Can't find what you need?

Application Support

Setup and Approximate Costs

Application support - ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft provides application support and maintenance services since 2007.

Application Support Services
Application support - ScienceSoft

Application Support: the Essence

Application support activities ensure maximized availability, complete and uninterrupted functioning, and sustained application evolution.

  • The app support team can include an app support manager, user support agents, DevOps and test engineers, software developers.
  • Depending on your application complexity and evolution requirements, its annual support and maintenance budget may vary from $35,000 to $200,000.

The scope of application support measures

The broad spectrum of app support measures can be loosely divided into two groups:

Reactive application support

  • Level 1: solving app usage issues and basic problems (help with logging in/out, password reset, etc.).
  • Level 2: fixing application operational issues without code changes (e.g., adding new columns to existing data sheets, improving configurations of platform-based applications).
  • Level 3: resolving complex problems by introducing changes to the code and database (e.g., for custom software – fixing defects on the code level, for platform-based apps – correcting issues with customizations).

Proactive application support (i.e., application maintenance)

  • Introducing new app features and integrations. For custom software - legacy code redesign or application restructuring/containerization.
  • Application performance monitoring and optimization.
  • CI/CD and DevOps implementation (to facilitate app updating, modernization or evolution).
  • Security code reviews and monitoring.
  • Exploratory and regression testing, testing of newly introduced features during the app’s evolution.
  • App infrastructure optimization (including cloud).

With 15 years in application support, ScienceSoft delivers full-range support and maintenance services for applications of different types and complexity.

How to Set Up Application Support

The application support setup plan may vary depending on the application’s scale, functionality and type (e.g., on-premises or cloud, customer- or employee-facing) support needs.

Summing up the vast experience in application support and maintenance projects, we share some common stages of setting up application support.

Setup plan for application support - ScienceSoft

1. Estimate the scope of your application support

Duration: 1 week

There are several key factors that we consider during this stage:

  • Support scope and resources required. The scope and resources differ depending on the application’s type. For example, customer-facing applications require more L1 support resources, while employee-facing ones are likely to generate a higher number of L2 and L3 requests.
  • Application support timeframes. The timeframes depend on the application’s criticality, for example, business-critical applications like ERP require 24/7/365 support.
  • Application’s age. Legacy software may experience more issues and entail frequent fixes and updates.
  • Application performance requirements (e.g., the average and peak number of intended users, the average and peak load, scalability parameters). Applications with high performance requirements need continuous performance monitoring and recurring performance testing.
  • Number of integrations. More integrations imply more scenarios to monitor and more potential issues to resolve. Besides, after each substantial change in integrated software, we need to validate data sharing between the systems and run a regression test suite.
  • Standards and regulations (e.g., GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS) the application should comply with. To ensure compliance, we design data protection policy and procedures for the support team; perform regular compliance checks, security code reviews, application security scanning, and tuning of cloud security components (if applicable).

2. Design the application support process

Duration: 4 weeks

We outline KPIs relevant to your application support needs. A typical list of metrics includes:

For reactive application support

  • First response time.
  • User satisfaction score.
  • Resolution rate.
  • Average time to resolution.

For proactive application support

  • Application availability.
  • Application outage time.
  • Meant time to recovery.
  • Number of implemented change requests.
  • Number of change requests in the backlog.

ScienceSoft’s best practice: To track the progress of long-lasting app maintenance activities, our support managers also apply general process KPIs like the ratio between the estimated and actual budget for the planned maintenance activity, its earned value, and compliance with the deadlines.

After outlining KPIs, we design ITSM-based standard operating procedures (SOPs) to stipulate all support and maintenance activities.

3. Prepare the application support

Duration: 4-12 weeks

We define relevant specilists for the project depending on the required level of application support:

  • Basic end user support - specialists with entry- or mid-level support experience having basic technical knowledge, good communication and conflict resolution skills.
  • Administrative support - specialists with senior- or mid-level experience in application administration and app monitoring, familiar with database querying.
  • Technical support and application evolution - software developers with mid-level or senior experience in software engineering, source code and database management.

Then, we decide on an application support toolkit that is also determined by the application type and support scope. During our app support projects, ScienceSoft’s teams typically implement:

For reactive application support

  • ITSM or ticket automation software.
  • Tools for communication between application users and app support agents (e.g., a customer portal, call center software, email clients, messengers like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, etc.).

For proactive application support

  • Continuous monitoring software for getting metrics on the overall application health, e.g., uptime and downtime, throughput, etc.
  • Application performance management (APM) software.
  • Code review tools.
  • Application security scanning software.
  • Cloud cost management tool.
  • Software testing frameworks and tools for automated API and UI regression testing.

4. Launch your application support

Duration: up to 2 weeks

At this stage we:

1

2

3

4

ScienceSoft’s best practice: Our support team schedules planned activities for weekends or non-working hours. To ensure that app maintenance doesn’t cause work disruption, we inform users on upcoming activities.

Consider Professional Application Support Services

Since 2007 in application support services and 2008 in ITSM, ScienceSoft’s high-performing support teams provide full-range reactive and proactive support activities to ensure maximum availability, stable functioning, and swift evolution of your apps.

Application support consulting

ScienceSoft’s consultants provide:

  • Feasibility study for your application support.
  • Balanced support scope depending on the application purpose, type, and requirements, your business and project specifics.
  • Advice on an optimal sourcing model and support team lineup.
  • Efforts’ estimation and costs breakdown for your application support initiative.
  • Specific toolkit comprising software best fitting your app support scope.
Go for app support consulting

Outsourced application support

  • Flexible L1, L2, L3 help desk services.
  • Monitoring and management of the application performance and security.
  • Code review and redesign.
  • Application re-architecture, introducing new features and integrations.
  • CI/CD implementation.
  • Relevant QA and testing activities.
  • Creating and maintaining SOPs and a knowledge base for agents and support engineers as well as materials for users’ self-service (e.g., FAQs, manuals, technical information).

Additional services:

  • Application infrastructure management and monitoring.
  • Cloud resources consumption optimization.
Go for application support

ScienceSoft as an Application Support Provider

  • 14 years in application support services.
  • 13 years in ITIL-compliant IT service management.
  • Hands-on experience in support of complex, distributed modular applications.
  • 9 Microsoft Gold Competencies, including Application Development and Integration, Data Platform, Data Analytics, Collaboration and Content.
  • AWS Select Services Partner.
  • IBM Business Partner.
  • Mature quality management system confirmed by the ISO 9001 certification allowing to implement projects fully meeting customers' quality, time, and budget expectations.
  • ISO 13485-certified quality management for medical devices and Software as a Medical Device.
  • Assured safety of the customers’ data we access during the cooperation proved by ISO 27001 certificate.

Benefits of Application Support by ScienceSoft

Feasibility analysis

Before we start, we analyze TCO and ROI of supported apps and assess how these financial estimates will improve as the result of our support services.

KPI-centered approach

Our IT support activities and service quality are reflected in regular reports with clear metrics (e.g., application availability, user satisfaction, Mean Time to Recovery) for strict compliance with service level objectives.

Flexibility

We ensure flexibility in pricing and SLA for application support services.

What Our Customers Say

For the past 6 years, ScienceSoft has been a reliable partner in supporting and maintaining our HR software product. They have fixed hundreds of bugs in the product’s performance since the start of our cooperation back in 2016 and keep modernizing HR on our demand, introducing new features and tweaking existing functionality to let us better cater to our growing client base.

Read Original

Peter Hermann

CEO, ZEITundZUTRITT GmbH

Due to our business growth, we decided to outsource the continuous development, support and maintenance of our proprietary internal systems. ScienceSoft coordinated knowledge transfer, discovery of our internal systems, then transitioned into supporting those systems and taking on projects to evolve their functionality. We recommend them as a trustworthy partner with skilled technical specialists on board.

Read Original

Luke Walther

Business Development Director, Give Back Wireless

We needed help in revamping a web app for pre-school institutions. ScienceSoft’s PHP team has fixed the app’s security issues and has enhanced its features like financial reporting and attendance tracking to make the app more efficient and easy to use. We are fully satisfied with the current results, and we are going to continue our cooperation with ScienceSoft on this project.

Read Original

Pete Callaghan

CTO, InfoMentor Ltd

At the Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan, we were looking for a reliable technological partner to implement and support QRadar, an IBM SIEM solution. After the system was successfully launched, we cooperated with ScienceSoft on technical support and continuous evolution of our QRadar solution. ScienceSoft’s team provided SIEM support services during our working hours, introduced complex configurations, and developed custom features for our solution.

Read Original

Gulnara Dashdamirova

Director of Security Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Technologies and Tools We Work With

Back end programming languages

Click on the technology to learn about our capabilities in it.

Front end programming languages

Click on the technology to learn about our capabilities in it.

Languages

HTML5
CSS

JavaScript frameworks

MeteorJS
Vue.js
Next.js
Ember.js

Mobile

Click on the technology to learn about our capabilities in it.

Clouds

Click on the technology to learn about our capabilities in it.

Databases / data storages

Click on the technology to learn about our capabilities in it.

SQL

Microsoft SQL Server
MySQL
Oracle
PostgreSQL

NoSQL

Apache NiFi
MongoDB

Cloud databases, warehouses and storage

Click on the technology to learn about our capabilities in it.

AWS

Amazon S3
Amazon DocumentDB
Amazon Relational Database Service
Amazon ElastiCache

Azure

Azure Data Lake
Azure Blob Storage
Azure SQL Database
Kinect DK
Azure RTOS

Google Cloud Platform

Google Cloud SQL
Google Cloud Datastore

DevOps

Containerization

Docker
Kubernetes
Red Hat OpenShift
Apache Mesos

Automation

Ansible
Puppet
Chef
Saltstack
HashiCorp Terraform
HashiCorp Packer

CI/CD tools

AWS Developer Tools
Azure DevOps
Google Developer Tools
GitLab CI/CD
Jenkins
TeamCity

Monitoring

Zabbix
Nagios
Elasticsearch
Prometheus
Grafana
Datadog

Platforms

Click on the platform to learn about our capabilities in it.

Ticketing systems

Monitoring tools

Zabbix
Nagios Core
Prometheus
Elastic Stack
Grafana
Datadog

Remote collaboration

Connection

VPN
RPD
TeamViewer

Communication

Skype
Zoom
GoToMeeting

ScienceSoft’s Hallmark IT Support Projects

Data Capture Application Support for a UK Software Company

Data Capture Application Support for a UK Software Company 

ScienceSoft carried out NOC monitoring, multi-tier support (L1, L2, L3) and customization for the Customer’s platform.

App Support for a Global Provider of Loyalty and Advertising Solutions

App Support for a Global Provider of Loyalty and Advertising Solutions

ScienceSoft provided 8/5 support (L1, L2 and L3) for the Customer’s complex ecommerce solution operating on different platforms (Magento, Magento 2 and Shopware), which ensured its stable operation

Image Management App Support for a Global Provider of Photo Processing Solutions

Image Management App Support for a Global Provider of Photo Processing Solutions

ScienceSoft carried out 8/5 help desk and L2 support for a set of ready-to-release image management desktop applications, which helped to ensure high user adoption and satisfaction rate

Modernization and Support of an Acclaimed Mobile Banking App

ScienceSoft provided performance monitoring, troubleshooting and modernization for the Customer’s banking app, which helped the solution remain a leading one on the mobile banking market and preserved the Customer’s competitiveness

Application Support Sourcing Models

In-house application support

Benefits:

  • Complete control over the application support activities.

Risks:

  • Missing talents required to carry out some specific support activities (e.g., software developers for L3 support, security or DevOps engineers).
  • Excessive training and staff costs.

Outsourced application support team with in-house management

Benefits:

  • In-house coordination and management of an outsourced support team.
  • Optimal number of support specialists and their scalability.
  • Balanced app support costs.

Risks:

  • High requirements for in-house management.

Outsourced application support

Benefits:

  • Fully managed support professionals of required competences.
  • Optimized application support budget.
  • Transparent KPI-based collaboration.

Risks:

  • Vendor selection risks.
  • The vendor’s insufficient resource scalability or scope of support activities.
  • Lack of pricing transparency.

Combination of in-house support team and outsourced consultancy

Benefits:

  • Internal team deeply understands the current application and can knowingly prioritize the application enhancement and evolution needs.
  • Outsourced consultancy can help establish the effective support of all levels and fill the gap in support skills, if required.

Risks:

  • Consultancy selection risks.
  • Hindered collaboration between the teams.

Application Support Costs

Cost factors

Application support costs may greatly differ with regard to the app’s type and requirements.

For ScienceSoft’s app support consultants, the most significant application support cost factor is the scope of support activities. Besides, based on our experience in application support, we outline the cost factors that are specific to the outsourced application support:

  • Required response and resolution time depending on the app’s issues severity (e.g., up to 1-hour threshold for respond and 4 hours for the resolution of a critical issue).
  • The agreed and extra number of help desk tickets (for reactive application support outsourcing).
  • Support team composition and team members’ experience and competencies.

Examples

Typically, the cost of application support may be estimated as 15-25% of the initial development costs per year, while during the entire application lifespan it may comprise up to 70% of the total cost of ownership.

Here are the approximate estimations based on ScienceSoft’s application support experience for you to get a more precise picture of application support costs:

  • For a stable mid-size application with a small rate of minor change requests: $35,000/yr.
  • For a mid-size application that requires frequent and substantial changes: $80,000 - $160,000/yr.
  • For a complex enterprise application that require continuous evolution: from $200,000/yr.
About ScienceSoft

About ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft is a global IT consulting and IT services company headquartered in McKinney, TX, US. We deliver flexible application support and maintenance services to help our customers maximize their applications’ availability and user adoption, minimize the number of software issues, and optimize the application support budget. Being ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certified, we rely on a mature quality management system and guarantee that cooperation with us does not pose any risks to our customers’ data security.