How to Win at the IT Outsourcing Negotiating Table

How do you prepare your inner circle for outsourcing negotiation? Is it based on a series of processes and metrics, or is it just whoever seems to be the most silver tongued? This article by Stephanie Overby explains why treating outsourcing negotiation like any other organizational business process is a better way to get what you want out of the transaction. In this article, Jeff Weiss of Vantage Partners is interviewed and asked why it’s important for IT Leaders to build negotiating capabilities within their organizations, and the dangers of just having good speakers be the ones who take part in negotiations: Even if one is solely focused on that smaller cadre of people doing strategic negotiations, there is a common fallacy that if we have good “people” people, they’ll get the job done well, or that an experienced negotiator can get it done on his or her own. Far too often skill alone simply does not carry the day. To be efficient, creative, and negotiate tough on the merits, negotiators need to be supported by a true negotiation process with defined activities, accountabilities, tools, and check points. IT certainly has defined processes for application development, testing, and rolling out new systems. CIOs need to start treating negotiation as a business process. Weiss suggests creating a negotiation “playbook” that those involved in negotiations can reference to help get the best possible outcome for their company. It’s easy, Weiss indicates, for people to start going off the path when they get across the table from a vendor – but having a plan that is easy to follow can make that danger disappear.

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