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Insights for IT Negotiations
The world's most trusted IT negotiation advisors for innovative IT sourcing and risk mitigation strategies
Nov 17, 2020
Comparing Private Cloud vs. Public Cloud
Understanding the pros and cons of Private Cloud vs. Public Cloud is essential to selecting the right scenario for your business. Through a combination of market research and experience supporting our clients going through similar transformational choices, Brian Undlin, IT Sourcing & Negotiation Analyst at UpperEdge has identified factors to help you decide whether a private or public cloud would be the best fit for your company. More in-depth analysis on this topic can be read in Brian’s blog at upperedge.com.
Oct 29, 2020
Alphabet’s Q3 FY20 Earnings – Google Cloud Takeaways for Enterprises
As the shift to digital accelerates, more enterprises are turning to the cloud to drive efficiencies, lower IT costs, and support work which now requires more collaboration. Alphabet reported that Google Cloud revenue increased 45% in Q3. It is clear that Alphabet is going to continue to aggressively invest in Google Cloud with headcount increases in technical and sales roles, further built-out go-to-market capabilities, and most likely acquisitions. Google Cloud has shown they are ready to take market share and win even more GCP and Workspace (formerly G Suite) customers. The announcement that they are going to finally breakout Google Cloud as a separate reporting segment starting in Q4 is one indicator of their confidence. They are going to provide not only Q4 information but full year 2018, 2019, and 2020 revenue and operating income. In this podcast, Practice Leader, Adam Mansfield, discusses what enterprises should expect from Google Cloud’s sales executives who have clearly defined goals. He also shares how customers could potentially take advantage of key insights from the earnings call in their Google Cloud negotiations.
Oct 27, 2020
ServiceNow’s Q3 FY20 Earnings – Takeaways for Enterprises
ServiceNow beat expectations and exceeded the high end of revenue guidance despite COVID while also raising full year guidance. Subscription revenues were up 31% and they now have over 1000 customers with annual spends greater than $1M. ServiceNow is going to continue to position themselves as the platform enterprises need to ensure digital transformation success. They will continue to focus on pushing IT Service Management (ITSM) customers to the more robust ITSM Pro and getting customers to adopt additional products such as IT Operations Management (ITOM), HR Service Delivery, and Customer Service Management (CSM). In this podcast, ServiceNow Practice Leader, Adam Mansfield, discusses what enterprises should expect from ServiceNow’s sales executives who have clearly defined goals. He also shares how customers could potentially take advantage of key insights from the earnings call in their upcoming negotiations and renewals.
Oct 27, 2020
Microsoft's Q1 FY21 Earnings – Takeaways for Enterprises
Microsoft had a strong start to its Fiscal 2021 and overcame the devastating impact the pandemic has had on many business including many of Microsoft’s customers. Microsoft was able to beat expectations across the board, relying heavily on its commercial cloud offerings (e.g., Microsoft 365, Teams, Azure, Power Platform, Dynamics 365, LinkedIn, etc.). Commercial Cloud revenue ($15.2B) was up 31% in Q1 and now represents 41% of total company revenue ($37.2B). Microsoft is clearly focused on pushing more enterprise customers to the all-in cloud bundle Microsoft 365, moving customers to the most robust E5 edition, getting more Azure use, ramping Power Platform adoption, and selling more Dynamics 365 solutions while taking market share from Salesforce. They have been and will continue to rely on the aggressive sales pitch that “Microsoft offers the most complete and highest value solutions for enterprises”. In this podcast, Microsoft Practice Leader, Adam Mansfield, discusses what enterprises should expect from Microsoft's sales executives who have clearly defined goals. He also shares how customers could potentially take advantage of key insights from the earnings call in their upcoming negotiations and renewals.
Oct 26, 2020
Workday’s Annual True Ups (Audits)
On an annual basis, Workday requires clients to do a true up, to which clients ask, “How come when we do a true up, we have to pay more for overuse, but never get a refund for underuse?” Workday’s pricing, as given in an order form, represents (from their perspective) a minimum annual spend amount for the entire term. Jeff Lazarto, UpperEdge’s Workday practice leader, discusses why Workday has these pricing structures in place and why you are likely to have to pay more for Full-Service Equivalent (FSE) worker counts and SKUs after each true up. For a more in-depth analysis of Workday’s payment structures, download his recent webcast recording: Ask the Experts – Workday Licensing.
Oct 21, 2020
Workday Payment Deferrals and Ramp Payment Structures
Many Workday customers are concerned about paying subscription fees in year 1 of their contract while they are going through their deployment. Workday’s typical response is that everyone must pay in year 1 because it is a cloud platform and they are constantly innovating—even while you’re deploying. However, Workday has started to make some exceptions to this position. Jeff Lazarto, UpperEdge’s Workday practice leader shares insights into these exceptions. For a more in-depth analysis of Workday’s payment deferrals and structures, download his recent webcast recording: Ask the Experts – Workday Licensing.
Oct 18, 2020
Benchmarking Your Workday Contracts
Workday deals consist of a number of factors and unique challenges, the top questions customers have is around pricing— e.g. “Is our proposal pricing from Workday a fair one?”, “Is our prior deal a good one?”, “Where do we stand within the market?”. To start answering these questions, you need to look at your benchmarking factors, which consist of list prices, discounts, net fees on a line-item basis, full service equivalents (FSEs), SKUs and more. Jeff Lazarto, UpperEdge’s Workday Advisory Leader breaks down the components of a Workday deal in this podcast, and in his recent Workday Webcast downloadable at upperedge.com.
Oct 13, 2020
3 Questions Regarding Why SAP Digital Access is Still a Mess
If you’re an existing SAP customer, how can you determine what your licensing requirements are under the Digital Access Model? Truth be told, the answer hasn’t gotten any clearer. SAP has since introduced a Digital Access Evaluation service to help, however this is a guise for a soft audit which SAP will use to find gaps in your licensing to immediately monetize. Chip Hanna, UpperEdge’s Advisory Practice Director discusses these issues and more in this podcast and in his blog, “SAP and Digital Access – It’s Still a Mess”
Oct 7, 2020
Continued Strategies for Engaging SAP SIs in this Economic Downturn
Many customers are sharing their financial challenges with their system integrators - especially as it relates to priorities, allocation of funding, and the state of the business. But asking your SI what staffing issues they may have and where they stand in relation to their own revenue targets is equally important as it can shed light on whether your SI is willing to commit to more collaboration. In this podcast, Chip Hanna, UpperEdge’s Advisory Practice Director, discusses four strategies for working with your SIs during times of financial uncertainty. Listen for more insights and read Chip’s blog, “4 Strategies for Engaging SAP SI's During This Downturn”.
Oct 5, 2020
Google G Suite is now Workspace – What Enterprises Need to Know
Google has rebranded G Suite four years after launch, renaming it to Workspace while also creating new pricing tiers to appeal to current and targeted enterprise customers. Google, and Head of Workspace, Javier Soltero (former VP of Office Product Group at Microsoft), understand that Google must continue to innovate, integrate their productivity and collaboration tools, and craft new editions in order to have a better chance to take market share from Microsoft and keep Slack out. In this podcast, Practice Leader, Adam Mansfield, covers the announcement and what it means for enterprises moving forward.
Sep 29, 2020
Re-Evaluating Your SAP ERP Hosting Options
SAP’s hosting option, HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC) was launched in 2013. In 2019, SAP shifted its focus and launched Project Embrace to add support for the hyperscalers (Amazon, Google and Microsoft Azure). These moves by SAP are to prepare their customers for the end of ECC support in 2027. Brian Undlin, UpperEdges IT Sourcing Analyst, discusses where and how to host SAP, hosting licensing strategies, architecture needs and more. Read Brian’s blog, Shrinking Markets Force Customers to Re-Evaluate SAP Hosting Options, for additional insights.
Sep 21, 2020
The Qualtrics IPO: 3 Questions for SAP and Qualtrics Customers
Chip Hanna, UpperEdges Sr. Director answers 3 questions regarding the Qualtrics IPO and its impact on its customers. 1. How much control do you have in your agreement with Qualtrics now and in the future? 2. If considering a major investment in Qualtrics, or the C/4HANA Suite, should you buy now or wait until after the IPO? 3. How does this all fit with your plans to migrate from ECC to S/4?
Sep 17, 2020
VIBE for Workday Adds Diversity and Inclusion Features to its HCM Software
Workday launches VIBE (Value Inclusion Belonging in Equity) and other new products that tie into its HCM platform. These new products are designed to add functionality as it relates to inclusion and diversity. There are two products, VIBE Central, which centralizes inclusion and diversity data to more easily track progress against benchmarks. The second product is VIBE Index, which is for HR Leaders to set strategy and create tailored plans to drive positive outcomes (available in Q1 2021). Jeff Lazarto, UpperEdge’s Workday practice leader, adds further details in this podcast and in his blog: Workday VIBE Launches to Address Diversity and Spur Growth
Sep 15, 2020
How Customers Should Prepare for 25,000 Accenture Layoffs
Accenture will be cutting 5% of its workforce, which equates to 25,000 employees. This is a normal practice for the company to continually improve on their talent base. What’s not normal is that Accenture’s CEO, Julie Sweet, said that the annual rehiring of new talent to exceed the 5% loss would be halted. With the lack of new talent coming into Accenture, companies should expect to see a shortage of top talent in key roles going forward. In this podcast, Greg Hall shares what customers can do to ensure they receive the most value from Accenture despite these layoffs. For more on this topic, read: How 25,000 Accenture Layoffs Will Impact Customers
Sep 14, 2020
Salesforce Shield and How Customers Can Reduce Costs
In this interview-style podcast, Salesforce Practice Leader, Adam Mansfield, discusses how addressing the fees tied to Salesforce Shield is an often overlooked way to reduce your Salesforce costs. He shares some of the pricing and commercial concerns associated with Salesforce’s security add-on and provides his recommendations for how customers can address those concerns to gain greater transparency, lower the cost of Salesforce Shield, and ultimately reduce their overall Salesforce costs. For more on this topic, read Salesforce Shield: The Security Add-on with Significant Cost Implications
Sep 2, 2020
Oracle Licensing Expert Answers Questions on Java Inquiries
Oracle Java Account Representatives are surprising Oracle customers with out-of-the-blue calls where they ask specific questions about the customer’s Java use. These calls have sparked concern among recipients who worry that this might be the start of an audit. In this interview-style podcast, our Marketing Manager asks Oracle Practice Leader, Jeff Lazarto, what these Java inquiry calls are really about, what Oracle customers should do, and why he thinks these calls are on the rise.
Aug 26, 2020
Salesforce Q2 FY21 Earnings – Beat Expectations and Raised Guidance
Salesforce had another strong quarter, surpassing $5B in quarterly revenue for the first time. Salesforce posted impressive revenue growth across all of its clouds (Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Platform & Other as well as Marketing and Commerce Cloud). It capitalized on retailers’ increased need to rely on online sales channels during the pandemic, resulting in Commerce Cloud revenue growing 89% in the quarter. Salesforce also raised full year revenue guidance indicating a stronger-than-expected pipeline and confidence to increase customer spend profiles. In this podcast, Salesforce Practice Leader, Adam Mansfield, discusses what enterprises should expect from Salesforce moving forward as they look to meet and exceed raised full year revenue guidance. He also shares how enterprises can take advantage of key insights from the earnings call in their upcoming negotiations and renewals.
Aug 24, 2020
SAP Extends DAAP to End of 2021 But Not Everyone Should Adopt
SAP customers will eventually have to move from Indirect Access to Digital Access. In an effort to speed up this process (which benefits SAP), SAP created their Digital Access Adoption Program (DAAP). The financial answers to know whether to stay on Indirect Access past 12/21 or to take advantage of the program are complex. Devin Djerf, UpperEdge’s Senior Analyst, is seeing SAP clients saving by not adopting. In this podcast, he discusses the steps you should take to determine if you should adopt now or wait.
Aug 20, 2020
Workday Customer Success Packages – Are They Right for You?
Workday offers three different tiers of Customer Success packages Though Workday doesn’t actively promote their packages, every Workday customer should at least be aware of them. Workday offers three different tiers of Customer Success packages (Silver, Gold, and Platinum) each with a different set of deployment and post go-live services. Erwann Couesbot, UpperEdge's Senior IT Sourcing Negotiation Advisor discusses their differences, tiering, why they are important and his recommendations. You can also get more in-depth information about this topic from Erwann's blog at UpperEdge.com
Aug 5, 2020
Third Party Support - 6 Considerations for Oracle Customers
The bulk of Oracle’s support renewals come up in late July and early August. If you're an Oracle customer, it's around this time that you may realize that you didn’t get the support you needed from Oracle yet your support fees continue to increase. One way to manufacture leverage for your Oracle support renewal is to consider third-party support. Jeff Lazarto, UpperEdge’s Oracle Practice Leader, discusses 6 key considerations to keep in mind as you evaluate your third-party support options. For more information, read Oracle Support Fee Increases: Win Your Next Oracle Renewal Negotiation https://upperedge.com/oracle/oracle-support-fee-increases-win-your-next-oracle-renewal-negotiation/
Jul 29, 2020
Enterprise Insights from ServiceNow’s Q2 FY20 Earnings
ServiceNow eclipsed the $4B annual run rate for the first time after beating consensus and guidance. The company is so confident in their portfolio of cloud solutions (ITSM, ITBM, CSM, Sec Ops, HR Service Delivery, etc.) and the proven sales tactics and pipeline they have in place, that they raised growth and profitability guidance for the year. Expect ServiceNow to continue to push their current enterprise customers to expand their footprint and for new enterprise customers to start out with a larger footprint with more than three products. In this podcast, ServiceNow Practice Leader, Adam Mansfield, discusses what enterprises should expect moving forward as ServiceNow looks to achieve their $10B revenue target. He also uncovers key insights enterprises can take advantage of in their upcoming negotiations and renewals.
Jul 23, 2020
Insights from Microsoft's Q4 FY20 Earnings That Enterprises Can Put to Use
Microsoft is clearly confident their portfolio of cloud solutions (Microsoft 365, Teams, Power BI, Power Apps, Dynamics365, LinkedIn, Azure Active Directory, etc.) and proven sales tactics will continue to push more enterprises to expand their Microsoft footprint. Microsoft beat expectations for the quarter and passed $50B in annual Commercial Cloud revenue for the first time. They also mentioned successes such as a growth in commercial bookings, growth in Office 365 seats, increased Azure margins, and increased annual revenue per user (ARPU). In this podcast, Microsoft Practice Leader, Adam Mansfield, discusses what enterprises should expect from Microsoft's sales executives who have clearly defined goals. He also shares how customers could potentially take advantage of key insights from the earnings call in their upcoming negotiations and renewals.
Jul 14, 2020
Google Cloud Next ’20 Keynote – Takeaways for Enterprises
Google Cloud just kicked off their 9-week digital event series and made some important announcements in the keynote. Enterprises in particular should be aware of the key announcements (such as the launch of BigQuery Omni, Confidential VMs and industry-specific solutions) that will likely impact them as Google Cloud continues to focus on building and selling products that address the needs of enterprises. In this podcast, Practice Leader, Adam Mansfield, discusses how Google Cloud is ultimately looking to gain market share under the leadership of Robert Enslin and Thomas Kurian. He shares what he expects will be the focus of the messaging they will aggressively approach enterprises with and how Google Cloud will take Microsoft and Slack head on. He also covers what potential and current Google Cloud customers should strive for when establishing a relationship with Google Cloud in order to reap the most long-term value.
Jul 7, 2020
Avoid the Pitfalls of Oracle’s NUP Metric for Licensing Entitlements
Erwann Couesbot, UpperEdge’s Oracle Senior Advisor discusses common mistakes customers make when trying to assess their licenses for Oracle Technology Products, and more specifically the NUP (Named User Plus) metric Oracle uses. The top mistake is users tend to refer to their entitlements vs. how many people and devices are accessing Oracles software. Oracle doesn’t limit clients to their entitlements, therefore it is very easy to become out of compliance. Listen now for a more in-depth analysis and go to UpperEdge.com to read his related blog.
Jun 8, 2020
Expanding Your Workday Footprint? Avoid these 6 Mistakes
Jeff Lazarto, UpperEdge’s Workday Practice Leader gives a rundown of the top 6 things to do for Workday customers looking to expand their Workday product portfolio. Start with assessing your current deal, look at the competitiveness of your pricing and commercial terms, this will put you on good footing for negotiation leverage, especially if you have any existing pain-points or issues you’ve needed to address. Listen further for additional tips and read Jeff’s blog, “Workday Solution Expansion – 6 Customer Mistakes” for more insights.
May 28, 2020
Salesforce Q1 Earnings: Lowering Guidance by $1B with Optimism
Salesforce beat expectations with $4.87B in revenue for the quarter, which represented 30% year-over-year growth. Despite lowering their full year revenue target to $20B, a $1B reduction, the earnings call was filled with optimism. Salesforce is confident that its broad portfolio of products will enable them to lead the Fortune 500 through their accelerated digital transformations. In this podcast, Salesforce Practice Leader, Adam Mansfield, discusses the commission guarantee Salesforce gave its sales representatives, what Salesforce is doing to help its customers in the economic downturn, and what this all means for enterprise customers.
May 12, 2020
Will Gavin Patterson Become Salesforce’s Next Co-CEO?
Salesforce announced the appointment of Gavin Patterson as President and Chief Revenue Officer of Salesforce. After joining Salesforce last year and quickly rising within the company, he is now the new leader of Salesforce’s global sales organization. With former co-CEO, Keith Block, stepping down earlier this year, could CEO, Marc Benioff, have a plan in place to eventually move Patterson into the co-CEO role? In this podcast, Salesforce Practice Leader, Adam Mansfield, shares his perspective on what this leadership change means for Salesforce and discusses how enterprises should prepare for Patterson’s time with their senior executives.
May 10, 2020
Workday’s FSE Categories and Why They Matter
Workday has broken up their Full-Service Equivalent (FSE) workers into different categories: Salaried Workers, Hourly Workers, Part-time Workers and Contingent Workers. Jeff Lazarto, UpperEdge’s Workday practice leader explains why it’s important to pay attention to how you categorize and breakdown your workforce based on this new structure; you can find flexibility and cost savings within it.
May 6, 2020
ServiceNow says 'Bundle Up' but Consider These Risks First
ServiceNow's recent earnings call showed a strong quarter and a confident Bill McDermott who emphasized the company's continued opportunity for growth in a post-COVID-19 world where companies will "embrace permanent transformation". In this podcast, Adam Mansfield, breaks down ServiceNow's "Fast-Start playbook" which features pre-packaged bundles they will be aggressively pushing onto companies. He also warns of the potential downsides of bundling and shares how enterprises can protect themselves from these pitfalls to better ensure long-term value.
Apr 29, 2020
SAP AMS Hosting Optimization Opportunities
Most organizations have shied away from reducing costs of their SAP platform during lean times, but that’s no longer the case considering the breadth and depth of the economic impact of Covid-19. Chip Hanna, UpperEdge’s SAP Practice Director discusses some opportunities around AMS and hosting that companies have to drive down costs. There are a few levers companies can use—commercial levers on existing agreements, operational levers on relationships with AMS and hosting providers, and competitive levers to drive cost negotiations.
Apr 28, 2020
Driving Win-win Negotiations with Microsoft After its Stellar Q3
Microsoft outperformed expectations set even before the coronavirus pandemic and beat estimates on the top and bottom lines. Microsoft’s strong quarter was driven by the Commercial Cloud Business, which is largely driven by Azure and Office 365. Though both showed strong growth in Q3, it is important to note that growth for both is slowing down. In the earnings call, Executive VP and CFO, Amy Hood, stated that “Microsoft does well when our customers do well” but what do Microsoft customers need in order to do well? In this podcast, Adam Mansfield shares his thoughts on what that means and discusses how enterprises should approach Microsoft during these uncertain times.
Apr 27, 2020
Why ServiceNow’s Strong Q1 Should Put Enterprises on Alert
ServiceNow beat guidance and consensus in Q1 FY20 with subscription revenue growing 34%, reaching $995M. ServiceNow’s success is largely tied to the significant growth in the number customers that have expanded their portfolios and are now paying over $1M per year. There has been increased adoption of key products including but not limited to ITSM Pro, HR Service Delivery, and CSM. In this podcast, Adam Mansfield shares what this impressive quarter means for enterprises and what enterprises interested in becoming a new ServiceNow customer (or adding new products) need to do to prepare for ServiceNow’s revamped sales playbook.
Apr 27, 2020
Google Cloud is Now an $11B Company
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, announced their Q1 FY20 earnings which included an announcement that Google Cloud (GCP and G Suite) now has quarterly revenue of $2.78B, giving them a $11B run rate. Both GCP and G Suite continue to maintain strong growth that should not slow down any time soon based on the continued interest from enterprises. In this podcast, Adam Mansfield, shares his thoughts on what to expect from Google Cloud and how enterprises with interest in adopting should approach Google with their interest.
Apr 25, 2020
What Enterprises Now Need from Their Cloud Vendors
The coronavirus pandemic has forced companies to seek financial relief in any way they can. Given the sizable spend tied to IT, many organizations start their cost reduction initiatives with a focus on cloud vendor spend. This is an opportunity for cloud vendors to lean into the relationship and provide win-win support. In this podcast, Adam Mansfield shares the most frequent requests he hears enterprise customers asking of their IT and cloud vendors.
Apr 15, 2020
How Oracle Can Dominate
With all the changes in the market, Oracle is poised to dominate, so long as they are willing to adapt, evolve and potentially trailblaze. Jeff Lazarto, UpperEdge’s Oracle’s Practice Leader, discusses a few of these steps Oracle can take, starting with consolidation of their cloud appications as one business. Bringing in a single, true applications leader, could inturn bring in the additional talent they need to develop applications similar to how Microsoft has done under the helm of Satya Nadella.
Apr 13, 2020
The First Steps of Reducing Costs in a Crisis
As the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on the economy, companies are understandably scrambling to reduce costs where they can. But prematurely engaging IT vendors without a well-thought-out plan can cause irreparable harm to your relationships - with both your internal stakeholders and your vendor partners. In this podcast, Practice Leader, Len Riley, shares the lessons he learned when he led cost optimization initiatives at CVS Health during the 2008 financial crisis and discusses the critical internal work that has to be done before engaging the vendor community. Understanding the priorities of internal stakeholders in times of a crisis is an essential step to take before engaging vendor partners. Len covers each of the internal stakeholders you should consider, his prospective on their priorities, and how to navigate these relationships to prepare successful cost-reduction strategies.
Apr 9, 2020
6 Million Businesses Now Pay for Google G Suite
Javier Soltero, the General Manager and VP of G Suite at Google, recently reported that Google now has 6 million paying business customers. In February of 2019, Google had 5 million paying users and 4 million the year before. Announcements like this further demonstrate the success Google is having in penetrating businesses and gaining adoption. Microsoft is also well aware of Google’s success and has been approaching their base of customers and doing whatever they can to keep Google out. In this podcast, Adam Mansfield, shares his perspective on what this all means for enterprises and what you should expect from Google and Microsoft moving forward.
Mar 31, 2020
Oracle Announces Free Training and Certification Courses
On March 30th, Oracle announced that they are offering free online training and certification courses for Oracle cloud infrastructure and Oracle Autonomous database. Oracle doesn't often offer free resources of this nature but this comes in the midst of shelter-in-place orders and lockdowns around the globe. Oracle customers can take advantage of Oracle's free training now through May 15th. To learn more and start your free training, visit Oracle.com.
Mar 30, 2020
For Microsoft, It is All About Microsoft 365
Microsoft made a few announcements earlier this week that were all centered around their all-in cloud bundle, Microsoft 365. They announced two Microsoft 365 plans for consumers (Microsoft 365 Personal and Microsoft 365 Family) as well as a consumer edition of Teams which will be coming later in the year. Lastly, Microsoft rebranded the Office 365 solutions for small to medium-sized business as “Microsoft 365” solutions. During this podcast, Microsoft Practice Leader shares his thoughts on what this means for consumers but also how these announcements will ultimately impact enterprise customers.
Mar 25, 2020
SaaS Providers: Do the Right Thing!
How is the Coronavirus impacting the SaaS market? This can be an opportunity for SaaS providers to step up, be leaders and demonstrate the true partnerships they have with their clients and employees. Workday has taken the initial step of paying a cash bonus to their employees, equalling two weeks of pay or roughly $80M. This was a pretty bold move as they are relatively small in comparison to their competitors, Oracle, SAP and Microsoft. Following suit, Marc Benioff announced that Saleforce would not being conducting any significant layoffs for at least the next 90 days and encouraging other CEOs to make the same 90 day pledge. Equally important—will these companies do right thing with their customers? Jeff Lazarto UpperEdge’s Oracle Practice Leader discusses some measures that are underway.
Mar 17, 2020
Microsoft 365 F1 Just Changed – Here’s What you Need to Know
Microsoft announced that they have renamed their firstline worker (deskless) worker products, Microsoft 365 F1 and Office 365 F1. As of April 1, 2020, they will be known as Microsoft 365 F3 and Office 365 F3. Microsoft also announced that there is going to be new “lighter” Microsoft 365 F1 available to the market and Teams (which is included in these firstline products), will have additional functionality included. In this podcast, Adam Mansfield, our Microsoft Practice leader, provides more details regarding the changes and provides his thoughts on what this all means for Microsoft enterprise customers.
Mar 16, 2020
Workday’s Q4 For FY ’20 - Value Propisition Is Driving Growth
Workday added 11 new Fortune 500 companies, about 45% of the Fortune 500 are now HCM customers, which comprises about 60% of the Fortune 50. Jeff Lazarto, UpperEdge’s practice leader breaks down Workday’s Q4 fiscal year 20 results, and talks about whether Workday’s HCM cloud solution could replace Oracle’s and SAP’s solutions.
Feb 28, 2020
Oracle Shareholder Lawsuits - Cloud Revenue
Claims that Oracle has misrepresented the nature of some of their cloud sales over the number of years has prompted lawsuits from shareholders. Some of these cloud deals weren’t all brought on by customer demand but instead by duress. In using their audit levers for on-premise licenses, Oracle would offer sweetheart deals to settle their audit claims so long as clients were willing to purchase cloud services even if those cloud services were not needed. UpperEdge’s Oracle Advisory Leader, Jeff Lazarto, highlights events around this case and Oracle’s cloud performance.
Feb 24, 2020
A Big Day For Salesforce: Beat Revenue Expectations, Acquired Vlocity and Keith Block is Leaving
In addition to Salesforce reporting its Q4 and full year FY20 earnings, they also announced that they are acquiring Vlocity for $1.3B and that their co-CEO, Keith Block is stepping down. This surprising leadership change could have major implications and raises many questions. Where will Keith Block go next? Will Salesforce alter the way they do business with Marc Benioff going back to the sole CEO? In this podcast, practice leader, Adam Mansfield shares his perspective on this big news and discusses what it means for Salesforce customers moving forward.
Feb 3, 2020
Alphabet Q4 FY19 Earnings: A First Look at Google Cloud Revenue
In its first earnings announcement since Sundar Pichai took over as CEO, Alphabet broke out both Google Cloud revenue (which includes GCP as well as G Suite revenue) and revenue from YouTube advertising for the first time. Though this is more transparency than we've seen in the past from them, they still refrained from disclosing the revenue tied specifically to GCP and G Suite. They also did not provide more granular details such as their total number of commercial users of G Suite. In this podcast, Adam Mansfield shares his thoughts on Alphabet's Q4 and full-year FY19 earnings and discusses what you can expect from Google in 2020 as they strive to show accelerated Google Cloud growth and close more large enterprise deals as they compete aggressively with Amazon (AWS) and Microsoft.
Feb 2, 2020
5 SOW Essentials in a Real World Case
Ted Rogers, Practice Leader at UpperEdge, refers to a recent conversation he had with a Project Manager overseeing an application development project for his client. The conversation was a timely one coming on the heels of Ted's recent blog, 5 SOW Essentials to Make You Look Smart. From vendors to clients, it's extremely important to have a solid statement of work in order for all parties to agree upon the project deliverables and when those deliverables are due.
Feb 1, 2020
3 Customer Considerations for SAP and Accenture’s Integration Partnership
Accenture recently announced that it is the first partner to achieve SAP-certified integration with SAP Model Company delivered through MyConcerto. Given their plan to deliver together in an integrated and single engagement, customers considering this model should take time to understand the partnership dynamics and how their integration will influence the relationship. In this podcast, Chip Hanna shares three points that customers should keep in mind before engaging SAP and/or Accenture and discusses how customers can take a proactive role in managing risk both commercially and from a scope perspective.
Jan 29, 2020
Microsoft Q2 FY20 Earnings: The Quest for All-in Cloud Adoption
Microsoft had yet another strong quarter, with commercial cloud (which includes Azure, Office 365, Dynamics 365, and commercial aspects of Linkedin) clearly being a key component of Microsoft's successful quarter and the driving force for their future success. Can Microsoft achieve its overarching goal to be known as the only truly comprehensive solution on the market that can enable the sweeping digitization that organizations are striving towards? In this podcast, Adam Mansfield, shares his perspective on this positive earnings call and reads between the lines to reveal the compelling sales pitch that enterprises need to brace themselves for now as their Microsoft relationships continue to evolve.
Jan 29, 2020
ServiceNow Q4 FY19 Earning Recap: Stellar growth and High Confidence
ServiceNow reported outstanding Q4 FY19 numbers and growth, beating analyst estimates. New CEO, Bill McDermott's, confidence in ServiceNow was evident as he clearly laid out their key priorities and go-to-market strategy for scaling ServiceNow and ultimately achieving their lofty 2020 goals. Enterprises should prepare to be approached by an aggressive and highly motivated sales force with precise value propositions. UpperEdge's ServiceNow Practice Leader, Adam Mansfield, uncovers the implications of this positive earnings call and highlights the most important numbers that enterprises need to be aware of.
Jan 19, 2020
Autonomous Database- Oracle’s Land And Expand Approach
Larry Ellison is trumpeting the huge technological advantage Oracle has in the database market and how this is the only autonomous database in the world. On Oracle’s recent Q2 earnings call, Mr. Ellison elaborated on the Autonomous Database’s benefits and their go-to-market land and expand approach.
Jan 13, 2020
Oracle Claims Cloud Superiority
Oracle has gone on record multiple times stating that Cloud ERP Applications and Autonomous Database are the two key product areas that will determine Oracle’s success. Larry Ellison has made some bold claims regarding both product categories. Jeff Lazarto discusses Oracle’s perspective of the Cloud ERP market and why they are claiming that they will eventually be the overwhelming winner in this generation of Cloud ERP.
Jan 5, 2020
What To Expect From ServiceNow In 2020
Predicting what this year holds for current ServiceNow enterprise customers is a bit of a challenge with former SAP CEO, Bill McDermott, now at the helm. However, when considering the recent announcements ServiceNow has made and what we know about McDermott, we can see that there are some clear directions they will take and potential changes in store. Being able to anticipate the direction ServiceNow is headed and the potential changes the company may make will allow enterprises to better manage their go-forward relationship with ServiceNow. In this podcast, Adam Mansfield shares his predictions for what we can expect from ServiceNow in 2020 and ultimately what enterprise customers should start to prepare for now.
Jan 5, 2020
What To Expect From Microsoft In 2020
Looking at the current state of the market (cloud and on-premise) as well as the changes and announcements that Microsoft has made in the past helps us understand what the future could hold for the tech giant. Having a sense for what Microsoft is going to be focused on and the changes and behavior that comes with this, allows enterprises to better manage their strategic relationship with moving forward. In this podcast, Adam Mansfield shares his predictions for what we can expect from Microsoft in 2020 and ultimately what enterprise customers should start to prepare for now.
Jan 2, 2020
What To Expect From Salesforce In 2020
When talking with enterprises about their strategic vendor relationships, we always consider what we have seen from the vendor in the past and what we are currently seeing in the market. But around this time of year, many conversations inevitably lead to what can be expected in the year ahead. In this podcast, Adam Mansfield shares his predictions for what we can expect from Salesforce in 2020 and ultimately what enterprise customers should start to prepare for. If his predictions prove correct, one of them will result in significant changes for more than just Salesforce customers.
Dec 30, 2019
Why Your Java Compliance Depends On Your Version Of Java
Erwann Couesbot, UpperEdge's Oracle Practice Advisor and Java Expert, discusses the 2 main license agreements covering different versions of Java. This podcast highlights some of the key differences organizations have to consider to ensure that their Java usage is not out of compliance.
Dec 24, 2019
Choosing Workday to Implement Workday? Ask About These 3 Pricing Models
Erwann Couesbot, UpperEdge's Workday expert discusses using Workday as a System Implementation partner over other Large SIs like Accenture, Deloitte, IBM etc. There are 3 common pricing models most SIs offer which you should be sure to ask Workday about if you choose them as your SI partner.
Dec 17, 2019
Raising The Bar On AMS Provider Expectations
Application Management Support (AMS) providers aren’t winning or preserving AMS awards based on rate arbitrage alone. In this podcast IT Sourcing & Commercial Advisory Practice Director, Greg Hall, explains how CIO’s, CTO’s, and infrastructure leaders want more from their AMS delivery providers.
Dec 16, 2019
Why Microsoft is Turning to Linux Community and Consumer Market
When it comes to the cloud, the thing Microsoft wants even more than revenue growth is accelerated usage of their cloud offerings (Office 365, Microsoft 365, Teams, etc.) by their enterprise customers. Microsoft is now looking to the open-source community as well as the consumer market to help drive enterprises to increase their cloud usage. In this podcast, Adam Mansfield shares his perspective on Microsoft’s recent announcements and how each is ultimately intended to achieve Microsoft’s goal of ramping enterprise cloud usage.
Dec 15, 2019
Maintaining Control Of Fixed Price Outsourcing Agreements
Greg Hall, UpperEdge's IT Sourcing Advisor discusses how to maintain and control a fixed price outsourcing agreement and how to manage change with the introduction of Deadband, ARC and RRC metrics.
Dec 14, 2019
Top 3 Commercial Terms of AWS's Enterprise Discount Program
Erwann Couesbot UpperEdge's AWS Practice Advisor discusses AWS's Enterprise Discount Program and his take on the top 3 commercial terms any potential AWS enterprise customer should negotiate when considering this program.
Dec 8, 2019
Workday’s Q3 Earnings — Another Great Quarter
Workday’s numbers are outstanding with 26% YoY growth, 28% subscription growth. Their execution and strategy are working well, they are seeing growth in HCM, Finance, Planning and Analytics products by adding six F500 customers and eleven Global 2000 customers. Customer satisfaction rate is over 97%, their customer base is over 3,000 and they’ve added over 400 employees. Jeff Lazarto, UpperEdge’s Workday Practice leader delves into more of Workday’s promising financials in this podcast.
Dec 3, 2019
Salesforce Q3 FY20 Earnings – It All Comes Down To Customer 360
Salesforce beat Wall Street revenue and earnings estimates, posted 33% overall revenue growth for the quarter and had a net loss of $109M while maintaining previously raised full year guidance. During the earnings call, Chairman and Co-CEO, Marc Benioff also restated the lofty $35B revenue target for FY24. It is clear that in order to effectively double their revenue in five years, they will need to get more customers to buy into and adopt the Customer 360 (now Customer 360 Trust) which will include an expansion of the customer’s Salesforce portfolio. They are counting on this as well as getting ramped adoption and revenue from recently acquired MuleSoft and Tableau. In this podcast, Adam Mansfield shares his perspective on how Salesforce is going to achieve these goals and discusses what Salesforce’s loyal customer base needs to start preparing for.
Nov 26, 2019
How Salesforce Will Become a $35B Company
One of the most eye-opening announcements made at Dreamforce came during Salesforce’s Investor Day Finance Review presentation where Salesforce set an ambitious goal for themselves - reach $35B revenue by FY24. The target itself is eye-catching but the fact that it will require them to double their revenue in just four years is even more noteworthy. In this podcast, Adam Mansfield shares his perspective on how Salesforce is going to achieve this lofty goal and discusses what Salesforce’s loyal customer base needs to start preparing for.
Nov 3, 2019
6 Recommendations For Evaluating Hyperscalers.
For many reasons, SAP customers are increasingly looking to refresh their SAP hosting strategy and turning to hyperscalers like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. Given the pace of change in the hyperscaler market, there are many considerations that organizations should keep in mind as they evaluate their options. In this podcast, IT Sourcing and Commercial Advisory Practice Director, Justin Parker, discusses what is driving the shift to hyperscalers and shares 6 recommendations for developing a sourcing and vendor management strategy that is well-positioned to support your SAP hosting objectives now and in the future.
Oct 28, 2019
Alphabet Q3 FY19 Earnings- Profit Down And Google Cloud Expenses Up
Google’s parent company, Alphabet, reported that revenue was up 20% but profits were down 23% in Q3 FY19. Profits were impacted significantly by the 25% increase in expenses associated with new employee additions largely tied to technical and sales roles at Google Cloud as well as Google Cloud’s ongoing investments in infrastructure. Alphabet is clearly betting on and significantly investing in Google Cloud to better compete with Microsoft and AWS. Now the pressure is on Google Cloud’s new sales leadership team to close more enterprise deals. In this podcast, Adam Mansfield shares his perspective on why Google Cloud is not breaking out their Google Cloud revenue and what to expect from the Google Cloud sales team if you are an enterprise on their radar.
Oct 27, 2019
What the JEDI Cloud Contract Award Means for Oracle
When the Department of Defense (DoD) first issued an RFP for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (“JEDI”) last November, Oracle almost immediately filed a lawsuit claiming that the RFP process violated federal procurement law. After being removed from consideration, Oracle continued to go to court and lost on the grounds that Oracle failed to meet the requirements. Oracle has since appealed that ruling, but on Friday, the DoD announced that it is awarding the $10B JEDI cloud contract to Microsoft over AWS. In this podcast, Oracle Practice Leader, Jeff Lazarto discusses what this means for Oracle and how Oracle’s persistence in the matter could impact its reputation. For more on this topic, read the related blogs: Victim Card – Oracle Whining and Litigating for the JEDI Deal and Why Oracle’s Government Legal Battles Matter for Customers
Oct 24, 2019
Microsoft Q1 FY20 Earnings: Microsoft is Leaning on Innovation
Microsoft had another strong quarter with overall revenue growing 14%. Its Q1 FY20 earnings call made it clear that Microsoft is going to rely on their ability to infuse innovation (like AI) into its offerings to differentiate themselves, increase customer spend, and win more business. In this podcast, Adam Mansfield shares his perspective on how Microsoft is performing and discusses what to expect from Microsoft as they continue to push more enterprises towards Microsoft 365 and Azure.
Oct 22, 2019
ServiceNow Q3 FY19 Earnings: What to Expect with McDermott at the Helm
It’s always important to pay attention to how a vendor within your portfolio is performing and what is said in their earnings call but this is especially true when there is a CEO change as significant as the one that just happened at ServiceNow. Q3 FY19 is the first earnings call since the shocking announcement that CEO John Donahoe is being replaced by former SAP CEO, Bill McDermott. Their comments in the call sheds light on how the company and its focus will change with McDermott at the helm. In this podcast, Adam Mansfield shares his thoughts on how ServiceNow is performing and what current ServiceNow customers should expect going forward.
Oct 22, 2019
What to Expect from former SAP CEO Bill McDermott as the New CEO of ServiceNow
Less than a month after his departure from SAP, it was announced that Bill McDermott will join ServiceNow by year-end 2019 as President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. He is replacing John Donahoe who is leaving to become Nike’s new CEO. McDermott will now have the chance to lead a cloud-only software company where he will bring not only his years of industry experience but also a large rolodex of connections he has made within enterprises – a space that ServiceNow is trying to penetrate and expand within. In this podcast, Adam Mansfield discusses what this means for ServiceNow and what to expect if you are current ServiceNow customer or considering ServiceNow.
Oct 21, 2019
5 Risks Of Outsourcing Infrastructure Managed Services + How To Mitigate Them
Outsourcing your Infrastructure Managed Services comes with its own sets of risks. Poor planning and preparation creates undue risks that could have been mitigated upfront. In this podcast, IT Sourcing & Commercial Advisory Practice Director, Greg Hall, shares five common risks that can derail your efforts, break your business case, and start you off on the wrong foot with your chosen provider. He also walks through each one and discusses what you can do to mitigate these risks to position yourself for success.
Oct 13, 2019
Interview With Java Licensing Expert Answering Top Compliance Questions
There has been much confusion and anxiety around Java use this past year and many organizations are still not sure whether they are required to purchase a commercial license. Concerned about the potential financial exposure that could be tied to Java use in the event of an Oracle audit, many readers and clients sent us questions and comments in response to Senior Advisor, Erwann Couesbot’s blog, The Top 3 Reasons Oracle Java Users are Unknowingly Out-of-Compliance. In this special interview-style podcast, UpperEdge’s Marketing Manager asks Erwann some of the most common questions we received including the top question: “How can I ensure my organization is in compliance with regards to our Java use?”.
Oct 9, 2019
Head In The Clouds Podcast: How Facebook And Zendesk Are Chasing Enterprise Customers
This podcast is part of our Head in the Clouds series which covers the latest cloud computing news from the perspective of someone who helps enterprises improve their cloud vendor contractual relationships. This week, Adam shares his thoughts on Facebook’s unification of Workplace and Portal to further expand its current customer base of 3 Million paying Workplace users and increase adoption among enterprises. He also discusses how Zendesk continues to roll out new products aimed at landing more enterprise customers by giving them products that they may actually need.
Oct 2, 2019
The US Department of Interior Moving Back to Office 365 is a Google Cloud Nightmare
The US Department of Interior is moving over 84,000 users back to Office 365 after its previous decision to go with Google despite the many challenges that come with such a massive change. Needless to say, this is clearly a significant loss for Google Cloud as they strive to ramp adoption of G Suite within the government and large enterprises. The optics associated with the government’s decision to move such a large number of users back to Microsoft’s Office 365 will be problematic for Google Cloud unless they can successfully get out in front of it. In this podcast, Adam Mansfield discusses what this all means for Google Cloud and how enterprises considering a possible move from Office 365 to G Suite can avoid facing an undesirable situation like this one.
Sep 23, 2019
Head In The Clouds Podcast: Zendesk Leans On Partners And Google Cloud Shakes Up Sales Organization
This podcast is part of our Head in the Clouds series which covers the latest cloud computing news from the perspective of someone who helps enterprises improve their cloud vendor contractual relationships. This week, Adam shares his thoughts on Zendesk’s recent moves to land more enterprise customers. He also discusses how Google Cloud restructured its sales organization to better position themselves to grab enterprise market share.
Sep 2, 2019
Head In The Clouds Podcast: Slack Earnings And Google Cloud Makes Another Hire
This podcast is part of our Head in the Clouds series which covers the latest cloud computing news from the perspective of someone who helps enterprises improve their cloud vendor contractual relationships. This week, Adam shares his thoughts on Slack’s recently released Q2 FY20 earnings – the company’s first earnings since going public. He also discusses Google Cloud’s efforts to land even more enterprise customers by expanding alliances in the partner ecosystem through its recent hiring of SAP veteran, Dave Hutchison, which has not yet been publicly announced.
Aug 26, 2019
Head in the Clouds Podcast: Salesforce Q2 FY20 and Google Making G Suite Sticky
This podcast is part of our Head in the Clouds series which covers the latest cloud computing news from the perspective of someone who helps enterprises improve their cloud vendor contractual relationships. This week, Adam shares his perspective and insights regarding Salesforce’s recently released Q2 FY20 earnings as well as Google Cloud’s announcement aimed at making G Suite and Hangouts more “sticky”.
Aug 20, 2019
SFDC Q2 FY20 - Strong Growth and Raised Guidance
Salesforce had another strong quarter and raised FY20 revenue guidance, indicating that they expect even better quarters ahead. Knowing that their customers are focused on digital transformations, Salesforce is aggressively pushing the Customer 360 Platform as the solution that will enable their success. In this podcast, Adam Mansfield discusses the recent acquisitions that are starting to pay off and the actions Salesforce is taking to continue to grow revenue.
Aug 7, 2019
Salesforce Buys ClickSoftware – Another Key Acquisition
On the heels of the MapAnything acquisition back in April, Salesforce is buying ClickSoftware, a field service and workflow management software company for $1.35B. Salesforce continues to focus on building out its field service offerings realizing that this space is where its competitors, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP have increased their own investments.
Jul 28, 2019
ECC To S4HANA Migrations- Do You Have A Holistic Sourcing Strategy?
As many SAP customers begin their ECC to S/4HANA migration journey, we’re noticing many organizations focusing too heavily on some elements of their sourcing strategy and not enough on others. In this podcast, SAP Practice Leader, Len Riley, discusses the four key elements of the sourcing strategy that you must contemplate with your team in order to establish a holistic and integrated sourcing strategy that will enable your ECC to S/4HANA transition. He also describes the three major challenges we often see with software, system implementation, hosting and application maintenance and support vendor evaluations and negotiations that are often overlooked and critical to enabling your successful migration from ECC to S/4HANA.
Jul 28, 2019
How Google Cloud Doubled Its Annual Run Rate
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, recently reported Q2 FY19 earnings and shared a very interesting bit of information; Google Cloud’s annual run rate is now $8B. The last and only time Alphabet shared Google Cloud’s annual run rate was in February of 2018 when it was $4B. In this podcast, Practice Leader, Adam Mansfield, discusses how they achieved this impressive growth in such a short period of time and covers what enterprise customers should know (and expect) if they are considering Google Cloud Platform (GCP) or contemplating a move from Microsoft Office 365 to Google G Suite.
Jul 25, 2019
Opposing Motivations in SAP ECC to S/4HANA Migrations
SAP ECC to S/4HANA migrations are complex projects that come with many challenges but they also represent opportunities for customers to improve their previous licensing agreements. However, this complex undertaking requires significant planning since SAP’s motivations for S/4HANA migrations directly conflict with the motivations of its customers. In this podcast, SAP Practice Leader, Len Riley discusses what SAP’s motivations are, how they differ than their customers’ motivations, and the two key questions customers must answer before they even begin the negotiation process.
Jul 23, 2019
ServiceNow Outperforms Market in Q2 FY19 Earnings
ServiceNow beat market expectations with another strong quarter. Their positive results support the underlying message of their recent rebranding and change in marketing and sales approach – ServiceNow is no longer just a tool for IT. In this podcast, Analyst Bearson Smith, discusses some key highlights from the earnings call, what ServiceNow’s shift in focus is really about, and how customers can ensure they are getting more than just the right price.
Jul 16, 2019
Salesforce Removed Its Standard Renewal Price Protection
If you are a Salesforce customer, you may not be aware that Salesforce recently removed their standard renewal price protection from their Master Subscription Agreement. Besides the fact that customers are now completely exposed and Salesforce has increased leverage at renewal, this also gives us a glimpse into the strategies and approaches being developed behind the scenes at Salesforce as they look for ways to increase spend and adoption from their customer base.
Jul 15, 2019
Microsoft Inspire 2019 – Focus on Teams Makes Sense
Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Microsoft's Worldwide Commercial Business organization, kicked off Microsoft Inspire 2019 with a promise that all solution areas will get better in FY20. Specific to Microsoft Teams, he said, customers are going to see more collaborative capabilities and AI capabilities. A focus on innovating Teams and adding capabilities makes perfect sense as Microsoft is aggressively trying to ramp usage in order to keep competitors like Slack out of their customers’ ecosystems.
Jul 8, 2019
Oracle Q4 FY19 Earnings: Seeding its Customer Base
Oracle shared some interesting facts in its Q4 earnings call that uncover the latest tactics its using to expand product adoption, forecast Autonomous Database growth, and seed its customer base. In this podcast, Practice Leader, Jeff Lazarto discusses some concerns with the numbers being reported and what potential and current Oracle customers should expect and prepare for when considering Autonomous Database.
Jul 7, 2019
Oracle's Gen 2 Cloud Infrastructure: Saving the CEO
In its recent Q4 earnings call, Oracle focused on the security features of both Generation 2 Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI2) and the Autonomous Database. In today’s world of data breaches routinely making headlines and the resulting fall from grace of company CEOs, Oracle’s sales pitch is ultimately about providing high-level security that ultimately saves the CEO. In this podcast, Oracle Practice Leader Jeff Lazarto, discusses what Oracle is claiming about OCI2 and Autonomous Database and what this means for current and potential customers.
Jul 6, 2019
Google Cloud – The Promise of Easier Contracting
Google Cloud CEO, Thomas Kurian, recently stated they want to be the easiest cloud provider to do business with. Amongst a number efforts to achieve this distinction, they will introduce easier pricing and easier contracting. In this podcast, Adam Mansfield discusses why this is a smart approach and how it would differentiate Google from rival cloud vendors like Microsoft, Amazon and even Salesforce if it's successful.
Jun 30, 2019
What Keeps ServiceNow Awake at Night?
As you prepare for your cloud subscription renewal negotiation, it is important to first assess and understand the goals and objectives of the cloud vendor sitting across the table from you. There are certainly universal things that matter to all cloud vendors pretty much at any point in time, like increased spend and product expansion but there are a few things that matter most to ServiceNow right now. Based on experience, knowing these things and how best to use them will have a significant impact on the success of your upcoming renewal negotiation.
Jun 16, 2019
Workday Q1 2020 Earnings, Happy Customers And Successful Projects
Happy customers and successful projects equals high customer satisfaction and a retention rate of over 100%. Even with all of Workdays recent success, you have a great amount of leverage in constructing your first deal with Workday. Jeff Lazarto discusses how you need to understand what a highly competitive deal looks like, and how you can go about obtaining such a deal—there are strategies you can implement to achieve these results.
Jun 4, 2019
Salesforce Q1 FY20 Earnings: It is All About Customer 360
Salesforce had another strong quarter with revenue growth of 24%, and Service Cloud revenue breaking the $1B threshold for the first time. They also raised full year profit guidance. It is very clear that in order for Salesforce reach their self-imposed $26B revenue target by FY23, they will need to successfully sell enterprise CEOs on Salesforce being the only company that can truly provide them with the increasingly valuable 360 view of their customers.
May 16, 2019
Workday Battleground - Higher Education
The higher education industry can expect to continue to field many calls from Workday account executives. Workday has taken more of a targeted approach with respect to gaining customer adoption of its Financial Management solution. The first industry Workday focused on was the public sector which includes both government and education. Jeff Lazarto, UpperEdge's Practice Leader, breaks down what these moves mean for Workday and its growing competition with Oracle.
May 7, 2019
Victim Card - Oracle Whining And Litigating For The JEDI Deal
Now that Oracle has been officially eliminated from the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (“JEDI”) RFP process, they are pushing forward with their lawsuit against the Department of Defense (DoD). Jeff Lazarto, UpperEdge's Oracle Practice Leader discusses how Oracle, in short, is claiming to be a victim in a rigged RFP and procurement process.
May 7, 2019
SAP SAPPHIRE NOW 2019 - Day 1 First Impressions
SAP’s annual conference in Orlando is in full swing. In this podcast, UpperEdge’s SAP Advisory Practice Leader, Len Riley, discusses his observations and first impressions. He shares his thoughts on how this year’s conference compares to previous years so far, what SAP is doing well, and what SAP could have done better.
May 4, 2019
Workday Negotiations And Why First Impressions Matter
If you are becoming a new customer of Workday (or any cloud vendor), it is extremely important to get your first deal right. Not only do you have the most leverage at this time but your first deal will set the precedent going forward. In this podcast, Workday Practice Leader, Jeff Lazarto, discusses the key parts of your negotiation leverage as a new customer as well as the specific areas you should address when negotiating your first deal. For more on this subject, see our related blog post: Workday Negotiations - First Impressions Matter and Precedents Matter.
May 3, 2019
ServiceNow Knowledge19 – Day 1 Takeaways
Day 1 of ServiceNow’s annual conference kicked off with a keynote focused on changing lives at work through technology and how ServiceNow is the right vendor to make that happen. ServiceNow will continue to focus on bringing new mobile features to market to increase the value of its solutions while mapping to customer needs. In this podcast, UpperEdge’s ServiceNow Advisory Practice Leader, Adam Mansfield, shares some key takeaways from the conference and what he has learned by talking with ServiceNow customers in attendance.
Apr 29, 2019
Alphabet Q1 FY19 Earnings- Google Cloud Success Still Hidden
Alphabet reported that overall company revenue increased 17% to $36.3B but came up short of the expected $37.3B. Other revenues (which includes Google Cloud) reached $5.4 billion, up 25% year-over-year. Though Google Cloud Platform has strong customer momentum and remains one of the fastest growing businesses in Alphabet, Alphabet and Google still have not released Google Cloud revenue or utilization. Why and when will they?
Apr 25, 2019
SAP Q1’19 Earnings Announcement - 3 Takeaways from a Customer’s Perspective
SAP made some significant announcements in its Q1’19 earnings call that will have implications for SAP customers. SAP is focusing on improving margins, Bill McDermott wants fair market value for SAP’s software, and Elliott Management takes a $1.5B stake in SAP. In this podcast, Len Riley discusses how Elliott Management will not just be focused on the operational efficiencies of SAP but more on revenue side of the equation, meaning the relationships you have with SAP Sales Executives will be less flexible and more stringent, with more decisions and approvals being made from the regional CFOs offices.
Apr 24, 2019
ServiceNow Q1’19 Earnings- Revenue Growth And Raised Guidance
ServiceNow beat analyst estimates and raised full year 2019 subscription revenue and billings guidance. ServiceNow posted Q1 subscription revenue of $740M which represented an impressive 40% growth y-o-y. They closed 25 deals in the quarter with ACV greater than $1M which brings total customers fitting this profile to 717. Expect ServiceNow to continue to find ways to expand ITSM adoption within existing customer base and add emerging products like CSM.
Apr 23, 2019
Microsoft Q3'19 Earnings – Another Strong Quarter Driven by Cloud Business
Microsoft had another stellar quarter, beating expectations and posting double digit growth, both for top and bottom line. These impressive financial results were directly tied to the continued strength of their cloud business. Commercial Cloud revenue grew 41% with Office 365 commercial revenue up 30% as a result of continued install base expansion and average revenue per user (ARPU) growth. Azure revenue also grew 73%, driven by strong growth in Microsoft’s consumption-based business. As they work to continue down this path of success, expect Microsoft to aggressively push for more Office 365 adoptions and for more workloads to be placed on Microsoft’s cloud.
Apr 6, 2019
SAP Shuffles Leadership Roles After Robert Enslin’s Departure
After 27 years at SAP, Robert Enslin resigned from his position as President of the Cloud Business Group. In this podcast, UpperEdge’s SAP Practice Leader, Len Riley, discusses how SAP is restructuring its leadership responsibilities, the challenges SAP will face from these changes, and how customers will be impacted.
Apr 4, 2019
Pros and Cons of Oracle’s Cloud Incentive Programs
Oracle has been struggling to meet Wallstreet’s expectations for cloud revenue. To motivate their on-premise customers to migrate to the cloud, they have offered two key cloud incentive programs: Universal Cloud Credits and Bring Your Own License (BYOL). In this podcast, Erwann Couesbot discusses what customers need to know about these programs, including the key benefits of both and potential downsides you need to keep in mind. For more on this subject, see our recent blog: Oracle’s Cloud Incentive Programs: Sweet Nothings?
Apr 1, 2019
Oracle Q3 - Following In IBM's Footsteps
Some things we’re seeing from Oracle coming out of their Q3 earning are similar to what we saw with IBM a few years back. Their revenue is flat or slightly declining (like IBM’s was) but their earnings per share are growing, just like IBM’s had—the main reason for this? Stock repurchasing program, like IBM had done, Oracle is doing the same now, Oracle just spent in Q3 alone $10B to buy back 206M shares, and in the past 12 months they have bought back 728M shares, resulting in an overall reduction of 16% of all outstanding shares. The similarities of their financial moves go on, listen to this podcast and read the accompanying blog for further insights.
Mar 28, 2019
Normalizing Your I&O RFP Proposal: Solid Metrics You Can Operationalize
Best Practice Metrics for Tower-based I&O Services When going to market to secure proposals for Infrastructure and Outsourcing (I&O) services, the responses you receive can be overwhelmingly complex and can challenge your ability to do a true apples-to-apples comparison. This 5-part series takes you through the steps you should take to ensure your responses are not only normalized but aligned in a manner so you can operationalize your agreement(s), once finalized.
Mar 26, 2019
Sole Sourcing Negotiations: SI Tactics and CIO Countermeasures
How CIO’s can ensure they maintain control of their sole source negotiations: Make no mistake, your SI’s plan to secure a sole source award for your Implementation is set in motion from the moment they land resources to begin the strategy phase of your transformation initiative. There are several key tactics SIs will employ to lay the foundation to obtain a sole source implementation award.
Mar 19, 2019
Workday Q4 Performance & Strategy
Workday's performance in Q4 2019 has been going very well. Workday's subscription revenue was up 33% YoY, they are forecasting more than 27% growth next year and their customer satisfaction rating is at 98%. How are they going about doing this? Their focus has been on HCM, which is the hallmark of their product base and continues to show value to their clients. Once this value is realized, Workday can then introduce clients to an ever growing product portfolio.
Mar 3, 2019
Salesforce Q4 FY19 Earnings – Key Takeaways
In this podcast, Adam Mansfield provides a recap of Salesforce’s Q4 and full year Fiscal 2019 earnings call. Once again, Salesforce posted impressive revenue growth across all of their clouds. They also raised their FY 2020 guidance and announced they are now targeting FY 2023 revenue of $26B-$28B. If they were to achieve this, they would essentially organically double their revenue in the next 4 years. Salesforce’s confidence in reaching this ambitious goal comes from the trusted partnerships they established with CEOs and the vast array of offerings they have to drive value and digital transformation success for them and their businesses.
Mar 2, 2019
Negotiating with Workday in 2019
Erwann Couesbot discusses some of the main commercial hurdles when it comes to Workday negotiations. Similarities exist when negotiating with major ERP companies, but there are some important differences when negotiating with Workday. They are not a full ERP provider yet, but with M&A they are moving up fast to compete with the likes of SAP and Oracle. This podcasts discusses important commercial terms you need to consider for your next negotiation with Workday.
Feb 19, 2019
How SAP Leverages Mergers And Acquisitions To Force Adoption Of S4HANA
Mergers and acquisitions are opportunities for SAP to push S/4HANA onto clients. During an M&A there is an optimistic air to discuss synergies, efficiencies and future benefits. But SAP at this time is thinking about big acquisition budgets, revenue opportunity and the possibility to audit either or both companies. SAP will take this time to win in the short term as as well as the long term for future sustainable revenue. Chip Hanna discusses 3 M&A situations to prepare for as SAP will look to expand its S/4HANA adoption onto its clients during this time of exposure.
Feb 17, 2019
Customers Will Feel SAP's Sales Organization Shakeup
Part of SAP’s 2019 Capital Markets Day presentation centered on “The SAP Top Ten” which includes SAP’s ambition to be #1 in Cloud ERP by 2023. There was also a significant amount of time devoted to C/4HANA’s evolution, its position against competitors like Salesforce, and how the recent acquisition of Qualtrix comes into play.
Feb 10, 2019
Why Oracle’s Government Legal Battles Matter For Customers
Oracle’s recent legal battles with the U.S. government have been widely reported. Here is a brief summary of the two prominent legal battles and what they could mean for Oracle customers.
Feb 5, 2019
The Motivation Behind ServiceNow’s Licensing Changes
ServiceNow has long been known as an IT helpdesk but in recent years, they have evolved into much more than that. As they strive to become the ultimate digital transformation platform, they have made behavioral and licensing changes to drive adoption of new solutions and expand into lines of business outside of IT. In this podcast, Erik Bullard discusses ServiceNow’s land and expand strategy and what to watch out for prior to your next renewal. For more information on this topic, read our recent blog: ServiceNow ITSA Unlimited Customers: Beware of These Licensing Changes.
Feb 5, 2019
Changes To Oracle Java Licensing In 2019
In July of 2018, Oracle released a new subscription-based pricing model for Java SE (Standard Edition) and announced certain changes that went into effect in January of 2019. These licensing changes sparked confusion and widespread concern among customers. In this podcast, Erwann Couesbot touches some of the changes Oracle made, who in particular will be affected, and how organizations will be affected. For more information on Oracle’s updated Java licensing, read our recent blog: Using Java? Here’s How Oracle’s New 2019 Java Licensing Affects You.
Feb 4, 2019
SAP ECC To S/4HANA–What SAP Isn’t Sharing With Customers
Still running SAP ECC? You’re not alone but with support ending in 2025, you’ll need to make a decision about where you’ll move to soon. Unfortunately, SAP hasn’t shared customer success and failure data pertaining to the S/4hana platform. So how do you know if S/4HANA is your best choice? In this podcast, Ted Rogers discusses what you should keep in mind when seriously considering a migration to S/4HANA. For more, read his recent blog: Migrating SAP S/4HANA Could Get You Fired. Not Deciding on S/4HANA Will Probably Get You Fired.
Feb 4, 2019
Investments In Google Cloud- Alphabet Q4 FY18 Earnings Insight
Google’s parent company, Alphabet, reported Q4 and full year earnings that beat expectations across the board. The company did not provide a lot of detail regarding its cloud business which is part of its “Other Business” category. What they did mention is that they doubled the number of Google Cloud Platform (GCP) deals worth more than $1M and doubled the number of multi-year contracts. Regarding G-Suite, they noted that they now have 5 million paying customers -- up from 4 million a year ago. It is clear that Google is going to invest and scale when it comes to their Google Cloud business. Enterprises will need to chart their course appropriately and this podcast details key points to consider on why you should plan and how to plan.
Jan 30, 2019
ServiceNow Q4 FY18 Earnings- Expanding Customer Relationships Leads To Strongest Q4 Ever
ServiceNow had their strongest Q4 ever with $665M in subscription revenue, representing 33% growth. They closed 51 transactions in the quarter with over $1M in annual contract value (ACV). They now have 678 customers with over $1M in ACV, which represents 33% growth. ServiceNow is not only successfully selling their core IT products (ITSM, ITOM, ITBM, ITAM) but they are also having success with their emerging products (CSM, HR, Security Ops, Intelligent Apps). 31% of net new ACV was tied to emerging products, up from 25% last year. Expect ServiceNow to continue to focus on their current customer relationships to drive growth moving forward. They know that there is a large opportunity to continue to drive revenue through expansion of their products, adding new products, and increasing the use of what is already landed.
Jan 30, 2019
Microsoft Q2 FY19 Earnings – Strong Office 365 Growth But Flat Azure Growth
Microsoft Q2 FY19 revenue reached $32.5B which once again represented double-digit revenue growth. Commercial Cloud revenue was $9B and grew an impressive 48%. Office 365, which is part of the Commercial Cloud revenue, grew 34%. This growth was primarily driven by a 27% growth in the number of seats as well as an increase in the revenue per Office 365 user. Revenue per Office 365 user increased as more enterprises migrated to higher value (and costly) E3 and E5 plans. Azure revenue is not reported but it grew 76%, which in a vacuum is impressive but sequentially this represents flat growth when it grew 98% back in Q2 FY18. Based on these results, you should fully expect Microsoft to continue to push enterprises to more robust Office 365 plans and promote the need to use Azure and the cloud bundle Microsoft 365, especially for Firstline Workers.
Jan 11, 2019
Google Increases GSuite Prices for the First Time
Google has announced that starting April 2, 2019, the pricing associated with Google's G Suite Basic and Business plans will increase by 20%. G Suite Enterprise pricing will not be affected by the planned increases. This is the first significant announcement made by Google Cloud since Thomas Kurian took over this year. Even though these increases will directly impact small to mid-size businesses they also have possible (and likely) ramifications for larger businesses that utilize or are considering adopting Google's G Suite Enterprise plan.
Dec 31, 2018
What Microsoft Clients Need to Ask at NRF 2019
While Microsoft may want to overwhelm you with new products and solutions at NRF’s Big Show, don’t forget to leave with insight that is valuable to you. Definitely understand what is new and what is coming, but also prepare to ask the right questions of Microsoft.
Dec 31, 2018
NRF - The Right Questions to ask Salesforce While in Attendance
NRF, the world’s largest retail conference, is coming up January 13-15. We fully expect Salesforce to spend a significant amount of time at the conference discussing new products and solutions. While it is good to gain an understanding of what is new and what is coming, it is also important to use this time to ask the right questions of Salesforce. Doing so can help set up your renewal negotiations and ultimately lead to getting more value from your Salesforce relationship.
Nov 26, 2018
Salesforce Beat Expectations with Strong Q3 FY19 Earnings
Salesforce had another stellar quarter, beating analysts’ expectations in its third-quarter earnings last night. Revenue is up 26% y-o-y and the Remaining Performance Obligation (RPO) is now at $21.2B, up 34%. The company raised FY 2019 guidance and expects 2020 revenue to reach $16B, expecting continued growth in cloud computing sales. Marc Benioff has even higher expectations for Q4, putting some pressure on co-CEO Keith Block. The strategic acquisition of Mulesoft, which was finalized in May, is already showing success with its ability to unlock data from legacy systems and accelerate digital transformation – a current focus for C-suite executives. Mulesoft helps power Customer 360, Salesforce’s multiconnected cloud product which combines Sales, Service, Einstein AI, and analytics into a single platform. This offering a competitive advantage for Salesforce which they will continue to push in order to increase product adoption. In this podcast, our Salesforce Practice Leader,…
Nov 18, 2018
Former Oracle Cloud Executive, Thomas Kurian, Joins Google
In September, Thomas Kurian took a leave of absence from Oracle after 22 years at the company. Just two months later, he joined Google as the head of cloud computing, heightening underlying tensions between the two companies that have been in an ongoing legal battle for the past 8 years. At Oracle, Kurian led cloud transition efforts but he and Larry Ellison reportedly had differences with respect to Oracle's Cloud vision. Ellison believed in a closed system while Kurian wanted to open up their cloud solutions and allow them to run on AWS, Google, etc. UpperEdge’s Oracle Practice Leader, Jeff Lazarto, discusses his first impressions and what he’ll be paying attention as this plays out.
Nov 16, 2018
Is Your Microsoft Cloud Discount Actually Special?
Many organizations are enticed to move to Microsoft Office 365 or even Microsoft 365 by the belief that their cost profile would decrease and that their pricing would come with special one-time discounting. Too often, organizations later discover after closer examination that the discounting not only wasn’t special but it didn’t come with the proper downstream price protections. This is one reason too many Microsoft customers are faced with significant and unexpected price increases come renewal time. Before moving to one of Microsoft’s cloud products, it is critical you assess the true competitiveness of your discounting and ensure you have the proper price protections in place.
Nov 5, 2018
Tactics for Overcoming IT Services Contracting Challenges
The sourcing and selection of your IT Services partner often spans over several months and requires significant time and effort from your cross-functional teams. Closing your services contract on time while preserving the complete integrity of your negotiated commercial construct requires a plan. You must maintain momentum throughout the process and execute an approach that helps mitigate the risks of unforeseen hurdles in a low-leverage environment.
Oct 29, 2018
Heads in the Cloud: 3 Key Takeaways from SAP’s Q3 ‘18 Earnings Call
Despite the upbeat and high-fiving tone of SAP’s Q3 2018 earnings call, analysts were not enthusiastic about SAP’s latest results. Although SAP reported 41% growth...
Oct 24, 2018
What Microsoft’s Q1 ‘19 Earnings Really Mean (for Customers)
Microsoft had another strong quarter with earnings and revenue beating expectations. Commercial Cloud revenue is up 47% driven by Office 365 commercial revenue growth of 36%, Dynamics 365 grew 51% and Azure revenue is up 76%. Current and potential customers should expect Microsoft to continue to aggressively push adoption of their strategic cloud bundle, Microsoft 365, which includes Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility and Security. It is critical that all organizations ensure they have the proper downstream protections and the appropriate level of flexibility in place as Microsoft will look to increase revenue per user over time.
Oct 23, 2018
Digging Deeper into ServiceNow’s Q3 ‘18 Earnings
ServiceNow had another strong quarter. Subscription revenue was up an impressive 39% with 25 net new deals with over $1M in annual contract value. With the goal of landing more net new customers and upselling their current base, ServiceNow has changed their go-to-market approach. They now describe their product portfolio as the Now Platform and three (3) workflow clouds (IT, Employee Experience and Customer Service). ServiceNow will continue to rely heavily on their established CIO relationships and partner ecosystem to sell more ServiceNow products while also ramping up both their company and product brand awareness.
Oct 22, 2018
2018 OpenWorld Takeaways - Universal Credits and BYOL
After attending Oracle OpenWorld sessions focused on Universal Credits and Bring Your Own License (BYOL), Oracle Practice Leader, Jeff Lazarto, shares what customers should know about these pricing options. Those considering these options should proceed with caution and take steps to ensure they are making the best choice for their organization before making a commitment.
Oct 22, 2018
Larry Ellison's Amazon Hit Piece at 2018 OpenWorld
Larry Ellison made some bold statements in his opening keynote at this year's OpenWorld conference. Oracle redid its entire cloud infrastructure and claims that this second generation cloud offering is very different and better than anything else out there. Ellison then spent a significant amount of time taking aim at Amazon's AWS. Listen to Oracle practice leader, Jeff Lazarto's quick recap for more opening keynote highlights.
Oct 19, 2018
The #1 Cloud Negotiation Mistake
Too many companies fail to negotiate the right cloud deal with their cloud vendor come renewal. Ultimately, the common culprit is simply poor preparation. Failing to allocate the necessary amount of time, relying to heavily on a perceived strong relationship, and being overly confident in your standard processes can all lead to an unfavorable cloud deal.
Oct 17, 2018
Top 3 Questions SAP Hasn’t Answered About its New Digital Access Model
Back in April of this year, SAP finally provided some guidance on how it planned to address Indirect Access, or as SAP refers to it, “Digital Access,” for current and future customers. Specifically, they articulated three options for existing customers: Do Nothing, License Exchange or Contract Conversion. New customers would be licensed under the new model, measured by the 9 document types defined in the SAP ERP Pricing for the Digital Age.
Oct 2, 2018
Not Your Father’s ServiceNow
Too many ServiceNow customers are starting to see a less accommodating and flexible ServiceNow. Especially when it comes time to renew their cloud subscription. Unexpected price increases being forced onto their customer base with contract terms that are less favorable than what have been in place previously are too common. It is critical that you prepare appropriately for these changes as you embark on your renewal negotiations.
Sep 29, 2018
Thomas Kurian Leaves Oracle
Thomas Kurian's leave of absence results in him leaving Oracle altogether. According to various news outlets, the main reason for his leaving was due to a dispute with Larry Ellison over whether or not to allow Oracle's Cloud software to work with other Cloud software such as AWS and Azure.
Sep 25, 2018
Dreamforce Product Keynotes - Customer Success Platform Runs Throughout
It is very clear that, after attending the various product keynotes (Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Commerce Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Einstein Analytics..etc), Salesforce is going to be aggressively pushing the Customer Success Platform (Customer 360) and all the products it includes into as many customers’ ecosystems as they can and as quickly as they can.
Sep 24, 2018
Salesforce Dreamforce - Day 1 - Keynote Breakdown
Beyond the announcement of the new partnership with Apple and coverage of Einstein Voice, It is very clear that Salesforce wanted it to be known that they are completely focused on their Customer Success Platform. This focus will bring an aggressive sales organization pushing its customers to adopt more of the products and solutions that it encompasses.
Sep 16, 2018
Are Your Cloud SLAs Sufficient
It is an understatement to say that enterprises are severely impacted when their subscribed to cloud solutions are down and not available. Downtime issues can be disastrous and costly. While Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are a standard in cloud subscription agreements, they are often boilerplate that simply don’t cut it. Regardless of which cloud vendor your enterprise is relying on (Salesforce, Microsoft, Workday, ServiceNow, etc.), having the proper SLA structure in place with proper remedies for failure is critical.
Sep 16, 2018
Oracle's Q1 FY19 Lackluster Earnings
With Oracle OpenWorld 2018 just weeks away, Oracle has posted Q1 FY19 earnings that lack luster and have missed Wall Street's expectations. In Q4 Oracle stopped breaking out its revenue streams so it's hard to tell where the company may be struggling with their various products and services. Oracle users aren't seeing a business case to migrate to their cloud solutions.
Sep 13, 2018
Oracle's Cloud Strategy Struggle: Thomas Kurian Might be at Odds with Larry Ellison
Oracle’s Thomas Kurian has taken a leave of absence from his role as Senior VP President of Product Strategy. It seems Kurian wants to make more of Oracle’s cloud software run on other cloud platforms such as Azure and AWS, where as Ellison wants everything to run on Oracle. Clients need to be aware of Oracle’s eventual strategy as they become accustomed to using Azure and AWS; they may or may not work with Oracle's software in the near future.
Sep 10, 2018
Workday Q2 Earnings Release — What it Could Mean for Customers
Workday had a very good Q2, their subscription revenue is up 30% YoY with record highs for renewals—in relation to original contract values. Customers should be prepared for Workday to up-sell you with new products and services come your renewal—in an effort to expand their footprint across your enterprise. More detail can be heard in this podcast.
Sep 10, 2018
Oracle's Thomas Kurian Begins Leave of Absence
Thomas Kurian, President of Product Development at Oracle is taking a leave of absence. Kurian has been at Oracle since 1996, in his email address to employees his leave hints at being more permanent than temporary, and with Oracle OpenWorld just weeks away, it can be assumed he will be absent for the event. Kurian was responsible for Oracle's move to the Cloud and with poor Cloud financials last quarter it could be speculated there's a correlation.
Sep 9, 2018
Taking Care of Business: Your Business Case Isn’t Shelfware
When defining what a business case is, consensus says it’s the reason for initiating a project or task. But UpperEdge’s Shawn Stamp says the real value of your business case goes far beyond project launch. A great business case should guide design decisions, manage scope, sustain alignment & momentum, and measure success.
Sep 7, 2018
The Real Motivation Behind Microsoft’s October 2018 Pricing Changes
Microsoft’s pricing and licensing changes will go into effect in October 2018 and many customers will be hit with significant price increases as a result. Microsoft claims these changes will “help customers compare solutions based on their organization’s need, not just price, accelerating their journey to modern commerce” but do they really have the customers’ best interest in mind? Here is a look at the real motivation behind these changes and how customers will be affected.
Sep 6, 2018
There’s an Elephant in the Room with Your Cloud Service Provider
Though many companies have short-term needs or a current project in mind when selecting a vendor, the long-term viability of the cloud service provider (CSP) cannot be overlooked. While the CSP selected a few years ago may have been an economical or strategic decision at the time, that same CSP could be a challenge to integrate into your future environment and ultimately be a burden.
Aug 29, 2018
Salesforce Q2 FY19 Earnings – Key Takeaways
Wall Street expectations were surpassed, significant revenue growth across all of Salesforce’s clouds (i.e. Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Salesforce Platform & Other, and Marketing Cloud & Commerce Cloud) was achieved and FY19 guidance was raised. Based on the extent of coverage during the earnings call and what we are already seeing in the market, MuleSoft is going to be heavily pushed into meeting agendas with current Salesforce customers with the goal of getting customers to adopt MuleSoft as part of the overarching “Land and Expand” sales strategy that is already proving to be succesful.
Aug 23, 2018
Cloud Vendor Behavior That Customers Hate
Recently, our clients have shared with us how increasingly frustrated they are with their cloud vendor's behavior. In some cases, the vendor's aggressive approach has fractured the relationship and even influenced purchasing decisions. Have you experienced any of this upsetting behavior from your cloud vendor? !
Aug 19, 2018
Make the Most of Dreamforce 2018
With over 2,700 sessions to choose from, Salesforce’s massive conference can be overwhelming. But with the right approach, Dreamforce can be a valuable experience and can even be an opportunity to gain leverage at your next Salesforce renewal. Our tips will help you make the most of this year’s Salesforce conference.
Jul 25, 2018
Is Salesforce Truly Focused on its Customers' Success?
Salesforce is approaching customers ahead of their renewals asking for additional purchases to help them meet their own quarterly goals. Beware of any changes to your price protections and conditions, the language is foggy and seems to be intended to protect Salesforce’s revenue more than customer needs. Whether you have been approached with these changes or not, we expect more customers to be confronted with these sales tactics soon. Rather than letting Salesforce make the discussion about how the customer can spend more, customers should be sure to keep the focus on their needs and the value they receive from Salesforce products.
Jul 24, 2018
ServiceNow Q2 Earnings – Strong Growth Tied to New Customers and Upselling
ServiceNow had another strong quarter beating expectations and reporting significant subscription revenue growth. ServiceNow closed 28 deals in the quarter with an average contract value (“ACV”) of greater than $1M, bringing the total number of customers spending $1M or more annually to an impressive 575. ServiceNow is leveraging the widespread need to make successful digital transformations to elevate awareness of ServiceNow’s products within enterprises to the C-Suite and CEO. ServiceNow is focused on adding new customers but also understands that upsells represent greater opportunity. Whether you are considering ServiceNow for the first time or are already a customer, it is critical that you not only negotiate the proper upfront pricing but ensure you have the proper price protections and flexibility built into your contracts.
Jul 22, 2018
Microsoft FY18 Q4 Earnings – Inside the Numbers
Microsoft FY18 Q4 Earnings – Inside the Numbers by UpperEdge
Jul 16, 2018
Beware of Dante’s (ERP) Inferno
RP implementation projects are large, complex endeavors that can quickly spiral out of control. Blown budgets and delayed implementations are not uncommon, and in the...
Jul 11, 2018
Avoid These Cloud Renewal Negotiation Mistakes
Cloud renewals are an opportunity for companies to amend unfavorable terms and ensure they maintain a customer-centric relationship. However, too many companies miss these opportunities because they wrongfully believe they can approach their cloud renewal negotiations the same way their procurement team approaches negotiations when ordering supplies. Here are some of the most common cloud renewal negotiation mistakes we see organizations commit.
Jul 3, 2018
Is Your SAP SI Partner Evaluation Missing the Mark?
Is Your SAP SI Partner Evaluation Missing the Mark? by UpperEdge
Jul 2, 2018
Why De-Coupling Your SAP and SI Partner Negotiations is a Bad Idea
All too often we find ourselves engaged with prospective clients that decouple the negotiation of their SAP agreement from their System Implementation (SI) selection, evaluation and negotiation. Before de-coupling, consider these five tenets...
Jun 26, 2018
Oracle Gets Cloudy: What's Behind Their Change in Financial Reporting
Oracle had a very interesting Q4 earnings release, which initially triggered a stock price increase during after-hours trading, only to be followed by a very...
Jun 25, 2018
Cloud Renewal Price Protections: Are You Really Protected?
Too many organizations are under the false impression that since their SaaS Cloud contract includes a renewal term price protection, then they don’t have to worry about any unbudgeted fee increases. But the truth is, there are conditions that often remove the protection you thought you had. When planning for your upcoming cloud renewal, be sure to understand the conditions that can negate your price certainty.
Jun 20, 2018
An ERP DIY is Just Alphabet Soup
You run your business every day and your experience qualifies you for your role. But how often do you engage outside consulting firms? Do you have a mature set of processes for engaging external System Integration (SI) companies for large complex IT programs? And how will you determine the level of your participation in the implementation?
Jun 18, 2018
Oracle Curiously Blends Cloud Services Earnings for Q4’18
Oracle’s change in revenue reporting for Q4 raises concerns about the strength of its business and the quarterly success picture Oracle painted during its earnings call.
Jun 9, 2018
The Playbook All Cloud Vendors Work From
All cloud vendors work from a common playbook in order to grab market share and increase revenues. Knowing their blueprint for success will help your company achieve the best deal and structure the most optimal go-forward relationship.
Jun 1, 2018
Workday Q1 2019 Earnings
Workday Q1 2019 Earnings by UpperEdge
May 29, 2018
Salesforce Q1 FY19 - Key Takeaways
Another strong quarter for Salesforce that included beating revenue expectations, 25% year-over-year total revenue growth, significant revenue growth across all clouds and raised full year guidance. Salesforce’s focus is clearly on providing its customers the best solution to drive digital transformation. Expect an aggressive sales organization selling Salesforce’s ability to provide the best solution for your organization to obtain the critical and coveted 360 degree customer view.
May 14, 2018
Microsoft Product Terms - Significant Azure Billing Changes
Due to the complexity at hand, Microsoft licensing changes typically fly under the radar. Microsoft’s aggressive sales tactics and increased focus on Azure are cause for more scrutiny. Listen to see how Microsoft’s May 2018 change is affecting the way that you pay for Azure services.
May 10, 2018
Salesforce Standard Renewal Protection is Not Good Enough
When planning for your upcoming Salesforce renewal, you need to understand the conditions that negate and remove the renewal term price protection found in Salesforce’s standard Master Subscription Agreement.
May 7, 2018
ServiceNow: What Matters to Them Should Matter to You
As you approach your negotiation with ServiceNow, whether you are a net-new customer or coming up to your renewal, it is important to understand the things that matter most to them. Knowing this and how to most effectively use it, will help increase your leverage and ensure you not only pay the right price but have the proper level of flexibility and downstream price protections in place.
May 2, 2018
Microsoft Wants You to Adopt Their Cloud Bundle Microsoft 365 – Why Do You Think That Is?
Microsoft continues to aggressively push customers into the cloud. Microsoft is approaching their base of customers that have already adopted Office 365 with renewal proposals that include enticing offers to get them to jump into their cloud bundle Microsoft 365, which includes Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security . They do this even when a business case for Enterprise Mobility + Security (1/3 of the bundle) has yet to be made. Don’t let the offered “special” upfront discount alone get you or your organization to jump, too often there are serious consequences in doing so.
May 1, 2018
SAP Shakes Up the Software Industry - Indirect Access for the Digital Age
SAP recently announced completion of “an over year-long journey of collaboration with user groups, customers, industry analysts and other stakeholders, to develop a first of its kind outcome-based pricing model for Indirect Access. Len Riley breaks down what this means for SAP customers.
Apr 26, 2018
Podcast: Microsoft Q3 Earnings: Revenue Growth Driven by Cloud Adoption
Microsoft’s impressive revenue growth has been fueled by increased cloud adoption. Microsoft understands that future revenue growth will continue to be driven by their ability to convince their customers to migrate to the cloud while adding more cloud solutions to their portfolio. Microsoft will continue to push their cloud solutions as necessities for organizations hoping to achieve their digital transformation objectives.
Apr 25, 2018
Podcast: ServiceNow Q1 Earnings – Key Takeaways
ServiceNow’s Q1 subscription revenue grew and impressive 40% year-over-year reaching $543M. ServiceNow is focused on becoming a trusted strategic technology partner for their customers. They are no longer interested in selling just their core product, IT Service Management (ITSM) to get in the door. ServiceNow wants multiple product adoption including other IT products like ITOM and perhaps more importantly emerging products like Customer Service Management (CSM).
Apr 23, 2018
Podcast: Webcast—Contracting & Delivering Enterprise Scale Agile Projects
This webinar will explore: • Fundamental differences in contracting agile vs more traditional waterfall programs • 18 structural risks of agile at scale projects • How to use the contract to transfer and mitigate Agile at scale risks • Useful measures of vendor performance and accountability for Agile at scale programs • Basics of incentive structures of Agile at scale contracts • Useful measures of vendor performance and accountability for Agile at scale programs • Basics of incentive structures of Agile at scale contracts
Apr 22, 2018
Podcast: Alphabet Q1 Earnings: Google G-Suite Revenue Growth Acceleration
Other revenues for Google, which includes Google Cloud, were $4.4B -- up 36% year-over year. Impressive revenue growth was driven by Google's ability to sign significantly larger and more strategic deals for Cloud within the quarter. G-Suite revenue growth acceleration is attributed to Google's perceived ability to now serve all the needs of a large enterprise. Expect Google to aggressively attempt to displace Microsoft customers, especially those that are just now considering adopting Office 365.
Apr 17, 2018
Podcast: Cloud Subscription Agreements - The Importance of a Meaningful SLA Commitment
Has your organization accepted the standard uptime SLA and SLA credit structure found within your cloud vendor's master subscription agreement? An uptime SLA is of little value if it does not come with a meaningful credit or penalty structure. Most cloud vendor's standard penalty structures are not sufficient, let alone meaningful.
Apr 9, 2018
Podcast: Don't Let That Software Discount Cloud Your Judgement
Too many enterprises are making the decision to adopt a particular software because they got a “special” discounted price from the software vendor. Not only is the discounted price typically not the best the software vendor could do, often the final deal is missing many other critical terms and protections.
Mar 26, 2018
Podcast: Salesforce Agreements - Flexibility for Large Enterprises
Salesforce can be tough as nails when it comes to their contract negotiations. As part of their goal to reach $20 billion in revenue by 2022, Salesforce is unrelenting and tends to dictate terms rather than concede to their customer’s needs. If this sounds bleak, one thing to remember is that Salesforce makes the rules, and thus has the ability to bend them. Knowing what they are willing to bend, and by how much, is critical to your negotiation.
Mar 12, 2018
Podcast: Webcast—Journey to SAP S/4HANA: What You Need to Know
Mainstream support for SAP’s ECC platform is set to expire in 2025, driving companies to make the conversion to SAP S/4 HANA. This webcast will provide valuable insights on the following: • SAP's 2020 Ambitions • Defining The S/4 HANA Journey • Next Generation SAP Agreement • Recommended Path Forward
Mar 12, 2018
Podcast: Oracle's Cloud Transition: What's in it for Them?
Though you often hear about how customers benefit from switching to Cloud services, the incentives that drive companies like Oracle into becoming a Cloud service provider (CSP) aren't as well known. So, why has the Cloud become a priority for Oracle? What's in it for them? What are the implications for customers?
Mar 2, 2018
Salesforce FY2018 Earnings: $10B Achieved Through Deeper Customer Relationships
Salesforce released their Q4 and Full Year earnings on February 28th. They eclipsed the $10B annual run rate milestone. Their success is tied to the strategic relationships they are forming with customers focused on digital transformation. They now have more customers with larger and longer term contracts that include multiple cloud solutions. Salesforce has their sights set on becoming a $20B company and they will be relying on their customer base to get them there.
Feb 26, 2018
Podcast: Webcast—How to Truly Prepare for Your Microsoft Renewal
This podcast will provide valuable insights, including: • Outlining how to effectively prepare for your Microsoft renewal • Providing actionable strategies to increase your leverage with Microsoft • Techniques to counter Microsoft’s sales tactics come renewal time
Feb 20, 2018
Oracle Fiscal Year-End Checklist
With Oracle's fiscal year-end coming up on May 31st, it's the perfect time to go over this checklist so you are prepared when Oracle's sales team approaches your organization. Jeff Lazarto highlights a few items in this podcast which is covered in-depth in his blog on this topic.
Feb 2, 2018
Microsoft’s Q2 FY18 Earnings – What Enterprise Customers Need to Know
Microsoft’s overall revenue grew 12% year over year reaching $28.9B. Microsoft’s growth was primarily driven by Microsoft’s success in the cloud. Most specifically, Office 365 commercial revenue grew an impressive 41% and Azure revenue grew an astronomical 98%. Microsoft knows that future success will be tied directly to their ability to expand the average revenue per user (ARPU) through migrating more enterprises to the most robust cloud offerings (i.e. Office 365 E5 and Microsoft 365 E5). All enterprises need to prepare appropriately.
Jan 16, 2018
ServiceNow is No Longer Just a Tool for IT – Why This Matters
ServiceNow is No Longer Just a Tool for IT – Why This Matters by UpperEdge
Jan 15, 2018
6 New Year's Resolutions to Enhnace the "Strategic" in Strategic Procurement
Greg Hall, Director of IT Services at UpperEdge, discusses ways to improve the value you provide to your organization, he's compiled a list of 6 resolutions you can commit to that will enhance the strategic value of your procurement services.
Jan 8, 2018
Salesforce Sets Goal of $60B by 2034, Their Goal Will Impact your Relationship
In a recent analyst meeting, CTO and Co-Founder Parker Harris, presented revenue plans to reach $40B by 2028 and $60B by 2034. Adam Mansfield, @Adam_Mansfield_ tells you what you need to know in this podcast.
Dec 18, 2017
Oracle 2018 Q2 Earnings
Jeff Lazarto, Oracle Commercial Advisory Practice leader reports on Oracle's 2018 Earnings and what a shortfall in their cloud earnings could mean for your next negotiation strategy.
Dec 4, 2017
Making Smarter IT Partner Selections
Jeff Lazarto, Oracle Commercial Advisory Practice leader, intros his blog Making Smarter IT Partner Selection focusing on the "3 Cs", capabilities, cultural and commercial. Successful teams have found them helpful to have an overall evaluation structure that allows them to conceptualize the process and compartmentalize all the information received during the evaluation.
Dec 4, 2017
Salesforce Q3 FY2018 - Key Takeaways
Adam Mansfield discusses Salesforce's Q3 FY2018 financials and their key takeaways.
Nov 13, 2017
Podcast: Webcast—Are You Truly Prepared for Your Salesforce Renewal?
If you are considering adding Salesforce to your supplier portfolio or are already a customer, this webcast will provide many valuable insights, including: • Outlining how to effectively prepare for your SFDC renewal • Providing actionable strategies to increase your leverage with SFDC • Addressing SFDC’s sales tactics come renewal time
Nov 9, 2017
Agile Projects: What Are The Risks and Benefits?
John Belden, UpperEdge's Project Execution Services Advisory Leader, talks about the increase in CIOs adopting agile methods across their business project portfolios.
Nov 7, 2017
'Tis the Season for Maintenance Renewals
Greg Hall, Director, IT Service & Commercial Advisory Practice, discusses maintenance renewals; over 80% are based on the calendar year. The window for companies to avoid OPEX increases and drive down TCO is in full swing and quickly closing.
Oct 27, 2017
Microsoft Q1 FY2018 Earnings & Key Takeaways
Adam Mansfield, Director of Services at UpperEdge reports on Microsoft's Q1 FY2018 earnings and what the key takeaways are for Microsoft clients.
Oct 18, 2017
Your ERP Implementation Needs a Winning Team
Shawn Stamp, UpperEdge's Director of Project Execution & Advisory Services: When it comes to implementing SAP or Oracle, putting together a winning team can seem just as challenging. It’s no secret that ERP-based, transformational business initiatives are complex undertakings that are prone to delays, blown budgets, and/or outright failure.
Sep 26, 2017
Salesforce.com Requiring Customers to Increase Annual Fees at Renewal
Adam Mansfield, Director of IT Services at UpperEdge evaluates Salesforce's Q2'17 Earnings.
Sep 20, 2017
Podcast: Webcast—Sell & Deploy: Oracle's Sales Strategy and Tactics
• Uncover Oracle’s cloud transformation strategy • Provide insights on what Oracle’s evolving customer approach and sales team compensation policies mean for you • Detail the tactics Oracle is using to generate sales opportunities • Prepare you for Oracle’s approach and enhance your negotiation leverage
Jul 21, 2017
Assessing Microsoft's Q4 2017 Earnings
UpperEdge's Director of Services / Microsoft Commercial Advisory Practice Leader, Adam Mansfield discusses Microsofts Q4 Earnings and what they mean for Microsoft's customers for upcoming licensing renewals.
Jul 8, 2017
Microsoft Layoffs and Overhauled Sales Organization: What It Means for Your Next Renewal
Adam Mansfield, UpperEdge's Microsoft Practice Lead discusses the layoff of 4000 Microsoft employees mostly within their sales organization. Learn how Microsofts focus on Cloud services could impact Microsofts approach to your renewal.
Jun 28, 2017
6 Questions Answered: SAP Indirect Access
In the wake of Anheuser-Busch and Diageo's cases vs. SAP, UpperEdge's CEO, David Blake and SAP Practice Lead, Len Riley answer the top 6 questions weighing on the minds of CIO's regarding SAP's indirect access.
Jun 20, 2017
Demystifying Relationship Opportunities with your Incumbent AMS Provider
In an ideal scenario, the benefits of an established relationship with your AMS (Application Management Services) provider should be evident. A mature relationship should drive...
Jun 9, 2017
Microsoft Syncs O365 and Windows 10 upgrade timing for their Secure Productive Enterprise
The real reason Microsoft synchronized O365 and Windows 10's upgrade schedule.... for their Secure Productive Enterprise adoption strategy.
May 19, 2017
UpperEdge at SAPPHIRE - Day 3
Derek Light on location at SAPPHIRE 2017
May 18, 2017
UpperEdge at SAPPHIRE - Day 2
Derek Light, UpperEdge's Digital Practice Lead podcasts from SAPPHIRE 2017
May 16, 2017
UpperEdge at SAPPHIRE - Day 1
Derek Light on location as SAPPHIRE 2017 for UpperEdge
May 2, 2017
Microsoft Q3 2017 – Missed Revenue and Cloud Focus Presents Negotiating Opportunities
Microsoft’s revenue reached $23.56B, which was just short of the expected $23.62. But what’s a mere $60M delta when you’ve achieved your primary goal of posting strong growth in your key Office and Azure cloud computing segments?
Mar 29, 2017
Podcast: Webcast—SAP Indirect Access: The Best-Run Businesses Are Run by SAP
Topics covered during the podcast include: • SAP’s approach to indirect access and enforcement • Real world customer scenarios of indirect use • Significance of the SAP v. Diageo case • Downstream implications of HANA • Best practice approaches for assessing and mitigating your indirect use risk
Oct 17, 2016
Podcast: Webcast—Why Large IT Programs Crash & Burn
UpperEdge Governance & Risk Practice Lead, John Belden and CEO David Blake discuss what this critical success factor is and how you can hold your IT consulting partner more accountable to enabling your program’s success.