Archive for January, 2010

IT Cost Reduction; lessons from 2009

January 27th, 2010

According to various sources, the most effective strategies applied by businesses last year to help reduce their IT costs were 1/ encourage remote and mobile working, 2/ deploy more cost effective technology, 3/ negotiate lower IT costs with their incumbent IT suppliers, 4/ deploy open source applications, and 5/ standardise on one application platform. Many businesses were loathe to lose staff or to outsource as a quick fix. Silver Bullet Asociates helped many businesses negotiate cost savings and cost reductions with their IT suppliers last year and we are looking forward to doing the same this year. In fact, we’ve already made a fast start and have saved money for a handful of clients whose IT negotiations had drifted over from December.

Microsoft offers no upgrade versions to Office 2010

January 18th, 2010

Upgrade prices were mysteriously absent from Microsoft’s Office 2010 pricing information, which they revealed last week. Microsoft has said “we are not offering upgrade pricing for Office 2010. Based on partner and customer feedback we’ve made many changes to the Office 2010 line-up designed to simplify the product line-up and pricing in the retail space. Removing version upgrades was one of those decisions. This reduces the number of products that our retail partners need to manage and also reduces customer confusion about which version of Office they should purchase.” This seems like a straightforward answer: take the upgrade option away, and customers can only pick a full retail copy. Of course, this does mean customers have to pay more to upgrade to the new version of Office.

SAP asks clients to dig deep

January 10th, 2010

SAP is changing because it needs to find different ways to make money. Companies like SAP and Oracle are under some pressure to generate more revenues from their customer base. They are spending more time farming their client base for new revenues than they are hunting for new clients. So if you thought you had signed a big cheque to SAP a few years ago and that would be that, then think again. You’ve probaby noticed that your SAP sales rep is calling at least once a quarter now and his support team will be mining deep into your organisation to create new opportunities if none are currently on your budget plans. And you’ll be well aware of the furore created when SAP announced it was planing to raise it’s annual software maintenance and support costs from 17% to 22%. Still, it’s no all bad news and there is some good news filtering out; SAP as long been working towards changing its software licencing pricing policy to give greater choice. While you can still choose to pay for the whole lot upfront, they can also offer phased payments and subscription licencing. Remember to ask your SAP sales rep for financing options whenever they present a proposal to you.

Lower your software licence fees

January 4th, 2010

The downturn has given organisations the opportunity to revisit their software licences and maintenance contracts to make cost savings. David Chan, City University London’s director for the Centre for Information Leadership, encouraged businesses to use their commercial leverage to negotiate. “Perhaps you are intending to extend a service contract in a year’s time. By offering a longer commitment the supplier may well drop the rates.” He also said that users should seek external advice from the likes of Gartner which helps to renegotiate multi-million pound contracts, and for deals with a ticket value of £2m or below users should use firms like Silver Bullet Associates. You can read the full Computer Weekly article at