Tips on negotiating IT maintenance contracts
There is probably no better time to negotiate IT annual maintenance contracts and pay to IT support services provider than when your company is experienced slashed IT budgets. The challenge with IT-related costs is that you cannot opt out of support and the technology. However, you can limit those rising costs and never-ending support agreements once and for all.
IT costs and IT maintenance contracts are hard to negotiate and it is hard to dispute high process because there is little competition -- you only get one Microsoft or Oracle, for instance. Overhauling the whole IT system to install systems provided by a different provider is almost always unthinkable for large organizations – the cost could spiral into millions.
Here are tips to lowering costs if you are about to negotiate IT annual maintenance contract with IT support services providers.
1. Buy as much as possible from a single source:Aggregate all your products, hardware and software in order to purchase from one vendor. It both sweetens the deal for them (this means they could offer more discounts and compromises on costs) and it makes your work easier and fast. It also streamlines purchases for all the divisions.
2. Take advantage of third party maintenance services:It can be costly to call guys directly from your hardware provider. If this is the case, you need to check if you can benefit from third party companies that have the right staff to maintain the hardware for a lesser price. Some of these third parties hire experts who have worked with top companies such as Microsoft and will do a great job. Third party IT support services providers are likely to charge cheaper because they want more customers as they grow. Since there are some risks involved in hiring a third party, you can minimize those risks by engaging your vendor in the overall support strategy.
3. Take advantage of discounts in future purchases:Some companies offer more discounts when negotiating IT annual maintenance contracts and it can be a great chance for you to lower overall IT costs if you foresee firm's growth within the year.
4. Track, manage and reduce shelfware:Don't buy license and let them sit unused throughout the year. Use a client management system to track them and come up with a policy to add or remove them automatically. Automate the process of revealing which software and where it is installed, who has access and how many licenses are being used can help.