Written by Heather L. Cole, September 9th 2021
Can you believe it’s September already? A season of change with kids returning to school, fall colors arriving and time to get ready for the winter! But do you know what else happens soon? END OF QUARTER for IBM! Yes, October 31st is the end of IBM’s quarter which also means, a fabulous time to purchase IBM Analytics licensing! But I also think it’s time for a little refresher course on How to Negotiate the Best deal on IBM Analytics Licensing.
As many people acknowledge the best software negotiators are prepared! Top software negotiators recognize that understanding the licensing options, timing and the hidden motivations and needs of the other side are all integral in getting the best price and building a fabulous relationship with your vendor. So today Lodestar Solutions will share insights in to all these areas so you can become a better negotiator and get the best deal on IBM Analytics Licensing.
1. The End of Quarter is the best time to buy IBM Analytics Licensing
IBM is a publicly traded company and therefore they must provide quarterly earnings reports. Why is this important? Because when numbers are reported quarterly, software companies like IBM become very anxious to get deals done at the end of the quarter. The result of the need for good quarterly numbers is that IBM and other software companies have created an environment where they will provide bigger discounts at the end of the quarter, so that they hit their numbers and smart buyers know this.
Frank DeSalvo of Gartner stated in a blog, Quarter's End Bedevils Software Business, “By delaying a contract signing until the end of a vendor's quarter, customers hope to get discounts as software companies scramble to book enough sales to meet their quarterly goals. Companies can get 5 percent to 10 percent discounts on software at the end of a quarter from sales representatives eager or desperate to hit their quotas for the year.”
2. Be Careful Waiting Too Long
Timing is everything but you must be careful. If you wait too long to ask for a quote and want to negotiate too close to the end of the quarter, you may run out of runway. IBM Analytics sales team members need time to plead your case to help get you the best deal. This can take time because the best deals require more levels of approval. If you are just adding on a small number of IBM Analytics licenses to your existing licensing mix, the deal size may not be significant in IBM’s eyes. So, I recommend you start talking to Lodestar Solutions, or IBM sales rep in mid-September to start the process.
3. Are you In the Optimized Licensing Mix?
The first question to answer is what quantity and type of IBM Analytics licenses you need? On the surface this seems like an easy question, but the best software negotiators do their homework. They research if the software vendor has updated their licensing models and offer new bundles of software. Over the years IBM Analytics licensing options have changed many times. So, if you originally purchased IBM Analytic software 10 year ago, there might be a better licensing mix. Or maybe you want to explore a cloud option. To start learning about various options check out our blogs.
What the Heck Do I Own?
Lodestar Solutions provides a free licensing mix consultation to organizations looking to evaluate their IBM Analytics Licensing. We call our program, “What the Heck Do I Own?” It only takes about 90 minutes, and we will explain what you own, discuss new functionality you own, and make recommendations if you would benefit from moving to a different licensing model. We will also inform you if we see anything that could be a red flag for IBM auditors. We share some of the information in our blog: What to know before IBM Audits Your IBM Cognos Analytics and Planning Analytics Licenses.
For details on a complimentary, What the Heck Do I Own? session email Sales@lodestarsolutions.com.
4. Become and IBM Advocate for Greater Savings
Here’s a little secret… IBM and other software companies are always looking for great references and clients willing to be advocates for IBM Analytics. IBM advocates are people that will provide their customer story, speak at events, take peer-to-peer calls, be a reference in proposals and participate in discussion with analysts like Gartner. Being an advocate can help you secure even greater savings on IBM Analytic purchases. At Lodestar Solutions, when we ask for a special discount for our clients, we always include information on how they are IBM advocates to help them maximize their savings.
5. Showing Growth and Competition
The final point you want to communicate to negotiate the best deal is to show that your organization will grow their footprint of IBM products. IBM loves clients expanding their use of Cognos Analytics, Planning Analytics, SPSS… By buying licenses every 6 months or annually you can show growth. But you also could benefit for communicating that you evaluated the competition. Today most companies have 2-3 business intelligence tools. So, if you can say something like, “our marketing team uses Power BI which we evaluated but determined that the latest version of Cognos Analytics provides the full breath of reporting the organization requires.” This can also help secure discounts. When you combine that IBM Analytics beat the competition with becoming an IBM Advocate it’s like a one two punch.
Time to Take Action
You now have some of the secrets on How to Negotiate the Best deal on IBM Analytics Licensing. But for you overachievers you might want to check out my Negotiation video where I share the negotiation tips I share with top CFO’s, Heatherized Negotiation Skills. Now, it is time to act. Knowledge doesn’t create results, ACTION does. So, take one simple step, and email us today to set up your complimentary consultation on your licensing. Sales@lodestarsolutions.com.