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Telephone System Maintenance Agreements

A maintenance agreement is a document that lays out the terms and conditions involved in keeping your phone system up-to-date and operating at full capacity. These contracts are typically negotiated as part of the installation of the system but can also be adopted years later with legacy phone systems, such as Samsung. Maintenance agreements have a set time line and are most critical after the manufacturer's warranty has expired; however, even during the warranty period maintenance agreements can lower your overall cost of ownership by setting a fixed cost per month for routine software updates or minor programming changes.

These binding agreements cover things like obligations, restrictions, recertification, cost and payment, service fees, taxes, and warranty information. They also delineate general provisions and limitation of liability clauses. At ABTS, our goal is to ensure that our customers' communications function at the highest possible level. Maintenance agreements ensure that both new and legacy systems operate a peak capacity. These agreements reduce organizational costs, minimize the risk of downtime, and gives your business a single point of contact for all communications issues and improvements.

The ABTS Difference:

ABTS offers comprehensive maintenance plans that will save you money and deliver a fully customized program. Our maintenance agreements are customized to fit your business needs.

We offer a variety of maintenance agreements that will fit the unique needs of your business. All of our maintenance customers enjoy 24-hour emergency response, monthly backups and patches, and basic over-the-phone technical support. Tier 2 customers will receive assistance in dealing with carrier outages and service as well as guaranteed 48 hour response to non-emergency service requests. Tier 1 customers get platinum level service with the fastest response times, unlimited changes, training, and support, and guaranteed "parts-on-hand" for critical system components.

All Maintenance agreements cover:
  • Parts, labor & drive time*
  • Preventative maintenance
  • Software updates & patches
  • Remote programming & support*
  • Monthly backups, stored at a secure location
  • Over-the-phone training for administrators and end-users*
  • Priority service over other requests
  • Covers server, phones, voicemail, and other related systems

*Service tier determines how much of these resources are included
SERVICE TIER 1 TIER 2 TIER 3
Monthly & Annual Service      
Monthly backups, patches, and updates
Annual consultation on system performance, user activity, and new feature availability    
Bi-annual assessment of ROI and cost-savings recommendations    
On-Site Service & Maintenance      
Priority dispatch over non-contract customers
Covers labor, time, and materials needed to resolve issues
Guaranteed same-day emergency service    
Guaranteed 48-hour response on non-emergency service  
Remote Service & Support      
Programming changes during regular business hours
1/mo.
6/mo.
unlimited
Priority system restoration after cataclysmic failure
Moves, Adds, & Changes (MAC)      
Priority scheduling for MAC service  
Guarantee "parts on hand" for critical components    
MAC labor billed at 50% discount    
Free carrier service coordination    
Training      
Over-the-phone administrator training, as needed
1 hr./mo.
unlimited
unlimited
Over-the-phone end-user training, as needed
 
3 hrs./mo.
unlimited
On-site administrator & end-user training, as needed
 
 
unlimited
Access to digital user guides and customized support documents
Support      
Basic over-the-phone technical support
2 hrs./mo.
3 hrs./mo.
unlimited
Free over-the-phone consultation on design & programming  
Assistance in resolving carrier issues, including billing & service    
Assistance in reporting outages or service issues to carrier  
Free diagnosis and service on certified cabling or network infrastructure  
How to ensure you get the most from a Maintenance Agreement.

Maintenance agreements are a standard practice in the telecommunications field. Phone systems, just like computers, require software updates and most experience failure at some point in their operational lives. Having an agreement with a reputable vendor can be a worthwhile investment that saves time, money, and frustration.

When considering a maintenance agreement, take the following things into account before signing on:

  • Continuity of Service: The best maintenance agreements are 12 months long with an option to renew. Agreements that lack clear time lines can become a headache for the business owner.
  • Set a Fixed Price: Negotiating a contract that is 3-5 years long at a fixed rate can translate into a long-term cost savings. Consider the cost of a service call and replacement parts when examining the total cost of the contract.
  • How to Exit: All maintenance agreements have an exit clause that lays out what you would need to do to leave the contract before the end date. If there is not an exit clause in your agreement, don't sign it! It could leave you saddled with an unnecessary ongoing payment.
  • Can you upgrade? The best maintenance agreements go beyond your current system and have a clear path for system upgrades or expansions. These types of agreements may require a longer contract term, but can be critical when technology advances beyond your current systems capacity.
  • Who oversees updates and patches? VoIP systems have regular software upgrades and patches that need to be maintained for security and performance reasons. These should be included in any maintenance agreement.
  • Look at the service levels: Maintenance agreements are a lot like insurance policies. You have higher monthly payments when more services are included in the plan. Levels of service can vary widely, from your vendor simply keeping software up-to-date to those that include regular phone moves and programming changes. Consider how often your phone system will change, how much work you want to do in-house, and what additional features you may need in the future.
  • Network Infrastructure*: Regardless if your system runs on VoIP or copper lines, the wires that carry voice calls is an intricate part of the whole system. Routers or cabling can often be the cause of issues, so ensuring that part of the system is covered by your maintenance agreement is critical - even if the vendor providing the maintenance agreement isn't the one who installed the system.

*NOTE: Not all networks can be covered by maintenance agreements. Some need substantial work before a vendor will agree to service them. It is important to ask if you do not see it included in the agreement.


What DON'T Maintenance Agreements Cover?

Just as important as what is in a maintenance agreement is what is not included. Damage from natural disasters, such as floods, tornadoes, or fire, will not be covered under a maintenance agreements. An insurance plan on the equipment would be necessary to safeguard from destruction or damage from natural disasters.

Make sure to look closely at your agreement as there may be a limit on the number of changes allowed in a given time period.