Daily Archives: October 22, 2012

Federalist No. 20

Federalist No. 20 sees Hamilton and Madison continue to address the ongoing issue of the insufficiency of the present confederation to preserve the union.

In this essay, they discuss the United Netherlands, a confederacy of republics, or rather of aristocracies of a very remarkable texture that confirm all the lessons derived so far. Their review of the celebrated Belgic confederacy finds that while, on paper, everything sounds like the confederacy should be strong, in reality, there is imbecility in the government; discord among the provinces; foreign influence and indignities; a
precarious existence in peace, and peculiar calamities from war
because it is not a even a true confederacy of republics, but a confederacy of aristocracies that ultimately answers to the stadtholder, an executive magistrate who is also a hereditary prince.

Then they discuss the union of Utrecht, which also reposes an authority in the States-General, seemingly sufficient to
secure harmony, but the jealousy in each province renders the practice very different from the theory

From here they end the piece with a discussion of the province of Holland, the the wealth and influence that allow her to furnish quotas, without waiting for other provinces in the union, and then obtain reimbursements from others by frequent deputations, sometimes at the point of the bayonet. Furthermore, it was often compelled to overleap its constitutional bounds. This demonstrates that a weak constitution must necessarily terminate in dissolution, for want of proper powers, or the usurpation of powers requisite for the public safety.

But regardless of your view, the reality is that, in Holland, and the other provinces in the weak union to which it belongs, the unhappy people seem to be now suffering from popular convulsions, from dissensions among the states, and from the
actual invasion of foreign arms, the crisis of their destiny

That’s why Hamilton and Madison make no apology for dwelling so long on the contemplation of the federal precedents. Experience is the oracle of
truth; and where its responses are unequivocal, they ought to be conclusive and sacred. The important truth, which it
unequivocally pronounces in the present case, is that a sovereignty over sovereigns, a government over governments, a
legislation for communities, as contradistinguished from individuals, as it is a solecism in theory, so in practice it is
subversive of the order and ends of civil polity, by substituting VIOLENCE in place of LAW, or the destructive COERCION
of the SWORD in place of the mild and salutary COERCION of the MAGISTRACY
. That’s why one union, one nation, is required.

Vinnie Mirchandani on “The Costs of Software Renewal” (Repost)

This post was originally posted there years ago today on October 22, 2009.
Given that three years is a typical mid-term renewal timeframe, I think it is
important to review Vinnie’s advice as renewal season is now upon us!

Today’s guest post is from Vinnie Mirchandani of Deal Architect and New Florence. New Renaissance. Vinnie, a founding member of the Enterprise Advocates, is a tireless advocate of trends and technologies that can help buyers get more for less

Ray Wang gives us a timely reminder that “Labor Day (US & Canadian Holiday) traditionally marks the end of summer BBQ’s, the beginning of the fall conference season, and yes, the time to begin a review of your software maintenance contacts that expire at the end of the year.”

I would say start with that — and then keep going. Take a look at all of your contracts that renew through the end of 2010.

Several good reasons to this include:

  • Establishment of a savings target on the total maintenance spend for 2010.
    Have your staff focus on every software contract, especially those that have been “auto-renewed” for years now because they were “small” and fell under attention thresholds. If you make the overall target part of a compensation plan for key IT and procurement staff, you’ll quickly find that Thar’s gold in them yellowing software contract files.
  • Multi-year maintenance deals which looked good when signed may now be overpriced.
    Current market trends are driving the cost of maintenance down, especially through third party services. Don’t assume they cannot be re-opened. (See Marc Freeman’s tips for renegotiating with integrity.)
  • If you don’t start now, you might not finish the renegotiations in time.
    Don’t overestimate the ability of your team to get organized — or underestimate the ability of the vendor team to stall — beyond the end of the year. If maintenance expires, and something goes wrong, you could be at the vendor’s mercy in renegotiations. Formally document your new process and let the vendor know next year will be different. Furthermore, be sure to allow 6 months for the renewal negotiation next year.
  • Even if you are looking to migrate, you will still need incumbent vendor support until the cut-over occurs.
    This holds true whether you are looking to migrate away from the incumbent vendor to SaaS, or to third party maintenance, or to do-it-yourself support (and readers of Deal Architect will know I am a broken record on the subject of considering all of these options). This will likely push you into 2010 planning and funding.

So, use Ray’s call for intensity over the next 3 months and build momentum for another 12 months. The payback will be huge — software maintenance continues to be one of the items on the IT menu with the most “empty calories“.

Thanks, Vinnie!