic subscription to newsletter, PTC Express Yes Yes Customer Configuration Profile Yes *Weekend Support must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance **Dedicated Technical Support Engineer one per product area located at a regional PTC Service Center 507-MAINTENANCE-WP-0404