Negotiating New Software Licences? Ask For Free Conference Tickets

Enterprise licence renewal requires strategic planning: you’ re under pressure to save money but the sales rep doesn’t want to lower the standard price. One potential negotiating tactic? Ask for free tickets for the provider’ s conference and training events.

Conference picture from Shutterstock

University of Pennsylvania senior IT director Donna Manley recommended the technique during a session at Data Center World in Las Vegas. “When negotiating with large providers, ask for free education credits or registrations at conferences,” she said. “It’ s a great way to incent your staff members to get more education at a lower cost to you.”

Manley used the technique in negotiations with Software AG. “We got a couple of gratis admissions into their conferences, and we also negotiated a firm discount on any professional services activity.”

Be sure to note any such savings when you’ re reporting on your budget. “When we do that, we capture that as savings — maybe not for the current year, but for the years when they’ re actually used,” Manley said.

The savings might be relatively small (conference registration typically runs at between $1000 and $2000) but every cent can help. Those discounts are more likely if you send in a team to discuss pricing. “Never negotiate by yourself,” Manley said. “Always get the good cop and the bad cop.”

Lifehacker’s World Of Servers sees me travelling to conferences around Australia and around the globe in search of fresh insights into how server and infrastructure deployment is changing in the cloud era. This week, I’m in Las Vegas for Data Center World, looking at how the role of the data centre is changing and evolving.

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