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Dan Sloan

Total Cost of Ownership 2.0

Anyone who’s been fortunate enough to own a German sports car understands that, while these impressive machines are engineered to perform, they also require ongoing, and in the opinion of some, excessive maintenance to keep them working at their best. It’s not that their initial engineering is flawed. It’s just that many German automobiles have long relied on expensive maintenance programs to keep these cars performing at a high level, factoring considerably into the total cost of ownership (TCO).

The same can be held true for traditional enterprise software where lowering your cost of ownership is getting more attention than ever. Historically, high-performing software systems came with hefty implementation and maintenance expenses. This helped ensure tight alignment with the business initially, as well as long-term performance over time. However, there is a new trend with enterprise software. Traditional expenses normally required for implementation and ongoing support are melting away.

Surely, it begins with the cloud where the shift to software-as-a-service (SaaS) enables customers to engage modern software tools without the need for costly, on premise installations. With cloud computing, increased collaboration, improved security, and seamless system updates are just a few of the benefits. But there’s more to lowered TCO than simply the advantages that the cloud platform delivers. So how does my company, Malbek, help our clients reduce or even eliminate bellwether expenses, such as implementation, customization, and user training?

For starters, it begins with a powerful, yet simple user interface, or “UI.”  Imagine if your contract management system were as easy to use as Amazon or Google. Did your employees require formal training in order to use those powerful commercial sites? Malbek customers enjoy the same intuitive, consumer-grade experience as with Amazon or Google, and, as a result, all have been rewarded with lower training costs and higher user adoption.

Secondly, as customer organizations grow and their business processes evolve over time, software systems usually require costly maintenance programs and support from advanced technical resources to keep these powerful machines “on the road” long after the new car smell has worn off. What if, instead, your enterprise software enabled your business users to self-configure the system as needed to keep pace with changing requirements without the need for expensive technical support? As I mentioned in my recent configuration blog, I often work with General Counsel and the legal function where contract workflows, permissions, and notifications are just some of the examples of areas where my clients can easily configure key elements of the Malbek contract management solution – all without the need for costly maintenance.

We are clearly in the midst of an enterprise software generational transformation, or “TCO 2.0.” In this period of modernization, we all need to examine the relationship between business alignment, usability, and total cost of ownership. Enterprise software systems, like Malbek, have responded by delivering a modern, configurable, consumer-grade user experience. Traditional expenses normally required for implementation, system configuration, and user training are fading fast in the rearview mirror. High performance and dependability in a powerful and easy-to-use CLM machine are to be expected. That’s Malbek’s mantra.