Installation and support
Document management systems are not the type of application where you take the shrink wrap off the box, install the software, and dive right in. You'll need to work with your provider to handle installation and training.
When you first meet with a provider, they'll ask about your plans and your business to get an idea of what capabilities you require. Then they'll submit a detailed proposal that outlines the costs and what they'll deliver.
Once you agree on a contract, the supplier will usually come to your office to do the installation and training. This can take as little as a day, but the average is closer to a week. Again it will vary considerably based on the amount of customization and integration you choose. Some suppliers may use remote access to do the installation without actually visiting your office in person, and of course if you choose an ASP solution, you won't need any work done on your premises.
In most cases, first line support will be provided by the reseller, not the software manufacturer. You'll see a range of support options: some vendors will offer you blocks of time that you can "bank" against future calls; some will charge a monthly support fee that includes an unlimited number of calls; some will simply charge you per call. Flexibility of contact options is important: find out if your vendor offers support via phone, e-mail, instant messenger, and/or online chat.
Because of the complexity of document management systems and the fact that every installation is different, it's generally a good idea to opt for a service contract that includes unlimited support and upgrades - at least for the first year. After that, you'll have a better sense of how much support you'll actually need.