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Streaming Media TV: Top 10 Tips For Negotiating a Master Service Agreement
In the newest installment of C-Level Grill, Nico McLane talks with Melity's Matthew Elefant about the ins and outs of the master service agreement.
Mon., Oct. 5, by Nico McLane

Nico McLane and Melity managing partner Matthew Elefant provide an insider's take on the Master Service Agreement—an often-misunderstood document that can either foster a long term, harmonious relationship between an organization and a supplier or lead to years of penalties and regret.

This is the first of a two-part series. This episode covers the top 5 of our total top 10 key points to know when negotiating a successful Master Service Agreement:

1. The first critical step, selection of a product or service provider.

2. Understand your terminology and acronyms (For example, do you know the difference between an MSA and an SLA?)

3. Target the key stakeholders and assign roles & responsibilities. This might include a variety of IT personnel—such as stakeholders from desktop support, end-user support, or help desk services, infrastructure, and many others. If your organization is large enough, bring in the IT risk and business analysts; you can always research the company on your own and speak with your peers if you do not have accountable parties at your company. Of course, you need legal counsel, and if your organization is enterprise you will need to bring in procurement. Do your due diligence and make sure what you are negotiating for is not something already licensed by your organization; the larger the enterprise the more likely it is you already have some kind of contract in place for a similar purchase or service in a parallel line of business or region. It happens all the time!

4. Reassignment of your contract: What if the company you bought into is acquired or merges with another company you do not trust? Plan ahead.

5. Negotiate for annual performance and "pricing" reviews to ensure you are not being over charged when adjustments could be made.

Tune in next time as we hit on other salient points, including "blended rates" and disclosure!

Matthew Elefant has developed a wide range of integrated streaming media solutions for his customers, focusing on physical production, design, marketing, syndication, sponsorship, ad insertion, 24/7 audio and video channels, and pay-per-view, as well as alternative acquisition and encoding solutions. Matthew and his team have helped customers integrate online and offline strategies to leverage existing digital assets for distribution. In other words, he is a supplier.