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negotiating with Microsoft?

By Scott Braden ·
I'm about to lead a team that's re-negotiating some Microsoft contracts - Select and EA, along with some Open that cam with an acquired company.

Where can I find tips on what to ask for and what kind of special deals / concessions aer available when dealing with MS?

I've found plenty of info about license / asset management, and how to deal with audits, but nothing on this topic... Articles / links / consultants?


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General thoughts

by Oldefar In reply to negotiating with Microsof ...

Regardless of the service or the size of the company, everything is open to negotiation. There are several things to keep in mind.

First, all published rates or prices are for the general public - those for whom ease of process and speed of delivery are most important. The best deal available is never published, it is negotiated.

Next, you have to understand what is important to your business. The best deal may not always be cost based. There are five currencies to work in - cost, time, knowledge, security, and prestige. How your business values each aspect of a deal in terms of these has to be your starting point.

These currencies work both ways. The provider is also dealing in these. Do some homework and figure out how these apply to the other party so you will know where the give and take points are.

The best deal is when both sides feel they received a fair and positive exchange in the aggregate of the five currencies.

Some people, by virtue of talent or experience, have a knack for almost intuitively understanding how to find the gains for both sides. It can pay to bring these types into the negotiation on your side. Contact me if you want a name for such a resource in Texas to deal with Microsoft -

If you can step back to where you link your business needs to your technical solutions, you may be able to gain an additional advantage by eliminating reliance on a single provider. If your company thinks Cisco is the necessary provider of communications hardware, Microsoft the only choice in software, SBC the only communications source, and Dell the sole legitimate platform provider, then your ability to get the best deal is limited. If you need help in defining business requirements linked to technical solutions, you can again contact me. This is what I do.

Best of luck to you.

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by Dr. Al Olaimi In reply to negotiating with Microsof ...

Obviously Kenneth covered most critical issues that need to be considered (eliminating his self promotion!)

There are some cases that your requirements would generate an intuitive solutions, i.e. a custom made solution that Microsoft never thought of, that could very much be a good idea to market for other businesses! It happens, under the assumption that you are not getting basic off the shelf package that would make your negotiation price focused.

Once you develop a custom changes try to make sure that your intellectual properties are preserved. Again, in such case, It wouldn't hurt anyone that you include a clause that would put Microsoft where it always wants to be - a marketing guru - at your service in terms that if your "intellectual property" got sold by Microsoft, the company would get at least fees on it as long as the idea is yours/your company.

I would second Kenneth on the issue that you would defiantly require a business requirements analysis. Once you are finished, you will be able to endeavor with clearer mind and a better navigational tool.

Al Olaimi

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