Making Licenses and Support a Bit More Manageable:
As the contract manager for PEI, I work with customer’s all of the time on license and support renewals. Most customers seem to have their renewals spread out through the year. If you have a lot of renewals from different vendors expiring randomly through the year, this could lead to some confusion on what you have due and when. We’ve been working with a few customers on doing what’s called a co-term to help alleviate a bit of the confusion associated with contract management. As mentioned on Symantec’s website, a co-term is “defined as the process by which the support contract expiration dates for multiple products are adjusted to terminate on the same date.”* This means you can either choose to renew all vendor contracts at the same time, or consolidate by vendor making sure you at least renew all of the same vendor licenses at once (ex. Microsoft in January, Symantec in February, HP in March, etc.)
Most vendors are happy to work with customers on co-terms. This would likely include extending or pro-rating your license or support term dates to reflect the date the customer chooses. This will differ by vendor. Some will let you pro-rate your licenses for under a year, a few won’t co-term at all, but most ask for a year or more on the renewal (ex. Your support ends in June 2011, but you want your renewal date to end in September. Instead of extending June 2011-September 2011, your renewal period would then be from June 2011-September 2012, making it a 15 month renewal to set you up for future September term dates.)
Though I am the contract manager at PEI and I enjoy informing you of contracts coming due, co-terming can be a big help to you as the customer. To start, you won’t be surprised by renewals popping up every month, since you know when all of your contracts will be coming to term. Then finally, this can also help with budgeting and planning for the year by keeping you from unnecessarily renewing an item on the fly in February that you might have planned to update or discontinue in October.
-Erika Larson, PEI