How to get tough with your tech vendors

1 2 Page 2
Page 2 of 2

According to an informal survey of 60 customers conducted in August by Martin Thompson, editor of the IT Asset Management Review, 78 percent of respondents had experienced an audit in the last year, with Adobe Systems, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP most active.

If a vendor's sales team launches an informal audit, says Colon, ask why it is looking for the information. If it turns out it suspects you are underlicensed, use that information to bargain for a better price on the additional licenses, rather than turning over all your usage information so that the rep can look for possible violations, he says. If you must undergo the time and trouble of supplying information, make sure you get a clean bill of health at the end.

The best protection against audits, consultants agree, is a strong asset management program that ensures compliance or at least gives you evidence to defend yourself. (Microsoft, says Thompson, has done more than other vendors to promote software asset management to help customers stay in compliance.)

Is vendor financing just a trick to increase your costs? Vendor financing, with the backloading of some payments until a later time, may be attractive but watch out that the vendor doesn't calculate your maintenance fee as a portion of the larger, back-end payment rather than as your lower, regular payment, warns Snyder. That type of calculation can raise your costs unexpectedly.

The bottom line: Negotiate Despite the shaky economic recovery, consultants say it's still mostly a buyer's market, with vendors competing for your IT dollar. Use the uncertain economy -- and the knowledge that vendors need your dollars -- to drive smart deals based on a clear-eyed knowledge of your real needs.

This article, "How to get tough with your tech vendors," originally appeared at Keep up with the latest developments tech industry news at

Read more about the industry standard in InfoWorld's The Industry Standard Channel.

This story, "How to get tough with your tech vendors" was originally published by InfoWorld.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

1 2 Page 2
Page 2 of 2
The 10 most powerful companies in enterprise networking 2022