Date: 
September 27, 2017
Author: 
Tomás O'Leary
Date: 
9.27.2017
Author: 
Tomás O'Leary

Delegates at the recent Gartner IT Financial, Procurement & Asset Management Summit in London were shocked to hear a senior research analyst declare that third parties may offer a viable alternative to IBM®’s constantly increasing annual maintenance costs.

During her presentation, “Contract Negotiation Clinic: IBM® Negotiations Using Gartner's 5x5 Approach”, Jo Ann Rosenberger (Gartner Research VP) was kind enough to mention Origina as a potential alternative to OEM maintenance. And more than simply using third party maintenance quotes as a tool for bargaining a better deal with IBM®, Rosenberger suggested delegates properly assess whether these alternative providers really can provide an OEM-equivalent level of service and support.

Rosenberger’s claims surfaced during a contract negotiation clinic which were offered as one of the afternoon tracks available to delegates. Over the course of the two-day summit, a number of similar clinics were held for end-user representatives, providing advice and guidance on re-negotiating maintenance deals with several industry leading firms including Oracle and Microsoft.

Software maintenance is a major drain on corporate IT budgets, and CIOs are under constant pressure to contain these costs, releasing funds for strategic IT projects.  Estimates provided by consultancy giant Accenture, suggest that 50-60% of annual software spend is ‘dead money’, directed to support and maintenance rather than new products or upgrades. This problem is common across all industries too, hence the popularity of Gartner’s contract negotiation clinics.

The fact that Gartner analysts are now openly recommending third party maintenance providers like Origina shows how these services have matured to the point of gaining international recognition. This interest is not solely based on lower headline maintenance contract costs either – the quality of service offered to clients is also of sufficiently high standard to allow providers to challenge incumbent OEMs like IBM®.

The 2018 Gartner IT Financial, Procurement and Asset Management Summit is already set to go ahead. Perhaps next year third party maintenance providers will feature even more prominently in proceedings.

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