NPI Content

Want to Cut IT Maintenance Costs? 5 Questions to Ask Your Vendor

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Kevin Davis, director of IT delivery at NPI - a spend management consultancy, focused on eliminating overspending on IT, telecom and shipping. It’s no secret that vendors rely heavily on maintenance and support fees to keep their well-oiled machines running. In fact, most will fight tooth and nail to protect this recurring revenue stream. For that reason, many companies find more of their IT budgets going to maintenance.

5 Ways to Minimize the Impact of LTL/TL Rate Increases

Spend Matters welcomes another guest post from NPI, a spend management consultancy, focused on eliminating overspending on IT, telecom, and shipping. As carriers like FedEx and UPS announce 2015 rate increases in the form of new dimensional weight pricing policies, many smaller less-than-truckload and truckload (LTL and TL) carriers are also seeing room for rate hikes. In recent months, several have announced modest price increases for delivery services. The combination of rising labor costs and pressures to improve operating ratios make the case for higher pricing in 2015. There are five things shippers can do right now to minimize or mitigate the impact of rising LTL/TL costs in the months ahead.

Microsoft Azure Outage – 5 Things You Should Know About Cloud SLAs

On Monday, Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing services suffered an outage that lasted approximately five hours. The disruption was one of the most severe Azure outages in history, affecting multiple data centers and customers across the globe. So, what happens if you’re one of those affected customers? Or, if you’re considering a move to Microsoft Azure or another cloud computing service? Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Attention Retailers – 13 Ways to Fund New IT Projects in 2015 (Part 3)

While the rest of us are wrapping up summer vacations, retail IT and sourcing executives are barreling towards the holiday retail season. As we’ve discussed before, few have time to get ahead of the IT and budget challenges that are waiting for them in Q1 2015, one of which is finding the money to pay for new IT projects. It’s a challenge for every industry, but especially for retail where IT innovation weighs heavily on margins and competitive differentiation. Here are the four final areas where IT overspending is occurring within most retail organizations. By taking a hard look at these areas, retail IT and sourcing professionals can turn overspending into funding – often millions of dollars that can be re-directed to IT innovation.

Attention Retailers: 13 Ways to Fund New IT Projects in 2015 (Part 2)

As I discussed last week, this time of year is a slippery slope for retail IT and sourcing professionals. They don’t have as much time as they’d like to get ahead of the IT and budget challenges that will greet them as soon as the holiday retail season is over. But rest assured – those challenges will be waiting for them in Q1 2015, including finding the funds for new IT projects that will increase margins and competitive differentiation. Here are four more areas where IT overspending is occurring within most retail organizations. By taking a hard look at these areas, retail IT and sourcing professionals can turn overspending into funding – often millions of dollars that can be repurposed for IT innovation.

Attention Retailers: 13 Ways to Fund New IT Projects in 2015 (Part 1)

This time of year is a slippery slope for retail IT and sourcing professionals. With much of their effort going to preparing for the holiday retail season, few have time to think about the IT and budget challenges that will be waiting for them in Q1 2015. So, what can retail IT and sourcing leaders do now to make sure they have the funding available to take on next year’s innovation challenges? One best practice is to formally identify – and eliminate – overspending, which frees up existing budget dollars to be re-purposed to unfunded projects. Here are the first four (of 13) specific places to look for overspending. A structured and focused approach to optimizing pricing, licensing, and business terms across your IT portfolio can free up millions of budget dollars.

How to Cut Software Maintenance and Support Costs (and Fund IT Innovation)

The cost just to “keep the lights on” in IT has grown exponentially over the years. Recent studies show that an average of 72 percent of the enterprise IT budget goes to this area, leaving only 28 percent to fund new projects. A big chunk of the 72 percent goes to maintenance and support – and that reality isn’t expected to change anytime soon. Here are four of the best ways to cut maintenance and support costs.

Buying VMware? Demand Transparency in Contract Terms

Transparency has always been an issue in IT sourcing. Not only is there no “Kelley Blue Book” for pricing, the degree of detail provided in one customer’s agreement terms compared to the next (even with the same vendor) is often inconsistent. Let’s take VMware for example. Many IT buyers don’t take into account the extent of detail that VMware or its resellers can or will furnish in quotes and contracts. Some wonder if they’re getting enough detail but have little understanding of what a healthy amount of detail looks like. Lately, we’ve seen several common “transparency pitfalls” in enterprise VMware purchases. Here are a few ideas to guide you through your next VMware transaction.

The Great Telecom Shakeup – How Will Enterprises Benefit?

Unless you’re in the telecom industry, you probably haven’t noticed that it is in the throes of an historic shakeup – one that will have a lasting impact on enterprise buyers. Think of all the M&A deals, plans, and rumors in the market. How does this affect enterprise customers? Will the outcome be in their favor? NPI's Matt West argues yes.

Shippers, Get Ready – UPS Moves to Dimensional Weight Pricing for Ground Delivery

Last week, UPS announced that it will move to dimensional weight pricing for all ground shipments in 2015. For certain packages, the impact of UPS’s changes is huge. For lightweight shipments in packages less than three cubic feet, the price increase could be 30 percent or more. Many shippers won’t be able to handle these cost increases without passing it on to their customers – especially those in industries like retail, where margin is razor thin and consumers are accustomed to low-cost or free shipping options. Here are some things you need to do as soon as possible if you are using FedEx or UPS ground services to ship in 2015.

Healthcare Providers, Are Your Software Vendors ICD-10 Ready?

With the deadline for the implementation of the new ICD-10 coding system extended to October 1, 2015, some IT sourcing professionals in the healthcare industry may be breathing a sigh of relief. From the beginning, ICD-10 has represented a mammoth undertaking. Compared to ICD-9, the new code set exhibits much greater specificity (there are five times the number of codes) that will affect everything from documentation and patient reporting to staff and physician training, as well as changes in reimbursement patterns. The cost impact of these changes are estimated to be in the $50,000 to $250,000 range for small healthcare practices, with medium and large practices expected to pay anywhere between $200,000 to $8 million.