Voted Best Answer
Jan 13, 2016 - 10:49 AM
Planning is critical. Get as good a view as you can on what you have spent with this publisher, what works and what does not. Where there is functionality you have paid for but received no value. Where elements of the program have bugs and are not working as they should giving you extra cost.
Then build a seperate list of everyting you do not currently have but want in the future, functionaity and additional usage rights. Liaise with your architects and other stakeholders so that you have a firm view on the startegy for this app over the next three to five years. This will mean you can safely offer the publisher a multi-year commitment if they are prepared to grant some of your "asks" eg cloud usage.
Prioritise these items and place a value on each. Work out what you are prepared to concede first.
Lastly, start building a list of alternative products and invite their sales & technical people in for discussions on how you may possibly migrate away from this "evil contract". It is possible you could find an alternative product that is even better than what you have currently....
Build your negotiating strategy on this dataset and then engage.
Senior stakehodlers will be important and given that you say they are unsupportive at present do as much of the leg work above as you can and use the resulting negotiation strategy as your justification for a more structured & robust negotiation. When they see the data in front of them and the possible prize - a longer term agreement at lower cost with more flexible terms they are likely to support you.
We have helped customers negotiate many custom terms to pre-existing licence agreements, where each of these succeeded it was because of level & timing of spend, research, planning and a well structured negotiaiton.