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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

  • 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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  • 2 Tips to Prevent Overpaying for Data Loss Prevention Software 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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  • Combatting Objections During IT Vendor Negotiations 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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  • Adobe for Enterprise Customers – How to Negotiate a Better Deal 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 comprehensive product in its category.

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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 of creative ways to decrease or...

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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 – What Areas of Spend Will Grow Throughout 2021? 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 use rights that affect Microsoft licensing on AWS in an effort to further nudge...

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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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  • MicroStrategy Licensing and Pricing Gets More Complicated, But Still a Contender 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)...

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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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  • What is Windows VDA, VDA Add-on Licensing and Is it 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 Advice for Anaplan’s 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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  • Telecom and IT Price Negotiations: Should You Share Price Targets With Your Vendor? Matt West
    Director of Telecommunication Services, NPI
    12.01.20

    “Don’t tell them your budget” is a common prescription among sourcing professionals and a best practice for IT price negotiations. But how effective is it? That depends. If sourcing is engaged early, the purchase is well defined, and current market data is used to develop the budget, then delivering a purchase target to a supplier...

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  • Software Over-licensing and Overspending Grows Amid Ongoing Digital Shift Kristian Tuinzing
    Client Services Manager, NPI
    11.02.20

    Enterprise software vendors have always been adept at convincing customers to buy more than they need.  The growing threat of being audited by a software vendor has also encouraged incremental overbuying when enterprises aren’t sure about their asset management accuracy. As we work with clients to optimize licensing and cost for renewals, oversized on-premise and...

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  • Enterprise PC Costs Are Rising, and It’s Not Just About the Hardware Kristian Tuinzing
    Client Services Manager, NPI
    10.26.20

    The pandemic and macro conditions in the wider economy are driving up enterprise PC costs. NPI has noted in recent months that these increases are not limited to hardware. While the actual hardware pricing of PCs is seeing a slight uptick in average prices, ancillary services like imaging, asset tagging, and even warranty/repair costs are...

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  • Changes to Tableau and DocuSign Leave Some Customers Blind to Price Positioning Stuart Hunt
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    10.15.20

    Over the years, NPI has observed countless price structure changes to enterprise software, with changes to Tableau and DocuSign being no exception. With Salesforce’s acquisition of Tableau in 2019 and DocuSign’s growing market for the digitization of signing documents, both software publishers have evolved their product offerings, pricing, and concessionary thresholds – leaving customers blind...

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  • How to Make a Smarter Content Management Purchase with Box Gregg Spivack
    Vice President of Client Services, NPI
    09.30.20

    When you think of content management, do you think primarily of file storage? Most people do. Content management is perceived to be a commodity that is largely equivalent among available vendors. Unfortunately, in most enterprises, it doesn’t get the attention it deserves.    Especially in content-heavy environments where employee productivity is critical, it might make a material difference operationally....

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  • SaaS Subscription Management: Eliminating Toxic Spend Jim Hussey
    NPI
    09.28.20

    As enterprise SaaS usage continues to experience exponential growth, the risk of overspending on SaaS investments grows in lockstep. One culprit is ‘toxic’ spend on licenses or subscriptions that are dormant, or license features that are not being used – Gartner estimates this to be as much as 30% of cloud fees paid by organizations....

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  • Microsoft – Big Changes to Dynamics 365 Licensing Joshua Osborne
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    09.17.20

    Recent changes to Dynamics 365 licensing underscore the one constant in Microsoft licensing. Just when you think you have a good understanding, even for just one particular offering, Microsoft changes the whole thing. That’s exactly what Microsoft did this past April with Dynamics 365. Previously, customers could purchase a suite that would include the primary...

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  • 5 Ways to Reduce IT Staff Augmentation Costs Smita Manjunath
    Analyst, NPI
    09.03.20

    Enterprises have long relied on IT staff augmentation as a way to scale the IT function. But amid the economic fallout of the global health pandemic, we’re seeing expanded utilization by our clients as they submit rate cards to NPI for price benchmark analysis. Uncertainty, tightened budgets and a need to fast-track certain IT initiatives...

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  • SAP Self-Declaration: Annoyance or Opportunity? Jim Hussey
    NPI
    08.25.20

    If you’re an SAP customer, you’re likely familiar with the vendor’s annual contractual requirement to submit an SAP Self-Declaration and Measurement Plan. While this requirement is an annoyance for many customers, it can actually be something far more positive. First, let’s back up and discuss the notion of self-declaration and why it’s interesting in the...

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  • Negotiating an AWS Discount Matt West
    Director of Network Services, NPI
    08.13.20

    As the cloud war wages on and commoditized pricing persists, many enterprises wonder if it’s possible to negotiate a discount with Amazon Web Services beyond what the vendor publishes publicly. For some customers, the short answer is yes – an additional AWS discount is possible. While the numbers steadily evolve, recent data indicates AWS continues...

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  • Yet More Changes to Microsoft’s Firstline Worker SKUs Kevin Glunt
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    08.05.20

    When it comes to the evolution of Microsoft’s Firstline Worker offerings, it’s been quite a journey. First came the K1/K2 offering. The “K” was short for “kiosk” and provided users with limited functionality for Exchange email, Skype and SharePoint. In mid-2017, the K2 was retired, and the K1 was renamed to Office 365 F1. Microsoft...

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  • Demand for Third-Party Support on the Rise as IT Budgets Tighten Rich Staas
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    08.03.20

    With the pandemic putting new financial and operational strain on organizations, NPI has seen an uptick in the demand for third-party support for hardware and software. While there are a few drawbacks to third-party support, cost savings of 50 percent or even more make it attractive during economic volatility. The number of credible options has...

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  • Microsoft M365 Bundles: What’s New? Dan Brewster
    Director of Client Services, Microsoft, NPI
    07.27.20

    The pandemic has caused many shifts in the enterprise IT landscape, including the hastening of new changes from Microsoft. This is especially true as it relates to Microsoft’s security and compliance offerings – particularly numerous M365 changes in the last few months. Microsoft released several new bundles in April: M365 E5 Information Protection and Governance,...

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  • Software Asset Management Best Practices: SAM Solution Selection Jim Hussey
    NPI
    07.20.20

    As NPI provides SAM-related services to our clients (license position assessments, software audit defense, etc.) and compliance issues are revealed, we’re often asked which SAM solution and tools should be considered to help enterprises up their SAM game. There are many credible solutions available in the SAM community, and the best choice will depend on...

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  • Electronic Signature Solution Pricing on the Rise Kristian Tuinzing
    Client Services Manager, NPI
    06.30.20

    Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, businesses continue to adapt practices to address communication challenges.  Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, GoToMeeting and other remote conferencing solutions have naturally received increased attention given their usefulness. But there is another space experiencing a surge in demand: electronic signature solutions. At the beginning of 2020, many business processes were...

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  • Behind the Microsoft PowerApps Cost Increase Joshua Osborne
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    06.22.20

    Microsoft has a storied history of subtly and not-so subtly making changes to its licensing methodologies. These changes can have variable impacts on cost – sometimes small or, in the case of the latest changes to Microsoft PowerApps licensing, quite material for some customers.

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  • Enterprise IT Security – Should You Pay For an Incident Response Retainer? Michael Schulman
    Client Services Manager, NPI
    06.17.20

    Times of crisis make attractive targets for bad actors, and it’s certainly true for enterprise IT security. The CSO Pandemic Impact Survey indicates 61 percent of security and IT leader respondents are concerned about an uptick in cyberattacks targeting employees who are working from home. As of mid-May, researchers at Check Point Software Technologies reported 192,000 coronavirus-related cyberattacks...

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  • Software Maintenance Annual Increase: Cost-Reduction Best Practices
    NPI
    06.09.20

    Procurement organizations have the opportunity to drive maximum value for almost every budget dollar spent in an enterprise. And in some cases – like a software maintenance annual increase – procurement’s actions (or inactions) can impact the financials for many years to come. Most procurement organizations are measured by a series of KPIs, one of...

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  • Amid Economic Volatility, Should You Lease or Buy PC Assets? Kristian Tuinzing
    Client Services Manager, NPI
    05.28.20

    With the coronavirus hitting hardware spending harder than many other areas of IT, PC purchasing habits are shifting as capital concerns hit more enterprises. One result that NPI is seeing from our clients is an increased interest in pricing for leasing, and other considerations around this core question: Should you lease or buy PC assets?

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  • On-Premise vs. SaaS – Enterprise Software Pricing Considerations and Negotiation Insights Rich Staas
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    05.20.20

    While some have said on-premise software is the new legacy, there are plenty of enterprises that are still wrestling with the transition. Two factors are amplifying the debate. First, current economic and industry volatility is accelerating certain IT initiatives – particularly remote workforce and digital transformation initiatives that will improve productivity, efficiency and customer experience....

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  • Healthcare IT: Are You Paying Too Much for Medical Abstraction Services? Chris Vicknair
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    05.06.20

    Healthcare organizations are digging deep for IT cost reductions like never before. One category that’s often overlooked is professional services. It’s an area where NPI regularly finds material savings and negotiates lower pricing and stronger discounts for project consulting and rate cards. One service we’re seeing more often this year is Medical Abstraction Services –...

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  • ServiceNow License Cost: Enterprises Need to Approach Renewals with Caution
    NPI
    05.04.20

    ServiceNow recently rolled out its Orlando release – a healthy update of new features including new predictive intelligence and reporting capabilities, smarter CSM and HR Service Delivery features, enhancements to DevOps, GRC, ITBM and ITSM, and an updated mobile platform. The ServiceNow Orlando Release speaks to the vendor’s responsiveness to market demand. Its ability to...

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  • Which Microsoft Subscription Options are Best for Your WFH Requirements? Dan Brewster
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    04.16.20

    Most technology workers are now working from home, and to their credit, most technology providers have risen to the challenge to support this unprecedented event. Zoom, LogMeIn, Slack, Google, Microsoft and others are offering their services for free for these displaced workers. Understandably, these vendors are hoping you will continue to use their tools when things return to normal.

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  • IBM’s License Metric Tool (ILMT) – Accuracy is Everything Jim Hussey
    NPI
    04.06.20

    This post on software license auditors’ use of IBM’s License Metric Tool was authored pre-COVID-19 pandemic. While many IT vendors are showing empathy to the unprecedented challenges of today’s business climate, NPI has not yet seen any change on the software license audit front. Vendors are still auditing their enterprise customers, new audit notifications are...

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  • What Happens When Your Vendor Won’t Budge on Price During IT Price Negotiations? Chris Vicknair
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    03.27.20

    There is an old saying in business: “Everything is negotiable.” And that’s largely true in enterprise IT price negotiations – but not always. Every now and again, we come across vendors that defy the norm. They set their pricing, and they will seldom (if ever) veer from that standard. Typically, these vendors utilize some type...

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  • 4 Tips for IT Sourcing Pros to Help Protect the IT Budget Amid Uncertainty
    NPI
    03.20.20

    As companies modify their operations in real-time to address the big challenges we are all facing right now, the IT hive is buzzing. Shifting to a “work from home” model is causing many companies to expand – or deploy for the first time – enterprise-grade collaboration technologies. Use of Microsoft Teams is presently 44M daily active users, up from 20M in November(!).

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  • G Suite or Microsoft Office 365? Joshua Osborne
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    03.10.20

    G Suite or Microsoft Office 365? For some enterprises, the answer is easy. For others, however – particularly those eager to rein in Microsoft spend or invest early in Google’s advanced AI capabilities – the answer requires deeper digging. Microsoft’s O365 is certainly the dominant player when it comes to enterprise end-user cloud computing. But...

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  • Will Coronavirus Impact IT Pricing? Kristian Tuinzing
    Client Services Manager, NPI
    03.03.20

    With the unknown but potentially severe global impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), NPI has begun seeing ripples in the world of IT sourcing with some vendors citing “troubles” in their supply chains. Will coronavirus impact IT pricing? Similar to what we saw when new trade tariffs with China were announced, there’s a mixture of overstatement...

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  • Beyond the Hype – Planning for the Cost of SD-WAN, 5G and IoT Matt West
    Director of Telecommunication Services, NPI
    02.27.20

    What do SD-WAN, 5G, and IoT have in common? Two things come to mind. First, there is a lot of hype surrounding these technologies. The second thing is unknown costs.  Let’s start with the hype… If you are a VP of Infrastructure and you haven’t made the switch to SD-WAN, bought your first 5G Smartphone,...

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  • What’s Behind the Increase in PC Pricing? Kristian Tuinzing
    Client Services Manager, NPI
    02.18.20

    Something has been amiss in the enterprise PC market – specifically PC pricing. Over the last three years, NPI has noticed that end-user laptops/desktops are getting noticeably more expensive. What started out as a nascent trend has become a recurring theme in the PC purchase transactions NPI  analyzes for our clients. Our research team recently...

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  • A Cost-Reduction Primer on Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security Pricing and Options Dan Brewster
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    02.10.20

    By now you’ve heard of Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security, and chances are, you’ve purchased the EMS E3 suite under your Enterprise Agreement. But… what, specifically, is this product? And what are Enterprise Mobility + Security pricing and options? Microsoft will tell you that EMS is “an identity-driven security solution that offers a holistic approach...

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  • 4 Ways Vendors Add Mystery (and Margin) to Their Pricing Rich Staas
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    01.28.20

    Many vendors are very secretive with regard to their pricing models and methods – and that serves them well. More complexity and less transparency makes it easier for vendors to negotiate higher fees while making it more difficult for buyers to counter those efforts. “Mystery equals margin” is what we call it at NPI. Here...

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  • 5 VMware Cost Optimization Tips for ELA Purchases Gregg Spivack
    Vice President of Client Services, NPI
    12.20.19

    Clients submit thousands of purchases to NPI for price benchmark analysis. Because we service large enterprises, there are certain vendors and agreement types we see over and over.  A good example is VMware ELAs (both new and renewals). These deals are typically seven figures and encompass a growing number of offerings. 5 VMware Cost Considerations...

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  • The Art and Science of IT Purchase Negotiations Chris Vicknair
    Director of Client Services – NPI
    12.18.19

    There is a bit of art and science in IT purchase negotiations – and it’s important to understand the difference. The science of a deal comes from data about a vendor’s pricing, discounting and negotiation behavior in comparable deals – providing this information to IT buyers is NPI’s specialty. IT vendors are notorious for charging...

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  • Understanding the Microsoft EA True-Up and Reservation Process Dan Brewster
    Director of Client Services, Microsoft, NPI
    12.12.19

    Microsoft’s EA program is designed for firms that are making large commitments to Microsoft products. There are three types of products one may purchase under the Enterprise Agreement: Enterprise Products, Additional Products and Online Services.

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  • Why Microsoft’s Movere Acquisition Signals a Warning to Customers Joshua Osborne
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    12.04.19

    Back in September, Microsoft announced the acquisition of Movere, an 11-year-old cloud migration startup. It was a move many in the industry saw coming. Movere, formally known as Unified Logic, was founded in 2008 in Bellevue, Washington (where Microsoft also has a significant corporate and senior management presence). Microsoft has used Movere’s tools to assist...

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  • Competition Driving New Behavior in Application Performance Monitoring Pricing Kristian Tuinzing
    Client Services Manager, NPI
    11.15.19

    Back in 2017, when Cisco acquired AppDynamics, it was clear the application performance monitoring (APM) space was in for a shakeup. That assumption has proven true in the two years since the AppDynamics acquisition, and is backed by NPI’s observations in what we consider to be one of the more turbulent areas of pricing in...

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  • Top 5 Software Compliance Issues
    NPI
    11.08.19

    This content was updated January 12, 2021. Most enterprise software compliance issues occur unintentionally. By and large, companies try to walk the line through rigorous software asset management and transparency with software vendors. Despite those efforts, however, most software license audits uncover noncompliance – and the penalties associated with these compliance failures can be crippling....

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  • 6 Hidden Telecom Costs Exhausting Your IT Budget
    NPI
    11.01.19

    Telecom costs are notoriously difficult to manage – so difficult that, despite a growing number of telecom expense management solutions in the market, most enterprises don’t have the resources or expertise to adequately manage their spend and instead take an autopilot approach to telecom cost control. Across NPI’s client base of 500+ enterprises, our data...

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  • 5 Questions to Ask Before Renewing an Unlimited License Agreement (ULA) Rich Staas
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    10.23.19

    Do you have an Unlimited License Agreement (ULA) up for renewal in the next six months? If the answer is yes, keep reading. It’s easy to approach ULA renewals with a business-as-usual attitude. We often assume a renewal is a re-signing of a well-negotiated, well-structured deal. Unfortunately, that’s not always (or even usually) the case....

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  • In the Market for Data Science Software? Ask Vendors These Questions Before You Buy. Gregg Spivack
    Vice President of Client Services, NPI
    10.21.19

    Data science software is a hot market. How hot? As things stand currently, VCs are racing to support the hypergrowth happening across the vendor landscape, and new AI solutions are cropping up daily to solve problems ranging from inventory forecasting to fraud detection (and everything outside and in between). Meanwhile, enterprise interest in data science...

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  • The Hard-Dollar Cost of Delays in Wireline Carrier Contract Negotiations Matt West
    Director of Telecommunication Services, NPI
    09.20.19

    Negotiating a new wireline carrier contract can easily take as long as six months. Why so long? Because it benefits the carrier. In this blog, we review scenarios that explain the critical importance of timing as you negotiate a new contract with your wireline carrier.

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  • Yes, It’s Okay to Overthink IT Storage Renewals
    NPI
    09.18.19

    Overthinking has a tendency to get in the way of progress in most areas of life. But when it comes to IT sourcing, overthinking is a good thing for IT storage renewals and purchases. By default, storage is about as commoditized and un-thrilling as it gets in IT. That makes it incredibly easy for companies...

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  • Deep-dive Into Microsoft E5 Pricing – Is This Bundle Optimal For Your Needs? Dan Brewster
    Director of Client Services – Microsoft, NPI
    09.13.19

    Microsoft loves bundles. Case in point? Microsoft E5, E3, E1, etc. – the list truly does go on. In fact, Microsoft is somewhat of a legend in this regard. Microsoft’s use of bundles dates to 1990 with the release of Microsoft Office 1.0. At that time, the Office bundle included Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and...

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  • The Complexities of Managed Print Pricing Kristian Tuinzing
    Client Services Manager, NPI
    09.11.19

    Over the last decade, managed print pricing and the ecosystems and agreements that govern it have changed quite a bit. Adoption at the enterprise level is past the 33 percent mark and is estimated to grow to 50+ percent by 2020, which is more than double compared to 10 years ago. That growth has translated...

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  • 4 Big Holes in Your IT Budget and How to Plug Them Kim Addington
    Chief Operating Officer, NPI
    08.28.19

    The current IT cost management environment is prompting companies to rethink how they budget IT and reduce overspend risk. Here are four of the biggest IT budget cost pitfalls and how they can be mitigated during the IT budgeting process.

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  • Considering a Move to Google G-Suite? Read This First. Gregg Spivack
    Vice President of Client Services, NPI
    08.21.19

    NPI has seen a slight uptick in the number of enterprise clients considering Google’s G-Suite, which for most is a move away from Microsoft’s O365 platform. As this is usually a big dollar item, it’s extremely important to optimize this first transaction with Google. Why? Because this first purchase is typically when customers have the...

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  • Don’t Underestimate the Power of Team Alignment in IT Vendor Negotiations Rich Staas
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    08.15.19

    The list of things that affect the outcome of IT vendor negotiations is long. We spend a lot of time on this blog talking about licensing and subscription pricing and optimization, as well as what’s driving vendor behavior – all of which critically shape whether your organization will receive a “fair deal” on IT purchases...

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  • How to Avoid Overspending on IT Purchases Kim Addington
    Chief Operating Officer, NPI
    07.11.19

    Despite all of the advancements in IT sourcing (we’re looking at you, SAM!), and despite the pricing transparency promised by an increasingly cloud-dominant IT infrastructure, IT overspending is still rampant across the enterprise sector. NPI’s visibility into IT spending patterns across nearly 500 enterprises indicates that companies overpay for 75 percent of IT purchases, particularly...

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  • Top 5 Software Asset Management Benefits Kim Addington
    Chief Operating Officer, Client Services, NPI
    07.09.19

    Software asset management – it’s a term we find ourselves running into at multiple intersections these days. Our clients are talking about it more than ever as they try to wrangle ever-growing software portfolios. So are the vendors our customers do business with (for different reasons… more on that later). The discipline has been around...

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  • Keeping Up with Microsoft 365’s Product Terms and Impending Deadlines Cindy Barron-Taylor
    Director of Client Services, Microsoft, NPI
    06.28.19

    As many of Microsoft’s customers are in hybrid states between cloud and on-premise usage, it’s important to consider Microsoft 365’s Product Terms – specifically how often they change (hint: quite frequently!). It can have a significant impact on your organization’s compliance.

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  • Is Microsoft’s Power BI Premium Right for You? Dan Brewster
    Director of Client Services, Microsoft, NPI
    06.26.19

    Power BI is a super data visualization tool and enterprises of all sizes are using it to share data insights throughout the organization. Microsoft offers three types to meet different customers’ analytics needs – the free Power BI Desktop, Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium. Power BI Desktop is free and gives you the...

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  • Pricing Challenges for Buyers of Application Security Testing Solutions Kristian Tuinzing
    Client Services Director, NPI
    06.20.19

    Application security testing (AST) is a complicated $3+ billion market, particularly when it comes to pricing. The three main classifications of testing tools in this security subcategory are dynamic (DAST), static (SAST) and interactive (IAST). The pricing differences between tools and vendors are complicated to analyze – and it’s easy to fall prey to the...

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  • Tips for Getting the Best Deal on Data Visualization Gregg Spivack
    VP, Client Services, NPI
    06.18.19

    In the age of Big Data and sophisticated analytics, NPI is seeing an increase in the number of deals it reviews for data visualization tools. Below are some of our observations on the players and how to secure the best deal during vendor negotiations. There are several players in this space, but the ones we...

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  • 5 Ways to Optimize Infor Cost and Contract Terms Rich Staas
    Director of Client Services, NPI
    06.04.19

    As the largest privately held technology provider in the world, Infor has undergone a unique evolution. Originally focused on software ranging from ERP to CRM (and most things in between), Infor began purpose-building its software for specific industry niches and packaging these vertical solutions into its CloudSuite offerings. When looking at Infor in the cloud,...

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  • The End of O365 E4 – What Are Your Options? Cindy Barron-Taylor
    Director of Client Services, Microsoft, NPI
    05.30.19

    Still in an agreement where you’re purchasing Office 365 Enterprise E4 (O365 E4)? You’re not alone. While this offering was retired in 2017 and Microsoft permitted customers to switch to a new plan at any time, Microsoft did not require that switch until renewal time. Now, many enterprises are facing that milestone – a renewal...

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  • Following Microsoft Acquisition, GitHub Gets Tough at the Negotiation Table Chris Vicknair
    Client Services Director, NPI
    05.24.19

    It’s always interesting for NPI to watch what happens when a technology vendor is acquired by another larger company. Will the acquired company fold right into the culture and operations of the acquirer, or will they continue to operate relatively independently and maintain their pre-acquisition culture? Will there be a big push to close lots...

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  • Should You Agree to a Microsoft Audit? Dan Brewster
    Director of Client Services, Microsoft, NPI
    05.22.19

    As previously discussed in another blog post, you should always seek assistance before you agree to a Microsoft audit. Why? It’s simple enough – the findings will rarely be in your favor and preparation is a must. There are two ways in which Microsoft conducts audits. The first is called a Software Asset Management (SAM)...

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  • What’s Driving Changes in Teradata’s Pricing Strategy? Kristian Tuinzing
    Client Services Manager, NPI
    05.08.19

    The analytics giant Teradata is combating falling revenues and the painful transition from on-premise to cloud delivery and fee models. This is one of the factors that have driven changes to Teradata’s pricing strategy. Here’s what you need to know.

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