Software Contract Negotiation Tips

Negotiating software contracts is a very important part of your software selection project. The software vendor writes the contract to protect their interests in the engagement. You need to negotiate the contract to protect your interests.

Enterprise business software (ERP, HR, CRM, Financial software, etc.) contracts are typically very negotiable because the software vendors are looking to lock up a long term customer. They know that if they can get a customer in the door even at a discounted rate, they will have a long term maintenance revenue stream that should last at least 5-10 years. The reason for this is that after such a big investment, companies are reticent to change software solutions for many years. Therefore, it is important to remember that the time you have the strongest leverage with the vendor is during the negotiation before signing the contract. Make sure you use that leverage to your advantage.

There are basically 3 contracts that you will sign for a standard on-premise implementation.

1. Software License – This contract outlines the terms of use of the software. The pricing for the software license is typically set by module on a user or concurrent user basis. The software license is usually heavily discounted in the sales process so the software vendor can acquire the new customer.

2. Software Maintenance – This contract outlines the terms for support, maintenance, updates and upgrades. The cost for this service is usually an annual fee of 18-22% of the list price for the software license.

3. Implementation Services – This contract outlines the statement of work, hourly rates, and plan for the implementation. The cost for implementation services is based on the hourly rates of the implementation consultants and the estimate of hours to complete the project. A good rule of thumb for implementation cost in a mid-market environment is a 1:1 ratio with the software license cost. In other words, for every dollar of software license cost you pay, you can expect to pay a dollar for implementation services. For larger companies in more complex environments, this cost can end up being much higher – 2:1 or even up to 10:1 ratio.

If you are buying software in a Software as a Service or SaaS environment, then you will have a Service Level Agreement (SLA). This agreement includes the right to use the software as well as the hosting and data ownership clauses that will be necessary for the engagement.

A few key software contract negotiation tips to remember:

1. The software license is typically heavily discounted up front. Make sure that you look at the whole cost of the software over a 5 year period including maintenance, support, and implementation services.

2. Make sure that you define the terms of the agreement. For example, some vendors will include full payment upon software “installation.” This means that they can charge you the full cost of the software license when they come into your offices and insert the CD, even if there have been no modifications or implementation services.

3. Negotiate the statement of work before you sign the software license agreement. Make sure that you understand exactly what you are buying – including the implementation services plan.

4. Negotiate near the end of the vendor’s fiscal year or quarter end as large discounts can be negotiated so the software vendor can achieve sales goals. We have seen clients sign contracts late at night on December 31 and recently had a customer that was offered a 40% discount if they would sign by the end of the quarter.

Finally, understand that some clauses are negotiable in a software contract and some clauses are not. We recommend that you get assistance with the contract negotiation from a consultant experienced in this area. Their understanding can save you thousands of dollars and can help protect your interests in the contract.

The goal of software contract negotiation should be to have a long-term partnership with the software vendor. This means that the negotiation should not be adversarial. Instead, negotiate with the intent to reach an agreement that is a win-win for both parties for a successful relationship.

How to Make Your Blog Presentable

Today blogs have become an effective source of communication. Whether you want to convey your ideas or to sell your products, the blog is a productive way to do it. However, the main work is to get the attention of a large number of people to your website and when they visit your site, convince them to buy.

The main requirement is to invite enough traffic and then maintain them on your site. Sustaining people on the site is important because otherwise they will go away and then you will have to find new traffic which can be really time consuming.

Make your blog presentable – an attractive and organized place to keep your traffic coming again. The writings on the blog should be simple yet interesting for people to go through it.

Keep your self updated with the new things and techniques, read the blogs of the other people and organizing it can make your subscribers coming back again and again.

Some times people just search and come in to your blog to have some information and when they get the desired data of their requirement, they leave the blog and never come back. However there is a way to draw back the people by attractive content added to your blog.

To sustain the subscribers confirms that your blog is going successful. To attract the attention of he new people can a really difficult task as well as it may take alloy of time therefore make sure that your already subscribes visit you back.

The best way to gain the attention of the already subscribers is to win their trust and once they have a trust on you and you product they will not only visit the blog again but also decide to buy your product.

There are many ways to attract your buyers. Having a quality products and offers can make you some confirmed clients and also you can offer incentives to your already members. This method will definitely attract people to your blog.

When Your Past Is Present

True or false? “You can’t change the past!”

This statement is made by many who have experienced painful things in their past. The pain may have been experienced in childhood, in a previous or current marriage, or in some other kind of relationship altogether. Analogous to the “Get-out-of-jail-free” card in Monopoly, this partly-true saying serves as a “Get-out-of-difficult-emotional-work” card for many walking wounded.

The statement is true in part, but not fully. That we cannot change the facts of the past is obvious. What happened – whatever happened – happened. We cannot undo what was done, no matter how desperately we might want to. The funds embezzled by the business partner and squandered on drugs are unrecoverable. The lover who left has not even looked back. The deceased loved one is gone. The fact that you were sexually violated is as irreversible as it is horrible. Indeed, we cannot change what happened.

We don’t live with the facts of damaging life-events alone. We carry away from those events some things that are not immutable. What do we carry away besides the facts? We walk away with our understanding or interpretation of the facts. We carry our conclusions about ourselves and others based on our – sometimes faulty – interpretation of our experiences. We also carry our decisions about how to live in light of our understanding of those facts. Recognizing this difference between the facts and our understanding of them and choices based on our misunderstanding of them is invaluable. The facts are immutable; but many things associated with the facts can be changed, and should be changed.

When we are unable to recognize the difference between the changeable and the unchangeable things, we are set up for one of two serious problems: unnecessary misery or unnecessary exhaustion. The famous Serenity Prayer addresses our situation eloquently: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Consider three essential issues in this prayer. First, we must find peace (serenity) regarding certain unchangeable things – things about which we desperately desire change. Indeed, we need God’s help (grace) to find that serene place of acceptance of what feels absolutely unacceptable. Second, we need courage (perhaps more accurately stated, God’s power released in us) to change even the changeable. Sometimes the “doable” is only done with the help of God and others. That which falls into the category of “changeable” is sometimes terribly difficult and/or frightening; thus, we need courage to do what must be done to effect the change desired. Finally, the prayer affirms our need for God’s wisdom to know the difference between these two – the changeable and the unchangeable. It is not obvious. Our minds can trick us; we can be deceived. We may imagine that we can change the “unchangeable” if only we try harder, manipulate more craftily, or beg more intensely. Of course, this results in our unnecessary exhaustion – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. On the other hand, when we file things in the “unchangeable” category which are in fact changeable, we can live many years in misery unnecessarily, and even with unnecessary levels of misery. If only we had realized that courage and effort would have paid off in time… This prayer for “wisdom to know the difference,” prayed until it is fully answered, can keep us from unnecessary misery or unnecessary exhaustion.

We can agree that the facts of the past cannot be changed. What then can be changed? Sandra Wilson, in her excellent book Hurt People Hurt People, identifies four things that can and must be changed, if I am to be changed. They are:

1. My perceptions of my experiences.
2. My conclusions about my experiences.
3. My choices in response to my experiences.
4. The life patterns I have formed as a result of my experiences.

All of these are indeed changeable, but not necessarily obviously changeable, nor easily changed, and rarely changed over-night.

Much of the family dysfunction in our culture is rooted in these very issues. Wounded people, instead of finding healing, pretend to be well. It may not be too difficult to keep up the pretense in public, but at home we are found out. We are not as well as we want people to think.

If you’ve had painful experiences in the past, and you’ve concluded, “nothing can be done about it,” please consider this “second opinion.” If an honest assessment of your life indicates that your past is showing up in the present, seek the help needed. If disproportionate anger, distrust, suspicion, or defensiveness is evident in present relationships, this may be a sign that your past is pathologically present.

You can “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). This is true Christianity. Jesus accepts us just as we are, but He never intended that we stay just as we are. He wants to transform us. And the “Good News” of His Gospel is that no one is so badly broken as to be beyond the power of His change; and conversely, no one is so good as to be beyond need of it. Not only will you benefit in this transformation Jesus will bring to you, but those closest to you will be blessed, too. You will probably need help in this transformation – help from books, lectures, and specific relationships. Seek until you find all the resources God has for you.

If you would consider a professional counseling relationship, you might provide a potential helper with a copy of this article. Request that he or she read it and tell you if they think they could help you sort out these issues and effect change in your life. Finally, don’t resist investing money in this process. Most of us readily invest money in education to make a better living; too few invest in counseling to make a better life. Proverbs 4:7 says, “Though it cost all you have, get wisdom, get understanding.” Even in this point – especially in this point, I would encourage prayerful wisdom in making such investments. Invite God to lead you to put the past in the past.