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Selling an IT Maintenance Contract – Per User or Per Device?

Selling an IT Maintenance Contract Per User or Per DeviceHow does your company typically structure an IT maintenance contract? Two popular models are per user or per device, both of which usually involve a monthly, all-in (all inclusive) fee, based on the number of system users or network devices.

This article explores both of these models to assist you in choosing which would work better – for your business and for your clients.

The Per User IT Maintenance Contract

Contracts based on the “per user” model seem to be gaining in popularity. Charging a client based on their number of users is clear and simple, and customers often appreciate this simplicity. For you, as the owner of an IT business, the per user model ensures that your fees increase as your client’s business grows.

There is an important disadvantage, however. Working practices vary considerably between different businesses. This can mean that, if you have standardized pricing, two different ten-user clients may have vastly different requirements, yet pay the same monthly fee.

Ten users could mean ten desktop PCs and one printer, but it could also mean eight PCs, ten laptops, and a collection of smartphones and iPads. It is clear that the latter client would demand far more from their IT maintenance contract than the former.

The Per Device IT Maintenance Contract

The per-device model (arguably) works better for the IT provider, with a monthly fee based precisely on the number of servers, computers, printers, and mobile devices being supported.

However, these arrangements are often less popular with clients. A fee that increases almost every month due to new devices makes them feel like your rates are constantly on the increase. Before long, they are joining new kit (equipment) to the network and not telling you, in an attempt to reduce their costs!

Aside from the per user and per device structures, it’s good to remember that these aren’t the only pricing options open to you. Contracts based on a bank of hours or a retainer structure are options too. Make sure you give them all plenty of thought before deciding how to sell your services.


How do you structure an IT maintenance contract? Share your tactics in the Comments below.

And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free copy of the special report on IT Service Contract Secrets for Getting More Repeat Clients and Recurring Service Revenue.

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