Archive for June, 2009

Green shoots in the Security software market

June 22nd, 2009

According to Gartner, business spending on security software is increasing despite the economic downturn. Bucking the recession, growth of 18.6% for worldwide security software sales in 2008 to $13.5bn shows that security remains a priority for CIOs and IT security managers. Data security, compliance, privacy and increasingly sophisticated and targeted cyber attacks are fueling the growth of IT security software spending. Security firm Symantec continues to lead the market with a 22% share, followed by McAfee (10.9%), Trend Micro (7%), IBM (5.1%) and EMC (4%). Competition is fierce in this market and also having a whole raft of smaller vendors nipping at the heels of the largest vendors gives negotiators plenty of scope to play one vendor off against another. If security software is on your shopping list for 2009, then take the advice of Mark Bartrick, Managing Director of Silver Bullet Associates and make sure you use competition as leverage. 

Microsoft giveth and it taketh away

June 16th, 2009

Mirosoft Windows 7, due to ship on 22 October 2009, has received good reviews as the Operating System that Vista should have been. And it would appear that the large percentage of businesses that have held onto XP rather than go to Vista are no doubt planning to migrate to Windows 7. But Microsoft may be making it harder and costlier for them to do so. Under Microsoft’s planned enterprise licensing rules, businesses that buy PCs before 23 April, 2010, with Windows 7 preinstalled can downgrade them to Windows XP, then later upgrade them to Windows 7 when they’re ready to migrate their users. But PCs bought on or after 23 April 2010 can only be downgraded to Vista which will be of no help for XP-based organizations and could cause major headaches and add more costs to the Windows 7 migration effort.

Beware of unlicensed apps

June 8th, 2009

One of Silver Bullet Associates’ clients was recently audited by a software supplier and they found that they were under-licensed to the tune of £140,000 worth of software. Oooooops! That made for an interesting negotiation. Latest research shows that there has been a 35% increase in the number of software suppliers using license audits as a way of uncovering extra revenue. And one in four of these audits have been initiated by finger-pointing employees. In order to minimise the chances of an audit catching your business out, you need to keep your software asset register up-to-date and accurate. As well stopping un-welcome financial liabilities, your asset register can also be used to re-harvest unused licenses and so save money by reducing the requirement to buy new. According to an asset register supplier Trustmarque Solutions, only 17% of organisations are competely sure that if a software supplier were to audit them, they would have the correct number of licenses. So you have been warned.

Outsourcing; its a buyer’s market

June 1st, 2009

Outsourcing is supposed to cut costs and improve efficiency. At least that would seem to be the main thrust of their sales messages. And as our recession continues unabated, you would think that Outsourcers would be having a field day. But they’re not. If anything, buyers are demanding (and getting) more for less. No more mega deals. No more 10 year contracts. Businessess want shorter term deals and more flexibility. This makes it harder for the outsourcer to make money and recover their investment. Outsourcers are focussing on helping businesses through these difficult times and hope that short term contracts will be extended when money is less tight. So retention seems to be the outsourcers mantra. And this makes it a buyer’s market.