Software sales

Pricing For Enterprise Software Solutions

In my line of work I deal with buyers from purchasing departments of multinationals requesting pricing for enterprise software solutions. Supplying a price is often a little more complicated than looking it up on a price list. In reality it involves a lot more.

Before supplying a price to the buyer, it is essential to understand  their business requirements for the software solution. What follows is a scaled down version of the entire process followed for every enquiry.

Understand Business Requirements

To understand the business requirements a series of meetings are held with all the business stake-holders involved. During this process the business problem(s) are documented and possible solutions noted. Meetings are also held with stake-holders from the IT department to obtain their input and discuss the current hardware configuration and surplus capacity within the organisation.

All too often the IT department is classified as a cost centre and not a business unit. When this happens they are frequently never consulted about future software solutions to be purchased. This often results in projects running out of time and over budget. Fortunately this view is changing and we are seeing more organisations that accept IT as a business unit contributing to the value of the organisation.

During discussions with the IT management and business stake-holders licensing of the solution is worked out and the following information is noted.

  • Number of technicians that require access to the solution
  • Number of PC’s, laptops and servers used in the organisation

  • Hardware requirements for the solution and the cost estimates to purchase the hardware.

  • Enterprise solutions are modular. During these discussions the business stake-holders elect the required modules.

Hosting Solution

Many of the large enterprise solutions are now being offered as a cloud based solution, eliminating the need to purchase costly hardware and operating systems. However, cloud based software solutions are not accepted by many companies for security reasons. In some cases organisations do not want a third party managing their data while others are more concerned with the fact that their data is being stored on servers on another continent.

The anti-cloud lobby is still very strong and all the major software vendors are aware of this. Therefore, they support solutions that target both segments of the market.

Hidden Agenda

During the meetings with the business stake-holders hidden agendas are often uncovered. A prime example of a hidden agenda involves business managers from different divisions favouring products because they have used them before, instead of selecting what is best for the entire organisation.

Another example of a hidden agenda is the practice where managers vote for a given solution for company political reasons to further their career instead of selecting what is best for the organisation.

Budget Availability

Now that the vendor has all the business requirements for the solution he is able to work out a provisional cost for the software. He will also include his professional services to install and configure the software and train the users of the software. Additional costs may also be added for the migration of data from the old system to the new solution.

Solution Selection Process

The solution selection process is a very busy time for the teams assigned to the products that reach the short list. During this phase the following processes need to be completed before the final solution is provisionally selected.

  • Evaluation of the solutions that made the short-list.
  • Document advantages and disadvantages in terms of the business requirements.

  • Documenting the hardware and software requirements for the solution.

  • Call for quotations.This is the first time that pricing for the solution is supplied.

  • Prepare and submit a proposal.

  • Solution presentation by the vendor.

  • Final Solution Selection

    The final solution selection is normally done at board level after the business stake-holders have given their input. This is a process that can take a few days or extend over a period of months. Further delays can be caused when budgets for the new solution are only available in the new financial year.





    Case Study Service Desk Solution

    Technician Licenses, Named and Concurrent for the Help Desk

    Technician licenses to access the Help Desk are available as Named and Concurrent licenses. A Named license is allocated to a single Technician and Concurrent licenses are allocated to  groups of Technicians


    IT managers purchasing Technician licenses to access the help desk are often confused by the Named and Concurrent license models available to them. It is understandable that the terms can be confusing, so let’s take a closer look at each one of them.

    Technician licenses – Named

    A Named license is allocated to each Technician that requires access to the help desk solution. For example, if you have 50 Technicians who access the help desk, you will need 50 Named licenses; one license for each Technician. Microsoft often refers to this type of licensing as “Per Seat” licensing. It is interesting to note that this license model is often cheaper than the Concurrent license model on a one-to-one basis.

    Technician Licenses – Concurrent

    The Concurrent license model is more flexible than the Named license model.  Using this model a group of Technicians are assigned to a single Concurrent license. However, only one Technician at a time from the group can use the “Concurrent” license. The remaining Technicians in the group have to wait for the license to become available before the next one can use it.

    Technician licenses
    Technician licenses

    Usage of License Types

    The purpose of offering two license models is to create flexibility for the IT manager. For example, call centre operators are allocated Named Technician licenses because they need permanent access to the help desk solution. On the other hand, Technicians who log in periodically are allocated Concurrent licenses. They are often busy at remote locations and only need access to the help desk to update or close a call.

    Common License Model Confusion

    The term Concurrent license is confusing at times. A common misunderstanding is that Concurrent implies that all licensed Technicians can log in simultaneously. This understanding is incorrect. When a group of Technicians are assigned to a Concurrent license, the first Technician to log in is granted access. The others will have to wait until the Concurrent license becomes available. Rather use Named Technician licenses if all your Technicians must log in simultaneously.

    License Costing Model

    Historically the Named license is less expensive than the Concurrent License. However, that may not be entirely true because you can allocate 2 or more Technicians to a single Concurrent license which brings the price of the Concurrent license down considerably.


    Named and Concurrent Technician licenses are both very important license models for the IT manger. Using both license models together saves money and creates flexibility. The IT manager no longer needs to purchase a Named license for each Technician when one Concurrent license will be enough for his group of Technicians.

    Service Desk Solution

    Onsoft Embracing the Cloud

    Onsoft is now Embracing The Cloud by making BMC FootPrints available to their customers through Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Customers are now able to utilise the power of BMC FootPrints, save on hardware costs and running expenses.


    Onsoft was approached by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), based in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, to solve their serious service delivery problems. A hosted Service Management Solution ultimately was the best fit for them. To this end, they will be embracing the cloud to achieve their goal.

    embracing the cloud

    Embracing The Cloud using BMC FootPrints

    To meet the software hosting requirement stipulated by BEDC, Onsoft entered the cloud market. We now have the infrastructure and technical expertise in place to host BMC FootPrints for our customer through a partnership with RSAWeb.

    Infrastructure as a Service is a viable option for customers that do not have the hardware infrastructure or technical expertise for an on-site installation of BMC FootPrints. Customers that sign-up for this service retain ownership of their data. In the event that they decide to migrate to an on-premise installation their data goes with them.

    This is a very exciting opportunity for Onsoft. It gives us the ability to address our customer’s business needs in ways previously not possible. 

    If you would like to be contacted by Onsoft leave a message here. sales department.

    Hosting Customer Requirements

    Key elements of BEDC’s Service Management Solution are that it must be 100% web based and hosted by the service provider. This frees up the customer from any costly hardware infrastructure and server software purchases.

    BEDC required a Service Management Solution allowing them to log calls from consumers and ensure that all customer requests are attended to timeously and resolved successfully.

    Needs Analysis for BEDC

    A needs analysis was conducted for BEDC and based on the findings, BMC FootPrints was proposed to management as the Service Management Solution. An agreement was concluded between Onsoft and BEDC where both parties agreed that the BMC FootPrints Service Management Solution would be implemented as an on-premise solution within the Cloud using IaaS.

    All configuration and daily management of BMC FootPrints will be done by qualified administrators based at the head office of Onsoft, in Cape Town South Africa.


    Onsoft is now Embracing The Cloud by making BMC FootPrints available to their customers through Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

    Onsoft has over 15 years experience as specialist providers of service management software solutions that address a range of customer requirements from Customer Service to IT Help Desks. These solutions are available as a hosted or on-premises option. Although Embracing the Cloud is new to us, it is a natural progression.

    Onsoft has implemented BMC FootPrints Service Management Solution for several clients in South Africa and Nigeria.  Based on Onsoft’s successful track record, BEDC selected BMC FootPrints as their solution of choice.

    Software sales

    Selling Enterprise Software

    One of the big differences between selling  software to the small business and selling enterprise software  is the price of the solution.


    Software Sales Challenges:

    Selling enterprise software has its own set of challenges that became even more complex with the downturn of the economy. Gone are the days where IT departments had huge budgets to spend. Stringent budgetary constraints are in place, the approval process includes more checks and balances and is closely monitored.


    How To Succeed:

    To be successful in this new environment the enterprise sales representative possess many skills, and one of the most important is the ability to listen to his customer and understand what is actually being said both verbally and non-verbally.  It is important to take note of the tone of voice used by your customer at all times.  This will often reveal more about his desire to place an order than he will reveal.

    Listening to the tone of voice of your customer you will gain an insight into the way he is interacting with you and whether wants to do business with you or if he is actually just using you to get a 2nd quotation for a solution.


    Common Questions:

    Questions that you must answer while listening to your customer are:

    • Is he passionate about his subject?
    • Does he sound  disinterested in your questions?
    • Did he discuss his business needs with you before requesting a price for the enterprise solution?
    • Do the features he requires appear to fit the specifications of a solution offered by your main competitor? If so, what are you going to do about it?

    Selling enterprise software is a challenge. How you adapt to the changing environment will determine your success.