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Does Your Vendor Have Skin in the Game?

by | Feb 3, 2014

Lawsuits of all kinds plague the world’s top corporations. Looking at the contractual requirements facing the larger companies today and reading between the lines, you can almost feel their daily pain.

So much new language in contracts is related to painful incidents that have occurred in the past. They absolutely need to secure themselves.

Not unlike poker, there is a lot of risk involved in this racket. However, professionals know how to leverage their skill and mitigate the risky elements in order to succeed over time. For any vendor wanting to play with the Fortune 100, here are a handful of tips to coming out a winner:

  1. No limit poker: Patent IP infringement protection. Unlimited legal protection is required to play.
  2. Don’t reveal your hand: Confidentiality protection. Your company is on the line if you reveal any of your customer’s confidential Information. They demand unlimited protection.
  3. Know how to sniff out a bluff: You better protect your code against viruses, back doors, Trojan horses, time locks or anything else that might damage your large customer. They need to be able to trust what they’re getting from you – it’s all mission critical.
  4. Don’t miss a big blind: They need you there when they need you. Disaster recovery guarantees are not only necessary for the big guys, but also for their vendors. If they call at midnight Saturday, you had better be able to respond.
  5. Make sure your aces still hold up on the river: Product performance may differ from testing to production. Guarantees must be made all the way through full scale production.
  6. Watch out for shady players: Your employees better be reliable, trustworthy, and unimpaired. Background checks for all is a given.
  7. Be ready to slow play a big hand: Back version support is vital. The big guys move slowly and if your product does what they need, they don’t want to confuse things with an upgrade. Therefore, back version support has to be there.
  8. Know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em: Don’t hold up your customer. Necessary services need to be price capped.

All of us would like the above protections, but not all of us demand them or are willing to contract for them. If you have those needs, make sure your vendor is ready to push all-in for you.