Our Thoughts on IT Matters

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Terminating Your IT Services Contract

Preface: Due principally to COVID-19, NET(net) has been getting many requests from clients for recommendations on how they can reduce or otherwise reshape their IT contracts; particularly their IT Services Agreements. Insider eBook: Top 5 Ways to Terminate Your IT Services Contract When it comes to contract wrangling in 2020, the soup du jour has been force majeure, but instead of a ‘silver bullet’ of sorts to get relief from contractual obligations in the age of a global pandemic, many of our clients are learning that the force majeure Rosetta Stone may not be the panacea of bargaining table control they hoped it was. In most cases where ...

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Look that Gift Horse in the Mouth

Things are moving fast in these challenging times as both individuals and companies struggle to keep up with changing demands and plan for an uncertain financial future. In response, we are already starting to see many clients (a) put most major technology spending projects on hold and (b) look closely at supplier contracts (almost none of which contemplate a reality such as the one we are facing today). As a result of a confluence of these and other factors, we are seeing an unprecedented level of activity in renegotiating technology supplier contracts, including but not limited to: The force majeure clause in most agreements Government ...

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Breaking Dawn for IBM: Meet the New CEO, Mr. Arvind Krishna

Steven Zolman
Feb. 18,2020 | IBM

Leave it to IBM to bring in fresh new blood.  After nearly 40 years at IBM.  Ginni Rometty steps down and Arvind steps forward; someone with only 30 years in at IBM, so we can expect a radical departure from the past, right?  Jokes!!  Of course, we are jesting, but maybe (just maybe) this guy is different. Let’s see.  IBM’s new CEO (who currently heads up IBM’s Cloud and Cognitive Division), is credited with being the primary architect of IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat.  Certainly, he will be measured by how well IBM becomes more like Red Hat, rather than Red Hat becoming at all like IBM.  If Arvind is to be successful, IBM will need to become ...

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Shrinking Value, Shrinking Sales, Sinking Ship: The Story of IBM's Ginni Rometty (Article #4)

Steven Zolman
Feb. 18,2020 | IBM

 Virginia “Ginni” Rometty has agreed to step down at IBM, and it’s without a doubt the best thing she has done for the company in her 8+ year tenure as its CEO.  The news sent the markets reeling and IBM stock soaring; up 5%.  The market clearly agrees that this is a long overdue and much needed move.  Ginni plans to step down as CEO in early April and retire officially by the end of the year with nearly 40 years of experience at IBM. NET(net) has been somewhat critical (but fair) of Ginni over the years. Shortly after she was named CEO, we documented our Top 10 Reasons Why Ginni Rometty Will Fail as IBM’s New CEO, and fail she did. The ...

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Kill All the AWS Zombies

Do you have AWS Zombies lurking in your environment?  If you are an AWS customer, probably you do. AWS Zombies are likely roaming your cloud instances gaining power, destroying all they touch, and if you don’t kill them off soon, they may take over your bills altogether. What are AWS Zombies?  AWS Zombies are described as unused (and often hidden) assets that keep contributing to the ongoing costs of your AWS Cloud without producing any value.  What are the four most common types of AWS Zombies?  1: Unattached EBS Volumes Clients should seek out and kill AWS Zombies like unattached EBS Volumes: When you provision an Elastic Cloud Compute ...

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Countdown of Oracle's Most Egregious Terms and Conditions - Number 1: Audit Clause

Clients are well advised to include specific language governing Oracle audits.  Most important is the ability to purchase any compliance licenses as a result of an audit action at the contractual price hold discounts                                     (#12 on our Oracle's Most Egregious list), and in the event that the price hold expires, at a mutually agreeable discount at the prevailing discounts available in the market for similar deals not to be unreasonably withheld.  The current contract language in the standard Oracle agreement requires clients to purchase compliance licenses at list price.  In the case of a 75% price hold discount, ...

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Countdown of Oracle's 12 Most Egregious Terms and Conditions - Part II: Auto Install

What is Auto-Install? Auto-Install is an executable file in the Oracle software kit that activates when a customer installs certain software and automatically loads various options that may or may not be included in the purchase price of the acquired software.  Why is it Important?  It’s important because generally the people who install the Oracle software are not contextually aware of all the intricacies of software licensing, nor perhaps are they even aware of the particulars of the commercial arrangement between your company and Oracle.  They are, however, generally fans of the Oracle technology, and want all the added features, so when ...

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Oracle's Most Egregious Terms and Conditions: Part 3 - Business Transaction Protection

Business Transaction Protection is language in the agreement that provides some much needed flexibility in the event of a business transaction that significantly alters the value of the Oracle software deployment Why is it Important?  These business transactions are often the source of many audit demands, and the standard Oracle language is vague and limited on what rights a customer has with regard to these types of transactions.  We suggest clients include language in the agreement that gives added protections and flexibility for business transactions like mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, carve-outs, etc.  Transition Service Agreements ...

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Oracle's Most Egregious Terms and Conditions: Part 4 - Matching Service Levels

Steven Zolman
Sep. 27,2019 | Software Oracle

Why is it important?  It’s important because many of our clients have multiple operating environments in different business units, sometimes in different geographies or even countries, and sometimes these are unrelated businesses that just so happen to be owned by the same company.  In many cases, there is no relation between the needs of the operating environments, and therefore any policy to enforce equal treatment is unjustly onerous and costs our clients dearly.  The business reason Oracle cites is to prevent customers from having many similar licenses, but only supporting a few of them, which makes it difficult for Oracle to determine ...

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Oracle Series: Most Egregious Terms and Conditions #5, Re-Pricing Provision

Steven Zolman
Aug. 27,2019 |

Why is it important?  Oracle’s ability to re-price can effectively eliminate any product pricing discounts off list, should you cancel a partial license set.  Even with a price hold, Oracle leverages its support policies drawn into the contract by External Reference (#6 on our List) to re-price your annual maintenance and service support costs to effectively eliminate your discounts and make your costs as high as list price if you terminate partial orders.    If you were to buy 100 licenses at a 50% discount, and you were paying $100,000 of annual maintenance service and support charges, you would think that if you terminated 50 of those ...

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