Clients come to us all the time with the same problem. They’ve lost control of their Oracle relationship, and of a particular negotiation, and they need to get it back. They feel they are marching to the beat of the Oracle drum when they should be following a path they chose to meet their business needs. I thought it would be a good time to talk about this issue again, given that it’s Oracle’s Q4, and lots of people are currently in the midst of an Oracle negotiation.
Here are just three high level tips on how to take back control of your negotiation:
Put Oracle On The Clock
The first thing to do is give Oracle deadlines and make sure you let Oracle know what happens if the date is missed. Have a schedule that runs from now until May 25th for example. Don’t be unreasonable. Ask for input. For example, set a date 3 days out to get the first draft of the contract. Ask for Oracle to agree and then make sure they agree in writing. If they miss the deadline then follow through with your stated action. For example, it took Oracle 2 extra days to get you the contract so your close date moves from may 25th to May 27th. You see where this is going? Eventually you will push up against May 31 (their fiscal year end) and you can use that as leverage as far back as today. Follow through is critical.
Get everything in writing in MS Word
Don’t accept contracts in PDF format. You are spending lots of money with Oracle. The least they can do is provide you with editable documents that you can use to change as required. Ultimately this is the most effective use of your time. You can update the document directly rather than requesting sales to have a document changed. Oracle may not be happy with this request but you are not in this to make them happy. You are in this to get the best deal.
Draft Your Own Contract
Now this one might seem a little out there, but hear me out. Plenty of companies use their own paper to engage vendors. For some reason people are hesitant to do that with Oracle. Why? Oracle wants to start from their very Oracle sided terms and then negotiate from there. Why not start from your terms and negotiate from that position? If you can execute on this then you will come out in a much better position. I’m not saying it’s easy, I am saying it can be a very successful tactic in your negotiation. What if you start from your paper and then only send Oracle PDF copies of the contracts? That might show them what it’s like to have that done.
The items above are just some of the strategies and tactics you can use to get the most of your Oracle negotiations. There are literally dozens of ways to navigate the Oracle landscape – especially if you try to anticipate Oracle’s fiscal year. Your corporate goals and timelines will dictate exactly how to proceed and whether you can employ the tactics above. You would be surprised how often you can do this.