Lena J. Weiner
Do you know that guy (or gal) that starts their Christmas shopping in July? I bet they’re sitting in a comfy chair right now, smugly sipping eggnog with their feet up on a table, without a care in the world. On the other hand, the rest of us are collectively grimacing at the numbers displayed in our bank accounts, worrying whether our friends and family will get the gifts we’re sending them in time, and racing to get them wrapped and under the tree (or handed off to the right people) before Christmas morning. This brings me to the main point of this blog: If you can plan for it, you can often score some pretty sweet deals around the Oracle’s end-of-fiscal-year, May 31. It’s not for everyone, but some Oracle customers swear by doing this.
It’s okay to hate that smug, super-organized person just a little bit, but we can learn a valuable lesson from them, too: it pays to plan ahead and play the long game.
A couple of things to keep in mind when attempting this: First, the sooner you can start peppering your salesperson, the better – calling in December or July about a deal you hope to close near in May might feel a bit like celebrating the winter holidays in the middle of summer, but it’s necessary. Second, Oracle’s sales reps are sales reps, not Santa’s elves (they, like all things Oracle, have their limits), and finally, you should never buy anything you don’t need – have a project planned for every application in the bundle. And note: this strategy won’t work if you don’t know which products you want or need, if you’re in a hurry, or you’re desperate.
Play the Long Game
Step one to getting a great deal: Start by creating a strong relationship with your Oracle sales rep. No, you don’t have to invite them to your home for Christmas dinner, but get used to giving them a call every few months to catch up and learn what developments may be occurring in Oracleland you might have missed. Is a favorite product heading to the great server in the sky? Is a tool you’ve always thought would make a good addition to your shop appearing in a bundle with two products you already use?
But whatever you do, don’t limit your calls to right before the end of the fiscal year. You’ll look like the kid who only calls grandma right before Christmas, and Oracle sales reps need love during months other than May. Whenever possible, start reaching out to your salesperson during their Q1 (so, June – August) – failing that, give them a call before the end of this month. It might help if you mention that you may have the extra money in your budget next year and that you’ve always wondered about this product or that one and its uses, then say that this product sounds amazing, but you’re just not sure that it fits in your budget. If you’re lucky, they might see if they can discount it.
You could also mention that you’ve been using X or Y products for a very long time and want to continue doing so and add that you’re wondering if he or she might be able to throw in something extra. Tell them you’d appreciate them looking into it and that you’ll get back to them next quarter.
Be Open to Changing Your Goals
But maintaining flexibility is key. While your salesperson might offer a deal, that deal may not be quite what you had in mind. Maybe it bundles products you’ll never use, or maybe it’s just too expensive. If you’re strategizing correctly, that will be disappointing but not the end of the world – you still have time to negotiate, or, failing that, simply walk away because while this deal would be nice to have, it’s not necessary. Some Oracle clients swear that if you call the last week of May, your Oracle rep will be, shall we say, highly motivated, but that’s not always the case – still, it never hurts to try.
But, while playing the long game and planning for Oracle’s end-of-fiscal-year is one way to save money, it’s just as important – if not more so – to ensure sure you aren’t ignoring another major source of Oracle user woes. Always monitor your compliance – especially now, with tech companies going on an auditing spree to make up for revenue lost due to the pandemic. So, along with calling your Oracle sales rep, give LicenseFortress a call and inquire about compliance monitoring services, such as LicenseFortress’ signature Compliance & Optimization Review; along with ensuring compliance, this service also evaluates your system’s alignment and recommends best practices to establish that your shop is working soundly.
Staying ahead of the game like that would make even the person in your life who starts Christmas shopping in July proud. If you want to stay ahead of Oracle’s end-of-fiscal-year, we can help get you started. Contact us today.