With SAM and contract management, we can lose sight of what’s important to the business. Particularly if we are chasing an implementation to generate ELP’s for vendors we fear will come knocking asap.
If you wish to do something that could help your SAM situation, then a strategic vendor-audit approach could help greatly.
A client I was recently working with talked about how they managed their software contracts; specifically, at the point of negotiation they would seek to customise the terms and conditions of the contract in their favour – nothing new in that per say; but the forward-thinking approach in contract customisation was more steered towards having one-eye on future audits. If the terms and conditions can be adequately customised, then there is a chance of off-setting the potential pain of a future audit. Not to the point where we look to sabotage a vendor audit, but rather where audits become non-standard.
Contract Management: The nitty-gritty
Non-standard audits require a software vendor to deviate from their accepted protocols. So this may relegate a client to an “exception bucket” to be managed at another time. Additionally, the personnel re-drafting a software contract will be different from the people who would conduct an audit. There’s more than a fair chance that those bespoke terms and conditions will not have gone through any sort of knowledge transfer from one department to the next.
This is proactive SAM in action – but a word of warning. Like the software vendor, the client ALSO has to ensure that knowledge-transfer of those bespoke T&C’s takes place over the life of the software contract. Without it, such customisations could be for nothing.
For a deeper-dive on software contract management, please head over to our good friends at Aster Commercial. Equally, if you are the kick-off point for your SAM program then head to our whitepapers page.