So, you’re in negotiations with Microsoft for a renewal and have investments across on-premises applications, Microsoft O365 and Azure—how do you leverage your current customer acumen in tandem with deep product knowledge to avoid ending up with an uncomfortable contract, or worse, an audit down the line?
It’s never easy to make an informed decision on a vendor—especially one you rely on for integral technology—if you can’t see the details of how it affects your organization. Details like, how much am I spending with them? Am I currently license compliant? Am I currently overspending on my contract? Which contracts and entitlements are expiring or up for renewal? And the list goes on.
This is the type of information that’s hard to keep track of across the various business units of an organization, but especially critical when the time comes to answer these questions toward actively fending off an audit or maximizing the return on a renewal or renegotiation.
Overspending and underutilizing
Compliance, for example, is one of those places that many customers run into issues with their vendors. You’ve purchased a set numbers of entitlements from a vendor for a product or products. You know what you plan to use, maybe a range, but do you actually use that in practice? Whether you’re over or under consuming those entitlements, there’s money involved and there’s a good chance you’re either going to owe it or you’re already burning it by not using what you’ve got.
There are opportunities for rightsizing your environment to the demand and usage of your organization at every turn. But if you don’t know where those opportunities are, or you can’t see the full scope of your vendor relationship, how do you act on those opportunities?
You don’t know what you don’t know
The natural next question you might ask is, “Why can’t I see all of this data in one place?” Well, that’s because IT data can be tricky, and that’s not the data’s fault.
First, many organizations struggle to get their data right and in a consumable format for all the tangential teams who use it. You likely have many sources for discovery (ex., SCCM, ADDM) and many places you use your data (ex., ServiceNow for ITSM or Coupa for finance and procurement), but when you take those many data sources and mash them together, does that data match up and combine correctly to say what it should? Most of the time it doesn’t. It’s duplicative, full of errors and missing key information (like compliance contextualization). That data needs to be cleaned up to be effectively used throughout your business as a trustworthy foundation.
Second, contracts are tricky. Entitlements can have confusing logic, and sometimes you don’t know what you’ll need to invest—no matter how you plan—until you’ve got users putting in the work. On the other side of the contract—have you ever looked at a cloud provider’s bill? They’re deep and technical. I don’t want to look at them, they give me migraines. But someone needs to, and that someone needs to be trusted to not miss the minutiae. Spoiler: it’s likely an AI (or machine learning) program and it needs to line up with your other systems correctly to make sure that data—again—is trustworthy across the business.
Third, what’s installed and where across the organization? If you have data on installations and entitlements, it makes negotiating (or renegotiating) those contracts easier. Come into the conversation with hard data on what you actually need and how you plan to use it for a savvy pitch toward a discount.
View from the top: Introducing Vendor Workspace for Flexera One
Now we know some of what we need to arm ourselves with for vendor conversations, but how do I get it into consumable format? That’s where Flexera One delivers Vendor Workspace. As the leader in technology value optimization (TVO), Flexera is uniquely positioned to shed light on all of your IT investments and offer actionable insights to get your environment into an efficient and dependable state.
What is Vendor Workspace?
Vendor Workspace is a top-down analysis of your technology vendor relationship. Flexera provides robust, out-of-the-box and customized insights related to technology spend optimization, risk mitigation, business service alignment and more. It provides a holistic visualization of your overall spend, composition of spend (on-prem, SaaS and cloud), trend over time and year-over-year analysis to best position your organization for success.
What can I do with a Vendor Workspace?
Understand how different vendors (or combinations of vendors) affect your investments in technology to determine the size of your reclamation opportunities and your savings over time as a result of optimization. For example, how much can you save by using Azure Hybrid Use Benefit (AHUB) or switching recommended license types for O365 with Microsoft? These are the types of questions you’ll be able to answer with Vendor Workspace information:
- Optimization opportunities—rollup of costs and savings related to:
- Underutilized entitlements
- Unconsumed on-premises entitlements
- Categorical redundancy
- Version sprawl
- Risk mitigation—which installed applications are license compliant and what the impact is to your business:
- For which products is your business over-consuming entitlements?
- For how many products are you approaching over-consumption?
- What are the top products in terms of over-consumption risk?
- How many unlicensed installations are in your environment for a specific vendor?
With Vendor Workspace, Flexera not only provides a holistic landscape of your relationship, but the tools to drill down into insights and see related details for contextualization and actionability. Set alerts and notifications to keep your various teams in the know and ready to take action when the time is right.
Tie your IT data together for a common understanding of your vendor relationship and get out ahead of issues before they arise. Make informed decisions with your vendors by knowing where you stand at all times.
For more information, reach out to Flexera, and we’ll get you started.