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Topic # 223809 18-Oct-2017 12:05
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We have a vendor for a CRM product we have been using. We acquired it as part of a business I bought a few years ago. We have been paying a fee each year which our understanding was, to cover access to support, new versions that come out, and the live update service they provided. 

 

Upon letting them know we would not be renewing, they have told us that if we stop paying, they will cut off access to the product completely, effectively preventing us access to OUR data. We don't need support, maintenance, new versions, or live feed data any longer, but our historical data is important for obvious reasons. 

 

It's an onpremise product based on a SQL back end. I have the database backed up and protected.

 

I recall being very clear about this during initial conversations with them when we bought the other company, but they are denying that these conversations took place. Unfortunately, I can not see any documentation to support my view, but given how I feel about protecting my data, there is no way I would have agreed to continue using this product as part of the acquisition, regardless. 

 

Anyone know if there is any protection against a company locking you out of your data?

 

 


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  Reply # 1885620 18-Oct-2017 12:12
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I guess it depends if the license was perpetual or not. Maintenance is one thing but some licence agreements mean you have to keep paying even if you don't need support or upgrades. It's not uncommon for a drop dead date to be included in the licence.

However it's pretty uncommon for them to do that.

I have seen one unscrupulous vendor use a SQL database backend but would give you the SA password for a fee - is so you could integrate with other systems. That's pretty poor in my opinion.

If you are hosting the application then I'd say the data is yours as long as you can access the database (see my other point) but as for the application it's wording of the licence you need to be careful of.

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  Reply # 1885628 18-Oct-2017 12:16
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Minor clarification, usually licences are perpetual unless they are part of an enterprise agreement or have a substantial discount. If you were paying RRP then I'd expect the software to continue to function without payment, royalty, maintenance etc

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  Reply # 1885632 18-Oct-2017 12:22
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It depends on the software, when i use to install finance systems like Exonet (now MYOB exo) then you needed to purchase yearly licenses per user for the software to keep working.  Are you able to google the CRM to find out if it is a per year fee?

 

If not then just ring another reseller and pretend you are interested in getting it installed and ask about fees and if they are payable each year :P




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  Reply # 1885636 18-Oct-2017 12:25
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tripp:

 

It depends on the software, when i use to install finance systems like Exonet (now MYOB exo) then you needed to purchase yearly licenses per user for the software to keep working.  Are you able to google the CRM to find out if it is a per year fee?

 

If not then just ring another reseller and pretend you are interested in getting it installed and ask about fees and if they are payable each year :P

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, the vendor is direct, so there are no resellers as such. I clearly recall my conversation with the salesperson who is still working for them, and given my strong feeling around data protection, I would not have agreed to this software knowing that the software may become inaccessible. 

 

I have contacted the CEO, and I am hoping he will be reasonable. 

 

 


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  Reply # 1885637 18-Oct-2017 12:31
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I would hope that maintenance for a single user on the software is not tooooooo expensive, so you can retain easy access to it.

 

You should be able to export the bulk of the data to a CSV, but if course it would be ugly to navigate around to find your historical data.

 

We used a Cloud-based job tracking system that was around $140/month for my team, and when we stopped using it, I've decided to pay $25/month for a single user license to retain easy access to the data after moving to a different system.  In another year when we'll only rarely need to view the historical notes I'll export the data to CSV.





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  Reply # 1885638 18-Oct-2017 12:31
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Do you retain any call recordings from that time period?





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  Reply # 1885639 18-Oct-2017 12:34
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Dynamic:

 

Do you retain any call recordings from that time period?

 

 

Hi.

 

No, it was a long time ago, 5 years nearly. 

 

Hoping the CEO will be reasonable, but if he's not we still have the SQL data so could make something work if required. Would be a PITA. They are basically telling us that the price for our users is the same 1 or 4, so it's moderately expensive for even a single user to have access. 

 

 


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  Reply # 1885669 18-Oct-2017 12:43
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What does your contract and license say?

 

I would probably look at migrating the data out to whatever CRM you want to replace it with. If you want to continue to use the product then it sounds like you might have to keep paying for it. You may be able to negotiate a different license without support - I've done that on behalf of an organisation I worked for, significantly reducing fees in exchange for less support.





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  Reply # 1885809 18-Oct-2017 16:40
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Sounds like you have a solution. The licence agreement may make things clearer.

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