Consider the entirety of the contract, not just the price
Consider the terms and conditions as carefully as the headline quoted price. There is often more room for vendors to move in terms and conditions than on price – especially if you are dealing with a strategic tier-one vendor. And there can be big benefits for the customer from getting beneficial terms in place.
For instance, if your company is likely to be active in mergers and acquisitions, it is possible to add a no-audit clause, which will be valid for a certain period – e.g., 2 years to the contract. That means you won’t find yourself in the middle of a complex integration project while also having to renegotiate a deal or cope with an audit – you can focus on getting systems running first. Much in the same manner, this can also be done for a divestiture. When a subdivision or business is being sold or split off from a larger business, it is possible to negotiate upfront a grace period during which the software of the selling entity can be used by the new entity for a certain time, even though this now is a different legal entity.
Some vendors might offer the option of unlimited usage for an agreed price for a certain period of time. At the end of that term, real usage will be measured, and that will form the basis for setting the price for the remaining period of the contract.
We can help you understand what is possible here and make sure you focus on the right areas during discussions. We know that different vendors have different priorities, and that those priorities are subject to regular change.