chapter  76
Evaluating Vendor Support Policies

The primary criteria for selecting communications equipment are usually current and future user requirements and the performance characteristics of the hardware and software. However, vendor support services (both before and after installation), hardware maintenance contracts, software maintenance practices, and training programs may be just as critical to the system’s success. Buying a system on the basis of hardware and software performance alone, without considering the support services the vendor offers, can be precarious. Vendors often market products and services separately, so asking vendors to submit a quotation schedule with their bids will help to clarify the actual support services they offer.