This is an edited transcript of a podcast in which Palisade Compliance APAC managing director Anna-Rita Stanley-Best discusses the importance of having a truly impartial advisor to help you navigate through the treacherous waters of IT, software, and cloud contracts.
Why is independence so important when I’m looking for external help with Oracle licensing?
The IT and software cloud environments and particularly contracts are getting more and more complicated, and it’s very costly and risky for companies. So, more and more they are seeking third-party advisers to help them navigate through these difficult and treacherous contract negotiations.
When you’re choosing an advisor, you want to make sure that they work for you, and not for the vendor that you deal with, because everyone is entitled to accurate, true, and unbiased advice.
Any IT vendor that you deal with would want you to have an outcome that suits their purposes. [However,] you would want to have someone assist you to make sure you have the outcome that is the best for your organisation.
What about working with an Oracle partner, especially if they are already working with my organisation?
Partners really have great value. They provide managed services, consulting services, and implementation services, and they are very good at that. But because they deal with software in many of these instances, they would also be looking at software licence sales. Many of them at the same time, then, provide contract negotiation and sales services for the same products.
That creates a bit of a conflict of interest, because if you have a vested interest in the outcome of licence usage, and that has additional benefit for you, it might skew the outcome for a particular organisation.
Unfortunately, everyone feels that once they touch any software in any form or shape, or if they’ve worked for a particular software vendor, they are an expert. They will provide services, particularly in the partner space, for that.
Most partners are resellers of licences, and therefore would not necessarily be able to give you a totally unbiased opinion.
If we add to that that they themselves have an obligation to the vendor in their own contracts; they are connected with the vendor in the outcomes and the reporting mechanisms that they have. This can create conflict for you.
It would definitely be good to continue working with partners in those areas of their own specialities, but not necessarily for licensing services.
Why is Palisade Compliance any different?
We have no obligation to anyone but our clients that we engage with. We are also matter experts. These two things in themselves are very important.
We don’t white label, so we don’t work for anyone that has any connection with the vendor without the organisation being fully aware of us being engaged with them.
We get no financial benefit based on an outcome. You know what your pay us irrespective of what the outcome or your requirements are, for additional licences or not, for that matter.
We actually have a declaration of independence that we have available. On our website we clearly indicate that we will work only for the client. We will not compromise that, and we will make sure that whatever outcomes or options are available for a customer is focused on their requirement rather than any vendor’s.
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