Going all the way back to the release of GoldMine 4.0 Enterprise Edition, FrontRange Solutions (then GoldMine Software Corp.) instituted a policy of "Maintenance." Since then, each succeeding version of their SQL-based GoldMine product (now including GoldMine Corporate Edition and GoldMine Premium Edition) has required a purchase of an annual Maintenance Agreement upon initial purchase, with optional annual renewal.

What, exactly, is the benefit of the GoldMine Maintenance Agreement? Well, there are two obvious benefits, and two "gotcha" benefits.

First the obvious ones:

  1. Tech Support. You can call FrontRange tech support, and they will take your call. It's virtually unlimited, though, of course, FrontRange technicians can't/won't create reports, automated processes, synchronization profiles, etc., but they will help you with this and more. You can use FrontRange tech support as a way of reducing your bill with your Solutions Partner or, if your Solutions Partner is busy, FrontRange Tech Support is a good backup for your Solutions Partner.
  2. Upgrades and Updates. While current on Maintenance, you're entitled to receive updates and upgrades (within the product line) at no additional cost.

Now the subtle benefits:

  1. Tech Support assisting us. Many of our clients feel that paying FrontRange for this benefit is like double-coverage and, frankly, we're flattered to know that they'd rather call us first. Here's the rub, though: every now and then, we're stumped by what ails you, and we need to call FrontRange for an assist. When we do, the first questions they always ask us is the customer's contract number. They check your Maintenance status and, if you're not current, they will not proceed to help us help you.

  2. New product purchase. If you want to add on to your existing GoldMine license (perhaps you need to add user count to accommodate growth in your business), you cannot buy new licenses until first coming current on Maintenance on your existing licenses. This one tends to rear its ugly head inopportunely... just when you're ready to plunk down some money for new licenses, you find out that you've got the added burden of reinstating your lapsed Maintenance also!

  3. Updates. Remember, one of the main benefits of Maintenance is that you get all the updates. Well, let's say you want to buy the new GoldMine mobile product, designed for use on a handheld device like an iPhone or Android. While the mobile version of GoldMine is, technically, a new product, it will only work with the most recent GoldMine update, version 9.0.3. If you're not current on Maintenance, you won't be able to use the mobile product.

Who should skip maintenance? This is a tough one... you just never know when you're going to need that higher level of tech support, or decide you really do want the features and bug fixes in the current release. However, if you've decided, for sure, that you are leaving GoldMine behind, i.e. migrating to another CRM product entirely, within one year, maybe it does make sense to forgo Maintenance. Your GoldMine Solutions Partner can be a good person to help guide you through this process.