Support FAQ

  1. What is a Support Access Agreement?
  2. What services are provided by the Support Access Agreement?
  3. Does the Support Access Agreement cover my hardware or hardware malfunctions, or the operating system?
  4. What are some examples of things NOT covered by support?
  5. What procedure should I follow if I need support?
  6. What should I do if I am in an emergency situation and find that my Support Access Agreement has expired?
  7. What happens if I go without support for a period of time and then wish to reinstate my agreement?
  8. When should I purchase, and when should I renew support?
  9. Can unsupported users attend GenesisFour-sponsored seminars or events, such as a User’s Conference?
  10. How does a "Support Access Agreement" differ from the "Service Contract" or "Extended Warranty"?
  11. Why is it that support agreements are not emphasized by publishers of off-the-shelf software?
  12. Where does the money go?
  13. Conclusion and where to call with further questions or to arrange renewal

As is customary with virtually all business software, GenesisFour provides ongoing support, which includes web portal, email and telephone support and access to upgrades as they are released, via the “Software Access Agreement". These “Questions & Answers” will explain why no computerized automotive business should  attempt to get by without one.

1. What is a Support Access Agreement?

A "Support Access Agreement" (also referred to as a "Software Maintenance Agreement" or “Software Support Contract”) is an agreement between a software company and client in which the client pays the software company to provide ongoing software support to the client for a specified period of time. GenesisFour offers these agreements in yearly intervals. They renew automatically unless advance notice of desire to terminate is given (consult your agreement for more information).

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2. What services are provided by the Support Access Agreement?

Standard Support Services:

GenesisFour Corporation will provide web portal, email, telephone and web based support and consultation on GenesisFour Corporation software in the following areas during the period of the Support Access Agreement.

  • Answering a specific question about what the current software does how it does it and what are the steps to do it. 
  • When a problem is detected that turns out to be a code error (sometimes called a ‘bug’), that is also support and we investigate the problem and prepare a fix. The fix gets installed onto your computer during the next update.
  • GenesisFour Corporation will offer patches for our software that will allow the software to be used in new environments including new supported Windows (including Windows XP, Server 2005 and Vista) new accounting versions (QuickBooks 2007) and new databases including Progress Version 9.1e and OpenEdge 10.1a.
  • GenesisFour Corporation will offer software enhancements released during the period of this Support Access Agreement for use on one server at one facility at no extra charge when downloaded from GenesisFour Corporation' Internet Web site. If requested, a CDROM can be sent to you with the software update for $30.00 plus applicable sales tax.

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3. Does the Support Access Agreement cover my hardware or hardware malfunctions, or operating system support?

No. The Support Access Agreement does not cover your hardware, regardless of the source of the hardware, nor does it cover the operating system, or support associated with it, or attributable to it, or relating to operating system updates, or changes made to the operating system by the end user.

However, GenesisFour does provide excellent, knowledgeable hardware support for its clients, some of which is provided at no charge, and some of which is fee-based. As a supported user of GenesisFour software, we do expect you to call us with whatever your problem might be. When you do, we will assist you with reaching a determination as to whether or not the problem has to do with GenesisFour software, and if not, whether the problem appears to be related to your hardware, operating system, third party software, or some other cause.

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4. What are some examples of things NOT covered by support?

Possible support situations not covered by the Support Access Agreement include but are not necessarily limited to:

Hardware support - See above.

Operating system support - See above

User contamination

If the user improperly uses the system, either by entering bogus or illogical data, or by misconfiguring hardware, or by any other means causes the system to malfunction and/or require technical support, this is by definition non-contract and will incur non-contract support charges.

Data Corruption Issues

Data corruption is extremely rare with GenesisFour software, as it has an incredibly reliable database. The primary cause for data corruption is hardware malfunction, and corrective action will generally always require assistance (typically consisting of either database repair, to the extent that this is possible, or assistance with restoring from backup media) from GenesisFour Technical Support.

Restore from Backup

Assistance with restoring from backup media is essentially hardware support.

Other external factors

Software or system performance can be affected by any number of other external factors, such as viruses, hardware or network malfunctions, and so forth. Further, such conditions can be difficult or impossible to resolve using off-site, telephone support resources. Resolution of problems caused by such external factors is by definition non-contract and will incur non-contract support charges.

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5. What procedure should I follow do if I need support?

Contact GenesisFour either by sending an email to support@genesisfour.com or go to our website at www.genesisfour.com , go to the support page and click the link for "Submit a Request". GenesisFour Technical Support will respond and assist you in every way possible.

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6. What should I do if I am in an emergency situation and find that I cannot use my email or internet browser?

During standard business hours call 1-800-YES-GEN4 (800-937-4364). If you need immediate assistance the emergency pager number is 617-351-0937.

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7. What happens if I go without support for a period of time and then wish to reinstate my agreement?

According to your "Support Access Agreement" your renewal will be calculated from the time of expiration of your last agreement. There is also a reactivation fee that will be assessed.

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8. When should I purchase, and when should I renew support?

A minimum of one year of support is always purchased with the initial software license purchase. Thereafter it is renewed yearly. You will receive an invoice for support renewal about 6 weeks prior to support expiration, which must be paid by the renewal date to avoid any interruption in service.

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9. Can unsupported users attend GenesisFour-sponsored seminars or events, such as a User’s Conference?

Yes. However, if you have been unsupported for a length of time it is likely that you would be unfamiliar with the most current version of your GenesisFour software, and as such, would have difficulty following presentations, since at all such events only the most current version is discussed. Depending on the revisions that had taken place subsequent to your version, screens could look unfamiliar, and new features would have no meaning to you, thus diminishing the benefit of the event.

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10. How does a "Support Access Agreement" differ from the "Service Contract" or "Extended Warranty"?

Support Access Agreements are very different from the "Service Contracts" or "Extended Warranties" often sold with computers, consumer electronics, appliances, and/or automobiles. Software companies must provide significant ongoing service to supported clients, both in terms of telephone support and ongoing product development. By contrast, computer hardware, consumer electronics, appliance, and automobile manufacturers offering a "service contract" or extended warranty are

- only obligated to provide a service if something breaks
- have no involvement with training or the use of their product
- don't provide new versions
- are playing the odds that they will not be called upon to do anything whatsoever.

Moreover, they are not providing a constantly evolving product to the original purchaser (i.e., if the original purchaser wants that version, it must be repurchased as new.) The ongoing burden on a software company is quite different and far more extensive than the burden on the hardware manufacturer offering an “Extended Warranty”. As a further point, these extended warranties are often underwritten by third party financial institutions, such as insurance companies.

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11. Why is it that support agreements are not emphasized by publishers of off-the-shelf software?

Off-the-shelf software products are typically sold to a mass market. Their publishers are large companies that expect to (and must) sell millions of copies of the software - something which can never happen with industry-specific software, because entire market universe is so much smaller. With off-the-shelf software, revenue from sales may at least partially cover support and/or development costs, but neither are free.

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12. There's just something that bothers me about having to pay any more money above and beyond the purchase of the software license itself. Where does the money go?

As you might well have considered, the costs of maintaining a knowledgeable product development and support staff are enormous. Industry-specific software companies generally find that revenues from initial system sales are simply not adequate to offset these costs. Bear in mind that your business depends heavily on your GenesisFour software, and that a continuing relationship is required between client and software company because of this dependency. The software company must maintain a level of readiness to assist. Also, remember that you will have changing personnel within your organization, and that new and old users alike must be able to get their questions answered.

Industry-specific software products tend to be used in a do-or-die manner - i.e., once the business goes on line with the product, there is no way it can comfortably conduct a single day's business without a fully-operational system. Therefore, they need to be assured of timely, personalized, industry-specific support. It is simply impossible to provide this level of service without a revenue stream to support it, which is totally separate from sales revenue.

There must also be a constant, ongoing process of evolution of the software in order to respond to your suggestions as a user, and to keep the product current as possible. The costs associated with this ongoing R&D must be subsidized somehow. Revenue from support contributes to this effort.

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13. Conclusion and where to call with further questions or to arrange renewal

Hopefully this document has helped you to understand the reasoning behind and the services provides by the Support Access Agreement, the vital importance of remaining supported, and why no computerized automotive business should attempt to operate their business on an unsupported company-wide business automation system.

If have further questions on these or any other matters, please call 800-937-4364  and we will do our best to provide any additional clarification you might need.

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For more information call
800-YES-GEN4
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