Every one of them I’ve spent fighting the good fight. Helping companies get all the software and services they paid for. Counseling vendors to see clients’ big-picture business goals. Making sure everyone plays nice (even if they need a little convincing to do so). You’re in the business, so you know the deal.
A lot of people in IT sourcing talk a rough, tough game these days. Going on about zero-sum games, the “Art of War,” Extreme Contracting, etc. Maybe the Consigliere is getting soft in his old age, but I don’t think divide and conquer and us-versus-them thinking works anymore. Sure, in the early days, when I was a hot-headed young CIO Capo, I used to scoff when the top guys would talk about “win-win” partnerships, building trust and achieving long-term objectives. I just wanted deeper cuts in licensing fees – and I wanted them now!
But today the Consigliere is all about synergy and unlocking value by applying objective insights and quality market intelligence. Making the right choices about vendors and contract terms based on your unique objectives. Finding incentives to boost innovation. Trade a little upfront discount for a lot more benefit over the long run. Simplify complexity to make life easier for everyone. It works, trust me.
So, the good folks at UpperEdge asked me to drop by once in awhile to share some of the war stories and the hard-luck tales … except now we call ‘em best practices and lessons learned. You know, like when to run straight through a brick wall, when to take a helicopter over it, and when to lean up against it and enjoy a nice cigar.
Point is, I’ve seen this business from all the angles. I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly. I know the tricks and shortcuts. And as for the secrets, well, let’s just say we’ve consulted and counseled on thousands of successful deals over the years, and have extracted all the wisdom. They don’t call me the CIO Consigliere for nothing.
Tell you what – I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse. Come back often and I’ll share a secret or two with you, too. And not just some moldy old chestnut – you know, “it’s all about people, process and technology” or “no one ever got fired for hiring IBM.” Go somewhere else for that.
I’m talking about objective tips and insights you can put to use today and every day in negotiating better deals and managing better relationships with your critical vendors. It may not always be what you want to hear, but it will be what you need to hear, based on the ol’ Consigliere’s experience.