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Thrive Ultimatum Series Part I: The Digital You Must Do

  What is the Thrive Ultimatum?   2019 will present the 'C-Suite' with a Digital Transformation ultimatum.  Digital initiatives can no longer be ‘shelved’ or viewed as a future innovation that are delayed by a myriad of excuses. Organizations operating this way are often in survival mode, feeling encumbered by forces outside their control.  But survival is no longer enough as consumers, businesses, and shareholders demand that organizations move past survival mode, to thrive mode and cross the chasm of digital change and disruption now.  Organizations that recognize this imperative and act on it are succeeding in the digital age.  Those that ...

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5 Q4 Sales Strategies Technology Suppliers Use Against You

‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ is a popular holiday song and was written by Edward Pola and George Wyle in 1963.  It was popularized in North America by singer Andy Williams that same year on his television show by the same name.  However, we didn’t have to do much research to learn that the inspiration for that song had nothing to do with the 4th quarter for most business leaders and their respective companies.  Anecdotally, we believe most business leaders might say it’s the most *stressful* time of the year, especially for publicly traded companies – most of whom have their fiscal year end aligned with the calendar year end of ...

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Market Alert: More Details Emerge on Microsoft’s 2018 Pricing Changes Effective October 1st

You may recall from our alert in July, Microsoft has substantial changes to their pricing due to take effect October 1, 2018.  This pricing will cascade globally from Redmond product managers.  As a result, we anticipate an incredibly busy September as customers try to understand what the impact will be and how best to optimize their agreements.  The actual pricing is due to be available to resellers on September 1, 2018 and will likely become widely available soon after. In addition to the changes we previously communicated (see below), here are a few of the latest updates that have come to our attention: “Level A” is going away.  Any ...

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Six ‘Beware’ Factors to Consider in Today’s Cloud HCM Offerings

Its been a long time since HCM solutions were primarily used for ‘counting noses’.   Companies large and small understand the strategic value in their workforce and are aggressively using HCM solutions to support their investment, and HCM providers know it.  Between emerging technology, disruptive companies, mergers and acquisitions, changing licensing models, cloud migrations, and much more, to say today’s HCM software market is under rapid change would be a massive understatement.  Unfortunately, none of us really have the luxury of ignoring these changes lest we be left in the wake of overpaying for a non-compliant, underperforming, and ...

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Microsoft Pricing Update

True to their usual schedule, Microsoft has announced some substantial changes to their pricing policies, along with some price increases to Office and Windows licenses / subscriptions, to be effective October 2018.    There are some significant changes hidden in Microsoft’s bland language – most notably “Removing the programmatic volume discounts (Level A and Open Level C) in Enterprise Agreement (EA)/EA Subscription, MPSA, Select/ Select Plus, and Open programs (Open, Open Value, Open Value Subscription)” - which will in effect cause substantial price increases for the majority of small and medium businesses with fewer than 2,400 ...

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5 Ways You Lose on Technology Deals

 Over the past 16 years, we’ve seen almost every way possible for an organization to lose value in their technology supplier arrangements, agreements, and relationships.  Sometimes these situations arise from external forces that leave little in the way of options like mergers, acquisitions, or litigation.  Many times, however, we find that organizations could have improved if only they had a few key insights.  If a company is willing to take the necessary steps to acknowledge where they have shortcomings in information, expertise, and experience, they could avoid many of these pitfalls.  It’s difficult to know what you don’t know, and as a ...

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Negotiating the Economics of Cloud Deals

Recently I asked myself this question: when did the words ‘cloud computing’ become the common expression to simply explain a network of remote servers? According to Technology Review, it can be traced back twenty two years ago to 1996. Inside the offices of Compaq Computer a small group of technology executives were plotting the future of the Internet business and calling it “cloud computing.” Not only would all business software move to the Web, but what they termed “cloud computing-enabled applications” would become common.  In 2018, cloud computing has become a ubiquitous piece of jargon that many find annoying, but also hard to ...

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Financial Services Blog Series: Enemy at the Gate

What can be done to maximize your operations strategy. In the mid-1700s, Alexander Webster and Robert Wallace, two ministers of the Church of Scotland caused a major change that would alter the life insurance landscape forever. The plan they devised would invest the revenue from policy premiums and use the income generated from those investments to payout death benefit claims to the families of the insured. Much of the success of the newly-created fund can be credited to Wallace and Webster’s precise use of actuarial science such as understanding mortality rates of Scottish clergymen, along with life expectancies of the ministers’ wife and ...

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Market Alert: ZTE Future Uncertain

The latest casualty in what some consider the emerging trade showdown between the USA and China has come in the form of ZTE, who has announced they have ceased ‘major operations’.  On April 16th, 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce banned American companies from exporting parts to ZTE.  Given that 25%+ of the components that make up ZTE equipment comes from U.S. manufacturers, ZTE was forced to shut down its production lines.  While most people are aware that ZTE manufactures mobile handsets, most were not fully aware that the bulk of their revenue comes from telecom exchange, optical transmission, and other tier one communications ...

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GDPR: An Opportunity for SSM (Strategic Supplier Management)

Many client executives are currently working to become compliant with the new General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).  The GDPR regulation goes into effect on 25 May, 2018, and while GDPR is a European Union regulation, it is expected to be implemented worldwide due to its wide reaching or near universal regulatory umbrella. Around 20 years ago, pretty much all data was stored in the corporate datacenter. Today, that data could be in multiple locations, stored on the edge in branch offices as well as in the public cloud. Critically, Personal Identifiable Information (“PII”) could exist outside primary systems. GDPR represents “the law ...

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