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To increase your bargaining position, negotiate at the end of a quarter then let the agreement lapse and refuse to resume negotiations until the end of the subsequent quarter.
I have seen some very deep discounts from established software vendors in this space.

If folks were to consult with your developers, how long would it take for them to get XACML support into your product?

I'm not suggesting you stop doing that with proprietary vendors. I'm just helping you save spending more money for that "support".

However, I think there is a better way. That one on one consultation can be done much better in a public forum. There is the same type of consultation happening on our forums ( http://forums.alfresco.com ) not just with pre-sales, but with the developers. You could get that with Documentum, but it will cost you at least $1000/day plus expenses.

In the future, I can imagine a much richer consultative experience where one-on-one collaboration happen over the internet with live walk throughs and screen sharing can happen in time-shifted conversations. Sort of a YouTube-based forum. These conversations can then be used by others with similar problems. This, of course, assumes that the software has nothing to hide and is open source.

Support is more than just about having a warm voice on the other end of the phone. Support also includes having software vendors do Powerpoint presentations so that enterprise architects don't have to. Don't underestimate the amount of value provided by vendors in the presales cycle...

i like it :)

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