Our Thoughts on IT Matters

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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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Oracle Audits Will Get Worse in 2018

Matt Ryan
Mar. 28,2018 | Oracle Audit

Over the years, Oracle audits have become the bane of existence for many of Oracle’s customers, thanks in large part to Oracle’s reputed predatory behavior, especially in its LMS (License Management Service) Group, and the well-earned notoriety for its truculent account management practices in its sales organization.  As we’ve often said, it’s not matter of if, but when you will get audited by Oracle.  As we are seeing unfold now, the pace of these audits continues to accelerate.  Below are some of the reasons we think there will be a continuation of aggressive audits for the foreseeable future.  Cloudy Future As with most software ...

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SAP Maintenance and Support for the Zombie Hordes

As many of you may already know, most SAP renewal deals ‘come due’ in December, as they are generally annualized to the calendar year, as are most new SAP license purchases and expansions. SAP is hungry for new licensing revenue, so customers can expect to see increased activity around year-end audits.  Now is the time to start planning (and saving), especially if you’re already paying for annual maintenance and support services from to SAP. If you are ready to go ahead and write SAP another huge check for the upcoming year and are unconcerned about the value you’re getting for these large investments, check your pulse…you may be a software ...

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Financial Services Blog Series: Optimizing IT Spend in Banks to Improve Efficiency Ratio and Fund Innovation

It was just a few years ago when a leading global consulting firm noted in their financial services outlook, that the “industry would switch gears from defensive compliance remediation to a proactive search for revenue growth and further cost reduction.” As topline growth stayed modest over the years, banks focused mostly on operational efficiencies to drive financial performance improvements. As an example, they looked for scale efficiencies through rationalizing their branch networks with only mixed results.  Banks are very complex organizations, but as IT and Finance collaborate more to redefine their role and value, optimizing IT cost as ...

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Financial Services CFO Nightmare: The Mainframe That Ate My P&L

Back in March 1991, Stewart Alsop, a venture-capitalist and editor of InfoWorld said, “I predict that the last mainframe will be unplugged on March 15th, 1996”. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20, so we know now, this could not be further from the truth. The mainframe is not only ‘not’ a dinosaur, it may be the single most important technology in the financial services industry, running almost every large Bank and Insurance Company’s back end system in the world.  Still today, seemingly only the mainframe can handle the performance requirements & reliability demands of these challenging operating environments and support the sheer volume of ...

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Microsoft 2017: 4 Things to Know

Microsoft is coming to the close of its first half earnings in Q4.  If you know what to look for, the timing represents a strategic opportunity to review and optimize your spend.   Did you know: When renewing a Microsoft EA or Office365 subscription, most clients experience a net increase in costs of at least 20-25% for the same services, licenses and subscriptions.  These increases result from several sources: The low, “teaser” prices offered by Microsoft to get enterprises onto Office365 are not being offered at renewal – despite that there has been no change at all in the services used, and that in general the promise of cloud computing ...

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