SAP Watch

Mar 17 2009   7:07PM GMT

It’s a buyer’s market for software

CourtneyBjorlin Courtney Bjorlin Profile: CourtneyBjorlin

Here in New England, for the last couple of years, a large furniture store chain called Jordan’s Furniture has run a clever promotion — if the Red Sox win the World Series, you get the furniture you bought during a certain time period for free.

I’m starting to wonder whether we’ll soon be seeing a deal like that from the big software vendors, who seem to keep getting more and more aggressive with their discounts.

Back in October SAP announced some pretty good software discounts and offers. It introduced 0% financing for 12 months on certain software packages. It also said it was discounting Business All-in-One at a rate of 20% and offering special deals on SAP BusinessObjects software.

In November, Microsoft upped the ante with its own 0% financing on Dynamics CRM and ERP offer for 36 months.

But since then, the deals have gotten even better.

An offer from SAP for Crystal Reports 2008 Visual Advantage — a bundled product that includes Crystal Reports and Xcelsius Engage — landed in my inbox today. If you purchase it by March 31, you get it for $695. That, the promotion said, is a savings of 50%.

Moreover, a consultant told me a couple of weeks ago that SAP began negotiations with one of his customers with a discount of 64% off the list price.

But perhaps, Microsoft has the best offer of all. Free software — well, at least for the next six months. Last week at Microsoft Convergence, the vendor announced an offer that allows customers to start using Dynamics and not pay for another six months.

Analysts like Ray Wang have been advising customers to push for software concessions for months, and not only in new purchases. In his blog, he says now is a good time for customers to take other actions that will bring savings — such as negotiating a set rate of maintenance for the life of the contract.

Have you been able to get some discounts from SAP, or other vendors, on recent software purchases or contract re-negotiations?

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