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The SmartSpend™ blog is a resource to help readers save money on IT and Telecom purchases, brought to you by NPI’s consultants and vendor-specific subject matter experts.

The Latest IT Sourcing News

  • A Guide for Smarter SaaS Procurement   NPI 06.07.24

    Companies will spend an estimated $273.5 billion on Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings in 2023 and over $900 billion by 2030. Unfortunately, most will overpay at a staggering rate. Within large enterprises, 30% or more of total SaaS spending goes to unused licenses and features. Even when customers buy only what they need, they’re often paying prices that are above best-in-class rates.

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  • 12 IT Cost Reduction Strategies to Eliminate Toxic Spend  NPI 06.06.24

    Gartner estimates that 30% of SaaS spend is toxic — wasted on unused licenses and features. For enterprise companies, that can lead to seven figures of unnecessary spending. NPI’s data indicates the problem is only getting worse, and it’s by no means limited to SaaS. Overspending across all subcategories of IT is both common and concerning.

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  • The Keys to Deploying Software License Management Best Practices NPI 05.17.24

    Software license management has become a key focus and concern as enterprises’ IT estates balloon in scope and cost, and vendors more aggressively audit their customers. Recent research has revealed nearly 70% of companies have undergone a major software license audit in the past three years. For many enterprises, these audits can result in massive financial penalties.

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  • Is IT Procurement Ready for What Comes Next? NPI 05.03.24

    The demands being placed on IT procurement teams have reached a fever pitch. The volume of transactions that must be managed at any given time has exploded. The speed at which those transactions have to be executed in order to meet the demands of the business is accelerating. And the amount of category spend on the line is growing. Gartner’s updated forecast estimates worldwide IT spending will grow by 8% to $5.06 trillion in 2024.

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  • Understanding SaaS Spend Management: Best Practices & Strategies NPI 04.25.24

    Enterprise SaaS spending has exploded in recent years. That’s not surprising as SaaS is the preferred software delivery model for most organizations. However, only in recent years has SaaS spending overtaken traditional software investments, with 64.5% of organizations choosing SaaS compared to 34.5% opting for on-premise. Estimates show SaaS revenues are expected to increase to $282.2 billion in 2024 and to $374.5 billion by 2028.

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  • Microsoft Fabric and the Retirement of Power BI Premium Capacity NPI 04.17.24

    It has been about a year since Microsoft announced Microsoft Fabric, which provides customers with an end-to-end unified analytics platform that aims to address every aspect of an organization’s analytics needs. Per Microsoft’s website, Fabric “integrates technologies like Azure Data Factory, Azure Synapse Analytics, and Power BI into a single unified product, empowering data and business professionals alike to...

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  • Top IT Budgeting Best Practices for Businesses NPI 04.03.24

    When you consider that IT spending in 2023 topped $4.6 trillion globally and is forecast to reach $5.1 trillion in 2024, making sure you manage your IT budget effectively and get a fair price for what you’re buying is crucial. Unfortunately, most enterprises are overpaying. NPI’s objective price benchmark analysis turns up savings on more than 85% of the quotes we examine. Savings can range from 10% to 50% and higher.

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  • Best Practices to Improve Your SaaS Renewal Negotiation Strategy NPI 04.02.24

    With cloud migration growing rapidly, companies are spending a lot more on SaaS platforms. Gartner forecasts SaaS spending to top $232 billion globally, growing at a rate of nearly 18% annually. These investments are accounting for larger shares of IT budgets as vendors are increasingly aggressive about phasing out residual perpetual licenses in favor of subscription models that provide recurring monthly revenue.

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  • How to Prepare for an Oracle License Audit   NPI 03.20.24

    If you’re an Oracle customer, expect a license audit in your future. Oracle has become much more aggressive in pursuing audits in recent years — especially for companies running Oracle’s solutions in conjunction with VMware virtualization. Java users are also facing heightened audit risk since the introduction of a new pricing model for Java SE subscriptions.

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  • Microsoft Antitrust Investigation Update: Will U.S. Customers Be Impacted? NPI 03.14.24

    Microsoft is no stranger to antitrust investigations, but the latest inquiries coming out of the European Union have given the tech industry (and some Microsoft customers) pause. If you’re not already familiar with Microsoft’s antitrust investigation history, here is a quick primer: In 1998, the Justice Dept and 20 states charged Microsoft with violating antitrust laws.

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  • Why 2024 Could Be the Most Competitive Telecom Market Ever NPI 03.12.24

    The enterprise telecommunications marketplace has undergone significant transformations over the last 25 years, influenced by technological advancements, regulatory changes, and evolving business demands. During that time, the market has transitioned from analog to digital technologies. The expansion of broadband internet access made high-speed internet a utility as essential as water or electricity.

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  • Smartsheet Increases Pricing at Alarming Rate NPI 02.29.24

    Enterprise IT buyers are no stranger to software price increases these days as most vendors have raised rates on incumbent solutions to drive revenues higher. In some cases, the scope of these rate hikes is justified given external economic factors like inflation and supply chain disruptions. But there are other times when the scope is beyond justification. Smartsheet’s recent price increases are a good example of the latter.

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  • Understanding the Basics of SaaS Licensing NPI 02.27.24

    In the past seven years, the SaaS industry has grown an estimated 500%. It’s no surprise that organizations with more than 1,000 employees use an average of 177 SaaS applications. Today, SaaS applications account for 70% of total company software use and that number is expected to grow as many IT vendors phase out on-premise software offerings.

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  • Is Microsoft Teams Premium Worth the Cost? NPI 01.19.24

    Microsoft announced the general availability of Microsoft Teams Premium in February 2023 to much fanfare as well as a few criticisms. While the debut of several AI-powered features were received enthusiastically by some enterprise users, the vendor also stirred frustration when it announced some features that were previously free in the standard edition would now only be available in Teams Premium.

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  • What is IT Sourcing’s Role Today? NPI 12.21.23

    The evolution of enterprise IT sourcing is an interesting one to chart over the decades. Twenty years ago or so, the procurement of enterprise IT was largely handled by the organization’s IT department. Not yet a distinct category of sourcing expertise, IT was believed to be too complex, too technical, and too important to be under the purview of procurement.

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  • Broadcom Acquisition of VMware Reveals Major Licensing Changes NPI 12.20.23

    On November 22, 2023, Broadcom completed its acquisition of VMware leaving many wondering what the impact would be at a customer level. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on perspective, they didn’t have to wait very long. In the days following the acquisition, Broadcom made significant changes to VMware’s offerings that will affect countless enterprise customers. And this is likely just the beginning.

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  • Decoding Microsoft’s Licensing Shift: The Case of O365 F3’s Removal NPI 12.08.23

    On a monthly basis, Microsoft can change the use rights and offerings for their license agreements and these changes can be found on their Product Terms page. This page isn’t very intuitive, and changes are often hard to spot. One such example is the recent removal of O365 from Microsoft’s Enterprise Agreement offerings.

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  • Why AWS and Google Cloud’s End of Discount Term Clause is a Red Flag NPI 12.07.23

    Despite the critical nature of IaaS and PaaS, it’s not uncommon for customers of the industry’s largest hyperscalers (e.g. AWS, Azure, Google Cloud) to overlook some of the fine print in contractual business terms. One example is the "end of term" clause in AWS and Google Cloud agreements. The verbiage should set off alarm bells for anyone in enterprise sourcing, legal, or risk management.

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  • Instacart’s IPO Triggers Snowflake Pricing Review NPI 11.16.23

    In the intricate web of IT vendor intelligence, sometimes the most revealing insights come from unexpected sources. Instacart’s recent S-1 filing, a prerequisite for its IPO, has inadvertently put a spotlight on the competitive dynamics and behaviors of cloud solution providers, particularly Snowflake pricing. This revelation not only sparked a battle among industry giants but also raised crucial questions about cloud computing costs for businesses.

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  • Navigating an Oracle License Audit NPI 11.09.23

    From an IT procurement perspective, the large enterprise Oracle software estate has always been difficult to navigate. Overspending and overprovisioning is rampant. License terms and rules are complex. Customers regularly end up with less-than-optimal pricing and business terms when negotiating contracts or renewals. Negotiating a world-class outcome with Oracle requires careful assessment of deployments and deep pricing and negotiation intel to optimize enterprise agreements.

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  • Oracle Java User Update: Observations and Advice for Java SE Universal Subscription NPI 10.13.23

    This past January, Oracle quietly rolled-out a bold change to Java licensing and – in effect – how it generates Java SE Subscription revenue. Oracle’s new Java SE Universal Subscription is, in effect, a replacement for the Named User Plus (NUP) and Processor license models. Under the new model, Oracle now bills customers for Java based on the total number of employees rather than processors or desktop users.

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  • 3 Tips for Saving on Your Oracle ULA NPI 09.29.23

    Oracle's Unlimited Licensing Agreements (ULAs) have long been a staple for larger enterprises looking to navigate their relationship with the tech giant. The allure of such agreements is undeniable: a seemingly unending use of Oracle's vast software library. But it comes at a cost—steep annual fees that typically increase over time. Often, these fees have been counterbalanced by a protective umbrella against Oracle’s progressively more frequent software license audits.

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  • Preparing for SAP’s 2024 Support Fee Increase NPI 09.27.23

    SAP has long held a significant and relatively conservative presence in the enterprise IT landscape. The vendor’s more recent push to the cloud (and resulting solutions and programs like S/4HANA Cloud and Rise with SAP) have revealed new agility – a positive for their customers’ fast-changing technology ecosystems. However, the vendor’s recent support fee increase has raised eyebrows and concerns.

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  • Microsoft Windows Server Licensing Changes Unlock Potential Savings NPI 09.26.23

    In October 2022, Microsoft quietly introduced key amendments to licensing requirements for Windows Server/CIS. These changes were a conscious deviation from Microsoft’s stringent approach to licensing products in cloud and virtualized environments. At the time, Microsoft had been criticized by enterprise customers for its lack of flexible licensing policies.

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  • Is Zoom’s One Platform Worth the Cost? NPI 09.22.23

    A little over a year ago, Zoom announced the Zoom One platform. Essentially, it bundles together options for team chat, phone, whiteboard, meetings, and other Zoom services into a single solution. Currently, Zoom offers six types of bundles that range from least to most robust. They include Basic, Pro, Business, Business Plus, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus.

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  • Understanding Tenant-Wide Services for M365 NPI 09.11.23

    Microsoft’s increasingly broad portfolio of SaaS offerings can be overwhelming for many customers. They range from productivity products like Office 365 E3 and E5 to advanced security and compliance products like M365 E5 Security to the M365 E5 eDiscovery & Audit products. The sheer quantity of products isn’t the only factor – there are various versions of each (E3, E5, Standard, Enterprise, Premium, and more) to consider.

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  • What is SaaS Management and How Can It Save You Money? NPI 08.30.23

    With some form of cloud adoption and digital transformation touching every industry, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of Software as a Service (SaaS) applications. Today, managing every phase of the SaaS lifecycle is challenging. From procurement and onboarding, to integration and training, to security and compliance, to usage and cost optimization

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  • How to Prepare for Your Next Adobe Renewal NPI 07.24.23

    Negotiating a fair deal with Adobe can be tough, especially given how pervasive its products are in the enterprise. But is it impossible? Certainly not. These Adobe negotiation insights will help you formulate a go-forward strategy.

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  • Tech M&A Fallout: How Large Enterprises Can Minimize the Cost and Compliance Risks NPI 07.11.23

    Globally speaking, M&A activity has been lackluster throughout 2023. Q1 2023 saw a global deal volume of $559 billion, one of the lowest quarterly volumes in the last 10 years. But there are bright spots – like tech M&A. In the tech sector, cautious optimism has been the prevailing sentiment with a 20% increase in deal volume and a 40% increase in average deal size according to PwC. Leading PE firms with large tech portfolios also remain active.

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  • Microsoft Intune Suite Licensing: What’s New? NPI 06.30.23

    Microsoft announced an overhaul of its endpoint management products during Microsoft Ignite 2022 including the introduction of a new family of products. While Microsoft introduced Microsoft Intune as the new name for all endpoint management-related products, the name itself is not new. The cloud-based endpoint management platform has been known as Microsoft Intune since it was rebranded from Windows Intune in 2014.

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  • A Mid-Year Checklist for Enterprise Telecom Cost Reduction NPI 06.15.23

    As we approach the mid-year mark, many procurement leaders have been tasked with getting rid of cost waste across the IT ecosystem. This is not a byproduct of any sort of widespread slashing of enterprise IT budgets (most enterprises will spend more, not less, in 2023). Rather, it’s a cautious response to the current business climate, and a doubling-down on good IT budget hygiene.

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  • How to Mitigate the Cost Risks of IT Vendor Lock-in NPI 05.24.23

    IT vendor lock-in – should companies fight it or embrace it? Historically, IT procurement best practices have suggested companies should push back against vendor lock-in. Competition provides buy-side leverage. But the reality is IT vendor lock-in is virtually impossible to avoid in the current enterprise IT landscape – especially with mega vendors that power critical business operations.

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  • 5 Questions to Ask to Reduce Software Renewal Costs NPI 05.18.23

    As enterprise software costs spike, many IT procurement organizations are feeling new pressure from executive stakeholders to reassess and rein in spend. This is especially true for organizations that are also balancing transformation priorities. We’re frequently asked questions like: Where can we reduce IT spend without affecting “X” initiatives? How can we spend less without causing business or technical disruption? Are IT cost-cutting initiatives worth it in the long run?

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  • Fortifying Your IT Budget: Proactive Strategies to Minimize Software License Audit Risks NPI 05.17.23

    As economic headwinds gained strength in 2022, many IT and procurement organizations mobilized to execute IT cost optimization exercises that would reduce spend, deliver hard-dollar savings, and establish a more efficient run rate for 2023 IT operations. Now, as we speed towards the second half of 2023, it’s clear these budgets are under attack from an unanticipated adversary: software license audits. And the cost risk is quite grave.

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  • Understanding Microsoft Step-Up Licenses and When to Purchase Them NPI 04.19.23

    What happens when you’ve purchased a lower edition Microsoft license type and then decide you want to upgrade to the higher edition? If you’re a long-time enterprise Microsoft customer, you’ve probably run into this scenario before. Fortunately (at least in some cases) Microsoft has a SKU ready to help – the Microsoft Step-Up license.

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  • IT Procurement in a Changing Landscape: How NPI’s IT Purchase Data Can Guide Your Strategy NPI 04.12.23

    In 2022, NPI analyzed over $25 billion in IT purchases made by large enterprises. What does that data tell us about where we’re heading in 2023? Economically speaking, the trend of volatility that shaped much of 2022 is still defining the market as we enter the second quarter of 2023. During this time, most enterprise IT leaders have enacted a more conservative approach to IT spend management.

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  • Microsoft Server and Cloud Enrollment: Is Microsoft SCE Right for Me? NPI 03.31.23

    At first glance, Microsoft’s Server and Cloud Enrollment is simply another contractual licensing agreement from Microsoft with a three-year term, just like the Enterprise Agreement and Enterprise Subscription Agreement. Indeed, it is often established as a “companion” agreement with the EA and EAS. But a closer look shows that it is a much more versatile licensing vehicle.

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  • Akamai Takes on a New Frontier: Cloud Computing NPI 03.29.23

    Akamai, widely known for its content delivery network (CDN) and security offerings, recently made a surprising announcement. The company is entering the world of cloud computing with the launch of Akamai Connected Cloud, a massively distributed edge and cloud platform.

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  • Qualtrics Acquisition: Two Essential Actions Customers Should Take NPI 03.24.23

    Recent news of Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse has taken center stage and drowned out other significant moves in the market. One example is the $12.5 billion acquisition of Qualtrics by Silver Lake and CPP Investments. Qualtrics is a customer and employee experience management company that offers a cloud-based...

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  • How to Neutralize Verizon’s Economic Adjustment Charge NPI 03.10.23

    Wireless carriers have always been a fan of add-on fees and charges – it’s a tried-and-true revenue stream outside of their normal customer rates. But over the past several months, we are seeing the list and scope of these fees growing for enterprise customers. One example is Verizon’s “Economic Adjustment Charge.”

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  • Oracle Java License Change Will Have Major Cost Implications NPI 02.16.23

    A change to Java licensing rules could have major cost implications for Oracle customers of all sizes. Oracle recently announced a new pricing model for Java SE subscriptions. The Employee for Java SE Universal Subscription replaces the Named User Plus Licensing and Processor licenses (user and server licensing, respectively) and is based on the customer’s number of employees.

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  • Important Advice for Customers Making the Switch from ECC to S/4HANA NPI 02.07.23

    The pressure for SAP customers to convert from ECC, its legacy ERP platform, to S/4HANA looms large in 2023. Despite the fact that mainstream support for ECC ends in 2027, most customers are struggling to make the switch. Recent data indicates 69% of ECC clients have not yet licensed S/4HANA. That’s a concerning number as the window to begin making changes grows surprisingly short.

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  • 2023 Tablet Pricing Trends NPI 01.18.23

    While some anticipate PC and tablet sales to continue to decline in 2023, much of that decline is expected to stabilize by 2024. That could have something to do with growing adoption of tablet and tablet PC configurations as business-standard devices by enterprise customers. NPI data reflects this trend as we see more of our clients adopt (and refresh) these kinds of devices.

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  • What You Need to Know about Direct vs. Indirect Microsoft Resellers NPI 12.30.22

    The Microsoft reseller ecosystem is large and complex – but, for many enterprise customers, resellers are an integral part of the Microsoft relationship. To better understand how the vendor does business with its largest accounts, it’s important to understand the differences between Direct and Indirect Microsoft Resellers.

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  • 3 Resources for Better Salesforce Contract Negotiations NPI 12.28.22

    It’s been an interesting year for Salesforce. For the second time in under three years, co-CEO Marc Benioff will part ways with his co-CEO. There appears to be internal strife around the company’s acquisition of Slack, the most expensive subscription software acquisition of all time. And perhaps most telling is the vendor’s revenue growth rate. According to the vendor’s recent quarterly earnings, revenue grew 14%

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  • What’s New with Microsoft Windows Server Licensing? NPI 12.22.22

    Microsoft is known for its stringent rules around licensing products in cloud and virtualized environments. It’s been the subject of complaint among enterprise customers as well as the crux of anticompetitive accusations in the EU. In response, Microsoft has announced more flexible licensing policies for some products over the last several months – including Microsoft Windows Server.

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  • 3 Questions to Help You Get the Most Out of Tiered Pricing for IT Purchases NPI 12.21.22

    NPI observes a lot of mistakes in IT vendor price quotes. Over the years, these (mistakes) have ranged from inaccurate quantities and incorrect part numbers to things like “free” equipment or licensing that was never discussed. What do they all have in common? They typically benefit the vendor’s bottom line. Hand in hand with these instances are errors in tiered pricing.

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  • How to Reduce Microsoft 365 Costs NPI 12.15.22

    When large companies ask us where they can make a meaningful impact on reducing IT spend, one area we advise them to focus on is their largest SaaS software deployments. They almost always reveal significant cost-saving opportunities. One great example is Microsoft 365. Companies are spending more on M365 than ever before for several reasons.

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  • Are You Ready for a Spike in AT&T T1 Pricing? NPI 12.07.22

    Every sector of the tech industry has its dinosaurs. In computing, it’s the mainframe. In software, it’s the perpetual license. And in connectivity, it’s the copper-based T1 line. What do all these things have in common? They’re still widely used by millions of businesses across the globe. And in the case of customers using AT&T’s T1 lines, that’s a bit of a problem.

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  • The Pros and Cons of RISE with SAP (RWS) NPI 12.01.22

    As IT vendors acknowledge the complexity of customers’ digital transformation initiatives, many are engineering new products and solutions specifically designed to simplify and accelerate those projects. Enter SAP. In 2021, SAP launched RISE with SAP – or RWS for short. But like a lot of SAP offerings, it’s not easy to understand exactly what RWS is, its pros and cons, and who it’s best suited for.

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  • IBM Monthly License Charges Increasing More than Usual NPI 11.16.22

    Across the enterprise IT ecosystem, more and more vendors are passing on some of the burden of high inflationary costs to customers. In the past, a 1 to 3% rate hike was within Fair Market Value (FMV) standards in most cases. In 2022, the perception of “fair” looks more like 3 to 5% as vendors grow increasingly inflexible in their minimum price increases...

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  • Is an Enterprise License Agreement Worth It? NPI 09.30.22

    Sales teams for enterprise IT vendors have always had to be creative in order to make quotas. Meanwhile, customers are scrutinizing larger purchases as IT spend continues to climb year over year. That’s leading many to question the value of vendor’s sales propositions – including whether an Enterprise License Agreement (ELA) makes sense.

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  • Expert Tips for Better SaaS Spend Management NPI 09.28.22

    We’ve written about SaaS cost management extensively on this blog in recent months. Why? Because companies are spending more on SaaS...a lot more. Gartner estimates SaaS spend will grow by 20% in 2022, and that estimate is conservative for many enterprise customers.

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  • Advice From the Experts: Enterprise Software Cost and License Optimization Must-Do’s NPI 09.26.22

    NPI and Procurement Foundry recently hosted a Topics in Technology Sourcing panel on Optimizing Licensing and Cost in Large Software Estates. Procurement executives from American Airlines and ADM as well as NPI’s own software licensing experts covered a lot of territory on how IT procurement can reduce cost and improve license management across their largest software deployments.

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  • 3 Ways Businesses Can Save on Wireless Costs Right Now NPI 09.21.22

    No corner of enterprise spend is immune to inflation – including business wireless costs. Carriers like AT&T and Verizon have raised fees in recent months to head off inflationary pressures as well as “motivate” customers to switch to newer plans. But as the wireless carrier market becomes less competitive (it’s essentially a three-carrier marketplace), many enterprises are wondering how they can get a handle on rising wireless costs.

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  • Visiting Microsoft’s Executive Briefing Center? Read This First. NPI 09.16.22

    Large Microsoft enterprise customers are often invited to the Executive Briefing Center, and it is a visit well worth your time. As our former enterprise sales executives for Microsoft will attest, it’s a great opportunity for Microsoft to showcase its technology to customers in a purpose-built environment, along with fostering executive relationships.

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  • Cloud Cost Management: What Are You Missing? NPI 09.15.22

    Much has been written about the concept of cloud cost management with a lot of it centered around workload planning and clearly defining requirements. While these things certainly important, the work doesn’t stop there. NPI explores 5 often overlooked activities you should be doing to keep cloud costs in check.

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  • What Customers Should Do as Avaya’s Financial Stability Collapses NPI 09.06.22

    Avaya, a once multi-billion dollar cloud communications and collaboration company faces new fiscal hurdles after a debt refinancing plan ran aground. Now, only five years after a Chapter 11 bankruptcy and entry back into public markets, Avaya’s financial stability is in question again as investors fume at potentially being led astray.

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  • Microsoft Limits Azure Instances – What Should You Do? NPI 08.05.22

    As supply chain issues persist across the IT world, shortages have started hitting a new area: cloud services. Recent reports show that capacity issues are affecting Microsoft Azure customers globally – from Washington State to Europe and beyond. More than two dozen Azure data centers are experiencing limited server capacity, and Microsoft expects capacity to remain limited until early 2023.

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  • 3 Tips to Help You Better Manage Enterprise SaaS Costs NPI 07.13.22

    There has been a lot of debate about the phasing out of on-premise software in favor of SaaS. The overall consensus is something like this – on-premise is going the way of the residential landline. Sure, it will continue to exist and some will continue to use it (more than enterprise SaaS providers would have you believe). But the overall transition to SaaS is accelerating.

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  • Licensing Insights for Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare NPI 06.30.22

    A number of big tech companies are increasing their focus on healthcare, including Amazon, Apple, Alphabet and others. Another big name on the list is Microsoft. Microsoft is no stranger to investing R&D dollars in healthcare solutions, but its latest result – Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare – is certainly its most ambitious.

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  • A Guide to Backdoor Software License Compliance Audits NPI 06.29.22

    Economic headwinds are putting pressure on most businesses in most industries – including tech companies. For customers with large software estates from certain enterprise vendors, the effect is a bit of a double whammy. Not only are IT costs rising, but the risk of a software license compliance audit has also become significantly greater.

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  • The Value of Optimizing the Assets in Your Salesforce Estate NPI 06.21.22

    Many large Salesforce customers struggle to identify opportunities for cost reduction in their estate as they prepare for their renewal negotiations. Optimizing Salesforce assets is often a cross-functional collaboration exercise. But many enterprises don’t have vendor management functions to assure that procurement, IT and business...

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  • Does Microsoft Cloud PC Make Sense for Your Business? NPI 06.20.22

    Over the last year, Microsoft has launched a new category of product to the market – the Cloud PC. In this article, we’ll discuss what Microsoft Cloud PC is, how it works, what makes it attractive, and how to determine if it’s a fit for your organization.

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  • How Will Broadcom’s Acquisition of VMware Affect VMware Customers? NPI 06.14.22

    For the most part, NPI’s clients have good relationships with their IT vendors. Sure, some vendors are less pleasant to do business with than others. But, by and large, there is mutual respect – customers need their IT vendors to be successful and vice versa. Every now and then, however, an IT vendor goes rogue.

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  • Oracle Universal Credits Licensing and Pricing Basics for OCI NPI 06.02.22

    f you’re a customer of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure services, you’ve likely heard of Oracle’s Universal Credits subscription model. Oracle introduced it back in 2017 to better compete with increasingly flexible consumption and pricing options offered by IaaS and PaaS leaders like AWS.

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  • Why Does the Salesforce Renewal Negotiation Have to Be So Hard? NPI 05.17.22

    Here’s a comment we heard recently from a NPI client executive at a Fortune 500 Health and Life Sciences company after they’d just finished a Salesforce renewal negotiation: “We go through all this pain to sign the agreement and I wake up the next morning and have no idea what I paid for.”

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  • How to Win the Green Jacket in IT Procurement NPI 04.12.22

    Last week, all eyes were on the Masters Tournament as legends and legends in the making competed for the coveted Green Jacket. But what on earth does that have to do with IT procurement? Here’s what NPI CEO Jon Winsett had to say over on LinkedIn...

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  • ESG in IT Sourcing NPI 03.31.22

    Environmental, Social, Governance – ESG for short – has changed how many investors and companies assess risk and opportunity as they invest in and fortify supply chains. As any procurement team will tell you, these non-financial indicators have become increasingly important in recent years. Initially, ESG compliance and evaluation was a qualitative analysis focused on unearthing risks...

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  • Changes to LinkedIn Sales Navigator Pricing and Renewals NPI 03.28.22

    Whether you’re pondering a new purchase or have a renewal on the horizon, there are changes to LinkedIn Sales Navigator pricing that you should be aware of. For the uninitiated, Microsoft acquired LinkedIn several years ago – but that doesn’t mean Sales Navigator is a standard part of Microsoft’s Enterprise Agreement. To the contrary, actually...

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  • Chasing World-Class Outcomes NPI 03.24.22

    Procurement could learn a thing or two from Inventing Anna. Not the imposter bit, of course. But something about what’s made the story so interesting to so many people. If you’ve been keeping your ear to the ground, you’ve probably noticed a handful of new terms pop up in procurement circles. One is “world-class outcomes.” It’s a world-class result as compared to peer purchases in the market. Noble for sure, and viable for many organizations. But “world-class” anything doesn’t just happen...

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  • Microsoft Viva Insights – Has Microsoft Found the Balance Between Productivity and Privacy? NPI 03.23.22

    Late last year, Microsoft “rebranded” its Workplace Analytics product. The new product name is Microsoft Viva Insights and it aims to pick up where Workplace Analytics left off – or, depending on how you look at it, fell down. One obvious change is the pricing. There was a price reduction of about 43% with the introduction of Viva Insights. In addition to the rebranding, Microsoft has somewhat changed the messaging...

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  • How To Maximize IT Renewal Savings During Contract Negotiation NPI 03.16.22

    There are almost always opportunities to save on an IT renewal, but it calls for a bit of forensic analysis to reveal your options. Preparation is key – and it needs to begin months before the expiration of your current term! Questions to ask and data points to collect include...

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  • Oracle’s Cerner Acquisition – What Does It Mean for Cerner Customers? NPI 03.15.22

    Late last December, as most folks settled into the holidays and a slow business news cycle, Oracle spiced things up. It announced the acquisition of medical-records systems provider Cerner Corp. for $28.3 billion. An Oracle Cerner acquisition was – and is – big news that deserves revisiting. Cerner is among the top EHR vendors in the world, competing with market leader Epic Systems, Allscripts and a handful of...

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  • As Ukraine Crisis Unfolds, Companies Prepare for Higher IT Costs NPI 03.11.22

    As the crisis in Ukraine unfolds, we’re reminded of the connectedness of the global economy and how it impacts all facets of business – including IT and the IT supply chain. How will this conflict impact IT costs and what can companies do to mitigate and prepare? NPI’s experts weigh in.

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  • PagerDuty Pricing and Renewals – Are You Paying What You Should? NPI 03.07.22

    Before smartphones and text were a thing, there were pagers – a cute little box that sent alphanumeric message alerts. While pagers are (for the most part) an outdated artifact, PagerDuty has added panache and modernization to the concept. It provides a SaaS incident response platform for IT departments that has attracted customers like SAP, Zoom, Yelp and others. As its popularity has grown, PagerDuty pricing has taken some twists and turns...

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  • How to Negotiate a Better POS System Price NPI 02.07.22

    New technologies like NFC and EMV chips are helping to drive many POS upgrades. Mobile can require a complete and potentially expensive change to current systems. Integrating a mPOS system that can also be used for inventory management can be a huge benefit, but also add to software costs. With a potential move to mPOS, there may still be use cases to implement for customers that want to pay in cash...

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  • Cisco Price Increase: How to Offset the Impact NPI 02.02.22

    Cisco’s latest price increase is significant. While the vendor claims the hike to be an “average” of 10% across its entire portfolio, the reality is most offerings will cost 15 to 25% more. In this post, we discuss three things customers can do to offset the financial impact of these changes.

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  • How to Negotiate with Workday for the Best Renewal NPI 01.21.22

    Despite customers demanding easier ways to engage and source with software providers, there are some vendors that are holding the line on the status quo. Complexity continues to rule the day for many software sourcing transactions, and the Workday renewal is an excellent example of this. Years ago, when NPI began seeing Workday renewals and new purchases on a regular basis, transactions were relatively easy to evaluate...

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  • How to Counter Higher Costs for Global Technology Professional Services NPI 01.19.22

    As the pandemic continues to dominate headlines and every aspect of our lives, the technology industry continues to adapt. Similar to manufacturing supply chains, the global supply chain for technology professional services has been impacted. We now find ourselves amid a global talent shortage due to various factors like the Great Resignation and higher demand...

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  • Understanding Microsoft’s New Commerce Experience NPI 01.12.22

    There’s been a lot of buzz about Microsoft’s New Commerce Experience (NCE). What is it? Who does it impact? What do customers and partners need to know? In 2019, Microsoft launched the New Commerce Experience (NCE) for Azure to simplify licensing management. This was done under the vendor’s Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program to deliver a simplified engagement experience that would benefit both Microsoft’s partners and customers as they purchase Microsoft’s cloud solutions...

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  • Are Power BI Premium Per User Licenses Right for You? Dan Brewster
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    12.23.21

    Earlier this month, I wrote a blog about Microsoft’s Power BI Premium Capacity licenses, which is a good way to share dashboards and reports throughout the enterprise. This month, though, I’d like to briefly review the Power BI Premium Per User licenses. As you probably know, Power BI is a business analytics service by Microsoft and part of the Microsoft Power Platform. It aims to provide...

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  • IT Benchmarking Metrics – Assessing Fair Market Value for Purchases NPI 12.22.21

    Overpaying for enterprise software, cloud infrastructure, hardware and IT services is all too common. Unfortunately, inconsistencies in market pricing can make it difficult for buyers to determine whether a vendor’s pricing is within fair market value range. Below, we dive into the importance of assessing fair market value pricing for enterprise IT purchases, as well as a few tips to consider before your next transaction...

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  • Office 365 Price Increase FAQ Michael Kegley
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    12.17.21

    Microsoft’s latest Office 365 price increase will mean higher costs for many of the vendor’s enterprise customers. If you’re wondering if the O365 price increase will impact your spend, here is what you need to know...

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