Getting rid of shelfware

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Ray Wang, the esteemed Forrester analyst, has some sound advice over on his Software Insider personal blog about how to negotiate with suppliers over licenses you no longer need or want.

Apply three shelfware maintenance fee reduction techniques, says Ray:

Craft a win-win strategy based on your product adoption requirements and overall contract negotiations strategy. Three proven techniques in order of improving win-win shelfware reduction scenarios:

* Return unused licenses. Vendors agree to take back licenses and proportionately reduce maintenance costs. Customers lose future rights to those licenses.
* Park unused licenses. Vendors agree to hold unsued licenses and not charge maintenance. Customers still have rights to the licenses and will pay for maintenance when licenses are deployed
* Apply credit to purchase of new licenses. Vendors agree to assign a value to shelfware. Credit on used licenses will be applied to future purchses. Customers lose rights to the original software but gain rights to new software and functionality.

It will be a good test to see which vendors respond positively. More fuel for Forrester's enterprise software licence Bill of Rights.

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