Why Your Vendor’s Fiscal Year End Matters

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.

Some say IT contract management and negotiation is an art. It's actually more of a science. If you're trying to achieve fair market pricing and terms (i.e., substantial savings that deliver long-term impact), hundreds of data points about the vendor, their historical behavior, and the buyer's unique IT environment are required.

One of these pieces of information is the vendor's fiscal year end (FYE). Vendors are typically more flexible on pricing and terms during this time as they seek to ink more deals, meet quotas and document revenues. This is low-hanging fruit in the negotiation process -- but, surprisingly, many companies fail to use this information to their advantage.

Here are FYEs for several top enterprise IT and telecom vendors:

AT&T -- 12/31
Cisco -- 7/30
EMC (including VMware) -- 12/31
IBM -- 12/31
Manhattan Associates -- 12/31
McKesson -- 3/30
Microsoft -- 6/30
Oracle -- 5/31
SAP -- 12/31
Verizon -- 12/31

Timing your purchases and renewals for a vendor's FYE takes a little bit of planning, but it most always pays off. Even better -- and unlike many other critical data points in the negotiation process -- this is information that is easily accessible. Don't forget to arm yourself with it before you go to the table!

-- Gregg Spivack, Director of Client Services, NPI

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