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					What About Ongoing Maintenance
& Support For My New LIMS?
         If you buy an item from
                                              Y    ou have a significant investment in time, money and training. You must support that
                                                   at least until you have gained a good feel for the system’s reliability, performance and
                                              maintenance requirements. That means include at least one year Maintenance, Support, and
   the electronics department at
                                              Warranty (MSW) in your figuring. Some vendors even require it, with that charge built in to
                                              the cost of their LIMS. SaaS hosted LIMS include it in their regular subscription and most or
  Wal-Mart you may or may not                 the onsite subscriptions do too.
                                                  So when comparing, remember to figure a year’s MSW in the purchased license pricing
    decide to buy the additional              versus subscription. And while you’re at it, figure your IT costs, database/OS and hardware costs
                                              and depreciation/replacement as well (those are built into a SaaS hosted subscription).
warranty and support they offer.

    If you buy a LIMS there is no

 question: to decline the annual

      maintenance, support and

  warranty—at least for the first

      year—would be madness.
                                              If You’re Handy
                                              LIMS vendors are often very willing to work with labs who have their own skilled and
                                              qualified developers to arrange cost trade-offs for functionality. If you are capable of
                                              developing new custom functionality within the LIMS, you may be able to barter that for
                                              MSW costs if it is good enough to integrate into the COTS (Commercial Off-The-Shelf) LIMS.
                                              Some LIMS companies are also looking at open source style marketplaces where customers
                                              and anyone else can develop functionality and sell to others.
                                                                                                                                      Page 1 of 2
                                               LIMS Book & Buyer’s Guide, 2nd Edition
                  © 2006-2011, Laboratory Informatics Institute, Inc. • DO NOT reproduce or distribute without author’s permission.
How much?                                                 How long should I continue support?
Typically annual Maintenance, Support and                 Many labs will reason that support is important during implementation and probably
Warranty is priced at 15% of the LIMS license             for the first year but after that, they consider most of the bugs have probably been
for a level commensurate with the size of                 worked out, and the lab is reasonably stable and comfortable with the system and
the implementation. For instance, an MSW                  its operation. So maybe after the first year or two they can drop the expense of the
at 15% of a 5-concurrent user LIMS may                    annual maintenance.
include something like 2 to 6 hours of support,               This line of thinking may apply to laboratories that are static and are not changing or
whereas the MSW for a 10-user LIMS may                    growing. However, if your lab changes, grows or has to adapt to customer needs then
include anywhere from 8 to 18 hours. There will           your LIMS will need to adapt as well. It is important to continue your maintenance,
probably be a minimum annual rate for each                support and warranty contract to avoid ending up with a system that has a short life.
category of coverage. The rate at which services          This will keep you from having to go through the LIMS purchasing process every 5
are charged may also decline with greater levels          years. If you have selected wisely, you have a LIMS that is flexible and rich enough in
of coverage. Generally figure anywhere from               functionality to last for perhaps a decade, or even longer, perhaps indefinitely.
$125 hr to $195 hr.




                                                          How do I compare SaaS hosted MSW & purchased MSW?
                                                          You’ll want to do a projection of MSW cost over the time period that makes business
                                                          sense for you, perhaps five or ten years. The vendor or vendors you are considering may
                                                          already have that figured and even charted for you, so ask.




                                                                                                                                             Page 2 of 2
                                                      LIMS Book & Buyer’s Guide, 2nd Edition
                         © 2006-2011, Laboratory Informatics Institute, Inc. • DO NOT reproduce or distribute without author’s permission.

				
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