Microsoft retires support for various older products in 2014 and 2015. This means there will be no more free updates or security patches. While it’s a common occurrence to see support for older products retired by software vendors, it’s annoying if either the old stuff is still running perfectly well or if the upgrade option is financially onerous, will significantly disrupt the business or offers little in the way of real added benefit.
So in April we’ll be finally bidding farewell to support for the likes of Windows XP, Office 2003, Exchange Server 2003, and in July 2015 we’ll say adieu to support for Windows Server 2003. In addition, some more recent products will be transitioning to extended support in July 2014 - namely SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 – which puts them next on the path to software heaven.
On April 8, 2014, Windows XP will reach the end of its support lifecycle and Microsoft will no longer provide security or online updates.
As a part of the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy, Office 2003 products receive five years of Mainstream Support and five years of Extended Support. April 8, 2014 marks the end of this 10-year support period. Running Office 2003 after the end-of-support date may expose your company to security risks and technology limitations.
Exchange Server 2003
While Exchange Server 2003 was a leader in the messaging space, after 10 years of technology progression it will reach End of Support effective April 8, 2014.
Many of you will be in the midst of a contract negotiation or maintenance renewal with BMC and/or CA at the moment, because both software vendors do a large proportion of their license deals in the January to March quarter as it’s their financial year ends on March 31. It’s a sourcing cliché that software companies give their best discounts at their financial year end, but just because you are making a purchase in month 12 doesn’t mean that you are getting a good deal. Through client interactions, I see a lot of software deals and I am often surprised by the gulf between the latest deal on the table and what I would consider to be a market best deal – one that sets the relationship up for mutual success, balancing price, flexibility and risk.
Buying software from powerful providers such as BMC and CA is very different from buying hardware, services and non-IT categories. Unfortunately, many sourcing professionals seem to think that they’ll look weak if they engage external expert help to coach them during a negotiation, but it isn’t a question of just buying additional haggling advice (although that can sometimes help), it’s really a question of buying deep, current market knowledge. Unless you have that, you risk:
In the Age of the Customer, it’s vital that your hard-pressed IT budget is spent wisely and is refocused into areas of the business that can help improve client acquisition, retention and profitability. Negotiating better deals with your legacy incumbent software vendors is a great way to free up cash to spend on innovation.
If you have an upcoming contract negotiation with Microsoft, Oracle or SAP then let’s schedule a call to discuss how you can gain greater pricing and contract concessions by working with Forrester’s dedicated Software Contract Negotiation experts. With the costs of software licenses and annual maintenance going up each year and vendors providing limited transparency into licensing options, it’s critical you know which discounts to target and what negotiation tactics have worked well for other businesses.
Having worked with thousands of clients, Forrester has built up significant market intelligence on what’s achievable and how to get it. As a result, we are often able to show our clients how to negotiate additional savings on their license and on-going maintenance/support costs. And our success-based fee model means you only pay us if our advice helps you save you money.
We can help you and your negotiating team:
● Review the competitiveness of your software vendor’s proposals and renewal contracts.
● Refine your negotiation strategy and tactics so that you target the most valuable concessions, improve contractual terms and maximize savings.
● Optimize your time at the negotiating table by helping you prepare for, and react to, your software vendor’s sales tactics and objections.