Contracts - your start to proper, successful software management. Takeaways from the X-change of 30/05/18


The digitisation of our world is built on a lot of software - from smaller-sized 'plug-and-play' programs to vast and/or customised packages.  And especially for the latter, licences can be a complex challenge to manage.


During this users-only session, our experts shared their insights on managing your licences, and negotiating knowledgeably.  We also learned from Toyota about their best practices for software licensing in the cloud.


The presentations from the event are available, exclusively for Beltug members (after login):




Terms and conditions versus monitoring


Our first speakers were both from Deloitte: Nicolas Reyntens, Director Procurement Services, and Joris Palmans, Senior Manager Software Asset Management.  Nicolas started with an overview of how to achieve a well-negotiated software contract.  He shared plenty of tips and tricks (see slides 5 and 6). That contract, he emphasised, is the starting point for proper, successful software management. However, you still need to manage your software assets.


Joris pointed out the challenges and pitfalls companies still face, for example if 3rd party access is not allowed, you might also need to sign a third-party access agreement with your vendor.


There are other pitfalls in different areas:

  • The new style of IT
  • Technology - SAM tools are good, but often don't keep all the data you need for a proper management.  There is no silver bullet.
  • Contracts
  • People - communicate about contracts and educate colleagues on do's and don'ts
  • Qualitative data - you can outsource your responsibilities, but define their scope properly.

 (See slide 7 for details).


To reach proper sustainable licence management, Deloitte defines these steps:

  • Set up a governance model
  • Assess the current state
  • Create a licence management plan per vendor, especially for the major vendors
  • Assign responsibilities & tooling
  • Implement a reporting cycle
  • Aim for continuous improvement.


Pitfalls when negotiating cloud contracts


Taking us from theory to practice, Steven Wynants, Manager Vendor & Contract Management at Toyota Motor Europe, took the floor. He described how Toyota, like many companies, moved to SaaS models for many software solutions, which nonetheless still present many challenges (see slide 7 for the difficulties and how Toyota deals with them).


Toyota has a checklist for SaaS vendors to complete.  It is also used as a tool for internal business clients so they understand how to negotiate with vendors.


Steven finished his presentation with an overview of the key learnings at Toyota:

  • Know your vendor: what’s their incentive to sell SaaS?
  • Consider using a checklist to maintain an overview
  • Be prepared to step away
  • Educate your internal customers - and make sure you are recognised for your skills in your company so people turn to you for the contract negotiation
  • Use the skills and experience of your peers.


How to prepare for software licence negotiations


Eva Van de Ven, SAM Solution Advisor Belux at Comparex, then shared her experiences with negotiating licences.  Make sure to set your objectives right, she began. What's your roadmap for your business or for your IT department, considering the value of your existing assets, and what are your cross-departmental interests? Your deployment model, your licensing structure, the support agreement and the total cost will all be influenced by your objectives.


'Knowledge is power', she continued - make sure you talk to everyone: what does IT need, what does the licence look like and what are the actual business needs you want to solve?  Next, work with your legal department and with your vendor to make sure you know the terms and conditions of a purchase.


She ended her exposé with a few key recommendations:

  • Educate
  • Know your vendor's fiscal year
  • Consider the consequences of not accepting or renewing a contract
  • Each case has different practical details.


When preparing for your software licence negotiations, don't make this a one off - it needs to be a continuous process.  Set practical goals you can control, and align the needs of your business colleagues across departments.


Beltug initiatives on software asset management & procurement - how can we be relevant together?


We ended the session with an open discussion on various items, on Beltug initiatives for software asset management and procurement, and on how we can be even more relevant to our members in this area.


Among other topics, we announced that we will be translating the recommendations in our Code of Conduct for Software Suppliers into contract clauses that can be used in requests for public tenders.  We will set up a Beltug session on this for 2 October 2018 - mark the date already in your calendar, the invitation will follow soon.

















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