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IT Procurement Academy

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March 28, 2018

Chicago, IL

May 1-2, 2018

Hilton Chicago/Magnificent Mile Suites
198 East Delaware Place, Chicago, IL 60611
Hotel Phone 312.664.1100
King Suite $199 – Cut-off date in March 30, 2018

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  • Develop relationships with your peers.
  • Build professional confidence.
  • Learn best practices.
  • Improve your negotiation techniques.
  • Gain leverage with your suppliers.
  • Learn strategic global principles.
  • Reduce your risk.
  • Learn how to streamline processes.
  • Sharpen your skills and improve your proficiency


  • Information technology
  • IT procurement
  • Purchasing
  • Indirect sourcing
  • Finance
  • Legal
  • Vendor management
  • Contract management
  • Global strategic sourcing
  • Supply chain management
  • Telecommunications

Come learn practical tips and tactics from industry experts.

Overview for the Academy

The IT Procurement Academy is the latest extraordinary event from CAUCUS – The Association of Technology Acquisition Professionals.

On May 1–2, 2018, IT procurement professionals from across the country will be traveling to Chicago, Illinois, to learn from some of the foremost experts on strategic sourcing, negotiations, and vendor management.

If you’re looking to take the next step in your career, our IT Procurement Academy is for you!

Graduates of our academy will learn actionable tools and techniques for the following:

  • Streamlining the RFX process
  • Optimizing the procurement of cloud services
  • Effectively negotiating the key provisions in any contract
  • Complying with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Mitigating contractual risks associated with large vendors
  • Identifying problematic terms cloud providers use in their contracts
  • Building an effective vendor management organization


Strategic Sourcing in the New Economy: Harnessing Sourcing Business Models in Modern Procurement

Kate Vitasek

The business battlefield of this century will be based on harnessing the latent power of Sourcing Business Models. The procurement playing field is no longer one of lowest cost or best value, but knowing when and how to apply collaborative relationships where suppliers are incentivized to drive transformation and innovation with purposeful investments designed to create value for your organization.

Attendees will leave with a fresh perspective and a new lens for thinking about supplier relationships. Key takeaways include:

  • Why some of the worlds’ most popular sourcing strategies are incomplete for today’s modern procurement challenges
  • Why and when it is essential to make the shift from  “negotiating” to “architecting” supplier contracts
  • How systems thinking can optimize supplier relationships  
  • How to apply Sourcing Business Model theory for any spend category

Attendees will also leave with a link to download an open source Business Model Mapping resource they can use immediately to turn Sourcing Business Models theory into practice.

Kate-Vitasek-220Lauded by World Trade Magazine as one of the “Fabulous 50+1” most influential people impacting global commerce, author, educator and business consultant Kate Vitasek is an international authority for her award-winning research and Vested® business model for highly collaborative and strategic relationships.

Kate’s practical and research-based advice ignited a movement on how companies work together and five books, including Vested Outsourcing: Five Rules That Will Transform Outsourcing; Vested: How P&G, McDonald’s and Microsoft Are Redefining Winning in Business Relationships; Getting to We: Negotiating Agreements for Highly Collaborative Relationships and The Vested Way: How a “What’s in it for We” Mindset Revolutionizes Business Relationships.

Dealing with Goliath (IBM, HP, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP)

Cynthia Farren

Vendor management and procurement best practices are designed to scale up or down based upon your vendor, but there are some key shifts to consider when dealing with these large vendors. Recognizing and leveraging these shifts are a key component to creating better relationships and deals. Be prepared to walk away with strategies including:

  • Understanding key differences
  • Internal conversations to have for vendor management
  • Maintaining control
  • How best to leverage their strengths
  • How a shift to the Cloud impacts these relationships

Cynthia-Ferran-220Cynthia Farren is President and founder of a Software Asset Management (SAM) consulting firm which services clients nationwide from offices in California and Colorado. With over 25 years’ experience specializing in software licensing and software asset management (SAM), she has significant experience helping clients respond to software audits (formal and informal) from publishers such as Adobe, Attachmate, Autodesk…just to name the A’s! With a strong focus on licensing rights and due diligence her firm has aided organizations in substantially reducing or eliminating the costs identified through publisher and industry audits.

How to Rapidly Build Rapport with Anyone

Jonathan Jordan

Whether you are negotiating, buying or selling, rapidly building rapport with others will help you achieve even greater results in less time. Rapport means to have mutually beneficial interactions characterized by agreement, harmony, and trust. In this presentation, you will discover a lot of valuable and interesting information, gleamed from the latest neuroscience research, that is easily applied and will help you influence others and achieve your goals. Sadly, with the proliferation of technology and social networks, the art of building rapport is on a steep decline. However, those that can more easily build rapport will always have a major advantage.

In this presentation you will discover how to:

  • Confidently approach others
  • Effectively open any conversation
  • Make a very positive first impression
  • Be persuasive and influential.

Jonathan-Jordan-220Jonathan Jordan, in addition to being a social neuroscientist, is also a certified executive coach, and a popular international speaker. In 2011 he was engaged to deliver brain-based training to the staff of the United States Senate. Jordan, who is originally from Ireland, was admitted into the Society for Neuroscience several years ago and has authored numerous articles about brain training and business enhancement. He previously served as an executive with the McDonald’s Corporation worldwide and is currently president of Global Change Management, Inc., a boutique business and personal development firm. In a recent interview Jonathan stated, “All success, either personal or business, starts in your brain. Our approach to brain training is proven to result in even greater success.”

Predictive Benchmarking (PB)

Greg Nogle

Predictive Benchmarking is an alternative to RFXs and reverse auctions for obtaining bids for IT solutions. It combines RFI, RFP and reverse auction processes into a single Agile process. I developed the PB process after spending a number of years on both sides of the RFX process. I noticed my internal customers often did not fully know what their requirements were. I also noticed that vendors were not able to tell us that we weren’t asking the right questions. I found the RFX process to be too rigid and often did not compare apples to apples. 

  • Complete the bidding process in one-third the time, and improve the cost of ownership by 20% to 30% compared with an RFX.
  • Compare true apples-to-apples solutions to drive a better outcome for your company.
  • Allow for flexibility without losing the integrity of your bid.
  • Give vendors feedback in a way that encourages solutions.
  • Understand what your future costs will be for upgrades before you make your initial purchase.
  • Review actual case studies of successful Predictive Benchmarks. 

How to Own the IT Sales Cycle

Elgin Ward

How much better would Customer outcomes be if Customers could get in advance and study a copy of the Playbook used by the IT Sales team? All too often, the Customer’s team doesn’t even know that the Sales team has a Playbook and is following a very specific, scripted sales process. 

This interactive presentation will cover the sales process often used by IT Sales teams. Participants will learn:

  • The 8-step process used by many IT Sales teams to penetrate and control the buying process of Customer organizations
  • Effective measures to counter the IT Sales process
  • Ploys often used by IT Sales teams to manipulate Customer stakeholders
  • How to respond effectively to ploys used by cloud, software, and other IT Sales teams

Customers don’t have to be victims. You can and should own the Vendor’s IT sales cycle. Make 2018 the year when you and your Company get total control of your own buying process!

The CIO’s Acquisition Guide

William C Cross, PhD and  Sandra K. Beck

Acquiring hardware, software and services is an endeavor that can define a career.  Do it well and you are valued by the enterprise, do it poorly and you could become a liability.  This session is a compendium of lessons learned in specifying, selecting, and negotiating IT solutions.  We will address how to define what the organization really needs, how to solicit and evaluate vendor proposals to fill these needs, and how to negotiate a contract for the chosen solution that has enforceable provisions to protect both sides of the deal. Good contracts make good business partners.

  • Learn to define needs, prepare bid specifications, and evaluate bids
  • Learn to choose the best solution to fit your needs.
  • Identify enforceable contract provisions
  • Understand the other party’s motivation

Getting a Handle on Cloud Services Costs and Utilization

John Emmitt

Cloud adoption is skyrocketing, and along with this comes the challenge of managing cost and utilization of these services. With the move to Software as a Service (SaaS) and subscription-based purchasing models, procurement teams need insight into usage to make the right purchasing and contract renewal decisions. Working with the Software Asset Management (SAM) team and the best SAM tools, procurement professionals can get insight to purchase the optimal subscription plan levels for their users. Unused subscription licenses can also be reclaimed and assigned to new users to avoid overbuying. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) also requires processes and tools to control costs and ensure that existing capacity is being used effectively. 

  • Learn how SAM processes and tools can give you the business insights you need for more optimized procurement of cloud services — both SaaS and IaaS.
  • See how you can get the data you need to select the right plan levels for SaaS offerings such as Microsoft Office 365 and
  • Learn about the different models used by Amazon Web Services (AWS) for its IaaS offerings, and how you can manage cost and utilization of your AWS capacity.
  • Understand the role an enterprise app store can play in controlling access to cloud services and reducing the likelihood of users and business units going around the IT Procurement team for these services.

Negotiating in Real Time

Megan H. Troy

Let’s get our hands dirty! Please join me as we negotiate key contract terms in real time. This presentation not only will highlight those provisions that are critical to any IT procurement contract but also will help you identify when those provisions are unfavorable and need to be changed (or struck). By examining specific concrete examples, you will learn to issue spot and, importantly, practice negotiating terms more favorable to your organization. You will be provided with specific contractual language that you can present as alternatives to the other side, as well as concepts to back up and justify the need for your proposed changes. This is the ultimate “learn by doing” session, and you will be a better negotiator for it! 

  • Gain an appreciation for those contractual provisions that are key to any negotiation.
  • Understand how those provisions can help, or hurt, your organization.
  • Issue spot contract terms that need to be modified (or removed).
  • Access examples of alternative contractual language more favorable to your organization.
  • Recognize the rationale behind the changes proposed, and be able to justify your suggested revisions.

GDPR Is Coming — Are You Ready? 

Robert Scott

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is looming. GDPR becomes effective May 25, 2018. For companies, the cost of noncompliance can be up to €20 million or 4% of annual revenues. It’s imperative that companies know what is necessary in assessing their compliance obligations with GDPR. Rather than simply explaining the GDPR and its requirements, this session will do a deeper dive on specific topics relating to GDPR to equip any company with advanced knowledge, use cases and legal requirements to be compliant before the May 25 deadline. 

  • How and to what extent your business is affected by GDPR.
  • What new rights do data subjects have under GDPR, and how that affects any company.
  • What it means to be a “controller” or a “processor” under GDPR.
  • What types of data and services require compliance with GDPR.
  • What steps are necessary for companies to meet their legal compliance before the May 25, 2018, deadline.

Top 5 IP Legal Issues (That Should Be) in Vendor Contracts 

David Adler

A well-strategized and well-executed IT strategy will invariably include protecting confidential information and securing ownership of work product and innovations. Today’s vendor contracts have many provisions that directly and indirectly affect intellectual property rights, obligations and remedies. Seasoned executives know the provisions that should trigger IP considerations and how to adjust these provisions to account for different types of business risks. At each step in the process, proper contract management can help minimize legal risks for the business. 

Attendees will learn (1) current trends in contract and intellectual property law and new methods of protecting valuable business assets, (2) legal risks and “gotchas” in IT contracts, and (3) how to develop appropriate training programs and enforceable policies and guidelines covering these areas.

  • Identify the biggest risk factors addressed in a contract.
  • Identify common pitfalls when accommodating client requests and/or modifications to the contract.
  • Navigate the boundaries of what should and should not be changed in your contract.
  • Identify advanced legal issues for large-scale projects.

Mostly Cloudy with a Chance of Negotiation

Brent Rogers

According to a survey of over 2,000 IT professionals by Intel Security (Building Trust in the Sky: The State of Cloud Adoption and Security, January 2017), spending on cloud services is expected to account for 80% of IT budgets in 2018. Therefore, contract negotiators who lack substantial experience with cloud contracts should rapidly increase their understanding of these contracts to remain relevant. This session will provide an overview of cloud services, the typical contracts that govern them, and considerations for mitigating cloud services risk.

  • Understand why cloud contracts are different from software license agreements.
  • Identify problematic terms that service providers often place in cloud contracts.
  • Consider key business and legal issues that you may wish to negotiate.
  • Implement risk analysis and counsel on residual contract risk.
  • Establish cloud contract governance to monitor unilateral contract changes.

A Working Discussion of Aligning Vendor Management and IT Procurement

Roy Schleiden, CTPE, CPCM, CPM 

Vendor Management (VM) is a key function in organizations today. At some organizations VM was thrown together under IT, Finance, Procurement or Internal Audit. How VM comes to be and how it matures within your organization can be haphazard and unplanned — a knee-jerk reaction to problems an executive wants fixed. Or it can be designed /redesigned to have maximum impact and synergy for your organization. This fast-paced session will be an informative and interactive discussion on how to achieve the greatest impact from Vendor Management.

  • How do you know a VM office is needed? How can it be effectively designed?
  • How do you go about defining the VM role and tasks within your organization?
  • What primary tasks should be assigned to VM within your organization?
  • What skillsets are needed for the VM personnel to be successful? How are they kept current?
  • How do you partner with VM to ensure successful synergy with IT procurement?

Managing Vendor Partnerships for a New Digital Strategy

Aaron Polikaitis

Enterprises globally face new challenges from nimble, aggressive competitors with new ways of attracting customers. But many enterprises are hampered by their reliance on aging enterprise applications to run their businesses. These legacy applications, many of them provided by outside suppliers, are not capable of supporting new digital business models. Technology modernization, which includes suppliers, now plays an essential role in competitiveness. Procurement now plays a critical role in ensuring that partnerships further the enterprise mission. And according to a recent IDC survey, rationalization and modernization of 

legacy systems and vendors are the number one challenge for IT executives. 

  • Learn how to manage your vendor base to support new digital technology implementations while modernizing existing infrastructure and rationalizing applications.
  • Understand how successful enterprises select, manage and optimize strategic modernization/rationalization vendor partners.
  • Avoid the sprawl of uncontrolled innovation solutions.
  • Identify the most essential skills and attributes offered by strategic technology providers, vendors and partners.

Vendor Management Session #3

Michael Zazaian

Currently in development

Vendor Management Session #4

John Gonzalez

Currently in development

Join your colleagues and share lessons learned from the day’s events in our Speaker Symposiums.  Faculty will be in attendance to answer any last minute questions you might have form them.  This unique capstone event is something not to be missed!

Microsoft – Doing Deals in 2020…

Cynthia Farren

As companies move from legacy licensing to Cloud subscriptions what changes in structuring deals to protect your company’s future. Be prepared for an interactive deep dive into:

  • Understanding the pitfalls and benefits of subscription vs perpetual
  • Do you ever give up what you already own?
  • How and when to keep rights to perpetual
  • Is now the time to exit the merry-go-round?
  • Ways to protect against future price increases
  • Opex vs Capex – a shift on the financial statements

Inside the Cloud Vendor’s Playbook

Elgin Ward

Whether cloud services, software, or hardware, are you ever amazed at how much influence technology Sales Reps have with your Executive management and internal Stakeholders? Ever wonder how they penetrate Customer organizations, go around IT procurement groups, and control so many aspects of Customer procurement process? Would you like to know some specifics of what cloud and other technology Sales Reps are taught and practice in the extensive Sales training they receive?

This class peeks into the Cloud Vendor’s Playbook, a chance to learn strategies, processes, and techniques Cloud Sales Reps use to gain ACCOUNT CONTROL, to get Customers to buy Vendor products/services at prices, on a schedule, and on terms and conditions that benefit the Vendor.

In this half-day session, you get details on:

  • The specific strategies taught in Sales training
  • Specific Account Control skills Cloud Sales Reps learn and practice
  • Tools in the sales tool kit of Cloud Sales Reps
  • How Sales teams are organized to win every Cloud negotiation
  • Ploys Cloud Sales Reps use to create urgency, a compelling desire to buy now!
  • Tactics Sales teams are taught to solve the “problems” caused by IT procurement
  • Understanding what is in the Cloud Vendor’s Playbook improves your chance of doing better Cloud deals for your company!

Academy attendees can pick one of these two sessions and participate for an additional $250.

Each session runs for 3 hours between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.