January 26th, 2010 was a black day for the enterprise software business.Late yesterday, Oracle launched a lawsuit against independent support provider (ISP) Rimini Street, alleging 'massive theft' of its intellectual property. Industry analysts had been expecting something like this - Oracle is already suing Rimini Street's predecessor TomorrowNow and was clearly worried that a competitive market would force it to cut the price of its hugely profitable maintenance offering.
Along with its 2009 results, SAP today made another attempt to undo the damage of its clumsy attempt to hike its maintenance % up to Oracle-like levels, by announcing the reinstatement of Standard Support as an option for customers. “SAP’s new support model is a direct response to the many discussions we’ve had with our customer and user groups,” said Léo Apotheker, chief executive officer, SAP.
If you believe the outpourings in the media, social computing is set to turn our lives on their heads. It's true that we've all had to learn a new Internet language over the past decade. A recent poll made "tweet" (posting a message on Twitter) the word of the year for 2009. But how important is social computing in the workplace? No doubt many individuals (even some outside California) have welded tweeting into their lifestyles.
In 2010 the bottom line for sourcing groups is where and how you deliver value to your business. Successful teams are those that truly recognize what it is that line of business stakeholders need from their IT providers — either cheap cost effective service delivery; better operational performance or unique and competitive solutions that change the game. Based on my dealings with clients and analyzing Forrester inquiry data, I’ve detected three distinct sourcing archetypes at work, each guided by different motivations, metrics and engagement types.
Software vendors like to claim that their sales proposals are highly confidential, For Your Eyes Only or even, if you prefer the Coen brothers to Bond, Burn After Reading. I help dozens of clients every year with software negotiations, but I cant do that unless they share with me the vendor’s proposal, including price details and contract terms. Many clients are reluctant to do this, worried that doing this might break confidentiality clauses in their agreement.
When it comes to desktop computing, sourcing teams find themselves getting to grips with a whole range of change drivers — from the arrival of Microsoft Windows 7 to the new desktop usage preferences of younger employees, while still striving to keep costs down. In Forrester’s discussions of these trends with vendors, service providers, and buyer companies, desktop virtualization has been one of the most commonly mentioned areas of interest.