The Legacy Product Problem
"We have a dozen or so 'legacy' products that still generate some
income from maintenance and parts sales, but they're a nuisance.
We'd even be happy to give them to a third-pary vendor for free,
just for the good will we'd get from our users. Has anyone tried
this approach?" Please share your thoughts.
—Stephen from Stratford
"Outsourcing" older products is done all the time and works fine.
The issue here is: do you want to hold on to your customers? If
not, then giving away the products and the customers to a third
party is just fine. If you prefer to retain the customers, perhaps
to migrate them to a newer product down the line, you’re better
off outsourcing support for that particular product line and
retaining control of the customers.
Whether you decide to outsource or give away the products
entirely, the key to success is to carefully train the third
party. Try to do it before your last experienced support staffer
leaves! This is a great use of a well-designed knowledge base.
—Françoise Tourniaire email@example.com
[Any other advice on this question? Please send an email to
membership director Jane Farber at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll
post your feedback.]