|From the end-user's viewpoint it is preferable to have an entire computer system (including hardware, software and peripherals) supported by one organization both from the point of view of cost and technically; in the latter case, because the occurrence of a malfunction in a system may equally be attributable to a software or hardware fault and indeed the end-user is, more often than not, unable to distinguish the cause of the fault. Therefore having only one support contractor to contact for any problem is the most beneficial support option for an end-user.
However, such a contractor may not have sufficient in-depth information in supporting an entire system with, perhaps, many application programs, accessories and peripherals, therefore the contractor, whilst acting as "first line" support for all fault calls, may sub-contract support of particular items to another party (see Clause 16).
This Contract is a comprehensive agreement which includes most of the common options for support provision e.g. support by telephone, on-site, by modem, during standard office hours or out of such standard hours. In keeping with most support agreements drafted for the benefit of the contractor, it does not include response times to fault calls, nor does it provide for "loan" equipment in the event that the customer's system requires workshop rather than on-site repair. If the system is critical to the customer's business, the provision of loan equipment is a useful, if not essential inclusion, although it can be costly.
This Contract also lists, in Clause 6, those support activities which are not included in the standard support charge.