Mainframe Blog

Transparent vendor pricing: are “free puppies” really ever free?

2 minute read
Donald Pate

A recent article from Forbes called “Nobody Gets Fired For Buying IBM. But They Should.” reminds me that many things we care about have actual costs, even if they hit us indirectly. For instance, if I give you a free puppy, is it really free? Once you put the puppy into your car for the ride home and it begins to chew on your upholstery and furniture, eat your favorite shoes instead of the expensive kibble you bought, and have costly veterinary appointments, the meaning behind “there is no such thing as a free puppy” becomes obvious.

And in the world of enterprise software, the same is true. What do you intuitively know when a vendor tells you they will include product(s) or professional services “for free or heavily discounted”? I have observed three things. Which of these scenarios look familiar to you?

  1. The “free stuff” from a vendor always seems to come from the lists of products and services they offer, which are struggling to compete in the marketplace anyway. For example, let’s say a vendor is world class with its hardware, and its operating system and database management system needed to support its hardware. Why is it that the “free stuff” never seems to include any of this?
  2. “Free stuff” is a mirage, like an imaginary oasis as you struggle through a desert. It looks like the direction to go, but there is nothing to drink when you get there but sand. “Free” in enterprise software is a mirage because some products consume more CPU than others (ironically not a problem if you sell CPU for a living). It also isn’t truly free because sub-optimized products also consume more of two other valuable customer resources—time and people (both critical in the new digital economy). Today’s customers are looking for automation everywhere to save their valuable IT resources for the hard and strategic tasks, not to come up with workarounds for the “free stuff.”
  3. “Free stuff” from a vendor can deter a company from selecting solutions based on value versus a simplistic view of price alone. Unfortunately, enterprise software is often considered a commodity. And, just like puppies, not all software solutions are well-behaved house guests. There was a time when important decisions impacting IT solutions weren’t made without the input of the “smart guys,” the IT professionals in the organization who actually use solutions every day to ensure SLAs are met and customers are happy. It has been exciting to see those days return, as customers seek alternatives to bad vendor behavior; for instance, trying to exploit and leverage customers with business disruptive price increases when they try to renew.

Yes, puppies are cute, and who doesn’t love free? But when it comes to software, free comes with consequences that can harm your business. When evaluating your choices to migrate away from Broadcom CA, we suggest you focus on solutions that “do no harm” or don’t take your business backward. Solutions that enable change and business acceleration should not compromise business objectives. BMC has helped hundreds of customers break Broadcom CA’s hold on their business with a “do no harm” approach. As a result, we have helped ensure a smooth transition with zero business disruption throughout the entire migration and operationalization process.

That’s why customers sometimes say, “Actually, as it turns out, we can’t afford the other vendor’s free stuff.” Let BMC help you move away from Broadcom CA and toward your business objectives, with upfront and transparent pricing, the power of choice—and no destructive behaviors you weren’t anticipating.

Break the Broadcom/CA hold on your business

Explore our Broadcom/CA migration guide to learn just how breaking-free can reduce costs, increase flexibility, and consolidate your vendor ecosystem.

These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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About the author

Donald Pate

Don Pate is Vice President Z Optimization. Don Joined BMC in 2009 to help lead WW competitive replacement projects. Prior to BMC Software, Don spent 10 years with IBM in a variety of sales positions and served as CEO of two firms: Tonic Software and Neon Systems.