Spend Matters welcomes another guest post from NPI, a spend management consultancy, focused on delivering savings in the areas of IT, telecom, transportation and energy.
SunGard is well known as a pioneer in disaster recovery (DR) -- a market it nearly single-handedly established more than 30 years ago. But, as for many vendors, the emergence of SaaS and cloud computing challenged SunGard's technological pace. For a time, sub-par customer service and high customer attrition threatened its success.
Fortunately, SunGard (under the name SunGard Availability Services) has taken great measures to improve its performance as a competitive DR, business continuity and data center outsourcing provider. Yet the company's history is good reason for current and prospective customers to be diligent in securing the fairest pricing and terms for their SunGard investment. Here are a few questions you should ask when navigating your next SunGard BC/DR contract:
- What is pricing a la carte for all services? SunGard is renowned for its lack of pricing transparency and not-so-favorable standard contract terms. Investigate a la carte pricing for every facet of SunGard's services, including equipment costs, lease rates, discounts, migration services, and other services/features that fall outside of the base cost of service.
- What is the oversubscription ratio? In shared infrastructure scenarios, many companies fail to understand the metrics that will directly impact performance -- like oversubscription ratios and capacity. For example, is your DR infrastructure being "over shared" beyond the acceptable industry ratio? If so, your ability to recover in a catastrophic disaster may be at risk.
- How often do you refresh your infrastructure? It's important to continuously update your Schedule A to reflect your primary infrastructure and to understand how your cost structure will change per your contract. Understanding these details will help to ensure the highest level of service delivery and performance at the lowest cost.
- How can I leverage "waterfalling" and other cost optimization tactics? DR and data center outsourcing vendors often propose large-scale (and costly) solutions for minor issues. For example, many clients opt for SunGard's top-tier storage solution when they could select a lower-tier option with "waterfalling" capabilities. These capabilities enable servers to automatically retain frequently used data in top tier storage and relegate infrequently accessed data into lower performance storage.
-- Jeff Muscarella, EVP of IT, NPI