OK. Take a deep breath and relax. Without seeing the contract firsthand, I do not know all of your available options....
However, based on what you said (paying for support and upgrades), I'm going to assume that you have a perpetual license (a license that, unless breached or terminated, is good forever). A perpetual license is actually a good thing. The license gives you the ability to continue to use the current version of the product for as long as you wish. This gives you leverage. Remember, once you've purchased the software, the only way for the vendor to keep getting a steady revenue stream from you is for you to purchase maintenance (or in your case, upgrades, too). If you cut off that revenue stream, you might perk up their ears.
Using this leverage, the first thing you can do is stop doing upgrades. Unless contractually bound, there is no reason to constantly upgrade your software. You purchased the version you purchased for a reason, and very rarely do upgrades give you significantly better features or functionality.
The second thing you can do is cancel your maintenance contract. Only in very rare instances is a buyer obligated by the vendor to purchase maintenance (this is usually a requirement of the buyer's company or IS staff). By canceling maintenance, you might no longer have access to their help desk or to upgrades, but since you're not getting upgrades included anyways, this will only have the effect of stranding you in the event that you have a problem using their software.
Invariably, the vendor is going to try to sell you on maintenance again. You can use that time to renegotiate the terms of your maintenance agreement (including the ability to get upgrades for free - as some of the dollars spent on maintenance is almost always being used for research and development of those upgrades). Just remember this lesson for the future, and make sure that next time you puzzle through all of the possibilities for post-contract problems while you are still holding all of the money.
Dig Deeper on Colocation, hosting and outsourcing management
Related Q&A from Jeffrey Gordon
Licensing, contracting and negotiations expert Jeff Gordon explains the history of developing technology in regards to vendor relations and explains ...continue reading
Expert Jeff Gordon explains how to negotiate for the best deal.continue reading
Our expert explains how to make amendments to a contract.continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.