Don’t Spend Too Much On Technology
The IT Industry is going through a digital Transformation revolution where every enterprise — big and small want to be a part of. And with the latest technological advancements businesses need to upgrade or develop new solutions to be competetive in the digital world or become obselete.
With this, there’s a lot of demand for both innovative software products and solutions and obviously every software vendor want a piece of that.
Since business who need a software product or a solution either to be upgraded or developed new.. you are at the higher ground and have better bargaining power and vendors are desperate for your work and money.
So this is a simple equation that every business will easily understand.
Here’s few tips on how not fall into the trap of these software vendors to make you spend more:
Before you close the deal
- Deals, Discounts Ask for deals/discounts, i’m sure you’ll get one.
- Purposeful Delay Don’t sign the contract right away, delay it, vendors will approach you with better rates.
- Research Ask around or have someone from your team to do the research. Make sure you involve developers, they usually love to jump in and test or try a new software product/solution. Organize a hack-a-thon, ask for volunteers, buy them a food/pizza.. developers can do wonders for you :-)
- Technology stack Take your time to understand how the product is built on, extensibility, can you integrate with your existing products/solutions (if you have any), learning curves,
- Ask for Proof-of-concepts Ask for these before making the sale
- Don’t buy the latest version Don’t fall into this trap of trying to go for a newly released version. Of course the latest version will always be the best and companies will try to push them but the general rule of thumb for buying software products is to but an older version so it matures, community/users find bug and gets fixed. The latest release always will have some risk. Sales teams may not agree with me, but ask any experienced software developer / consultant / architect will say the same.
The general rule of thumb for buying software products is to buy one version behind the latest version.
- Less or no customizations Insist on Out-of-the-box solutions or features. This is where software vendors make a lot of money on their Consulting Practices. So much that they form separate divisions, engage Partners. And partners also make loads of money. Consider how big these Consulting companies like Accenture, Cognizant, Sapient, TCS
- SOW’s Read these thoroughly before you sign them. Software vendors use this like a Bible for anything they do and talk after you close the deal.
After you close the deal
- Billing Watch what the vendors‘ consultants are billing on? why should you pay if they charge you for the hours a developer/team had to spend on fixing a bug on their product. Of course that may be related to your project, but still.. don’t pay. Keep a close eye.
- Product bugs Report these promptly and make sure you get something like a free-consulting-time for the fix.
- Support Insist and be very specific on how you report, escalate, when they will respond, fix, what can they do if they cannot fix
- Free upgrades, trial versions Ask for free upgrades when they launch a new version of the product, send you free trails
- Conferences Software vendors showcase your project/implementation in their annual conferences to get more business. Ask for free attendance for your team, free sponsorship, free training sessions..
And before closing i wanted to justify my above statements with some examples around the competition in the IT Industry.
Amazon was early in the market and gained a huge market share. Till today it is the #1 in the cloud industry. BUT Microsoft (with Azure), Google (Google Cloud), IBM (SmartCloud) are competing very closely with it. So yoy pick anyone, I’m sure you’ll get a very good competitive pricing.
Adobe is the leader in the segment with it’s Adobe Marketing Cloud offering. BUT every major company wants piece of the digital revolution.. IBM Marketing Cloud, Oracle Content and Experience Cloud, Salesforce Community cloud, SAP Cloud Platform, etc.
Web Content Management Systems
Again Adobe’s leads this segment with its Adobe Experience Manager solution. BUT this market is so crowded and very competitive with Sitecore, Episerver, Acquia, Open text, CoreMedia, Crown Peak, Kentico, Jahia, Squiz… the list goes on.
Salesforce is a clear leader in this segment.. BUT large corporations like Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, Zendesk, Pegasystems compete fiercely for market share.
The above is obvious.. with the competition, software vendors will come to your terms.
”Ask, and it will be given you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened for you”
So don’t be shy.. ask and persuade your vendors to get what you want at better prices.