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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

  • 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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  • How to Get More Out of Your SaaS Spend 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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  • SaaS Spend Management Best Practices NPI 08.29.22

    SaaS spending has been on the upswing for decades. But it’s only recently that we’re seeing SaaS spend overtake traditional software investments. Now is the time for companies to make sure they have the tools and practices in place to eliminate SaaS overspending.

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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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  • What is FinOps and Why Do You Need It? Jim Hussey
    NPI
    12.16.21

    As adoption of enterprise-scale cloud services has become commonplace, so have the challenges associated with managing them. Decades in, the evolution is still underway with many companies adopting a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCOE) and, more recently, the establishment of FinOps. But before we delve into what FinOps is and why it is important, let’s review...

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  • A Guide to Understanding Power BI Premium Capacity Licenses Dan Brewster
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    12.07.21

    In a crowded business intelligence solution marketplace, few solutions match the popularity (and revenue) of Microsoft’s Power BI. More than 250,000 organizations use Power BI, including 97 percent of the Fortune 500. Over the years, the offering has evolved quite a bit – most recently with the introduction of Power BI Premium capacity licenses. For many customers, these...

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  • Cloud Cost Optimization Tips Amid Higher Cloud Provider Fees Kristian Tuinzing
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    12.02.21

    It’s impossible to ignore the seemingly ubiquitous nature of the cloud and the services it now renders to businesses of all sizes all over the globe. But the scale of adoption within these businesses varies greatly (along with cloud costs) – especially when it comes to the enterprise sector...

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  • It’s an Exciting New Era for the Art and Science of IT Procurement Jon Winsett
    CEO, NPI
    11.30.21

    As a spend category, IT is undergoing its own transformation and pressure on procurement teams is increasing. Is it an exciting time to be in IT procurement? You bet. But the pressure and stakes are high. As the discipline undergoes changes, new resources and approaches will be critical to sourcing IT effectively...

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  • ServiceNow Pros and Cons: Should You Purchase ITSM Enterprise? NPI 11.17.21

    As ServiceNow becomes more entrenched in enterprises’ IT ecosystems, its product portfolio becomes more complicated. With each biannual release comes new subscriptions with enhanced capabilities, and changes to existing offerings. The latest example is the ServiceNow ITSM Enterprise offering...

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  • Exploring the Pros and Cons of a Cisco Enterprise Agreement NPI 11.12.21

    Volume purchasing programs can be an attractive way for enterprises to do business with their largest IT vendors – including the Cisco Enterprise Agreement. Large customers with significant levels of Cisco spend may be inclined to default to an EA to help streamline purchasing. But spend size, while certainly important, should not be the only determining factor...

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  • How to Create a Vendor Negotiation Strategy for a Software Renewal Mike Megehee
    Consulting Services Director, NPI
    11.05.21

    It’s that time of year again, where IT and IT procurement teams find themselves eyeballs-deep in a flurry of software renewals. With fiscal year-ends approaching for dozens of enterprise IT vendors, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Heck, considering all of the nuances of each software renewal, it’s difficult not to.

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  • Telecom Cost Management for Large Enterprises in 2022 NPI 11.01.21

    Managing telecom spend has always been difficult for enterprises. But as the pace of change in the telecom industry accelerates, the complexities that define telecom cost management grow in lockstep. We recently spoke with telecom sourcing executives from Gap, Inc. and Intuit to find out what’s top of mind for their organizations as 2022 approaches and how they’re working through the challenges and opportunities. Here are some key takeaways...

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  • The True Cost of Unlimited Voice and Data Plans Matt West
    Director of Network Services, NPI
    10.28.21

    Remember when wireless service providers like AT&T and Verizon offered unlimited plans? And then they tried to get rid of them and substitute pooled-data plans instead? Today, we’ve come full circle. Providers are re-introducing unlimited plans to the market, which gives rise to a few questions. Why did that happen?

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  • Software Negotiation Tips for IT Purchases Gregg Spivack
    Vice President of Client Services, NPI
    10.12.21

    Negotiation leverage isn’t always easy to come by in IT buying – especially for more routine “auto-pilot” transactions like renewals. A few recent purchase optimizations we helped clients with got us thinking about how we achieved savings despite low leverage. These were mainly renewal events...

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  • Windows 365 Price and Purchase Considerations Michael Kegley
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    09.30.21

    During Inspire 2021, Microsoft announced Windows 365, the vendor’s latest addition to hybrid computing. Available later in 2021, Windows 365 is a cloud service that introduces a new way for users to experience Windows 10 or Windows 11. In this post, we dig into Windows 365 price and purchase considerations for enterprises...

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  • Google Cloud vs. AWS Marketplace: One Thing Enterprise IT Buyers Should Know NPI 09.27.21

    Enterprise IT vendors tend to have vast partner ecosystems and aggressive strategies to monetize those relationships. One example is the “marketplace” – a single point of entry where customers can easily purchase from multiple solution providers. The marketplaces hosted by Google Cloud and AWS continue to grow and have an influential effect across the broader cloud provider landscape...

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  • Software Audit Management: Are You Ready? Jim Hussey
    NPI
    09.23.21

    A great deal has been written on the subject of how to manage a software audit. You can find easy-to-follow, multi-step software audit management programs that align neatly with a logical workflow – all claiming to lead followers towards a successful conclusion with minimal findings and penalties levied. The issue, of course, is...

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  • How to Keep AI Pricing and Costs in Check Kristian Tuinzing
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    09.16.21

    AI – along with machine learning and automation – has been a part of the enterprise IT lexicon for some time. However, recent innovations and tailwinds from the pandemic have accelerated their adoption. That’s led to greater focus on cost control. Many companies are looking for ways to keep AI pricing and costs in check as they embark on new AI-related projects and expand those that are delivering value...

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  • How to Reduce ERP Implementation Costs Kim Addington
    COO, NPI
    09.09.21

    ERP implementations remain one of the most complex and expensive IT projects for large enterprises. A recent report from Software Path found the average budget per user for an ERP project to be $8,265. Other data suggests ERP implementation costs for large enterprises start at $1M to $10M and up to 200 percent of license fees, and go up from there.

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  • Pricing for PPM Tools is on the Rise Kristian Tuinzing
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    09.08.21

    Project Portfolio Management or PPM software has always been a mainstay of enterprise IT. Interestingly, pricing for these solutions is on the rise according to pricing data NPI tracks across clients of that are $1 billion or more in turnover. It seems what was once a minor spend concern is steadily becoming a major recurring annual investment in many cases...

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  • IT Budgeting Best Practices: Beware of the BAU Comparison Rich Staas
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    09.01.21

    As companies adapt their IT ecosystems to changing business requirements, the cost of change is becoming harder to gauge. More specifically, it’s becoming harder to determine if companies are paying a fair price for these changes. It’s worth revisiting certain IT budgeting best practices that govern this aspect of IT sourcing...

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  • Don’t Let a Vendor Presentation Replace a Proper IT Quote Michael Schulman
    Client Services Manager, NPI
    08.31.21

    Several vendors selling in today’s marketplace would have buyers believe that “the quote” has gone the way of the dinosaur, or at the very least is heading towards extinction. But the IT vendor quote is far from dead. In fact, it’s never been more important...

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  • How to Cut Costs on Your Salesforce Renewal Kim Addington
    COO, NPI
    08.26.21

    If you’re a Salesforce customer, there is a good chance you will be renewing your agreement with the vendor within the next six months. That makes now an ideal time to strategize how you can save on your Salesforce renewal – a solid strategy is most certainly required...

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  • Determining the Value of IT Service Level Agreements Matt West
    Director of Telecommunication Services, NPI
    08.23.21

    Our enterprise clients often ask how much weight to put on IT service level agreements when sourcing a new supplier or service. This is never an easy question to answer and largely depends on how business-critical the service is, or the goal of the SLA in question. Enterprise IT ecosystems are vast and the criticality of one IT vendor versus the next varies – a network provider or...

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  • Should You Include Future Affiliates in Your Microsoft Enterprise Enrollment? Michael Kegley
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    08.12.21

    If you’ve ever completed a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA), you’re familiar with the Microsoft Enterprise Enrollment – it’s one of the required documents to establish an EA. Like a lot of things Microsoft, it seems straightforward at first. But closer inspection reveals complexity. One example is the option to include “Future Affiliates.”...

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  • Who is the Ideal Microsoft Frontline User? Dan Brewster
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    07.20.21

    Microsoft really likes the idea of licensing users rather than devices, but there are certain environments where the per user license model doesn’t quite fit – one being BPO (or business process outsourcing) organizations. The largest outsourcing organizations in the world use Microsoft, and most have call centers running 24x7 around the globe with rotating staff.

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  • Inflation Hitting PC Costs, But Effects on Enterprise Pricing Are Limited Kristian Tuinzing
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    06.30.21

    Between inflation concerns and pricing pressure caused by ongoing shortages of computer chips and other key components, many anticipate PC costs will rise among the big three OEMs: Dell, HP and Lenovo. Forecasting price changes is tricky business, even in categories where demand is clearly outpacing supply.

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  • Email Security Software Costs Increasing as Cyberattacks Rise Kristian Tuinzing
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    06.29.21

    The frequency of headline-grabbing cyberattacks is hard to ignore these days. Enterprise IT security teams and CISOs find themselves under increased pressure to ensure systems are safe – especially email, which remains one of the most common ways hackers infect IT environments.

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  • DLP Solutions: Tips to Prevent Overpaying as Demand Increases Michael Schulman
    Client Services Manager
    06.28.21

    The global data loss prevention software market is hotter than ever, thanks to shifts in how and where workers access corporate data and the ever-present push to the cloud. Predicted to grow at a CAGR of 19 percent, analysts estimate the market will reach $7 billion by 2027. Amid recent disruption, concerns about information security have grown as the number of employees working remotely has increased.

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  • SaaS License and Cost Optimization Tips for HCM Software Jim Hussey
    NPI
    06.25.21

    One factor that contributes to the complexity of SAM (Software Asset Management) is that challenges vary from one software category to the next. A clear example is HCM software (Human Capital Management). Due to the sensitive nature of the information HR teams manage, the systems and processes that support this function are isolated to ensure proper protections are enforced.

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  • How to Effectively Govern Adobe SaaS and On-Premise Software Estates Jim Hussey
    NPI
    06.21.21

    As the enterprise SaaS segment continues its meteoric growth, organizations are facing an increasingly complex challenge. How can they effectively manage compliance and license assets in software estates comprised of both on-premise and SaaS licenses? Perhaps no software publisher sums up this challenge better than Adobe...

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  • It’s Time to Review Managed Print Services Pricing Kristian Tuinzing
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    06.15.21

    Drastic changes in how and where workforces are working have naturally affected how enterprises consume managed print services – and not always as expected. While the shift to digital has caused many companies to consume less, some businesses that utilize centralized multi-function devices (MFDs) are experiencing increased consumption volumes.

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  • The Microsoft True-Down: Is it Possible to Reduce License Counts? Dan Brewster
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    06.08.21

    Most enterprise Microsoft customers are familiar with true-ups, but what about the inverse? Is a Microsoft true-down even an option? As is usually the case with Microsoft, the truth is in the fine print and the confusion in the grey area...

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  • Tips for Overcoming Objections During Your Next IT Vendor Contract Negotiation Rich Staas
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    06.03.21

    When negotiating IT deals, vendors typically lay out several objections to lowering costs. These objections will have you believe it’s impossible for the vendor to decrease pricing beyond any initial concessions. But is that really the case? How can enterprise IT buyers meet these objections head-on during vendor negotiations?

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  • Understanding Web Content Management System Software Pricing Metrics Gregg Spivack
    Vice President of Client Services, NPI
    06.02.21

    It’s hard to remember life before web content management system software as we know it today. For starters, the web itself served a different purpose. Most websites were fairly static – basically online brochures that required a technical knowledge of programming to create and update.

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  • Pricing Observations on Latest ServiceNow Release (Quebec) Stuart Hunt
    Client Services Manager, NPI
    05.27.21

    Quebec, the newest ServiceNow release, officially kicked off in mid-March 2021. In the months since the release, we’ve made a few observations worth sharing. First, for those unfamiliar with ServiceNow releases, each is named in alphabetical order after major international cities, i.e., Jakarta, Kingston, London, Madrid, New York, Orlando, Paris, and now Quebec. It is worth noting the release name is not explicitly detailed in documents.

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  • Tips to Save On Your VMware ELA Renewal Gregg Spivack
    Vice President of Client Services, NPI
    05.20.21

    Like a lot of IT purchasing events, the VMware ELA renewal has grown more complicated over the last few years. This is due in part to VMware’s ever-expanding list of offerings – a byproduct of numerous acquisitions like Pivotal and Carbon Black, and the introduction of more cloud-based solutions. As a result, today’s VMware ELAs comprise more “stuff.”

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  • How to Get the Best Deal from an Adobe Contract Negotiation Chris Vicknair
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    05.12.21

    When it comes to Adobe for enterprise customers, concessions can be hard to come by during negotiations. But is the tide turning? Perhaps. Clients regularly submit Adobe purchases to NPI for price benchmark analysis. In fact, in the first quarter of 2021, Adobe snagged the number three spot in our top ten list of vendors submitted for analysis (ranked by first year customer spend). It’s no secret Adobe has the most...

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  • Will Creative Financing for Network Security Hardware and Software Last? Michael Schulman
    Client Services Manager, NPI
    05.10.21

    Changes in IT spending patterns in 2020 didn’t dampen the overall performance of the IT sector, but did change vendor behavior in certain categories. Reprioritization of customers’ IT budgets meant greater scrutiny of spend. One area where NPI noticed an increase in analysis of spend was networking and network security hardware and software, for both new investments and the pursuit...

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  • Autodesk Licensing Update – Change is Coming and Now Is the Time to Prepare Chris Vicknair
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    04.21.21

    If your company is in the construction, manufacturing or engineering industry, there is a good chance you are spending quite a bit on Autodesk licensing. Autodesk provides PC software and multimedia tools designed to aid in architectural and mechanical design, as well as geographic information systems (GIS) and mapping.

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  • Changes to Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server Kevin Glunt
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    03.31.21

    Microsoft recently expanded the rights for Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server. For customers not familiar with Azure Hybrid Benefit, it’s a licensing benefit that allows you to use your on-premises Software Assurance-enabled Windows Server and SQL Server licenses on Azure. The cost benefits are attractive to customers and it’s just one more way Microsoft is trying to convince customers to run their software on Azure.

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  • Healthcare IT Spending – What Areas Will See an Increase? Rich Staas
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    03.24.21

    In 2019, Deloitte published a blueprint for a forthcoming transformation of the healthcare industry. In it, they claimed “health in 2040 will be a world apart from what we have now.” Little did they know that events in 2020 would drastically accelerate this transformation, accompanied by a burst of innovation in healthcare IT.

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  • Microsoft Licensing on AWS – More Insights on Changes to Remote Hosting and Your Options Dan Brewster
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    03.22.21

    Back in the day I used to tell clients that Microsoft didn’t really care who owned the hardware – as long as the product was being used for the exclusive benefit of the licensed customer. With the advent of virtual desktops being hosted at Amazon, Microsoft has changed its tune somewhat. In October of 2019, Microsoft quietly changed some of its...

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  • Savings Insights on the Warehouse PC Purchase Kristian Tuinzing
    Client Services Manager
    03.16.21

    While many office environments have closed during the global health crisis, warehouses are one area of the business that have seen physical activity skyrocket. The explosion in ecommerce has driven new investments in warehouse infrastructure, including IT, and has put a spotlight on one area in particular – the warehouse PC purchase. Traditional PC buying...

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  • TIBCO Pricing – From Sticker Shock to a Well Negotiated Deal Chris Vicknair
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    03.15.21

    TIBCO is one of those software vendors where spend is almost always large for the enterprise customer. If you’re using TIBCO, chances are you’re paying a lot of money. It is not uncommon to see a $100M+ list price on TIBCO deals. Thankfully, the vendor will offer substantial discounting to get their pricing into a...

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  • Oracle Licensing: 5 Common Types of Database Licenses
    NPI
    03.10.21

    Oracle offers enterprises many licensing options for its database products. Choosing the right license type for your technical, user and budgetary requirements can be challenging to say the least. This has led many customers to overbuy and overspend on Oracle licensing as well as unintentionally expose their Oracle software estates to compliance risk. Here are...

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  • Understanding the SAP License Audit Process
    NPI
    03.03.21

    One thing that makes it difficult to navigate a software license audit is that the process varies by vendor. At an atmospheric level, the process may be seem straightforward enough (receive a formal notification, share data, etc.), but it’s the nuances that count. And the nuances of the SAP audit process make it stand out....

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  • How to Secure Pandemic Discounts for IT Purchases Without Asking
    NPI
    03.01.21

    By now, we’re all familiar with the notion of pandemic discounts. The question for many is – should you still be asking for them? Pandemic discounts for IT purchases emerged last year as both vendors and their customers experienced massive disruption. Companies immediately began seeking deeper discounts from their vendors in the early days of...

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  • To Achieve Telecom Cost Reduction, Inspect Usage Charges in These Areas Matt West
    Director of Telecommunication Services, NPI
    02.25.21

    Reprioritization of IT spend has many business leaders setting new objectives for telecom cost reduction. That’s understandable given the proliferation of telecom overspend in the enterprise. NPI’s experience indicates a significant majority of business pay too much for wireless, wireline and network spend. For most, the savings opportunity is material – seven figures in some...

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  • Microsoft Negotiation Tactics – How to Leverage Microsoft’s Fiscal Year
    NPI
    02.23.21

    Just like Microsoft’s pricing and licensing, Microsoft negotiation tactics have evolved over the years. One example is timing, specifically how to leverage Microsoft’s fiscal year-end (June 30). In the past,  enterprises were advised to wait and negotiate their agreements closer to Microsoft’s quarter- or year-end. That’s not the case today. Microsoft’s fiscal third and fourth...

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  • An Update on MicroStrategy Licensing for Enterprise-Grade Data Visualization Gregg Spivack
    Vice President of Client Services, NPI
    02.19.21

    The data visualization space continues to heat up as enterprises demand more information visualization, analytics, and business intelligence tools. The global market, valued at $8.85B in 2019, is projected to reach $19.2B by 2027. The competitive landscape is also changing as established enterprise software vendors acquire new capabilities (e.g. Salesforce’s acquisition of Tableau in 2019) and...

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  • RPA License Costs: Keeping a Lid on Your Spend Michael Schulman
    Client Services Manager, NPI
    02.15.21

    Despite the volatility and disruption of the past year (in some measure, because of it), global robotic process automation software revenue is projected to reach $1.89 billion in 2021, an increase of 19.5 percent from 2020. A signal of accelerated digital transformation in the enterprise, companies are investing in RPA to reduce or remove the...

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  • How to Spend Less on Remote Workforce Security and Cloud-native Endpoint Protection Kristian Tuinzing
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    02.05.21

    For a majority of companies, more flexible work from home (WFH) policies are here to stay. A Gartner survey found that 80 percent of company leaders plan to allow employees to work remotely at least part-time after the pandemic, and 47 percent will allow employees to work from home on a full-time basis. With that, however,...

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  • Negotiating Software License Agreements
    NPI
    02.02.21

    As enterprises accelerate their transformation initiatives, a meticulously negotiated software license agreement has never been more important. But that’s easier said than done – particularly now. Here are our 10 tips for negotiating software license agreements in 2021.

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  • Do Microsoft’s New Software Bundles Make Sense from a Cost Perspective? Dan Brewster
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    01.14.21

    Are Microsoft’s software bundles worth the spend? It’s an easy question to answer if you need all components in Microsoft’s offer. But that’s typically not the case. Here’s advice on what enterprises can do to determine if a bundled purchase is the best deal for their requirements.

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  • 5 Ways to Cut Costs During Your Next SAP Contract Negotiation
    NPI
    12.21.20

    As one of the world’s leading providers of ERP and business management software, SAP’s ecosystem of solutions is constantly evolving to keep pace with enterprise needs. However, as its offerings evolve so do the complexities of purchasing them, making effective SAP contract negotiation more challenging than ever. SAP’s cloud focus, expanding solution portfolio, and push...

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  • Microsoft VDA 101: Is VDA Add-On Licensing Right for You? Joshua Osborne
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    12.16.20

    If you want to understand Windows VDA and VDA Add-on Licensing, it’s best to start with some background on Microsoft’s rather complicated Windows licensing history. First, however, let’s acknowledge just how ubiquitous Windows truly is. In the area of desktop and laptop computers, Microsoft Windows is the most commonly installed OS, with estimates ranging between 77 and 88 percent...

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  • Software License Compliance Metrics: Why Now is a Good Time to Reevaluate Rich Staas
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    12.10.20

    Just as software licensing has grown more complex, so have the metrics vendors use to define licensing volumes, and therefore govern compliance (case in point here) But complexity isn’t the only challenge. Some of the software license compliance metrics in use today don’t accurately reflect a true representation of usage to test compliance with entitlements....

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  • Negotiation for Anaplan Pricing: Business Performance Management Solutions Stuart Hunt
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    12.08.20

    2020 has brought new perspective to the importance of business performance management – especially as it relates to business-critical transformation. As such, some enterprises are seeking new tools for more intelligent strategizing and decision making across traditionally siloed parts of the business. One example of these solutions is Anaplan. Anaplan has been around since 2006...

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