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The concept of Annual Maintenance Fees has been used to create recurring revenue for a software company, even if they are providing no real services for the client. The idea is that the software will continue to be improved and the client can upgrade to the latest release.

The fallacy is this: ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems are not like operating systems, especially if the client intends to modify the source or have customizations made to meet their business needs. Manufacturing companies must constantly improve their efficiency and processes.

Look at the thousands of companies that have paid years of Annual Maintenance Fees only to see the software provider acquired by a larger company. The customer is then "encouraged" to upgrade to the product being sold by the larger company.

The only way to have some independence and control of your future is for your company to have Complete Source Code for the system that you rely upon.
No Annual Maintenance