Archive for March, 2010

IT Buying behaviour

March 29th, 2010

In recent weeks we’ve been asking our clients about how the recession has impacted their IT spending. Not surprisingly, the majority noted that they are enduring a reduction in their IT budget. Interestingly, other comments included a noticeable slow down in the decision-making process as management reviewed every spend request in more detail than ever before. And total cost of ownership is now analysed in more depth too as recent history has shown that TCO often ends up higher than expected. Reducing IT costs through virtualisation, supplier rationalisation and canny contract negotiation are still being pursued as savings vehicles. And Silver Bullet Associates is happy to report that our contract negotiation advice  continues to help businesses obtain lower prices and better contracts.

Software contract negotiations; anticipate change and get protection

March 23rd, 2010

To engage in successful software contract negotiations, businesses must rigorously assess their needs and requirements, understand their providers’ strengths and liabilities, and anticipate change. Software contracts are often written to favour application providers and phrased in vague, high-level language that can make companies vulnerable to additional fees or fewer usage rights than customers anticipate. Introducing additional complications, change is the only constant in today’s IT environment. Mergers and acquisitions are the norm for companies and their service providers; business models, such as the progressive migration toward outsourcing and globalization, are continually evolving. Consequently, companies must approach contract negotiations as a strategic element of their business life cycles. After doing the necessary homework, a company might decide that a new, marginal or small application provider supplies the most-appropriate technology for its requirements. This presents the nagging question, “What happens if this provider becomes unable to abide by our service agreement, or worse, goes out of business?” As “insurance” against such a conundrum, customers are increasingly investigating software escrow agreements, wherein they have their software’s source code stored, either through the provider or a third party.

CA makes move into cloud computing market

March 15th, 2010

IT management software firm CA is to acquire Nimsoft in an all-cash transaction valued at $350m, in a move to expand its presence in emerging enterprise and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) markets. Nimsoft has approximately 800 customers, including nearly 300 MSPs and operates primarily in the US and Europe. It provides unified monitoring offerings for virtualised datacentres, hosted and managed services, cloud platforms and SaaS resources. With the acquisition, CA expects to add an entirely new set of customers to its base, which has historically focused on larger companies, and also expand its presence in growing international markets, where it expects cloud computing and hosted/managed services to play a central role in business development. The world is on the move to cloud computing so be careful about signing any long term software licencing deals that don’t have an option to move to cloud technology.

How to download MS Office 2010 at no additional cost

March 9th, 2010

Office 2010, the latest version of Microsoft’s office productivity suite, will ship to business users on 12 May. The product tackles document sharing by using SharePoint 2010 to allow users to share Office documents. It also features Office Web Apps, which enables users to view and make light edits to Word and Excel documents through their browser. Microsoft Office 2010 also allows users to work offline through new software – SharePoint Workspace 2010. According to Microsoft, when users reconnect their laptop to the network, the changes they made while offline will be synchronised. Businesses and consumers who purchase and activate Office 2007 – or a new PC running Office 2007 – between 5 March 2010 and 30 September 2010 will be able to download Office 2010 at no additional cost. To qualify for the free upgrade, users also need a Windows Live ID and must claim it before 31 October 2010 by visiting Microsoft’s Technology Guarantee page.

HP tells BladeSystem buyers to consider alternatives

March 4th, 2010

Hewlett-Packard has advised resellers and customers with immediate project requirements to seek alternatives to its c-Class blade system based on Cisco switches as component shortages have brought supply to a standstill. The issue stems from the difficulties encountered by HP’s one-time partner Cisco, which has been struggling to supply the channel with certain enterprise kit. HP is working closely with Cisco to resolve the problem but could offer no timeframe for the situation to improve. “At the present no supply is available to clear the current backlog or complete any new orders. Customers who have immediate project requirements should consider alternatives,” said an HP spokesman.