Five Vital Sourcing and Vendor Management Recommendations for Complex Technology Categories

As part of Amalgam Insights’ coverage of the Technology Expense Management market, we provide the following guidance to sourcing, procurement, and operations professionals seeking to better understand how to manage technology expenses.

In immature or monopoly markets where one dominant vendor provides technology services, vendor management challenges are limited. Although buyers can potentially purchase services outside of the corporate umbrella, enterprises can typically work both with the vendor and with corporate compliance efforts to consolidate spend. However, vendor management becomes increasingly challenging in a world where multiple vendors provide similar but not equivalent technology services. To effectively optimize services across multiple vendors, organizations must be able to manage all relevant spend in a single location.

In Telecom Expense Management, this practice has been a standard for over a decade as companies manage AT&T, Vodafone, Verizon, and many other telecom carriers with a single solution. For Software-as-a-Service, a number of solutions are starting to emerge that solve this challenge. And with Infrastructure-as-a-Service, this challenge is only starting to emerge in earnest as Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform rise up as credible competitors to Amazon Web Services.

To effectively manage sourcing and vendor management in complex technology categories, Amalgam suggests starting with the following contractual steps:

Align vendor and internal Service Level Agreements. There is no reason that any vendor should provide a lower level of service than the IT department has committed to the enterprise and other commercial partners.

Define bulk and tiered discounts for all major subcategories of spend within a vendor contract. Vendors are typically willing to discount for any usage category where a business buys in bulk, but there is no reason for them to simply hand over discounts without being asked. This step sounds simple, but typically requires a basic understanding of service and usage categories to identify relevant categories.

Avoid “optional” fees. For instance, on telecom bills, there are a number of carrier fees that are included in the taxes, surcharges, and fees part of the bill. These charges are negotiable and will vary from vendor to vendor. Ensure that the enterprise is negotiating all fees that are carrier-based, rather than assuming that these fees are all mandatory government taxes or surcharges which can’t be avoided.

Renegotiate contracts as necessary, not just based on your “scheduled” contract dates. There is no need to constantly renegotiate contracts just for the sake of getting every last dime, but companies should seek to renegotiate if significantly increasing the size of their purchase or significantly changing the shape of their technology portfolio. For instance, an Amazon contract may not be well-suited for a significant usage increase of a service due to business demand.

Embed contract agreements and terms into service order invoice processing and service management areas. It is not uncommon to see elegant contract negotiations go to waste because the terms are not enforced during operational, financial, or service management. Structure the business relationship to support the contract, then place relevant contract terms within other processes and management solutions so that these terms are readily available to all stakeholders, not just the procurement team.

Effective vendor and contract management is an important starting point to support each subsequent element of the technology lifecycle to enforce effective management at scale. In future blogs, we will cover best practices for inventory, invoice, service order, and lifecycle management across telecom, mobility, network, SaaS, and IaaS spend.

Big Changes in the Cloud Data Migration Market: Attunity and Alooma Get Acquired

Mid-February (Feb. 17 – 23) was a hot week for data and cloud migration companies with two big acquisitions. Google announced on Tuesday, Feb. 19 the acquisition of Alooma to assist with cloud data migration issues. This acquisition aligns well with the 2018 acquisition of Velostrata to support cloud workload migration. This acquisition reflects Google’s continued…

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Now Available: Market Milestone: Vena Solutions Raises $115 Million to Support Mid-Market FP&A

On January 9th, 2019, Vena Solutions announced a $115 million round of equity financing led by JMI Equity and joined by prior investor Centana Growth Partners. Based on Amalgam Insights’ discussions with Vena’s executive team, this funding will be used to expand Vena’s product, customer support, sales, marketing, and operations teams as well as to expand the customer base in the mid-market, where Vena has been successfully winning business over the past several years.

Amalgam Insights’ Market Milestones highlight and contextualize key announcements in enterprise technology markets. This Market Milestone provides guidance on why this funding round is an important milestone for mid-market FP&A in context of the red-hot FP&A market as well as important trends in Enterprise Performance Management product development and venture capital investment. To access Amalgam Insights’ perspective at no cost until Friday, January 19th, click through to read our perspective on this important milestone.

CES 2019 Ramifications for Enterprise IT

Vendors and Organizations Mentioned: IBM, Ose, WindRiver, Velodyne, UV Partners, TDK Corporation, Chirp Microsystems, Qualcomm, Intel, Zigbee Alliance, Thread Group, Impossible Foods The CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is traditionally known as the center of consumer technology. Run by the CTA (Consumer Technology Association) in Las Vegas, this show brings out enormous volumes of new technology…

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Market Milestone: Tidelift Raises $25 Million B Round to Improve Open Source Business Models


Key Stakeholders: CIO, Enterprise Strategists, Enterprise Architects, Software Asset Managers, Software Developers, Open Source Maintainers

Why It Matters: Open Source is an increasingly important part of the enterprise software portfolio and yet the support, maintenance, and contributions to open source projects are often haphazard, risky, and poorly funded. Tidelift provides a channel to allow organizations and enterprises to effectively fund the founders and maintainers of strategically important open source projects.

Key Takeaway: With this round of funding, Tidelift is well positioned to continue supporting the mission of supporting open source developers through the Tidelift Subscription of security, maintenance, and licensing commitments, through 2019 and beyond.

On January 7, 2019, Tidelift, an Open Source subscription and maintenance company, raised a $25 million Series B round co-led by General Catalyst, Foundry Group, and former Red Hat executive Matthew Szulik. This round came only seven months after an initial $15 million A round and will be used to help Tidelift continue to support Open Source developers, creators, and maintainers seeking financial support so that they can focus on the Open Source projects and packages that they work on with a professional level of support.

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Tangoe Acquires MOBI – Part IV: Market Considerations and Conclusion

Note: if you missed Part III of this blog series, catch up and read Part III: Enterprise Considerations

This is part of a four-blog series exploring Tangoe’s acquisition of MOBI.
Part I: Context for the Acquisition
Part II: Why?
Part III: Enterprise Considerations
Part IV: Market Considerations and Conclusion

Industries: Enterprise Mobility Management, Technology Expense Management

Key Stakeholders: CIO, CFO, Chief Digital Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Mobility Officer, Mobility Directors and Managers, Procurement Directors and Managers, Accounting Directors and Managers

Why It Matters: Tangoe is the largest technology expense management vendor. By purchasing MOBI, Tangoe gains Managed Mobility expertise, a customer base with high customer satisfaction, and expertise in Robotic Process Automation to support enterprise mobility.

Top Takeaway: Tangoe continues to aggressively acquire market leaders both to increase market share and add Best-in-Breed capabilities, personnel, and technology to its technology management portfolio.

Tangoe Acquires MOBI

On December 5th, 2018, Tangoe announced the acquisition of MOBI, a leading managed mobility services organization based in Indianapolis, Indiana in the United States. With this acquisition, Tangoe increases its IT spend under management to over $40 billion, increasing its lead over other spend management vendors with multiple billions of dollars of enterprise technology under management including Flexera, Snow Software, Microsoft Azure Cost Management, CloudHealth by VMware, Calero, MDSL, Cass Information Systems, and Sakon.

Market Considerations

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Tangoe Acquires MOBI – Part III: Enterprise Considerations

Note: if you missed Part II of this blog series, catch up and read Part II: Why?

This is part of a four-blog series exploring Tangoe’s acquisition of MOBI.
Part I: Context for the Acquisition
Part II: Why?
Part III: Enterprise Considerations
Part IV: Market Considerations and Conclusion

 

Industries: Enterprise Mobility Management, Technology Expense Management

Key Stakeholders: CIO, CFO, Chief Digital Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Mobility Officer, Mobility Directors and Managers, Procurement Directors and Managers, Accounting Directors and Managers

Why It Matters: Tangoe is the largest technology expense management vendor. By purchasing MOBI, Tangoe gains Managed Mobility expertise, a customer base with high customer satisfaction, and expertise in Robotic Process Automation to support enterprise mobility.

Top Takeaway: Tangoe continues to aggressively acquire market leaders both to increase market share and add Best-in-Breed capabilities, personnel, and technology to its technology management portfolio.

Tangoe Acquires MOBI

On December 5th, 2018, Tangoe announced the acquisition of MOBI, a leading managed mobility services organization based in Indianapolis, Indiana in the United States. With this acquisition, Tangoe increases its IT spend under management to over $40 billion, increasing its lead over other spend management vendors with multiple billions of dollars of enterprise technology under management including Flexera, Snow Software, Microsoft Azure Cost Management, CloudHealth by VMware, Calero, MDSL, Cass Information Systems, and Sakon.

Key Questions for customers to keep in mind that have not been answered as of publication:

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Tangoe Acquires MOBI – Part II: Why?

Note: if you missed Part I of this blog series, catch up and read Part I: Context for the Acquisition This is part of a four-blog series exploring Tangoe’s acquisition of MOBI. Part I: Context for the Acquisition Part II: Why? Part III: Enterprise Considerations Part IV: Market Considerations and Conclusion Industries: Enterprise Mobility Management,…

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Tangoe Acquires MOBI – Part I: Context for the Acquisition

Industries: Enterprise Mobility Management, Technology Expense Management

Key Stakeholders: CIO, CFO, Chief Digital Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Mobility Officer, Mobility Directors and Managers, Procurement Directors and Managers, Accounting Directors and Managers

Why It Matters: Tangoe is the largest technology expense management vendor. By purchasing MOBI, Tangoe gains Managed Mobility expertise, a customer base with high customer satisfaction, and expertise in Robotic Process Automation to support enterprise mobility.

Top Takeaway: Tangoe continues to aggressively acquire market leaders both to increase market share and add Best-in-Breed capabilities, personnel, and technology to its technology management portfolio.

Note: This is part of a four-blog series exploring Tangoe’s acquisition of MOBI.
Part I: Context for the Acquisition
Part II: Why?
Part III: Enterprise Considerations
Part IV: Market Considerations and Conclusion

On December 5th, 2018, Tangoe announced the acquisition of MOBI, a leading managed mobility services organization based in Indianapolis, Indiana in the United States. With this acquisition, Tangoe increases its IT spend under management to over $40 billion, increasing its lead over other spend management vendors with multiple billions of dollars of enterprise technology under management including Flexera, Snow Software, Microsoft Azure Cost Management, CloudHealth by VMware, Calero, MDSL, Cass Information Systems, and Sakon.

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