Top 15 tips to consider for a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) Negotiation

Organizations going into a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement negotiation will be doing so for various reasons but most importantly to secure a deal that financially favours them. An E.A. negotiation will mean license renewal, a new license purchase or a discussion of future road maps for your organization to seek the appropriate support.   

Negotiations can be fluid situations that move around a little bit, so you need to be sure you have all your cards on the table. We have put together some useful tips to note ahead of your negotiations in order to optimize the outcome.    

1/ Always start months ahead knowing that it would not be a week engagement during the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement negotiation.    

2/ Also closing a contract in June helps as June is the end of Microsoft’s fiscal year. The Microsoft account managers will be more than content to negotiate deals in June for their incentives.   

3/ Always know your particular or peculiar working environment back at your organization, your situation and budget. You should have ahead of the negotiation engaged I.T. Managers, internal and external stakeholders, and other key users of the Microsoft products you are hoping to negotiate on.    

4/ When you are asking for discounts, don’t be too specific as it goes to Microsoft’s behavioural profile as you would have handed over information they could use when negotiating in a way that may seem to favour you, which may not be what you really need.  Also ask and make the point of discounts on products that are important to you and not products you may not likely use.  

5/ Over the past few years, bundling together Azure, Microsoft 365, Office 365, Dynamics, Power Platform, and a host of other products gets the attention of Microsoft. Consider closing your deals with the breadth of purchasing these products. Only if you need it.   

6/ Building a competitive alternative as you prepare to engage Microsoft allows you to come across as having a choice and Microsoft deals with choice. Go with a strong competitor’s name to the negotiating table as this might get Microsoft to relax their stance.   

7/ Again, always have a plan and a strategy for your negotiations. The Microsoft 365 E5 product, for example, is being positioned for customers to buy and use and this will attract incentives and discounts if your road maps include this.   

8/ Make sure you have gathered enough data and facts both internally and externally to help you state your case better and based on facts. Here an independent expert will have shared different scenarios ahead of time to support your case.  

9/ Be sure you understand and know the quantity of licenses you want to negotiate for ahead of time. This will make it difficult for you to be easily convinced to buy more than the budget. You only buy what you need as an organization and will use.  

10/ You should have your license roadmap and deployment strategies well figured out. Some of these “fall offs” may be raised at the negotiation to subtle profile your organization’s now and plans going into the future.  

11/ Have a team of negotiators readily nine months ahead of the actual meeting. Add an independent licensing expert to share unbiased, professional views with your team. The team can range from IT, procurement, legal, regulatory compliance, finance, and some executives from management.  

12/ Identify or target a person (s) in the Microsoft negotiation team that can help push your agenda to achieve favourable outcomes. Get information on how they are compensated and see how this information can be used to your advantage.  

13/ Take time to rationalize all your priorities before going for the negotiation. Avoid taking decisions as a team at the negotiation table.  

14/ Make sure to read and understand the wording of the agreement. Seek clarity and seek clarity again.  

15/ Control information flow from your end before, during and after the negotiations. The more you give off, it is this that will be used against you.  

The Microsoft experts at Q-Advise have negotiated hundreds of contracts and we are happy to share our benchmark and knowledge with you. Talk to our experts to help you with your negotiation and to optimize your costs. As an independent licensing company, we combine expert knowledge of the software and licensing market to help you resolve licensing issues, save on your Microsoft purchases, and carry out cost-reduction actions. 

Contact us and talk to an independent Microsoft expert.   


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