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 […]


Posted by R "Ray" Wang on February 26, 2013


Tuesday’s Tip: Five Cloud/SaaS Contract Negotiation Tips For 2012

Business Leaders Often Poorly Prepared For Cloud/SaaS Contract Negotiations Business leaders often take great care in building their Cloud and SaaS strategy, only to have many of the benefits of flexibility and agility hampered by overlooking details in their cloud contracts.   In conversations with over 200 cloud customers in 2011, key reasons include: A […]


Posted by R "Ray" Wang on January 10, 2012

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Best Practices: Five Simple Rules For Social Business

Early Adopters And Pioneers Have Benefited From Social Across executive board rooms and even in living rooms, social business is all the rage.  In 2010, social crm (SCRM) and Enterprise 2.0 (E20) rose into mainstream conversation.  Despite the mindshare and awareness, a majority of business leaders have yet to begin these initiatives.  The good news […]


Posted by R "Ray" Wang on December 16, 2010


Tuesday’s Tip: How To Compare Total Ownership Costs

Apps Strategy Options Abound And Organizations Need Accurate Comparison Methodologies Recent inquiries from blog readers and client engagements highlight a growing need to compare the cost of apps strategies.  Common comparison scenarios often include: SaaS versus on-premise Upgrade versus customization Single instance versus two-tier Vendor maintenance versus third party options Custom apps versus packaged apps […]


Posted by R "Ray" Wang on May 11, 2010


Tuesday’s Tip: Understanding The Many Flavors of Cloud Computing and SaaS

Confusion Continues With Cloud Computing And SaaS Definitions Coincidence or just brilliance must be in the air as three esteemed industry colleagues, Phil Wainewright, Michael Cote, and James Governor, have both decided to clarify definitions on SaaS and Cloud within a few days of each other.  In fact, this couldn’t be more timely as SaaS […]


Posted by R "Ray" Wang on March 22, 2010


Tuesday’s Tip: The SAP Optimization List – Key Ecosystem Vendors You Should Know

High Cost Of Ownership And Changing Requirements Drive SAP Users To Seek Optimization Solutions

As users await SAP to regain its mojo (see Dennis Howlett’s post) and implement it’s “Voice of the Customer” strategy in 2010, users must continue to reduce their cost of ownership and complexity. In addition, rapidly changing business requirements require some users to seek SaaS alternatives, additional point solutions, and extensions.
Consequently, vendors providing SAP optimization and extension solutions represent one of the fastest growing parts of the $78.7B (2009 Altimeter Group estimate), 850,000 SAP service partner and developer ecosystem. SAP users already embrace many of the solutions from vendors on this inaugural SAP Optimization List as part of their business value oriented apps strategy. The living list covers seven areas including:

1. application extension and usability;
2. application life cycle management;
3. archiving, storage, and test data management;
4. license management and optimization;
5. Microsoft Office integration;
6. third party maintenance; and
7. virtualization


Posted by R "Ray" Wang on January 5, 2010


Tuesday’s Tip: 10 Cloud and SaaS Apps Strategies For 2010

Keep In Mind Basic Rules Still Apply Regardless Of Deployment Option The proliferation of SaaS solutions provides organizations with a myriad of sorely needed point and disruptive solutions.  Good news – business users can rapidly procure and deploy, while innovating with minimal budget and IT team constraints.  Bad news – users must depend more on […]


Posted by R "Ray" Wang on December 22, 2009


Tuesday’s Tip: Why Free Software Ain’t Really Free

Free Software Gimmicks From Some On-Premise Vendors Only Address The License Cost Issue Recently, readers and clients have been approached by on-premise vendors offering free software modules to incentivize new license purchases.  However, free should not be confused with the Open Source (i.e. Freeware) movement, where source code is provided with minimal copyright restrictions.  Free […]


Posted by R "Ray" Wang on October 6, 2009


Tuesday’s Tip: Call Vendors On Their Bluff About “Rev-Rec” And Software Maintenance Contracts

Vendor Sales Reps Keep Using An Age Old Excuse Out Of Habit Many organizations start their Q4 software maintenance renewals process in September.  This has led to a flurry of emails and phone calls about revenue recognition (a.k.a. “rev-rec”) rules for software maintenance contracts.   Apparently, both customers and vendor sales reps suffer from mass […]


Posted by R "Ray" Wang on September 29, 2009


Tuesday’s Tip: Use The Organizational Hierarchy Of Needs To Prioritize Apps Strategies

Organization’s face significant prioritization challenges as they plan their 2010 apps strategies.  Faced with shrinking budgets, competing priorities, increased management scrutiny, outdated legacy apps, and uncertain economic conditions, organizations must answer key questions such as: How do I determine which business requirements carry more weight? Where do regulatory requirements fit when compared to other priorities? […]


Posted by R "Ray" Wang on September 8, 2009


Tuesday’s Tip: Note To Self – Start Renegotiating Your Q4 Software Maintenance Contracts Now!

Labor Day (US Holiday) traditionally marks the end of summer BBQ’s, the beginning of the fall conference season, and yes, the time to begin a review of your software maintenance contacts that expire end of year.   As clients prepare for this seasonal ritual, a few trends in 2009 should set the stage for negotiations: […]


Posted by R "Ray" Wang on September 1, 2009


Tuesday’s Tip: How To Properly Align Team Incentives In Software Contract Negotiations

In the first step of the original seven simple steps to successfully negotiate software contracts, the key is to have the right team in place.  To refresh everyone’s memory from the March 8th, 2004 post the details for Step 1 are: Step 1: Ensure that the right team is in place Inputs:  Organizational chart and […]


Posted by R "Ray" Wang on August 4, 2009


Tuesday’s Tip: 3 Approaches To Return Shelfware

Declining demand and diminishing output increase the pressure for enterprises to reduce their software license maintenance costs.  As part of a larger enterprise apps strategy, shelfware reduction provides an area for significant cost savings.   However, shelfware reduction is often hard to achieve because many vendors impose: Enterprise wide agreements. These “all you can eat” agreements […]


Posted by R "Ray" Wang on July 21, 2009


Tuesday’s Tip: Do Not Bundle Your Support and Maintenance Contracts!

In the past 2 weeks, emails from 31 software insider readers highlight a growing and concerning trend with support and maintenance contracts.  Vendors concerns about support and maintenance contract retentions has led to new initiatives to consolidate contracts.  At first glance, this may appear to be proactive and beneficial to customers.  In fact, common rationale […]


Posted by R "Ray" Wang on July 7, 2009


Tuesday’s Tip: Drive Cost Savings By Optimizing Commoditized Business Processes

Enterprises continue to transform themselves from the functional fiefdoms of the past and move towards a business process orientation.  As organizations begin that process of documenting business processes, they must differentiate among the 3 major types of business processes.  In key flows such as order to cash, hire to retire, incident to resolution, procure to […]

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Posted by R "Ray" Wang on June 16, 2009


Tuesday’s Tip: Seven Signs Your Software Vendor Can’t Innovate Fast Enough

Collective support and maintenance, constant innovation, best practices, and improved ROI represent the key arguments that led enterprises to packaged applications such as ERP. Today, this promise appears to be broken as enterprises question the value received for their support and maintenance monies.   In addition, on-premise upgrades require painful testing and down time to innovate […]


Posted by R "Ray" Wang on June 8, 2009


Tuesday’s Tip: Now’s The Time To Consider SaaS Software Escrows

With 2009 rapidly becoming the “Year of SaaS” and the tipping point for Cloud Computing, it’s hard not to notice the growing number of SaaS start ups (along with the legacy application vendors rushing to provide an “On-Demand”, but not really multi-tenant deployment option).  My snarky SaaS bigotry aside, we can expect hybrid deployment options […]


Posted by R "Ray" Wang on June 2, 2009


Tuesday’s Tips: Five Simple Steps To Reduce Your Software Maintenance Costs

Maintenance costs represent a major part of the software budget and the largest growing source of revenue for software vendors.   In fact, an aggregation of the past four quarters of software vendor financial results definitively demonstrates double digit declines in new license revenue, even more exacerbated by the evils of currency flux from the […]


Posted by R "Ray" Wang on March 24, 2009


Tuesday’s Tip: Software Licensing and Pricing – When Software Contract Negotiations Strategies Should Be Led By Domain Experts

A common question asked by readers of this blog is when should vendor contract negotiations be led by a domain expert and when should this be led by a procurement professional?  As the complexity of the technology topology increases, expect a multitude of domain experts in roles such as application specialists, business process experts, enterprise […]


Posted by R "Ray" Wang on March 10, 2009


Tuesday’s Tip: Software Licensing and Pricing – Do Not Give Away Your Third Party Maintenance And Access Rights

In several contract negotiation support calls this month, clients have discovered interesting language in their contracts designed to prevent them from choosing a third party maintenance option.  The language is often buried deep into the legalese and many unsuspecting clients may sign without understanding the future implications in the software ownership life cycle and the […]


Posted by R "Ray" Wang on February 10, 2009


Tuesday’s Tip: Software Licensing and Pricing – Now’s The Time To Remove “Gag Rule” Clauses In Your Software Contracts

Vendors Find New Ways To Limit Access to Third Party Advisers Conversations over the past 3 months with clients about their software contracts highlight some egregious licenses practices by software vendors.  Here are some examples of gag rules that some vendors have recently attempted and successfully put into contracts: Limits on third party negotiation support.  […]


Posted by R "Ray" Wang on January 27, 2009


Tuesday’s Tip: 10 Suggestions For A Successful Open Source Apps Strategy (Based On Personal Experience Blowing Up My Blog)

Blogging Platforms Provide A Good Showcase For The Power And Benefits Of Open Source Over the past 3 years, I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of experimenting with a variety of blogging platforms.  For my day job, I use TypePad and at night I build this blog with WordPress.  (Prior to that, I used Blogger.)  […]


Posted by R "Ray" Wang on January 6, 2009


Tuesday’s Tip: Software Licensing and Pricing – Get Rid of CPI Escalation Clauses In Maintenance

Consumer Price Index clauses represent additional costs of ownership that should be avoided.  Maintenance typically represents 2 times the cost of the original license fees after 10 years of ownership.  Many customers have these CPI clauses in their contracts.  In the worst cases, customers may have signed CPI + X%.  CPI adjustments provide very little […]


Posted by R "Ray" Wang on December 2, 2008


Tuesday’s Tip: Vendor Selection – Deciphering Vendor Provided Customer References

As competition intensifies for new license deals and users are under pressure to be cautious with new spending, all parties should expect increasing pressure for quality customer references.  Customers seeking references should focus on the following areas of relevance: Industry – expect to get down to the micro vertical level Market size – focus on […]


Posted by R "Ray" Wang on November 4, 2008


Tuesday’s Tip: SaaS – Integration Advice

Continued interest in software as a service (SaaS) stems from the pay as you go pricing, constant stream of innovation, rapid deployment options, and the ability to do an end run around IT.  As the number of options proliferate, enterprises will increasingly lean on SaaS as the mission critical system.  Thus, end users need an […]


Posted by R "Ray" Wang on October 28, 2008


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