SZS Consulting Ltd.
Independent data concerning
industry standard software license models.
Based on our
experience, we have an informed view all of the license models announced by the
major vendors in the mainframe area (IBM alone have over 30 metrics), in
addition we are familiar with most of the ‘special’ models implemented for
specific situations (business or transaction oriented). We are also knowledgeable in the likely
developments for SW licensing over the coming years (variations of
sub-capacity, containerisation etc.)
Independent benchmarking of
industry software pricing.
does not fit all scenarios. In addition
to many different metrics, customer installations vary by size and type. A customer using 10,000 mips will be unlikely
to get the same level of discount as a customer using 100,000 mips. Notwithstanding that, we are aware of
situations where clients have a 50% discount, and others where an 85% discount is
used (for the same product/same customer size) -a difference on price paid of
3x. However, even within vendors, some products can attract discounts of 95%
whereas others will only ever get 40%.
We are aware of the discount ranges awarded for differing scenarios and
product families by the major product vendors and can set an expectation on
what might be realistically achieved in a given situation. More importantly, we can advise on the best
argumentation to secure the maximum discount and terms for a given scenario.
Expertise in recommending
and evaluating alternate software pricing structures.
financial modelling tools and experience which allows us to compare different
configuration options (fixed and variable) in order to recommend optimum
configurations which deliver lowest cost of ownership. Beyond that, we are experienced in developing
special terms with vendors that are acceptable to both customer and vendor and
which enable a more affordable and containable price level moving forward. Whilst customers simply want a lower price,
vendors have to worry about legal, accounting, and compliance issues. We are very experienced in developing
solutions which overcome all the issues from both sides.
Expertise in recommending
software tools and products that can be eliminated/consolidated with minimal
impact to operations.
IBM, David Wilson set up a migration team to swap out ISV
products and replace them with IBM products. Based on this experience, we have significant
expertise in identifying tool rationalisation candidates. In our
experience over the last 10 years, vendors (including IBM) have successfully
sold ‘Enterprise Agreements’ which allowed/encouraged any of their products to
be deployed. In addition, with machine
consolidations and company mergers, many IT divisions are now running multiple
instances of tools to do the same function (e.g. it is not uncommon to find
organisations with 2 schedulers, multiple monitors, AD and PD toolsets,
security software etc.) Whilst vendors
do not want you to stop using their products (and in the short term they’ll
leverage their position to limit license savings), strategically users need to
slim down their portfolio and remove the maintenance burden (financial and
labor) from running an over-sized SW stack.
Over time, we have built up a matrix and experience of product
equivalence such that we can advise companies on the easy products/vendors to
swap out, and where to go for help / tooling to automate the swaps where possible.
We are also
familiar with the effectiveness of the different approaches to standardising a
strategic SW stack employed by various organisations across the globe.
Expertise in optimization
opportunities and planning and migration to alternative pricing/licensing
experience working inside the largest mainframe software vendor, we are very
familiar with the actions vendors take (IBM and ISV) to make it hard to justify
(in the short term) migration to alternatives.
A good example is the move from full (installed) capacity to
sub-capacity licensing. Vendors resist
the move and then put in terms which protect their revenue streams. We are skilled in identifying the right
argumentation and timing to secure better models, and then to identify
potential pitfalls in associated terms
Expertise concerning server
software license models involving multi-core processors.
aspects, the ‘distributed’ world is playing catch-up with the mainframe world
in licensing model. Vendors have mostly
moved from a processor model to ones that measure cores, to ones that measure
total processor capacity, to ones that now measure usage of the
processors. As the industry evolves
towards cloud based services and ever larger processor complexes the move to a
more granular ‘usage’ model is inevitable.
Based on our extensive experience in IBM, we are very familiar with the
challenges, issues, opportunities and alternatives available both today and in
the next 2 – 3 years.
Expertise in appropriate
sub-capacity license models including those based on alternate business
inhibitor to alternate license models is one of compliance. Both the vendor and
the customer have to be able to demonstrate that there is a mechanism to
accurately record and report on metrics, and be prepared for this to be
a metric has to genuinely be something that represents the value or usage an
organisation makes of a software asset, for example, does # of customers truly represent the best
value metric ( an organisation might get the most business value from DB2 as a
result of overnight batch analysis of market data rather than the number of
(daytime) customers serviced. ) Choosing
the wrong metric can have disastrous consequences for either party.
has to be absolute clarity in the contractual definition of the metric. For example, does the term ‘employee’ include
sub-contractors or agency staff?
helped develop business based licensing for airline bookings, banking
transactions, utility companies (phone / electric) as well as sub-lpar capacity
licensing models for mixed workload environments.
Expertise in software
licensing in the commercial market.
We are as
experienced as any working on software licensing in the commercial market. For 10 years whilst working in IBM, David
Wilson was consulted on nearly all the significant agreements and terms which
involved mainframe software. He wrote
many of the terms and devised many of the IBM licensing schemes (sub-capacity,
getting started offerings, parallel sysplex exceptions, and even the recently
Total-Cost-of-Ownership from purchase to long-term maintenance.
resources with many years experience conducting TCO studies for IBM (in IBM
mainframe customers) and independently.
Common projects include platform comparisons (Wintel, Linux/Unix, Mainframe) to determine the most
appropriate ‘fit for purpose’ platform considering both technical and long term
costs. This work involves using complex
modelling tools to capture and analyze all aspects of a clients infrastructure.