It’s no secret that Microsoft is a hotbed of change right now. As the company transitions from a traditional software provider to a device and services company, the impacts can be felt in virtually every aspect of its business, including the Enterprise Agreement (EA) renewal process. Those customers that anticipate a run-of-the-mill EA renewal in 2015 will find that things are changing. New business strategies are guiding the vendor’s behavior at the negotiation table, and that opens the door for new risks and opportunities.
Here are 5 mistakes customers should avoid making during the 2015 Microsoft EA negotiation:
Waiting until the last minute to renew. In the past, Microsoft customers have gained negotiation leverage by waiting until the very end of their EA term to renew, especially if this timing coincided with Microsoft’s quarter or fiscal year-end. This is no longer the case – especially for fiscal year (June), calendar year- and quarter-end purchases and renewals, when volume chokes the system. There are a limited number of legal and licensing desk resources available to process these deals, and the domino effect of “spillover” beyond these dates can have a negative impact on fiscal performance. As such, Microsoft is going to great lengths to get customers to renew well before end-of-term, including offering better pricing and discounts or allowing clients to adjust contract dates. Customers need to know how they can leverage deal timing to get more favorable concessions and greater flexibility.