LicensingSLAs or Software Licensing Agreements can prove to be quite a pricy thing. And with new technologies such as cloud computing or multicore processing or the most popular mobile devices it is getting extremely hard to maintain balance between software value enhancing and spending reductions.

The new technologies are actually demanding for the SLA models to be as agile and evolving as possible. What was good enough yesterday is old news this afternoon. And the models tend to become as complex and pricy as they never where. And the upcoming few years seem to get as challenging for SLA models as it gets. As an addition it will, of course, be harder for you to save some money.

There are, nevertheless, some common issues all SLA buyers share. And there is a top three list of the pitfalls that may cost you some extra cash.

  • Insufficient knowledge amount. Keep track of the changes that are occurring in the industry. Everything is shifting extremely fast. And if the vendors do decide to change some licensing rules you may have some non-compliance as a result.
  • Insufficient information amount. Know your software. If you are failing in realizing your software’s full assets this may lead to several extra software licenses purchase. And that is actual and meaningless overpaying.
  • The “big picture” view lack. You are to have a centralized IT purchasing department or whatever in order not to miss some essential details. Those details may cost you much more than you ever expected.

Luckily there are some awesome practices that are already existing for you to gain some extra knowledge as well as experience. Let’s see some of them in action.

Software Inventory

You are to be a pro negotiator. And such people are quite aware of the fact that negotiations do begin way before you even know what you are purchasing. Be sure to begin with a nice little review. Find out more about three things:

  • The things you already have
  • The things you are looking forward to purchasing
  • Your rights that are predetermined by the SLAs that are already existing

This kind of knowledge will grant you with proper levers to influence the existing licenses for them to fit your purposes as well.

Negotiate on value rather than the price

You will be offered much from the start. Including some 20% discounts, etc. Yet they will most likely charge you less on the parts that you won’t be using constantly. Try making the parts of the software that are actually useful to your business less expensive. That is how you win.

Review this and that

Be positive you fully understand the SLAs language, and everything that’s in it was reviewed multiple times and you’ve received actual feedback.

And don’t forget to have everything that you’ve discussed in the verbal manner properly documented. It seems like an obvious thing to do, yet you will be surprised on the amount of issues that are constantly popping up in this field.