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Cabinet vision maintenance and support renewal7/24
I didn't renew my maintenance and support when it came up in January. Now I have salesmen contacting me suggesting I sign up to avoid future upgrade charges. They say the new version should be out for the Atlanta show in August. Frankly, last year's big upgrade seemed to be a new ability to produce "shoe cubbies". Big deal! Anyway, I don't really use support as the program is quite intuitive. Has anyone dropped the yearly fee? Do you regret it?
I have maintained my support. Mostly as a source for learning and keeping up to date. I have considered not renewing,but I have too many issues that pop up because of issues (SITs) with the program. Every new build and New version always has some fixes for these issues. Unfortunately they usually create new issues too.
Members and techs are a great source in finding workarounds for these issues.
Ver 9 is reported to have changed the manner in which materials are handled. I have also read that they have re- worked the reports so you no longer need Crystal Reports.
I'm not so sure they will be showing version 9 in Atlanta. I think I read something on the form about that recently.
Last I heard Ver 9 was still in Beta testing. And as normal, Cabinet Vision will only say it will be released when ready. Nothing more concrete. It's been about 2 years since the release of Ver 8.
Lost a hard drive in the office last month, have had support call and help me with several issues that started to cripple us. They have been great. 9 guys waiting on the router and well, the cost of the support is nothing compared to that
Since we sell software, and support for that software, I can't claim to be unbiased and some may see this as self-serving, but some good points have been raised. Perhaps the largest is weighing the cost of down-time against the cost of the support.
In some ways a support plan is also an insurance plan - you don't want to pay for it when you're not using it, but being without when disaster hits can sure be expensive.
A common approach is, "I'll pay for the support when I need it." That seems to make sound economic sense but also consider the larger picture - some of those support dollars go to overhead to keep the lights on and phones (and PCs) on, and some go to product development. Microsoft keeps changing its OS, PC hardware changes, CNC hardware changes, third party products change, even the demands of the customers change, and the software has to keep up. Almost all software is a constantly changing, constantly updated product, and support dollars pay for some of that development.
Knowing that the tech support will be there when you need it (and there's always a when) is important to your business in minimizing down time (and down time never comes at a convenient time).
IMO getting updates or the latest version, unless they fix a specific and known issue, is the least important part of support. Keeping production flowing smoothly is the most important, followed by advice and enhancements that make you more productive and profitable.
I wonder how all of my past clients would feel if I asked them to send me annual payments to help fund the research and development of new cabinetmaking ideas. I realize I completed their kitchen 3 years ago, but chances are they will need a new one in 15 or 20 years, and it would benefit them greatly if they could pay me a little bit every year so that I could continue to develop more efficient cabinetmaking methods.
Clearly there is a disconnect between the software developers and the users of their products if they really have to wonder why, after having paid them thousands or tens of thousands of dollars already, we are not eager to send them money on spec.
Don, it's all about value. Maybe your customers would pay for a maintenance plan to make sure that their cabinets could be updated to the latest interior design fashion, swap out the pull-outs because they now want to store different items, and accommodate new appliances when they wanted or needed to make those changes. Chances are to get those changes they'd have to gut their kitchen and install a completely new one.
When you buy insurance, aren't you buying on "spec" that there's going to be an event that's going to be expensive to fix out of pocket? When you pay your electric bill, part of what you pay is for the capacity to deliver the power to your plant, whether you are running machinery or on vacation. One way or another you pay and as far as I know, no one can force you to pay for annual support or to upgrade your software.
Comparing a fixed physical product to intellectual property really doesn't make sense, but I doubt I'm going to convince you of that.
Hey Don, when was the last time you bought a new computer? Why? Average high level support which typically includes all updates and new revisions is around $1200.00 per year. If a customer would pay you that much based on a new kitchen in 15 years, or adjusted to allow for fit and finish, you would have $18000.00 to provide a new kitchen. Is this a bad deal for either of you? If you keep your support contract current you get the benefit of current improvements and access to support when things go wrong, so you can keep your business making profits. I know plenty of companies using software successfully without updates or support. Those which opt for the support are given a huge competitive advantage by having current technology...think dial-up vs. fiber optic broadband...dial-up still gets you on the internet ( I think...) but.....
I asked myself the same question when they told me in January that 9 was coming soon. Its quite a sore spot with me right now, about 8 months after I was told to sign back up or face the penalty price of $3000 to get the next version plus the $1200 support.
My advice is sign on now, because 9 is coming some time in the next 4-5 months. or go get Mozaik.
User since 1995. Cabinet vision has come a long ways in terms of tech support so I see the value. I have skipped years in the past but currently each year do a base package of 10 phone calls and 4 hours of online training. This also gives me unlimited email to a tech. $1250.00 per year. For me it comes in handy when trying to improve a construction method. As cabinetmakers I don't think we have ever built the perfect cabinet.
From your description of your level of support, it sounds like you have the Advanced level. I used to always get the Advanced also. Unfortunately. when I renewed last May I found that the 4 hours training is no longer a part of the advance package. They deleted it. They never told me when I was renewing either. Fortunately I have learned to read all documentation first when I deal with CV.
I noticed the 4 hrs was missing from the Advanced Support description in the Support Policies listed on the Forum sit. When I asked about it, they said it was not a mistake. Only way to get the 4hrs training now is to get the ultimate package.
Yes I do have advanced ultimate.
I'm confused and may have confused you.
Yes I do have advanced ultimate.
This is what I mean.
U.S. Customer Support Service Options
Ultimate Annual Support & Maintenance Subscription (Cabinet
 Includes 20 Telephone Support Instances.
Advanced Annual Support & Maintenance Subscription
 Includes 10 Telephone Support Instances.
As I mentioned earlier, the Advanced level has no training now.
having literally just received this software,i will say ,that if it was not for deciding to keep up with the times and buying a CNC router,id be hard pressed to spend this kind of money on software. i refuse and will fight against anything that will cripple my shop.this seems to be one of those things. Quickbooks is another one of those things, while only 1/20th of the price though and the support mere pocket change in comparison.i hope the CV support team is better than the sales team that i was far from impressed with... and do they seriously charge us to be able to access their forum,,,
Oh Yes. To Access the forum, which I feel is mandatory for me to keep up and learn, you do have to pay an annual fee. I read the forum every day. Great information and great techs. I pay $1000.00 a year. There are some packages even more.
I also spend extra for one on one training. I can do this through CV, but I have found a vendor who is excellent in this area and I use his services. Especially with the release Candidate Version of CV9 coming out. Many changes in the software there. If you just purchased CV, you probably have version 8. It is by far one of the better versions. It's the most reliable so far for me.
yeah, im signed for their ultimate support package , or whatever it is, it was $2k ...
I dont see all the charges we get from planit i didnt know they were charging for forum access or prioritizing tech calls. I think thats lousy because i still end up paying for that tech call regardless.i do everything i can to avoid calling because even if they cant solve the problem i still have to pay. It can be infuriating to wait till the next business day for a support callback when your client are blowing you up wanting to know where their cabinets are. I would like to see either tech rolled up into the price or at least ulimited instances for what were paying now.but who cares what i think im just a client?