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Real world tips for negociating with Microsoft
Anders Wester, SAM manager of Sweden's Volvo, says he got a pretty
sweet deal on his latest Microsoft Enterprise Agreement that included
75,000 seats of Office 365 and Azure.
There were two key aspects of his strategy, he told IBSMA earlier this week.
First, you have to have a plan B that you're prepared to implement.
"Often when I talk to people here in Sweden at other companies, they
have just one licensing plan and they tell Microsoft that it's this
agreement or nothing," says Wester. "They say if the price is not
decreased to X amount then we will not take it, but of course that will
never happen because then they’d be out of Microsoft licenses."
Wester's plan was to have another viable track. "Our alternative was
to decrease the Microsoft environment to the smallest one possible, a
much smaller investment." Wester's willingness to go with the
alternative plan, which also had executive backing, set the stage for
The second key to his strategy was to have good cooperation among all
the business functions, from executive buy-in to purchasing
participation. "Everyone was eager to get the best possible agreement so
there was no problem to set up more meetings, ask questions, and
discuss issues in short and frequent status meetings so that everyone
was up to date."
In addition, at his side in negotiations was a purchasing
representative specializing in IT. "Some organizations don’t have a pure
software purchaser; they just have someone from purchasing that helps
out with negotiating," says Wester. Working as a team with separate
roles of duty helped out during the negotiation a lot. This carefully
orchestrated plan puts Volvo in a much better position to negotiate. "Of
course Microsoft is willing to negotiate, absolutely, but it all
matters how structured you are within your organization,” notes Wester.
To give Volvo an even greater license negotiation stance going
forward, Wester recently reorganized his software asset management team
assigning one person to be the IBM manager, one the SAP manager, one the
Microsoft manager, and so on. "Usually you have one software asset
manager as a generalist, but we’re focusing on developing experts in
each area so that we can make better deals, have more control, and not
spend money not needed for licensing. It’s all about control."
The nitty-gritty of Wester's strategy and how he and his team
negotiated a great deal on its Microsoft Enterprise Agreement is the
focus of his presentation at the SAM Summit London, Oct. 21-22.
the Summit's full agenda and to register to attend, visit SAMsummitLondon.com.
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