Continuing our series of posts discussing Documentum and Alfresco, the following offers a brief summary of support offered by both Documentum and Alfresco.
EMC offers a number of support options for software customers –Enhanced and Basic, which extends to both EMC hardware and software products. Basic support provides 5×9 support with various response times ranging from 2-12 hours depending upon the severity of the case. Enhanced support provides 24×7 support with response times ranging from 1-10 hours depending upon severity of the case. EMC does offer a Premium support model, but seems to be targeted much more to hardware customers.
In addition to the support options, EMC provides a number of personalized options such as a designated support engineer and developer support for customization / development assistance. For larger installations supporting multiple applications, the value of having a dedicated support engineer vs. “gambling” from a pool of support engineers can be valuable.
EMC Product Lifecycle support provides primary support for more current versions of Documentum for about 3 years, and then goes in to an extended support period. Customers are required to pay an additional fee for extended support, which gives them incentive to upgrade to new releases prior to a product going into extended support. Extended support is usually offered for two years past the primary support period, with no hot fixes provided in the second year.
EMC Powerlink is the customer facing portal to access support, documentation, support notes, software downloads, and support forums. Early iterations of Powerlink inundated Documentum customers with a lot of hardware content, but over the years has improved and allow users to navigate directly to Documentum related content.
Alfresco’s commercial open source business model is centered on providing customers annual support based on an Enterprise edition of the Alfresco platform. The obvious difference between closed source vendors is there is no charge for the actual software. Purchasing an Alfresco Enterprise Subscription provides customers with the following benefits:
- A commercial open source license on the Alfresco Enterprise Platform.
- Access to Alfresco Technical Support via e-mail or phone.
- Access to maintenance updates and hot fixes.
- Access to all new upgrade and major releases.
- Access to the Alfresco Network, a dedicated support portal providing access to support, software downloads, documents, and a searchable Knowledgebase.
Alfresco provides two SLAs depending upon client needs, Gold and Platinum support. Gold Support provides 9×5 support with 4 hour response time. Platinum Support provides 24×7 support with 2 hour response times. There are differences based on severity of case.
A relatively new support offering from Alfresco is the addition of a Technical Account Manager (TAM) , providing dedicated support to customers. TAMs provide named resources to a customer, providing account management of support tickets and escalations. Additional benefits annual on-site visits to provide technical architecture planning and roadmap review.
Alfresco also provides a fairly active discussion forum, which does not require a enterprise subscription to participate in. The Alfresco Network, released last year, is exclusive to enterprise customers and does provide access to a growing knowledge base and the latest software documentation.
In summary, both Alfresco and Documentum do provide similar levels of support required for Enterprise customers. Both offer similar SLAs based on client needs. Although EMC Documentum has long offered additional features such as dedicated support engineers for larger clients, Alfresco is continually improving and adding options, such as TAMs, to further assist enterprise customers.
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