SZS Consulting Ltd.
Helping you to spend less on System Z Software

Imagine playing at cards and knowing what cards are in your opponents hand.  That's how mainframe negotiations can be with our help!

Wouldn't you like to know, at the outset, what is the lowest price you should expect to pay for your mainframe hardware and software?

All vendors have a base line below which (for legal and accounting reasons) they are unlikely to go.  They always start negotiating much higher than this point - and then you waste considerable time and effort trying to find what things you can vary to get to an acceptable price.  And even then, possibly, it is not the best price you could get. There's also always a 'post decisonal' feeling that maybe you could have got a better overall deal.
Based on our extensive experience, we understand the legal, business, and financial restrictions which influence vendor pricing, and also the kind of price points reached by other clients (recognising always that every customer situation is different).

We also understand the vendor 'hot buttons' that yield exceptional discounts, and the pitfalls of some offerings which look (and are) too good to be true.  The difference between the lowest and the highest unit price for some software (in similar situations) can be as much as 3x!   

Very often, required price points are reached but the associated terms and conditions mean that future costs will be much higher with little flexibility to reduce them for any reason.  The ability to deploy as much as twice the capacity you need often results in a future maintenance overhead that is much more than you use or can afford

It's more effective if you talk to us before you open negotiations with a vendor - we can advise on the best approach.


Software Proposal / Contract review

You’ve received a proposal from a vendor and are under pressure  for a quick signature.  How do you know if this proposal represents ‘good value’.  In many cases, rushed ‘end of quarter/ end of year’ deals turn out to be bad deals due to incorrect contract terms or an uncompetitive price.  For a quick review, we have the following offerings:

Simple Contract

For one-off purchases of perpetual license software.    Client submits proposal documentation to SZS Consulting for telephone consultation.

Enterprise Agreement

Where Total Contract Value is less than 30m usd and covers multiple software elements - usually requires 2 - 3 days for research and feedback

Complex Enterprise Agreement

Where TCV is greater than 30m usd or where special T&C’s are required, or multiple elements including non-software items - usually requires early engagement and 3 - 5 days research / feedback

Software Contract Negotiation

Negotiating just on price usually delivers negligible returns (a few percent).  Starting early in the contract renewal cycle enables a customer to tailor their request in such as way as to set the right expectation with a vendor and a contract that delivers a TCV 20%+ lower than BAU terms.  


All software licensing is complicated, but mainframe licensing terms and tarrifs are more complex than any other platform.  The reasons are historical (the mainframe has been around now for almost 50 years) and necessary to support the extreme virtualisation available in mainframe technology.  As a consequence there are over 30 different license types / tariffs available just from IBM . 

2 Day Education Workshop

The first day of the workshop is education on the mainframe market, pricing, standard and special terms.  The second day involves reviewing and benchmarking existing agreements to identify strengths / weaknesses and build an initial strategic plan renew agreements with improved TCO.