It takes a relatively rare combination of skills to develop fair, well-structured IT service agreements.  We bring in-depth knowledge of both vendor and client aspirations as well as long practical experience of delivering services in environments governed by both good and bad agreements.

We offer commercial management expertise to establish clarity between the service provider and the client.  That clarity enables successful agreements that remain mutually beneficial.

Setting out what a good contract looks will always depend on a multitude of inter-related and often competing factors.  The potential impact of poor-performance, the structure of the buyer’s budget and the supplier’s costs, the complexity of the services being delivered as well as the future business plans and aspirations of both parties are just some of the dynamic considerations that will influence the drafting and negotiation of service contracts.

Our Contract and Commercial services help our clients strike an optimal balance: delivering clear descriptions of what is to be provided as well as being sufficiently flexible to support the evolution of requirements and service performance over the term.

WHEN CAN WE ADD VALUE?

Pre-sales design
Negotiation
On-boarding
In-term CSI
Service Recovery
Benchmarking
Renewal, Exit

Where we have helped

  • Drafting complete agreements and schedules for specific supplier engagements
  • Restructuring and redrafting existing contracts to improve their risk profile, service metrics and retained margins
  • Delivering standard contract ‘libraries’ including schedules and order forms for distinct service lines
  • Developing and negotiating contracts covering a full range of IT managed services, outsourcing and managed print services.
  • Negotiating and managing early exit procedures in contentious environments

Our key areas of expertise

  • Value proposition design and translation into contracts and commercial models
  • Commercial innovation and developing bespoke mechanisms
  • ITIL based agreements
  • SIAM modelling and risk management
  • SLA/Service Credit design
  • Contractual review and drafting (standard and bespoke agreements)
  • Leading customer negotiations
  • Leading supplier and sub-contractor negotiations
  • Maximising overall commercial leverage
  • Risk assessment, contingency planning and mitigation

Related work


Channel management support

In building a partner network in the UK associated with its Printless service, our French client knew they would need a simple but comprehensive contract structure and content: a partnering Master Services Agreement with individual Customer Engagement Schedules, and back-to-back terms to enable partners to contract the service with their clients as well as a preliminary agreement of partnering ‘intent’, or Heads of Agreement.
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Market entry for a multi-year managed service

Nearing the expiry of a 5-year IT comprehensive managed services agreement, the POA wanted assistance with market entry and scoping of replacement services, as well as a chance to compare the incumbent provider with current market offerings.
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Market entry support for a major IT managed services procurement

Analysis of the IT services and infrastructure landscape at the TUC as part of our strategy development had revealed the opportunity for a broad and holistic upgrade approach, involving consolidation of several service elements. Our recommendations for market entry were endorsed by the new vCIO and sanctioned by the TUC management team. The desired outcome would be a ‘one-stop shop’ covering WAN, secure hybrid hosting, Office 365 with Skype for Business and a managed backup/DR solution in a three to five-year agreement, with built-in benchmarking, renegotiation and termination options.
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IT Strategy delivery projects for a national trade unions body

Following Acert’s strategic consultancy report for the TUC in Summer 2016, the senior executive team were keen to establish the IT steering group and appoint a part-time (virtual) Chief Information Officer, as well as to commission work on the IT risk register. Earlier analysis having revealed some onerous service agreements no longer fit for purpose, there was also an appetite to negotiate early savings where possible.
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Service development consulting in EMEA for a global printer and managed solutions provider OEM

Well-known in the middle market for business printers, our client was gearing up to move into managed document solutions, with a wider range of multi-function devices, software and an associated go-to-market strategy. Project lead Javier Lopez needed external assistance with research in order to benchmark country capability across the in-scope markets and with sales operational materials, including Service Catalogue and collateral, partner and customer agreements.
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Sales improvement in IT managed services

Our client is a £100m pa managed services business. While their responses to formal RFP documents were solid and demonstrably successful, they had identified that a proportion of their sales teams often struggled to structure and write ’freeform’ sales proposals.
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Improving the speed to contract for CNS Group

CNS is a leading UK provider of Information Assurance and IT Security services and solutions. Its clients vary in size, from FTSE 100 and large public sector organisations to SMEs. Following significant period of growth in the size and scope of the services that it offered, CNS realised that its standard agreements needed a comprehensive overhaul.
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Interim commercial management for a major international outsourcing organisation

Our client was struggling to find sufficient resources to provide commercial support for an influx of new bids and recent successful sales. Based on previous successful engagements with this client, Acert was selected to provide an interim commercial manager to augment the existing commercial team. Our consultant was embedded into a series of bid teams (the majority of which were to prove successful) and was then retained to manage the contract drafting and negotiation of a £40m+ IT outsource engagement.
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What our clients say


Can we help?

John Ingram

+44 (0)7791 458804 john.ingram@acertassociates.com