Why Engage a MetrixData360 Microsoft Licensing Negotiation Expert?
At MetrixData360 we specialize in helping organizations negotiate more effectively with Microsoft in both audit and volume licensing agreement renewal situations. Our licensing experts know the best-proven ways to get results and lower your Microsoft costs. Yet some organizations still hesitate to engage third-party experts. We understand that organizations often have talented, intelligent and experienced people who are responsible for these sorts of Microsoft negotiations, but there are significant limitations on what any internal person can know:
- They will only have the opportunity to negotiate once every three years
- The licensing programs will likely have changed since the last Microsoft contract
- Product lines will have changed
In my mind, I often compare a Microsoft negotiation to buying a car. I’m the type of person who researches everything. When I meet with the salesperson I’m as well prepared as anyone could be. Then we start talking numbers. I ask for the sorts of discounts that I have read on the internet are possible. They tell me no and counter with something far less substantial. We go back and forth and eventually a deal is done but I never feel great about it. I feel like at some point I lost control of the negotiation. Furthermore, other than walking away I did not really know what levers I could pull to drive important concessions. At the end of the day, I don’t know that I really received a good deal and in the back of my mind, I have a nagging feeling that I may have paid too much. I realize that comparing an individual buying a car is very different from a company negotiating a multi-million dollar Microsoft licensing contract. However, despite the differences in scale/scope I strongly feel like this is the way most of us feel during and after they conclude a Microsoft negotiation in either an audit settlement or a contract renewal situation.
How a MetrixData 360 Expert can help in a Microsoft EA Contract Renewal
In our experience most organizations take the following path leading into a Microsoft EA contract renewal/negotiation. They make a list of the products and quantities they require on the new agreement and consider what products can possibly be dropped from the agreement. Once this list is finalized, the Microsoft negotiation typically consists primarily of driving the deepest possible discount off of a set pricing level. The challenge is that in our experience, Microsoft does not and cannot discount their products to the same level as most other software companies. We find many organizations also will request concessions from Microsoft that they (Microsoft) are simply unable to grant. The end result of negotiating in this manner is frustration and disappointment. Kind of similar to my car buying experience.
Engaging a MetrixData360 licensing expert changes the process dramatically and puts you in control of the Microsoft negotiation. Our experts have negotiated over a billion dollars of Microsoft contracts and we know the process inside out. In close consultation with you, we will work to understand your technical requirements and negotiation objectives. We will build multiple licensing models and provide a risk analysis of each. Finally, we will coach you through the negotiation process. The way that we drive costs out of renewals is by focusing on the structure of the contract and driving contractual changes that are important to you. These are small requests that can make a big impact on the costs. I have had calls with clients in which we were able to help them to achieve a concession in a single meeting which they had been unsuccessful in negotiating the last two contract negotiation cycles.
How a MetrixData360 Licensing Expert can help in a Microsoft Audit/Software Asset Management (SAM) Engagement.
When most people are faced with an auditor who is presenting their deployment data and showing a sizeable gap in their software licensing, they don’t know how to push back, even when the data being presented just feels wrong. The auditor will usually come back with a statement such as, “well this is your deployment data and this is what we have confirmed is deployed.” They may then point to terms and conditions in your various contracts that back up their position. Sounds pretty hopeless doesn’t it?
Over the past few years Microsoft audits/SAM engagements have become much more common and our experts are helping clients with them on a daily basis. This day to day experience with Microsoft audits ranging from clients with hundreds of thousands of desktops to a few hundred means that we understand the process inside out. This experience allows us to streamline the whole process for you and avoid wasted cycles. Our experts also know what your contractual rights are and lets you know when you are in a position to decline the auditors’ demands. Without proper guidance, an innocent data request from an auditor could cost you huge dollars if you are unaware you could challenge the request. Microsoft audits/SAM engagements also tend to be productivity black holes which serve to waste the time and energy of your people. This is where you need a MetrixData360 licensing expert who can surface the terms and conditions which will negate the ones the auditor is basing their case on. Our experts know how to negotiate the most favorable settlement possible. We have successfully saved our clients millions of dollars and hundreds of hours of time.
When Should I Contact MetrixData 360?
We can engage at any point in either the Microsoft EA renewal or Microsoft audit/SAM process but its always ideal to be involved early. Our Licensing Negotiation Experts are always happy to have an introductory call with you to see how we can help you!