Let’s stop overspending on IT purchases.

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 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...

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • When to Start Working on Your Salesforce Renewal NPI 06.06.22

    NPI is often asked by clients, “How much time before the end date of our current Salesforce contract term should we begin working on the next renewal?” The answer may surprise you – especially since many Salesforce customers wait until a few months, sometimes even weeks, before the renewal date to start thinking about it.

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • 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.”

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • How to Maximize Savings on Your Next IT Renewal 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • Don’t Expect Business as Usual with Your Workday 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • Leading Cloud Providers Increase the Cost of Moving to the Cloud 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • 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?

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • Don’t Let a Presentation Replace a Proper IT Vendor 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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?

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • 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.”

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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....

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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,...

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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....

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • IT Price Negotiations: Best Practices 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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....

    Read more
  • 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....

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • Amid Economic Volatility, Should You Buy or Lease Computer Equipment? 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?

    Read more
  • 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....

    Read more
  • 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 –...

    Read more
  • Cost Implications of ServiceNow Orlando Release – 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more
  • 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...

    Read more