People keep asking me what the most common mistakes I find negotiating with Microsoft®. Here are a few recent mistakes (I prefer learning’s) from the past year from Negotiating with Microsoft®:
- Always lead the negotiations. In other words do not let Microsoft® take the lead, as the outcome will always be less favorable for you and once an outline proposal is on the table it is very difficult to retract your steps and change the option Microsoft® is pushing.
- Watch out for any bypassing attempts of your Core negotiating team by going over your head to C-level executives. Too often have I seen Microsoft® cut over the heads of the Core negotiation teams and undermine their tactics and integrity/professionalizing by opening a direct line of communications with key decisions makers within the organisation.
- Lack of preparation by the Core negotiation team and Support team. Here’s what I see: you send out to Microsoft® a request document outlining your current and future products requirements. During negotiations Microsoft® undermines your position by challenging for example quantities you have declared are in use. A simple example could be a new project that is underway in a certain division that requires (or deployed) a large number of SQL Server Processor Enterprise licenses and you had no idea of the existence of such a need. As the project is being run by a marketing division that purchased a turn key solution but forgot to read the small print on the contract regarding licensing requirements! This position can undermine your credibility and put you on the offensive regarding your entire requirement document and strategy.