1.    Buy the right software for your company.  The pricing model and delivery method won’t matter if it isn’t the best software for you and your company.

2.    Become educated or pay the price.  Even for those businesses who outsource the purchasing of SaaS, there is no substitute for a little research and education.

3.    Read the Contract.  It sounds basic, but the majority of SaaS contracts have clever terms and conditions that you are responsible for, even if you decline to read them.

4.    The Hidden URL.  To avoid a contract with terms and conditions that is twenty pages long and full of legal terms many companies insert a URL Link into the contract and suggest you follow the link for all of the details.  Find the link, print it and read it.

5.    Evergreen can be Mean.  Know the terms of the contract especially the “renewal” terms if any, and the number of days required for sufficient notice to opt out of the renewal.

6.    Negotiate Everything.  Demand a discount and then ask for more.  A large majority of providers begin the pricing negotiations with plenty of room to negotiate.  If you don’t feel comfortable, find someone who does.  You will be amazed at the pricing delta between similar clients of similar providers with the same product.

7.    Don’t Tease me.  Beware of the teaser rate.  Know what price you will pay one month after the end of the initial term.  Is there a limit to the amount of increase you could be charged?  Make sure you know the long term cost.  Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions.

8.    End of the Month.  Know when your SaaS provider is at their corporate end of year.  Also end of month and end of quarter can be optimal times to purchase.

9.    Is it really free?  Don’t let price be your only guide.  If you are given SaaS for free for 1 year to try it, would you?  What if it cost you a large client by using the wrong technology…then is it really free?  Know the difference between the price and the ultimate cost.

10.   The SLA is Vital.  Because the service is hosted there can and will be times of outages.  What is your recourse if the service goes down?  The SLA (Service Level Agreement) is often added only if you request one.  Understand the remedy options, and penalties your provider will pay if they fail to provide the service you are paying for.

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