How to Protect Yourself When Your Software Vendor Has Been Acquired

August 19, 2019

How to Protect Yourself When Your Software Vendor Has Been Acquired

While we all know mergers and acquisitions are common in competitive markets, end users often don’t get insight into the reasoning behind the purchase or takeover. While these decisions sometimes make sense when the companies involved are related in terms of the products or services they offer, other times, like the acquisition of CA Technologies by Broadcom, current customers are left with many unanswered questions about whether the maintenance pricing or licensing model is going to change, and whether enhancements to the product or its support will suffer.

Has one of your software vendors recently been acquired? Here are some practical tips to help you mitigate the risk to your business a vendor’s acquisition could cause.

  • Get ready to move your data – First, understand whether or not you need to retain any of the data collected by your vendor. Like when you move into a new house, you may decide it’s not worth it to keep everything. In terms of moving your data, this is easier now with GDPR and the prevalence of data portability solutions.
  • Start researching alternative solutions – Find your old requirements document (if you can) and update it for your organization’s current and future needs. This process can take time, so start now rather than waiting until the month you need to decide. As part of this activity, start priming your management on why a move may be needed and what the financial implications might be. This step will also help you focus your alternative search—does management have preference over one vendor or another, how tight is budget right now, and so on.
  • Set a decision date – Look at when your renewal is up or when announced licensing changes will go into effect. You’ll want to have a decision made (and maybe begin migrating to a new solution) well before you’re asked to renew.
  • Document, document, document – Track promises on support, pricing, and product enhancements. Monitor and document support case responses, product releases, and personnel shifts/departures. Personnel departures often indicate something is going on that isn’t being communicated publicly. With documentation, you can go back to your management (or the vendor) with ammo on why a change is needed now.

For more information about what to do when one of your software vendors are going through an acquisition, SolarWinds recently released this video guide:


Patrick Hubbard is a Head Geek and technical product marketing director at SolarWinds. With over 20 years of IT experience spanning network management, data center, storage networks, VoIP, virtualization, and more, Hubbard's broad knowledge and hands-on expertise affirm his IT generalist authority. Hubbard’s initial interest in technology began with a grade school dive into Assembly on the Apple II, and eventually to a half-decade of technogenesis in skunkworks IT at American Airlines. Since then, Hubbard’s career has involved product management and strategy, technical evangelism, sales engineering and software development, all with a focus on application and service delivery for startups and Fortune 500 companies alike that span high tech, transportation, financial services and telecom industries. Since joining SolarWinds in 2007, Hubbard has combined his technical expertise with his IT customer perspective to develop SolarWinds’ online demo platform, launch the Head Geek program and create helpful content that speaks to fellow networking and systems professionals. He runs SolarWinds’ customer education and training program to empower IT Pros to resolve their IT management problems quickly and easily with SolarWinds software. Hubbard is also a Cisco® NetVet and a regular speaker at technology conferences for Ethernet, IPv6 and SDN.