[LRUG] [SERVICES]: Maintenance & Support retainer

Najaf Ali ali at happybearsoftware.com
Wed Jun 3 08:39:10 PDT 2015

Good afternoon all,

At Happy Bear Software a few of our clients have found it valuable to enter
support and maintenance retainer agreements with us. So far, clients on the
retainer appear to be happy with the service we're providing so I thought
I'd send something to the list to see if there was any interest.

The retainer agreements are for a fixed monthly fee and typically cover:

* *Email support, responding in 24 hours*. For either your customers or
your internal users, sometimes you need support that understands your
application in technical depth. This could be bug triage, help with
on-boarding  We'll respond to these emails either by resolving the issue or
adding a task to the maintenance backlog as appropriate. While we quote a
24-hour response time, in practice we aim to get back to you much more
* *Small, incremental development tasks.* Any programming or technical task
that would take the average developer less than an hour to complete. This
includes things like rotating API keys, small copy changes, styling,
configuring DNS or updating link URLs. It doesn't including changes to core
business logic, new features or any major changes to the behaviour of your
* *Security maintenance.* Every month we'll update and run automated tools
(brakeman) over your codebase to search for easily-identifiable security
flaws and report or fix whatever we find. We'll also be on the look out for
vulnerabilities in open source libraries you use and reported security
breaches in third-party services your application integrates with. In
either case, we'll take steps to remediate the issue in a way that
minimises your attack window.

We deliver the above by setting aside one developer days worth of time per
week to perform the services in the retainer. On weeks with a lot of
support requests we'll have less time to work on your
small-tasks/maintenance backlog. On more quiet weeks we'll use the extra
slack to pick tasks off.

The retainer makes the most sense for projects where you have a lot of
small, annoying tasks or technical support requests that you don't want to
use in-house/agency developers on but nonetheless require technical depth
to resolve correctly.

The retainer doesn't make much sense for brand new projects. We also do not
provide incident response for production issues. We're happy to investigate
bugs during working hours but won't be around at 3 AM to restart your
application in production.

We offer the retainer on a month-to-month basis, so you can exit the
agreement at any time if you don't feel like you're getting value for
money. We also offer significant discounts for pre-payment of three or six
month periods.

We currently only have availability for two more retainers as described
above. If you think it might be a good fit for your application and would
like to discuss further then please let me know at this address. You can
also grab me in the pub for a chat at LRUG next week.

All the best,

-Ali, http://happybearsoftware.com
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