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Keys to the Kingdom

One of the most frustrating things a customer deals with is when they purchase a device or software service and the vendor tries to keep the administrator password.  Generally vendors keep those credentials for a couple of reasons.

The two main reasons are insulting to the customer.  Either the vendor assumes the customer can’t be trusted with their own purchase and they don’t want to be bothered with “cleaning up their mess” or they plan on forcing the customer into using their services after the original sale for a price.  Either way, it’s basically a hostage situation.

When negotiating to buy software or software driven devices be sure to include the “Keys to the Kingdom” in the discussion.  You are paying for it.  Make sure you get it.  If the vendor refuses then you are better off to pay a little extra to a company who will.

Also, make sure if service after the sale is something you want to have, get it in writing what it will cost and how it is structured.  Whether its pre-purchasing time or a yearly agreement that covers certain things, get it in writing and use the service.

Be hesitant to do anything based on an hourly rate for management services.  Vendors can nickle and dime you to death for that.  Good ones won’t.  Paid hourly services should only be for when things go very wrong and the vendor will need to create a software solution or replace hardware.

Regardless, get a service agreement in writing so you know exactly what you can expect for your money.

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