Archive for August, 2009

Single source supplier? Tips and Tactics for negotiation

August 24th, 2009

Negotiating with a single source IT supplier can be very challenging. There have been several threads on this subject recently on LinkedIn and many suggestions put forward as to what buyers can do to mitigate the issues and still come out with a good deal. Combining some generic suggestions together with our own thoughts, we have listed below some tips  and tactics that may help you when faced with this situation:

  • Timing of the deal. Find out when your supplier’s financial year end and quarter ends are. Even single source suppliers have sales targets and deadlines, and this can be leveraged in your favour. 
  • Identify what goals your supplier’s salesman may have. It might be a certain level of spend, or a deal cut in a certain way that maximises their commission. Find this out and you may get some leverage over how much you spend and how.
  • Maintain a competitive spirit even though there may be no other option but to buy from the single source supplier. You always have the ‘do nothing’ option up your sleeve. But there may also be different ways of satisfying your business requirement without having to buy anything from the supplier that can be used to leverage a better deal. 

Some people call negotiating with a single source supplier a ‘buyers nightmare’. It need not be if you follow the above ideas and think outside the box.

Interim IT Procurement

August 19th, 2009

Do you need interim IT Procurement help? The skills and expertise offered by temps and professional contractors is highly valued by a wealth of organisations and many of them see the engagement of short-term procurement expertise as a key element of their recruitment strategy. Whether you are looking for temporary IT Procurement to help to plug a gap in your resources, or want to bring in external expertise to give your Technology sourcing team a short term boost during an important procurement project, Silver Bullet Associates can help.

The financial advantages of engaging interim help:

  • Employers only pay the daily rate
  • No employer liability for NI or employee benefits such as holiday pay, absence or retirement funding
  • No long term contract or commitment
  • Minimal notice period

Interim IT Procurement Managers  

We have interim IT Procurement Managers who are seeking flexible hours in exchange for their highly sought-after skills. All of our interim managers have already carried out assignments at other Silver Bullet Associates clients – they are all highly experienced and knowledgeable IT Procurement professionals.

The advantages of hiring an interim IT Procurement Manager

  • Hit the ground running
  • Knowledgeable about IT Procurement techniques and best practices
  • Experienced; been there, done that
  • Highly specialist and proven negotiation skills
  • Can act as a procurement/negotiation coach guiding your staff, or as totally ‘hands-on’
  • Focused on helping you deliver your procurement projects and saving you money

More consolidation as BMC buys MQSoftware

August 11th, 2009

BMC Software has announced the acquisition of middleware management vendor MQSoftware. The deal is expected to expand BMC’s management platform to enable clients to manage their entire mainframe infrastructure. The company claims that the unified offering will reduce costs by up to 30% by eliminating monitoring silos for transactions and messaging middleware; reduce downtime by 90% due to improved performance monitoring; and boost staff productivity by 40% by simplifying management tasks. BMC recently posted better than expected financial results, with a 3% rise in revenue to $450m. Software licence sales rose nearly 12% to $167m to boost net income to $82.4m, up from $1.2m for the year ago quarter. Although BMC has been active on the acquisition front, this is its first deal that will impact its mainframe business. Mark Bartrick, Managing Director at Silver Bullet Associates says “Mergers and Acquisitions are common in the IT industry, and with the difficult economic conditions driving down share prices, some IT suppliers have become attractive acquisition targets. Such consolidation can be a good thing and can help to eliminate some elements of cost. But be aware what’s in your IT Suppliers contracts regarding Mergers and Acquisitions and ensure you have control over what any acquiring supplier can do to your support charges or terms. Don’t get caught out with a sudden price hike or a cut in support services/hours”.  

Server and Storage virtualisation

August 5th, 2009

Server and Storage virtualisation often coincides with consolidation projects to reduce infrastructure and IT management costs. The underlying objective is to use IT infrastructure to its maximum, to improve performance and to introduce total flexibility as to when and where the business needs to have resources available. If you are planning a project involving virtualisation or have already undertaken a virtualisation exercise, then we’d like to hear from you. We are keen to see whether the claims of savings and operational benefits made by the likes of Gartner and Forrester are true or not.