Software Procurement Advice for MongoDB Buyers

By Gregg Spivack

Director of Client Services, NPI

February 02, 2018

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Software procurement is tough in the best of circumstances – layer in the complexity of open source database software and it’s even more daunting. NPI is seeing an increasing number of these purchases – particularly with MongoDB. MongoDB is a New York-based “startup” that just recently completed a $192 million IPO.

The company, which finds itself amid stiff competition like Oracle, Microsoft and Amazon, has carved out a place in the market with a document-oriented database that leverages the JSON standard (more detail here). Like most database technologies, its popularity among the developer community differs according to who you ask (some developers love it, others don’t). However, MongoDB does provide an increasingly popular and viable alternative to solutions offered by legacy IT vendors like Oracle. That being said, through the client deals it has reviewed, NPI has observed aggressive posturing from MongoDB that warrants inspection.

If you’re in charge of database software procurement, and MongoDB is in mix, take the following into consideration:

Node pricing is evolving, and the evolution can be deceiving. NPI’s intel suggests that successive price increases have occurred at MongoDB over the past couple of years. The word on the street is that the vendor’s sales team has informed leadership that $12,000 per node is the maximum price the market will bear. Leadership has responded by keeping the per-node price at $11,999 but have reduced the size of the node – be sure to analyze that piece of the equation.

Remember, when it comes to JSON, you have options. In the document (JSON) database space, you can add JSON services directly from your IaaS provider. Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud Platform – all have JSON database services as part of their portfolio. If you’re more comfortable with a directly supported relationship with a database vendor, you can choose from Couchbase, CouchDB, Neo4j and Riak.

Pay attention to renewal rates. MongoDB has a lower renewal rate than others in this space, which can provide leverage during renewal negotiations.

Know the mechanics of how deals get done at MongoDB. Some discounts are approved at the local rep level, but others have to be approved up further up the chain of command. Don’t be afraid to push beyond your sales rep. Also, time your negotiations around MongoDB’s quarter and fiscal year-ends (1/31).