Factors to Consider in Contract Negotiations
- Ensure that the final contract includes the vendor’s response to the request for proposal or request for information as well as any applicable warrantees (e.g., service level, product performance, and response time).
- Pay particular attention to ownership of data (especially for an application service provider system), requirements for additional training and support, fee-based upgrades, co-op purchasing, and options for purchasing hardware outright and negotiating only the price of the software.
- Clearly identify price and payment terms (preferably paid out in milestones, along with the right to withhold payments in the event of a vendor breach of contract.
- Identify required experience for vendor staff involved in product configuration, implementation, training, and/or ongoing support.
For best results, many practices seek legal assistance when negotiating vendor contracts.