Posts Tagged ‘Chief Procurement Officer’

News Analysis: FinancialForce.com ERP Arrives To Signal The Era Of Best Of Breed Cloud Suites

FinancialForce Debuts Its Full ERP Suite


On February 19th, San Francisco headquartered, FinancialForce.com announced the launch of its full suite of ERP offerings built on the Salesforce1 platform.  Backed by investments from UNIT4 and Salesforce.com, the cloud based vendor began as a single ledger financial management system built on the Salesforce.com Force.com platform.  The announcement and product launch shows how FinancialForce:

  • Delivers a full ERP suite on the Salesforce1 platform. The platform brings together a series of organic products and recent acquisitions in HR, supply chain, and project management (see Figure 1).  The December 2010 acquisition of Appirio’s professional services automation assets form the Professional Services Automation offering.  The 2013 acquisitions of Vana Workforce and Less Software brought the human capital management (HCM) and supply chain management (SCM) capabilities.

    Point of View (POV):
    The management team at FinacialForce.com was smart to bring in acquisitions built on the original Force.com platform.  Post merger integration was greatly simplified as the products shared a common architectural base.  More importantly, the acquired solutions were easily upgraded to the Salesforce1 platform to create an end to end ERP cloud based ERP suite.  Customers gain the full advantages of the Salesforce 1 platform and integration with the core Salesforce CRM offerings.
  • Demonstrates focus on long term growth and viability .  FinancialForce.com showed 80% year over year growth in revenue run-rate compared to 2012.  Headcount grew 62% year over year with over 260 global employees.  Furthermore, customers represent a global base with 27 countries and users in 45 countries.

    (POV):
    Cloud has gone mainstream and customers now expect their cloud companies to demonstrate viability.  The mergers and acquisitions required to build a full cloud ERP suite signal a maturity by FinancialForce.com and the market.  Early customers of the full suite provide positive references on both the synergies of the ERP offering and the flexibility of the Salesforce1 platform for extensibility.

Figure 1. FinancialForce.com Launches A Full Integrated ERP Suite

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Monday’s Musings: NSA PRISM Scandal Hurts US Cloud Companies And Hastens The Return Of On-Premises Software

Non-US Based Organizations And Even Some US Organizations Will Not Tolerate Snooping In A Post PRISM World

Since the Edward Snowden PRISM revelations, Constellation has received a steady stream of inquiries on cloud strategy.   In fact, nervousness runs high among many non-US based companies using services from US based cloud companies across the cloud stack.  In early August 2013, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation put out its report “How Much Will PRISM Cost the U.S. Cloud Computing Industry” Assuming that 20% of current clients switch to a non US based provider,  the report estimates a loss of $22 to 35B by 2016.

Constellation agrees.  All signs point to an anti-US stance until the security issues is addressed.  The odds on the US government moving fast on this issue are as good as Major League Baseball players or Tour de France Cyclists honoring a performance enhancement drug use ban.  In fact, Constellation is aware of at least 50+ contracts that have been put on hold or cancelled in the past 30 days.  With the EU’s Nellie Kroes already sounding the alarm bells in a way she only can, cloud buyers have taken notice.

The Bottom Line: Clients Should Consider Alternatives To Pure Cloud Models And Encryption Technology

Interesting enough, fifteen years into the cloud revolution, talk has rekindled about building on-premises software in light of this scandal. Unfortunately, the last major on-premises software company to receive funding squandered it all in 2005 and retooled to the cloud. Furthermore, a few entrepreneurs are looking at VC funding to take some key systems back on-premises.

However customers do not have time to wait for new software to arrive in the on-premises deployment option.  In the meantime, a few near term strategies have emerged:

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Event Report: Infosys Global Analyst Summit – Awaiting The Post Infosys 3.0 Emergence

Infosys Puts Its Best Foot Forward

Constellation attended Infosys’ 2013 Global Analyst Summit from July 29th to July 30th in Boston.  Despite the below industry average growth of the previous year, conversations with key executives and top customers indicate an imminent shift.  In fact, Infosys has added 100+clients not including customers from Lodestone.  Retention is 98% for about 800 clients.  The client list includes more than half of the Fortune 500.  Repeat business is between 95 to 96%.  Most clients represent the top 5 or top 10 of each major industry.  All is not gloom and doom.

While Core Business Is Solid, Non-Body Count Growth Is the Long Term Challenge

CEO and Co-Founder

Infosys S.D. Shibulal

Consequently, Infosys faces a similar challenge all global IT services firms must overcome – remaining relevant with clients facing business model disruption and a rapid pace of change. In one-on-one conversations with:

  • S.D. Shibulal – Co-founder, Member of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director
  • Vishnu Bhat – Vice President and Global Head, Cloud
  • Paul Gottsegen – Chief Marketing Officer
  • Sanjay Purohit – Senior Vice President and Head of Products, Platforms, & Solutions
  • Suketu Patel – VP, Head of Strategic Global Sourcing
  • and several key customers in banking, consumer packaged goods, healthcare, high tech, and retail

At the Global Analyst Summit and through client conversations over the past 6 months, Constellation gained insights in how Infosys is addressing their client’s challenges.  Both the Infosys executives and the clients recognize that Infosys must make significant market shift and take the lead in co-innovating and co-creating intellectual property.

Infosys 3.0 Is Alive And Well And Part Of The Required DNA Transformation

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Tuesday’s Tip: Putting the Kibosh On ERP Vendor Sales Reps Who Troll For Indirect Access

Constellation Sees An Alarming Increase In Inquiries

Constellation has received an alarming increase in inquiries about an unethical vendor sales practice coined as “trolling for indirect access”. Indirect access is when a vendor claims that a client is accessing their perpetually licensed software in an unintentional manner or inappropriately licensed manner.

One vendor uses a definition of, “any individual or machine that accesses the computing capabilities of the software must be a licensed user”.

Another vendor sees it as “any time a system is accessed by a non-vendor system, a license is required to access that data”

In fact, a rash of inquiries over the past two quarters has raised the alarm bells among software customers.

Unethical Sales Leaders Endorse This Practice To Make Their Numbers

While this practice is nothing new, the pickup by vendors raises serious issues as to why this practice remains in their sales play books. Constellation identifies five reasons why vendors continue this practice:

  1. Open up dormant accounts. After pleasant introductions, new sales reps will use this technique to further deals.  Former sales reps agree this is a shake down for cash technique.
  2. Drive sales through fear of audits. Audits are used to start the discussion.  Unsuspecting customers who no longer have context about the original contract may fear breach of contract.
  3. Scare customers into making additional purchases. Threats are used to set expectations.  The vendorsoften waives the issue if the customer buys additional licenses as a “compromise”
  4. Force compliance into new licensing policies. Vendors use this as a way to drive conformity to new license models.  The move from concurrent usage to named users was one example.
  5. Meet territory sales goals. Unscrupulous sales managers suggest this technique to meet their numbers.  Sales reps are told they are defending the vendors license rights.

It All Starts With An Innocent Sales Call From A New Sales Rep

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Tuesday’s Tip: It’s Time To Consolidate Social Business Platforms

Greater Adoption In Social Business Signifies A Move To Consolidate Platforms

Constellation’s buy-side clients tend to fit in the market leader or fast follower categories when it comes to organizational personas of disruptive technology adoption.  Since 2010, respondents have progressed through the DEEPR framework and the latest results from 2012 indicate that most survey respondents have moved to Level 3 (see Figure 1).  Changes between 2010 and 2012 show the following top three priority shifts as users move from Level 2 (Experimentation) to Level 3 (Evangelization):

  • The top challenge among respondents is choosing the right platform (63.8%) among the many inside an organization.
  • Over half (56.8%) of the respondents have incorporated social into business models.
  • Respondents fostering internal collaboration (53.5%) now must worry about adoption challenges.

Figure 1. Respondents Shift to Level 3 in DEEPR Framework for Social Business Adoption

The Bottom Line.  Its Time To Scale The Technology While Pushing Ahead On Innovation

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Tuesday’s Tip: Focus On The Business Outcomes, Not Technology With Big Data

The Why Behind Big Data Starts By Asking What’s The Business Outcome

So organizations have lots of data.  New techniques have emerged to correlate big data.  Enamored by the potential of big data, leaders are now reinvesting in technologies to find hidden nuggets of insights with the business goals of:

  • Mitigating regulatory risks
  • Identifying operational efficiencies
  • Improving revenue growth
  • Creating market differentiation
  • Expanding the brand presence

These big data use cases often follow the business hierarchy of needs, which are based on concepts pioneered by Maslow (see Figure 1).  More importantly, a key question in big data has been to ask the right question.

Figure 1. The Business Hierarchy of Needs Drives Many Big Data Use Cases

An Information Flow Approach Moves The Discussion From Data To Decisions

Unfortunately, the problem is most organizations start by talking about outcomes and then get mired in the technologies to achieve these outcomes.  Big data technologies include advanced business analytics, application of existing technologies such as data warehousing and business intelligence.  In many cases, application of decision automation, semantic technology and collaborative tools are also needed. Yet, from Data to Decisions requires the integration of quite a few disciplines.

Data to decisions is about taking data sources, transforming them into useful information, gathering key insights, and then making the right decisions (see Figure 2).  Data sources, information, and orchestration belong in the realm of IT and hopefully will be delivered via the cloud.  Insight, decisions, and actions are line of business driven areas which deliver the most value add:

  • Data sources. Expect a mix of structured, semi-structured, and lots of unstructured.
  • Information and orchestration. The mix of information types include physical, virtual, machine, and contextual.
  • Insight. Information translated to insight considers performance, deduction, inference, and prediction.
  • Decisions and actions. The outcomes are driven from next best action, prevention, suggestion, and even no action.

Figure 2. The Flow From Data To Decisions

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News Analysis: New SAP Customers Face Maintenance Hike

SAP Plans A Standard Support Maintenance Fees Hike Of 5.5%For New Customers

For new customers, SAP announced its intent to raise its standard support maintenance fee from 18% to 19% effective July 15, 2013.  The standard support option was reintroduced in January 14, 2010, after much pressure from user groups.  A few key takeaways:

  • Price hike follows original plans. SAP has provided a six month advanced announcement to raise maintenance for new customers.  SAP has noted that “the adjustment does not apply to any existing maintenance contracts for SAP Standard Support closed before July 15, 2013″

    Point of View (POV):
    The announcement follows the original plan for existing customers to bring Standard Support in line with Enterprise Support by 2015 (see Figure 1).  SAP appears to be harmonizing the price increases for both existing and new customers.  While average support and service contracts are between 18 and 21% in the enterprise software world, SAP’s price increase will still keep it within the norm.
  • SAP raises maintenance rates under the guise of quality. SAP claims that the maintenance fee hike is related to “maintaining the same high level of quality support in the future.  Key features include access to support packages, new releases of standard support solutions, enhancement packages, technology updates, ABAP source code for SAP software applications, and software change management.  SAP also requires customers to use Solution Manager.

    (POV):
    SAP’s tried hard to justify the price increase by offering message handling, remote services, SAP Solution Manager Enterprise Edition, and access to SAP Service Marketplace as additional value added benefits.   Unfortunately, most customers find Solution Manager to be a mile wide and an inch deep, the remote services to be minorly useful, and the SAP Service Marketplace to be immature at best.   The result – customers are not getting much value for the price increase. (Fellow Constellation Analyst Frank Scavo provides a list of four questions every new SAP customer should ask.)

Figure 1. SAP Enterprise Support and SAP Standards Support Schedule circa 2010

screen-shot-2010-01-14-at-74603-am

The Bottom Line: SAP Wants To Eliminate Standard Support And Competitors to Solution Manager

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Market Maker 1:1: Steve Miranda, Oracle Fusion Applications Update – The Inside Story

The Inside Story On Oracle Fusion Apps At The End of 2012


Constellation sat down with Steve Miranda, Oracle’s Executive Vice President of Oracle Applications Product Development to discuss the state of Oracle Fusion Apps in a no-holds barred honest conversation about what’s working, what’s not, and what to look forward to in 2013.

R “Ray” Wang (RW): Steve Miranda is Executive Vice President of Oracle Applications Product Development. He is responsible for leading all aspects of product strategy, product development, and product delivery for Oracle’s applications and related cloud services. This includes Oracle Fusion Applications and Oracle’s newest products for customer service and support, commerce, and talent management.

Mr. Miranda joined Oracle in 1992 and has held a variety of leadership positions within the development organization. In 2007 he was asked to lead the engineering of Oracle’s next-generation suite of software applications, Oracle Fusion Applications. Under Mr. Miranda’s leadership, Oracle has continually delivered on its promise to help its applications customers innovate and remain competitive while leveraging their existing IT investments and increasing the value of those investments with new Oracle products and services.

Prior to Oracle, Mr. Miranda worked at GE Aerospace. He holds degrees in mathematics and computational sciences from Stanford University.

 

CATCHING UP ON ORACLE FUSION APPLICATIONS TRACTION

(RW): As 2012 is coming to an end it is a good time to reflect on how Oracle Fusion Applications has been doing this year. It would seem that Oracle’s been quite quiet about Oracle Fusion Applications throughout the year. Is the product selling? What’s the state of the Oracle Fusion Applications product lines?

Steve Miranda(SM): Oracle Fusion Applications is doing very well. We’re actively selling the product. In fact, we already have over 400 customers on Oracle Fusion Applications. We’re doing better than Salesforce.com when they started. Keep in mind, we have a rich customer base looking for innovation.

RW: When you say “Oracle Fusion Applications is selling well”, is that the whole suite or components of Oracle Fusion Applications?

SM: We are actively selling the product. More than 400 customers are on Oracle Fusion Applications, that’s any part of Oracle Fusion Applications, not including RightNow, Taleo, Oracle Business Analytics, or Oracle Fusion Middleware. Two thirds of the customers have chosen to deploy in a SaaS model. Then the second largest deployment model but far below are on-premise and the rest are hosted in our managed services.

RW: Does “managed services” means they own their own license, right?

SM: That’s correct. What’s powerful about these deployments patterns is that customers are accessing innovation faster than before. We are at over 100 live customers and are averaging one go-live a day right now.

RW: I understand that Oracle deployed Oracle Fusion Applications internally? How was that experience in “drinking your own champagne”?

SM: Ray, that’s correct. We did drink our own champagne and we are now using Oracle Fusion CRM internally instead of Siebel.. We have a global single instance for the business. When we deployed, we started out with 2 instances to show case a co-existence approach and an end-to-end Oracle Fusion Applications approach. As of June 1, 2012, Oracle Fusion CRM was up around the world. All the territories, forecasting, quotas, sales force automation, and contacts are in Oracle Fusion CRM globally.

RW: Is it one instance now?

SM: Yes. We also went live w/ Oracle Fusion Financials Accounting Hub on the back end. We replaced Hyperion and Oracle E-Business Suite GL and also went live June 1, 2012. We’ve already done several month-end closes and we also have Oracle Fusion Talent Performance Management up live. Employees and managers are now doing goal setting and appraisals.

RW: To be honest with you Steve, we aren’t seeing Oracle much in head to head competitive new deals. We don’t see big press releases about new wins. Where are the customers? Who’s buying what and why?

SM: Well, first of all, many of our existing customers are coming to us about Oracle Fusion Applications. Second of all, and you may not believe this, we’re not focused on publicity, but rather we want to ensure customer success.. Each go-live is very important to us. In our first set of go-lives, we have 10,000 customers who want to talk to the first 10 go lives. We also don’t want to overwhelm our initial customers.

Let me give you some details and examples so you understand the breadth and depth of what the Fusion Apps base looks like and so there’s no confusion. Here’s a selected slice:

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Tuesday’s Tip: Act Now To Leave The Door Open For SAP Third Party Maintenance Options

The Real Deadline To Consider Third Party SAP Maintenance Is September 30th

In conversations with hundreds of SAP customers, many have not realized that they must act now in the next 30 to 45 days if they want to move off of SAP customer specific maintenance from extended maintenance for older products. Despite the support window ending in March 2013 for extended maintenance, SAP is requiring organizations to serve notice by September 30th, 2012 (see Figure 1). Key products impacted by this deadline include:

  • SAP ERP 2004 (ECC 5.0)
  • SAP NetWeaver 7.0
  • SAP CRM 6.0
  • SAP SCM 5.1
  • SAP SRM 6.0
  • SAP SRM 5.0
  • SAP CRM 5.0
  • SAP SCM 5.0
  • SAP Netweaver 2004
  • SAP SRM 4.0
  • SAP SCM 4.1
  • SAP R/3 Enterprise (4.7)
  • SAP R/3 4.6C

In past experiences, SAP has taken a hard line on the notification date and customers need to immediately take action should they wish to have the maximum support options available to them.

To be clear, those on SAP’s Business Suite 7 have a longer maintenance support window (see Figure 2.) Those products will be supported with mainstream maintenance until 2020.

Figure 1. SAP Maintenance Strategy and Support Time Lines For Older Releases (2010) Revised With 2012 Version

Figure 2. SAP Business Suite 7 Innovation Road Map Provides Longer Maintenance Until 2020

Customer Specific Maintenance Comes With Many Disadvantages

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Research Summary: Why the Move from Transaction to Experience Requires Better Analytics

Forward And Commentary

This trends report examines how changing expectations among business leaders and the consumerization of IT will shape the future of insights and decision-making. As organizations make the move from transactions to engagement to experience, a new type of analytics will be required.

A. Introduction

Business leaders seek better insights for smarter decision-making. Unfortunately, today’s traditional intelligence tools were designed for two-dimensional transactional systems. As data from consumer trends such as mobile, social, cloud, big data, and video make their way into the enterprise, organizations seek new tools to discern insight from these new engagement and experiential systems.

The shift from transaction to engagement to experience depends on better business analytics. Success requires that new business analytical tools support the information supply chain as data moves from a cacophony of upstream data sources to new and innovative downstream modes of consumption.

B. Research Findings – Why the Move from Transaction to Experience Requires Better Analytics

Leaders seek more than just reporting and dashboards, they expect to make real decisions. A recent Constellation Research survey identified key expectations from business analytics to include: supporting business strategy and planning; optimizing costs across the value chain; identifying hidden patterns and relationships in big data; providing context for relevant engagement; and predicting demand in networks.  Along with these key trends, the report discusses the:

  1. Five Consumer Forces Influence the Future of Analytics
  2. How Business Leaders Move Beyond Simple Reporting and Dashboards in Their Expectations of Business Analytics
  3. Why Organizations Seek Insight to Make Better Decisions in the Shift from Transaction to Experience
  4. How Big Data Provides the Key Element in Moving from Real- Time to Right-Time

Figure 1. Moving From Transaction To Experience

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News Analysis: Spinnaker Expands JD Edwards Support With Versytec Acquisition

Versytec Acquisition Addresses Growing Demand For JD Edwards Support


Denver, Colorado based Spinnaker Management announced on March 6th, 2012 its acquisition of competitor Versytec.  For those who remember their third party maintenance (3PM) history, Versytec was among the first firms to announce third-party maintenance services within a year after PeopleSoft acquired JD Edwards in July 18, 2003.  Constellation estimates that Nashua, New Hampshire based Versytec had between 35 to 40 active 3PM customers.

Third-party maintenance describes support and maintenance offerings delivered by non-OEM providers. These vendors can provide a range of options from basic break/fix to bug fixes, performance optimization, tax and regulatory updates, and customization support. Keep in mind, 3PM does not provide access to upgrades and future versions of the OEM’s product. One big driver is the lower cost of delivery, as much as half the cost of the original vendor’s pricing.  Today most customers pay in maintenance and support the equivalent of a new license every 5 years without achieving the value.  For an average JD Edwards customer that upgrades every 15 years, that’s three times the cost of the original license cost.  In the latest Constellation research report, third party maintenance is one of many strategies to free up millions for customers to fund innovation.

The Spinnaker-Versytec deal is important for a few reasons:

  • Many JD Edwards customers seek alternatives to Oracle’s pricey maintenance fees. Software ownership costs continue to escalate as vendors accelerate their efforts to capture support and maintenance revenues.  From inquiries, surveys, and conversations on the ground, many Oracle JD Edwards World and EnterpriseOne ERP customers seek options to buy-time as they consider whether they upgrade or migrate from their current version.  Why?  Most JD Edwards customers run stable environments and do not gain any value from the Oracle one-size fits all 22% support policy.  Most customers seek phone support and tax and regulatory updates.
  • The market needs more options and choices in the third party maintenance market. Many OEM vendors have gone to the extreme to eliminate third-party options for their customers.  This anti-competitive behavior takes away choice for the customer. A bulked up Spinnaker creates a viable organization that has the critical mass to compete with Oracle.   The combined entity provides third party support services to an estimated 100 160 JD Edwards customers across the globe.
  • Spinnaker Support offers a different approach to third party maintenance. Spinnaker couples its third party maintenance options with consulting services providing a one-stop shop for JD Edwards customers.  Spinnaker also differentiates in its download methodology of customer entitled IP from Oracle.  Spinnaker provides customers with a checklist of what to download prior to migration off Oracle support.

The Bottom Line: Users Must Advocate for Third-Party Maintenance Rights Across the Technology Stack

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Research Summary: Best Practices – Three Simple Software Maintenance Strategies That Can Save You Millions

Forward And Commentary

Software ownership costs continue to escalate as vendors accelerate their efforts to capture support and maintenance revenues. Some vendors have gone to the extreme to eliminate third-party options for their customers. This best practices report examines three strategies to free up unnecessary costs to fund innovation and new projects.

A. Introduction

On average, IT budgets are down from 1-5 percent year-over-year, yet software support and maintenance costs continue to escalate ahead of inflation. Hence, continued pressure on IT budgets and a growing need for innovation projects have top business and technology leaders reexamining their software support and maintenance contracts for cost efficiencies.

Based on experience from over 1500 software contract negotiations, Constellation suggests three approaches to reduce the cost of software support and maintenance. Key strategies include third-party maintenance, shelfware reductions and unbundling maintenance contracts as part of every organization’s tech optimization strategy. Successful implementation can lead to savings from 10-25 percent of the IT budget, freeing up cash to fund innovation initiatives.

B. Research FindingsWhy Every Organization Should Consider Third-Party Maintenance, Shelfware Reductions and Unbundling Maintenance Contracts

Most organizations suffocate from the high and hidden cost of support and maintenance. On average, Constellation’s surveys reveal global IT budgets trending down from 1-5 percent year-over-year since 2008. Consumerization of IT, rapidly changing business models, and aging infrastructure have exposed the high cost of software support and maintenance. Because most organizations allocate from 60-85 percent of their budget to keeping the lights on, very little of the budget is left to spend on new projects (see Figure 1).

Organizations can unlock millions by considering third-party maintenance (3PM), reducing shelfware, and keeping support and maintenance contracts unbundled. Each strategy on its own creates opportunities to drive cost savings. All three strategies combined, provide a roadmap for funding innovation.

  1. Third-party maintenance (3PM) delivers the most immediate cost savings and opportunity for innovation. Third-party maintenance describes support and maintenance offerings delivered by non-OEM providers. These vendors can provide a range of options from basic break/fix to bug fixes, performance optimization, tax and regulatory updates, and customization support. Keep in mind, 3PM does not provide access to upgrades and future versions of the OEM’s product. One big driver is the lower cost of delivery, as much as half the cost of the original vendor’s pricing.  The report shows a survey of 268 respondents and why organizations choose 3PM and who the key vendors are.
  2. Reduction of shelfware remains a key pillar in legacy optimization strategies.  Shelfware (i.e. purchased software, not deployed, but incurring annual maintenance fees) is one of the biggest drains on operational expenses for enterprises. The simple definition of shelfware is software you buy and don’t use. For example, an organization that buys 1000 licenses of Vendor X’s latest ERP software and uses 905 licenses, becomes the proud owner of 95 licenses not being utilized. That’s 95 licenses of shelfware because the user will pay support and maintenance on the license whether or not they use the software or not.  The report details 4 successful and proven approaches.
  3. Unbundling maintenance contracts prevents future vendor mischief. About a decade back, vendors would offer support and maintenance as two separate line items on their contracts. Support would run about 5-10 percent of the license fee and so would maintenance. Keep in mind, average support and maintenance fees were under 15 percent back then. Unfortunately, many users have expressed a growing and concerning trend with support and maintenance contracts. Vendors concerns about support and maintenance contract retentions have led to new initiatives to consolidate contracts. At first glance, this may appear to be proactive and beneficial to customers, but the report details three rationales vendors provide and three strategies how to avoid bundling.

Figure 1. Visualizing the High Costs of Support And Maintenance

(Right-click to see full image)

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