Microsoft Advisory Practice

I am a customer for life!

CIO, F500 Food & Beverage Manufacturer

Most organizations have an upcoming Microsoft licensing renewal.  UpperEdge empowers these companies to achieve best-in-class pricing, terms, and go-forward relationships after an often daunting renewal process.  All UpperEdge clients benefit from deeply discounted upfront pricing, downstream price protections, and license flexibility.   More importantly, their relationship with Microsoft often shifts from transactional to strategic in nature.  UpperEdge relies on years of experience helping Microsoft customers, with a robust set of benchmarks and proven methodologies to deliver results.

We empower companies


  • Provide sourcing and contract negotiation support during Microsoft engagements for over 17 years
  • Negotiating over $250M in client spend with Microsoft
  • Support the negotiation of all Microsoft agreement types with a focus on Microsoft Enterprise Agreements (“EA”)
  • Specialize in renewal negotiations and renegotiations that include mid-term product expansion
  • Experts of both on-premise product licensing (Office, Windows, SQL Server, etc.) as well as Microsoft’s cloud agreements (Office 365, Dynamics 365, Azure, Microsoft 365, etc.)
  • Access to a deep set of price benchmarks across all Microsoft products and price levels (Levels A – D) allowing us to quickly ascertain the competitiveness of your current and proposed Microsoft pricing proposal


  • Provide assessment of your current Microsoft product utilization with an emphasis on spend analysis and go-forward optimization opportunities
  • Identify potential financial exposure tied to overutilization and non-compliance
  • Conduct evaluation of your future demand resulting in a quantified potential financial investment with Microsoft
  • Benchmark and measure competitive nature of current and proposed Microsoft pricing on a product-by-product basis
  • Develop go-forward negotiation strategy including identification of relevant negotiation levers to use with Microsoft to achieve the most optimal outcome
  • Ensure negotiation is well scripted through tailored written deliverables supported by timely coaching and commentary
  • Review contractual documentation to confirm negotiated terms are accurately captured and articulated


  • Better understanding of Microsoft enterprise agreement structures, volume licensing programs, and product licensing models, methodologies, and use rights
  • Savings on average of $5.5M with Microsoft
  • 55x average return on UpperEdge investment
  • Additional upfront reductions beyond standard volume discounting
  • Meaningful price protections ensuring downstream price certainty
  • Improved executive-level relationship and governance with Microsoft

Podcast: Microsoft Product Terms – Significant Azure Billing Changes

Due to the complexity at hand, Microsoft licensing changes typically fly under the radar. Microsoft’s aggressive sales tactics and increased focus on Azure are cause for more scrutiny. Listen to see how Microsoft’s May 2018 change is affecting the way that you pay for Azure services.

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Podcast: Salesforce Standard Renewal Protection is Not Good Enough

When planning for your upcoming Salesforce renewal, you need to understand the conditions that negate and remove the renewal term price protection found in Salesforce’s standard Master Subscription Agreement.

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Podcast: ServiceNow—What Matters to Them Should Matter to You

As you approach your negotiation with ServiceNow, whether you are a net-new customer or coming up to your renewal, it is important to understand the things that matter most to them. Knowing this and how to most effectively use it, will help increase your leverage and ensure you not only pay the right price but have the proper level of flexibility and downstream price protections in place.

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Podcast: SAP Shakes Up the Software Industry

SAP recently announced completion of “an over year-long journey of collaboration with user groups, customers, industry analysts and other stakeholders, to develop a first of its kind outcome-based pricing model for Indirect Access. Len Riley breaks down what this means for SAP customers.

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The Ultimate Guide to SaaS Cloud Subscription Agreements

Often complex and vendor-centric, cloud subscription agreements require a unique negotiation approach even though they can sometimes resemble more traditional on-premise contracts. Enterprises turning their attention to and adopting SaaS applications must approach their cloud agreements with the proper rigor and ensure they include necessary upfront and downstream protections as well as flexibility while also addressing various security concerns.

This complimentary white paper reveals actionable strategies for ensuring your cloud agreements provide long-term value and protections.

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Podcast: Microsoft Wants You to Adopt Their Cloud Bundle Microsoft 365 – Why Do You Think That Is?

Microsoft continues to aggressively push customers into the cloud. Microsoft is approaching their base of customers that have already adopted Office 365 with renewal proposals that include enticing offers to get them to jump into their cloud bundle Microsoft 365, which includes Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security . They do this even when a business case for Enterprise Mobility + Security (1/3 of the bundle) has yet to be made. Don’t let the offered “special” upfront discount alone get you or your organization to jump, too often there are serious consequences in doing so.

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Podcast: Microsoft Q3 Earnings: Revenue Growth Driven by Cloud Adoption

Microsoft’s impressive revenue growth has been fueled by increased cloud adoption. Microsoft understands that future revenue growth will continue to be driven by their ability to convince their customers to migrate to the cloud while adding more cloud solutions to their portfolio. Microsoft will continue to push their cloud solutions as necessities for organizations hoping to achieve their digital transformation objectives.

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Podcast: ServiceNow Q1 Earnings – Key Takeaways

ServiceNow’s Q1 subscription revenue grew an impressive 40% year-over-year reaching $543M. ServiceNow is focused on becoming a trusted strategic technology partner for their customers. They are no longer interested in selling just their core product, IT Service Management (ITSM) to get in the door. ServiceNow wants multiple product adoption including other IT products like ITOM and perhaps more importantly emerging products like Customer Service Management (CSM).

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Podcast: Alphabet Q1 Earnings: Google G-Suite Revenue Growth Acceleration

Other revenues for Google, which includes Google Cloud, were $4.4B -- up 36% year-over year. Impressive revenue growth was driven by Google's ability to sign significantly larger and more strategic deals for Cloud within the quarter. G-Suite revenue growth acceleration is attributed to Google's perceived ability to now serve all the needs of a large enterprise. Expect Google to aggressively attempt to displace Microsoft customers, especially those that are just now considering adopting Office 365.

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Podcast: Cloud Subscription Agreements – The Importance of a Meaningful SLA Commitment

Adam Mansfield asks, "Has your organization accepted the standard uptime SLA and SLA credit structure found within your cloud vendor's master subscription agreement?" An uptime SLA is of little value if it does not come with a meaningful credit or penalty structure. Most cloud vendor's standard penalty structures are not sufficient, let alone meaningful.

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Podcast: Don’t Let that Software Discount Cloud Your Judgement

Too many enterprises are making the decision to adopt a particular software because they got a “special” discounted price from the software vendor. Not only is the discounted price typically not the best the software vendor could do, often the final deal is missing many other critical terms and protections.

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Podcast: Salesforce Agreements – Flexibility for Large Enterprises

Salesforce can be tough as nails when it comes to their contract negotiations. As part of their goal to reach $20 billion in revenue by 2022, Salesforce is unrelenting and tends to dictate terms rather than concede to their customer’s needs. If this sounds bleak, one...

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4 Steps to Gain (& Keep) Control of Business Transformation Programs White Paper

At many enterprises, business transformation programs last years and often exceed the project management capabilities of IT departments due to their complexity and large size. Too often, projects spin out of control, making a successful and cost-effective delivery extremely difficult.

Download this White Paper to learn our proven, four-step process for gaining and keeping control of your business transformation program.

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SAP Indirect Access White Paper

Indirect Access is an issue that CIOs simply cannot afford to ignore as it can expose both old and new SAP customers to substantial incremental fees. Due to the lack of clarity around SAP's definition of "use", many organizations are unaware of what Indirect Access violations they may be committing and are, unfortunately, blindsided by an audit.

Download this white paper to learn examples of what SAP considers use by way of Indirect Access and tips for developing your Indirect Access strategy.

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Podcast: Webcast—Journey to SAP S/4HANA: What You Need to Know

Mainstream support for SAP’s ECC platform is set to expire in 2025, driving companies to make the conversion to SAP S/4 HANA. This webcast will provide valuable insights on the following:

• SAP's 2020 Ambitions
• Defining The S/4 HANA Journey
• Next Generation SAP Agreement
• Recommended Path Forward

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Podcast: Oracle’s Cloud Transition: What’s in it for Them?

Though you often hear about how customers benefit from switching to Cloud services, the incentives that drive companies like Oracle into becoming a Cloud service provider (CSP) aren't as well known. So, why has the Cloud become a priority for Oracle? What's in it for them? What are the implications for customers?

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Podcast: Salesforce FY2018 Earnings: $10B Achieved Through Deeper Customer Relationships

Salesforce released their Q4 and Full Year earnings on February 28th. They eclipsed the $10B annual run rate milestone. Their success is tied to the strategic relationships they are forming with customers focused on digital transformation. They now have more customers with larger and longer term contracts that include multiple cloud solutions. Salesforce has their sights set on becoming a $20B company and they will be relying on their customer base to get them there.

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Podcast: Webcast—How to Truly Prepare for Your Microsoft Renewal

If you are approaching your next Microsoft renewal, this webcast will provide valuable insights, including:

• Outlining how to effectively prepare for your Microsoft renewal
• Providing actionable strategies to increase your leverage with Microsoft
• Techniques to counter Microsoft’s sales tactics come renewal time

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Podcast: Oracle Fiscal Year-End Checklist

With Oracle's fiscal year-end coming up on May 31st, it's the perfect time to go over this checklist so you are prepared when Oracle's sales team approaches your organization.

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Podcast: Microsoft’s Q2 FY18 Earnings – What Enterprise Customers Need to Know

Microsoft’s overall revenue grew 12% year over year reaching $28.9B. Microsoft’s growth was primarily driven by Microsoft’s success in the cloud. Most specifically, Office 365 commercial revenue grew an impressive 41% and Azure revenue grew an astronomical 98%.

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Podcast: ServiceNow is No Longer Just a Tool for IT – Why This Matters

Since ServiceNow’s inception back in 2004, ServiceNow has been known, right or wrong; as an IT helpdesk vendor. A vendor that sold products and solutions that catered solely to the needs of the IT department. Specifically, ServiceNow focused primarily on selling their target audience...

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Podcast: 6 New Year’s Resolutions to Enhance the “Strategic” in Strategic Procurement

Greg Hall, Director of IT Services at UpperEdge, discusses ways to improve the value you provide to your organization, he's compiled a list of 6 resolutions you can commit to that will enhance the strategic value of your procurement services.

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Podcast: Salesforce Sets Goal of $60B by 2034, Their Goal Will Impact your Relationship

In a recent analyst meeting, CTO and Co-Founder Parker Harris, presented revenue plans to reach $40B by 2028 and $60B by 2034.
Adam Mansfield, tells you what you need to know in this podcast and blog.

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Podcast: Microsoft Syncs O365 and Windows 10 upgrade timing for their Secure Productive Enterprise

Microsoft Practice Lead, Adam Mansfield talks about the real reason Microsoft synchronized O365 and Windows 10's upgrade schedule—for their Secure Productive Enterprise adoption strategy.

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Podcast: Oracle 2018 Q2 Earnings

Jeff Lazarto, Oracle Commercial Advisory Practice leader reports on Oracle’s 2018 Q2 earnings and what a shortfall in their cloud earnings could mean for your next negotiation strategy.

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Podcast: Salesforce Q3 FY2018 – Key Takeaways

Adam Mansfield, UpperEdge's Salesforce Practice Lead, reports on Salesforce's Q3 FY2018 earnings and what the key takeaways are for Salesforce clients.

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Podcast: Making Smarter IT Partner Selections

Jeff Lazarto, Oracle Commercial Advisory Practice leader, intros his blog Making Smarter IT Partner Selection focusing on the "3 Cs", capabilities, cultural and commercial. Successful teams...

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Podcast: Requiring Customers to Increase Annual Fees at Renewal

Director of Services, Adam Mansfield gives a quick recap of Salesforce's recent Q2 earnings and provides insights on how Salesforce is using their customer base to achieve impressive revenue growth.

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Podcast: Webcast—Are You Truly Prepared for Your Salesforce Renewal

Every cloud solution Salesforce sells comes with a subscription that must be renewed. Their approach to taking advantage of their customers’ inability to walk away once product adoption has occurred has been critical to their success. If you are considering adding Salesforce to your supplier portfolio or are already a customer, this webcast will provide many valuable insights, including:

• Outlining how to effectively prepare for your SFDC renewal
• Providing actionable strategies to increase your leverage with SFDC
• Addressing SFDC’s sales tactics come renewal time

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Podcast: Agile Projects: What Are The Risks and Benefits?

John Belden, Project Execution Services Advisory Leader, talks about the increase in CIOs adopting agile methods across their business project portfolios.

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Podcast: ‘Tis the Season for Maintenance Renewals

Greg Hall, Director, IT Service & Commercial Advisory Practice, discusses maintenance renewals; over 80% are based on the calendar year. The window for companies to avoid OPEX increases and...

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Podcast: Microsoft Q1 FY2018 Earnings & Key Takeaways

Adam Mansfield, UpperEdge's Microsoft Practice Lead, reports on Microsoft's Q1 FY2018 earnings and what the key takeaways are for Microsoft clients.

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Podcast: Your ERP Implementation Needs a Winning Team

Shawn Stamp, Director of Project Execution & Advisory Services discusses the challenges of putting together a winning team, which can seem just as challenging as a SAP or Oracle...

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Podcast: Webcast—Sell & Deploy: Oracle’s Sales Strategy and Tactics

This podcast will:

• Uncover Oracle’s cloud transformation strategy
• Provide insights on what Oracle’s evolving customer approach and sales team compensation policies mean for you
• Detail the tactics Oracle is using to generate sales opportunities
• Prepare you for Oracle’s approach and enhance your negotiation leverage

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Podcast: What SAP’s Indirect Access White Paper Means for Its Clients

Sr. Sourcing & Negotiation Advisor, Michael Tucciarone breaks down SAP's Indirect Access White Paper, and provides insight into SAP's plans to evolve and expand its licensing...

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Podcast: Assessing Microsoft’s Q4 2017 Earnings

Adam Mansfield, UpperEdge's Microsoft Practice Lead, looks at Microsoft's Q4 earnings and gives insight on how their earnings could impact your ...

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Podcast: SAP MaxAttention, Putting the Misconceptions to Bed

UpperEdge's CEO and Founder, David Blake interviews Sr. Sourcing & Negotiation Advisor, Michael Tucciarone about the misconceptions involved with SAP MaxAttention contracts.

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Podcast: Microsoft Layoffs and Overhauled Sales Organization: What It Means for Your Next Renewal

Adam Mansfield, UpperEdge's Microsoft Practice Lead discusses the layoff of 4000 Microsoft employees mostly within their sales organization. Learn how Microsofts focus on Cloud services could ...

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Podcast: 6 Questions Answered: SAP Indirect Access

In the wake of Anheuser-Busch and Diageo's cases vs. SAP, UpperEdge's CEO, David Blake and SAP Practice Lead, Len Riley answer the top 6 questions weighing on the minds of CIO's regarding SAP's indirect access.

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Podcast: Demystifying Relationship Opportunities with your Incumbent AMS Provider

Sr. Sourcing & Negotiation Advisor Yohann Jouin-Sellez speaks with Sourcing & Commercial Advisory Practice Leader, Len Riley about the benefits of an established relationship with your AMS (Application Management Services) provider.

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Podcast: Derek Light’s Insights and Takeaways from Sapphire 2017

Sapphire Series | Derek Light's Insights and Takeaways from Sapphire 2017

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Podcast: Microsoft Q3 2017 – Missed Revenue and Cloud Focus Presents Negotiating Opportunities

Listen to Adam Mansfield, UpperEdge's Microsoft Practice Leader, discuss Microsoft’s revenue that reached $23.56B, which was just short of the expected $23.62. But what’s...

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Podcast: Webcast—SAP Indirect Access: The Best-Run Businesses Are Run by SAP

Topics covered during the webcast include:

• SAP’s approach to indirect access and enforcement
• Real world customer scenarios of indirect use
• Significance of the SAP v. Diageo case
• Downstream implications of HANA
• Best practice approaches for assessing and mitigating your indirect use risk

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Podcast: Webcast—Why Large IT Programs Crash and Burn

In this podcast, UpperEdge Governance & Risk Practice Lead, John Belden and CEO David Blake discuss what this critical success factor is and how you can hold your IT consulting partner more accountable to enabling your program

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Retailer Negotiates Highly Competitive Oracle ERP Cloud Services Agreement

A regional apparel and home goods retailer operating department and outlet stores with over 10,000 employees and over $1B in revenue, was looking to migrate from a finance and HCM legacy systems that was approaching end of life to a new strategic platform. The new platform would enable The Client to adopt best practices to improve business operations while also reducing costs and adding future flexibility for growth.

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Oil Company Locks In 5 Years of Price Protections in Oracle ERP Perpetual License Agreement

Utilizing strategies, insights, benchmarks and the execution approach provided by UpperEdge, the Client was able to achieve a best-in-class financial and commercial deal construct for perpetual licenses for the JDE product suite, which included a 5 year TCO reduction of over $1M and 5 years of price protections.

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Client Negotiates Highly Competitive Oracle HCM Fusion Cloud Services Agreement

A global leader in infrastructure protection, shielding technology, and energy services with over 8,000 employees and over $1B in revenue. Client was conducting an HCM transformation initiative in a highly competitive multi-vendor bid process. Client ultimately selected Oracle’s Fusion and Taleo solutions and a niche system implementation partner.

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System Integrator Selection & Negotiation: Wholesaler Signs Best-in-Class Agreement

A leading wholesaler of industrial equipment sought lower costs, improved process efficiency, and operational transparency from a new ERP system. But the company had limited experience and expertise in evaluating ERP system integrators.

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Manufacturer Resolves Microsoft Compliance Issues and Achieves Best-in-Class Renewal Pricing

A life science and clinical diagnostics product manufacturer, with around 6,800 employees and $1.8B in revenue, was faced with a situation in which they were required to renew their Microsoft Enterprise Agreement and comply with an audit.

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Pharmaceutical Company Achieves 22% Cost Reduction in Microsoft Enterprise Agreement Renewal

A multinational pharmaceutical and consumer goods company, with about 351,000 employees and $61.6B in annual revenue, had a long-standing relationship with Microsoft and sought to renew its Enterprise Agreement.

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Client Optimizes Relationship in Microsoft Enterprise Renewal

A large integrated water treatment and process improvement services company for industrial and institutional applications, with around 11,500 employees and $4B in annual revenue, was in the process of renewing its Microsoft Enterprise Agreement.

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Fortune 50 Retailer Optimizes Costs in Provider Negotiation

A Fortune 50 retailer used objective insights, market data and comprehensive execution strategies to streamline its sourcing processes, optimize IT costs, improve systems integration and increase deployment agility.

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Utility Company Saves $1M in ERP Maintenance Renegotiation

One of the largest utility companies in the U.S. strengthened a critical strategic relationship with a major ERP provider, while simultaneously saving $1 million on maintenance costs, reducing downstream risk and increasing long-term flexibility.

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Consumer Goods Company Overcomes Challenges in System Integrator Selection & Negotiation

A large consumer goods company sought to implement an ERP system to reduce costs, boost operational transparency, and improve process efficiency. But, to meet its goals, the Company had to navigate a range of significant challenges necessitating precise intelligence and expertise to guide the RFP, evaluation and selection process.

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Global Optoelectronics Company Mitigates Risks in SAP ERP Provider Negotiation

In divesting from its parent company, a global provider of optoelectronics needed to enter into a short-term transition services agreement for continued use and support of its ERP system until a system and services could be brought in-house. This transition required expertise to negotiate the software license and support agreement.

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Manufacturer Saves $7M in ERP Package Selection and Negotiation

To enable the achievement of long-term growth targets and strategic business goals, a leading manufacturer of life sciences and clinical diagnostics products decided to implement a new ERP platform. But given the urgency of several key organizational objectives and a range of competing business challenges, the company required intelligence and guidance for the RFP, evaluation, selection, and negotiation process.

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Aegion Achieves Optimized Microsoft Enterprise Agreement

Aegion was looking to standardize its office automation platform to better enable collaboration and provide the ability to integrate future acquisitions into a common Aegion environment. After evaluating solution options, Aegion identified Microsoft Office 365 as its preferred solution.

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