Tech support often gets a bad rap, but information technology pros seem happy with the support they get from enterprise software vendors, according to the results of an IDC survey released Wednesday.
The report, "IDC Customer Satisfaction Study: Top Performers in Enterprise Software Support Services," revealed that IT professionals are quite satisfied with the overall support and individual support options provided by five of the top enterprise software companies.
The survey asked more than 1,000 IT pros to rate how happy they were with the software support provided by different vendors. Looking at the top five vendors, only small differences were found in the level of satisfaction. But among those, Hewlett-Packard came out on top with the highest degree of satisfaction, followed by Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and IBM.
Though IT relies heavily on support for mission-critical enterprise software, IDC believes many companies neglect to evaluate support services before choosing applications and the vendors behind them.
"The reality is that the majority of an enterprise's experience with a software solution will occur after the implementation is complete and, given the complexities of enterprise software, typically lasts for five to ten years," said Elaina Stergiades, IDC's senior research analyst for Software Support Services, in a statement. "As a result, software support services should be a key consideration when enterprises are evaluating software for mission-critical processes."
The vendors themselves increasingly realize that solid support is key to retaining customers and so often they must provide several levels of support to cover a wide range of technical issues and needs. One bad experience with a support call can sometimes be enough to persuade customers to take their business elsewhere, notes IDC. The best enterprise software vendors are constantly evaluating and fine-tuning their support services to make sure they're meeting the needs of their customers.
The small differences in the level of satisfaction among the top five vendors show that the market for support services is still highly competitive, according to IDC. That competition is likely to continue as vendors move to enhance their support services to attract and retain more customers.