Unpopular Opinion: It’s Your Responsibility to Purchase the Right Software, Not the Vendors.

Thursday, 8 February, 2024

The Challenge of Choosing Right

It’s a familiar concern: the apprehension of selecting the wrong software licenses, a scenario fraught with potential pitfalls and complexities inherent in the software procurement process. Importantly, this worry is compounded by the marketplace, where vendors, driven by the pursuit of sales, might not always align their recommendations with your organization’s best interests, leading to the risk of misinformation or, in worse cases, deceptive practices. However big the deceit only one truly holds the procurement responsibility lies with one person, and that is you.

The Oracle Example

Previously, Oracle has faced allegations related to its sales practices, particularly concerning the way it has been accused of inflating its cloud sales numbers. Specifically, one significant claim against Oracle is that it artificially boosted its cloud sales figures by selling cloud products on customers, potentially including products that customers did not need. Consequently, this practice could involve selling additional services or products to pad sales in specific departments, raising concerns about the transparency and ethics of Oracle’s sales strategies.

The Ethical Dilemma

Furthermore, the crux of the issue lies in navigating these turbulent waters with a strategy that emphasizes due diligence, critical evaluation, and a commitment to ethical engagement from both sides. Essentially, it’s about adopting a proactive stance, where detailed research, clear understanding of your organizational needs, and an insistence on transparency from vendors become your guiding principles.

The Consequences of Misguided Sales

Sales representatives selling the wrong products intentionally is unethical and detrimental to both the customer and the vendor. Here’s why:

  1. Loss of Trust: Purposefully selling the wrong products damages trust between the customer and the vendor, leading to potential loss of business and reputation.
  2. Customer Dissatisfaction: Customers rely on sales reps to provide solutions for their needs. Selling the wrong products can lead to dissatisfaction and frustration.
  3. Legal Ramifications: It could lead to legal issues regarding misrepresentation and breach of contract, especially in the case of software license compliance.
  4. Long-term Consequences: While such tactics might lead to short-term gains, they harm long-term relationships and repeat business opportunities
  5. Ethical Responsibility: Salespeople have an ethical responsibility to act in the best interests of their clients and their company.

How to Ensure Your Purchase Responsibility

However, it’s crucial to underscore the accountability of businesses in their software procurement endeavors. Recognizing these challenges presented above by vendor sales tactics, the discussion now shifts towards empowering businesses to take the reins in their software selection process.

Proactive Research

Firstly, it’s critical for businesses to undertake research on potential software solutions to ensure alignment with their specific organizational needs and goals. This includes a deep dive into the software’s features, capabilities, and how well it integrates with current systems and future growth plans.

Critical Evaluation

Secondly, highlight the importance of a discerning approach to vendor claims and suggestions. Businesses should actively seek unbiased reviews, case studies, and user feedback to gain a balanced understanding of software’s efficacy and reliability.

Due Diligence

Thirdly, businesses must validate vendor credentials, scrutinize the details of licensing agreements, and weigh the long-term implications of committing to specific software solutions.

Ethical Engagement

Moreover, advocate for a relationship built on transparency and integrity. Businesses should clearly articulate their requirements and expect vendors to offer solutions that truly meet those needs.

Empowered Decision-Making

Finally, despite the intricacies of the software marketplace, the ultimate decision-making power lies with the businesses. A steadfast commitment to meticulous research, critical assessment, and principled interactions throughout the procurement process drives this empowerment.


In conclusion, while it is indeed unethical for sales representatives to intentionally or unintentionally promote unsuitable products, the ultimate responsibility rests with businesses to ensure they make informed buying decisions that align with their specific needs. This underscores the importance of due diligence and a proactive approach in the procurement process, empowering businesses to discern and select the most appropriate solutions, thereby avoiding the pitfalls of misguided sales tactics.

We help customers ensure they are purchasing the right products, for the right price and with the right terms. Get help with your procurement. Contact us, today.