NPI Content

Microsoft’s Evolution to the Cloud Creates License and Cost Management Challenges for Enterprise Customers

Spend Matters welcomes another guest post from Jeff Muscarella, partner, IT and telecommunications, at NPI, a spend management consultancy, focused on eliminating overspending on IT, telecom and shipping. As Microsoft moves to the cloud at a rapid pace, big changes are ahead for enterprise customers – the majority of which still rely on Microsoft’s traditional (on-premise) software products for productivity. Some customers are already feeling the vendor’s growing pains as Microsoft dives headlong into a cloud-first business strategy while continuing to support their traditional software business (and loyalists).

Analyzing the Advantages of an Unlimited License Agreement

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by Gregg Spivack, director of client services for NPI, a spend management consultancy, focused on eliminating overspending on IT, telecom and shipping. Vendors are increasingly offering more comprehensive and deeply discounted unlimited license agreements (ULAs) to their customers. Many times, the purpose is to address significant growth of the customer’s business in a contractually and operationally simple way. But, that’s not the only reason.

Microsoft Windows 10 – Will it Be Good News for Enterprises or Add to the Confusion?

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from by Jeff Muscarella, EVP of IT Spend Management Services at NPI, a spend management consultancy, focused on eliminating overspending on IT, telecom and shipping. Based on the news out of Redmond last week, Microsoft’s Windows 10 isn’t just a new version – it’s an indicator of some very big changes ahead.

Will FedEx Raise its Fuel Surcharge?

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by Jim Haller, program director of transportation services at from NPI. If January’s activity is any indicator, the changes coming out of FedEx in 2015 will be both numerous and significant. During the carrier’s December 2014 earnings call, the company reported strong results and higher operating margin and emphasized the transformative role 2 recent acquisitions (Genco and Bongo) will have on its portfolio of e-commerce and supply chain solutions. But, the most noteworthy announcement was that the carrier’s fuel surcharge is under review and certain tables at FedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight may be updated as early as Feb. 2, 2015.

UPS and FedEx Surcharges for 2015

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by Jim Haller, program director of transportation services, at NPI, a spend management consultancy, focused on eliminating overspending on IT, telecom and shipping. When it comes to UPS and FedEx, their annual rate increases tend to generate a lot of discussion. Last quarter, the carriers both announced a fairly modest increase that was on par with previous years (a 4.9% hike for ground and air services for both carriers). However, this increase doesn’t provide a complete picture to shippers.

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Renewing a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement in 2015

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by Jeff Muscarella, EVP, IT spend management services at NPI. It’s no secret that Microsoft is a hotbed of change right now. As the company transitions from a traditional software provider to a device and services company, the impacts can be felt in virtually every aspect of its business, including the Enterprise Agreement (EA) renewal process. Those customers that anticipate a run-of-the-mill EA renewal in 2015 will find that things are changing. New business strategies are guiding the vendor’s behavior at the negotiation table, and that opens the door for new risks and opportunities.

AWS Unveils Simplified, Flexible Pricing for Cloud Services

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by Jeff Muscarella, EVP, IT Spend Management Services at NPI, a spend management consultancy, focused on eliminating overspending on IT, telecom and shipping. The cloud pricing war between Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google just intensified. Yesterday, AWS announced new pricing options for its Reserved EC2 Instances (RIs) in what appears to be an effort to secure a more steady revenue stream for its business while providing more pricing flexibility to customers.

Microsoft Unveils User Subscription License for Windows

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Forrest Silverman, Director of Client Services at NPI, a spend management consultancy focused on eliminating overspending on IT, telecom and shipping. It’s no secret that trends in mobility and BYOD have tested Microsoft’s licensing models. But the vendor appears to be tackling the challenge head on with new options for volume purchasers. Recently, Microsoft announced Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) – a subscription-based, per-user licensing option for its most popular productivity services.

Why More Large Volume Shippers are Turning to Regional Carriers

Spend Matters welcomes another guest post from NPI, a spend management consultancy focused on eliminating overspending on IT, telecom and shipping. As UPS and FedEx implement another round of annual rate and surcharge increases, along with dimensional weight pricing for all packages, shippers are seeking alternatives. Increasingly, many are turning to regional parcel carriers. Competitive (often, lower) rates, fewer surcharges and better service are quickly debunking preconceived notions of inferiority.

Take Control of IT Support Renewal Costs – It’s Worth the Effort

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Gregg Spivack, Director of Client Services at NPI, a spend management consultancy, focused on eliminating overspending on IT, telecom and shipping. IT support renewals don’t typically get a lot of love. The majority of companies go quietly into the night come renewal time, or enter half-hearted negotiations to get, at most, a 3% cost reduction. Meanwhile, support costs are eating up more and more of the IT budget. So, why aren’t IT and sourcing organizations paying more attention?

Are You Overspending on BYOD Stipends?

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from NPI. The growth of BYOD is slowing and may have already peaked, according to some industry experts. Earlier this year, the Yankee Group reported the percentage of enterprises with 1,000 employees or more that allowed them to use their own mobile devices peaked at 81% in Q2 2012. Over the past 2 years, the percentage has dropped by double digits.

Microsoft Enterprise Agreements: Navigating the Risks

Spend Matters welcomes another guest post from NPI, a spend management consultancy, focused on eliminating overspending on IT, telecom and shipping. As many CIOs and their teams know, Microsoft Enterprise Agreements (EAs) are challenging to decipher, manage and optimize. What used to be fairly straightforward perpetual licensing became considerably more complex when Microsoft began adding “strings” to its software assurance (SA) maintenance model. Today, assessing the value of maintaining SA on all or part of your Microsoft estate has become something akin to quant-based market analysis using supercomputers.