The local branches of a number of global technology powerhouses last week admitted they would hike prices as a result of the declining value of the Australian dollar; and local IT chiefs are not impressed.
HP's printing and imaging division has already adjusted its pricing, although a spokesperson for the company's Technology Services Group said that there hadn't been any price changes there.
"HP IPG South Pacific has altered its pricing in response to the dramatic fluctuations in currency exchange rates. HP is proactively communicating these changes to the channel and to end users and remains committed to delivering the best possible value to customers," a spokesperson for the company said
Network specialist Juniper said some companies would be affected by changes in pricing of its products. "We're doing our best to ease the burden there, but you know a 30 to 35 per cent swing in the exchange rate over the course of the last months is fairly significant," Shaun Page, Australia and New Zealand vice president said.
Adobe, which has previously defended its already high Australian prices compared to the same products in the US, said it would soon make a decision on the issue. "Adobe is monitoring the current exchange rate situation and will be making a decision on pricing over the coming weeks," a spokesperson for the company said.
Avaya said that it had no current plans, but that the future could hold rises.
"No, Avaya has not changed its Australian pricing list for our enterprise products because we are different to many of our competitors in that we are holding the hedge rather than expecting our business partners to do so ... but at the end of the day, we are impacted by the fluctuating US dollar," a spokesperson said.
"Avaya may have to review its pricing model in the near future given this uncertain financial climate."
But not everyone will be part of the trend, with some giants, such as Microsoft and SAP, holding back.
"Despite the current fall in the Australian dollar, an important guiding principle for Microsoft managing pricing is to have the prices we set remain predictable and consistent," a spokesperson said. "We do not believe it serves our customers or partners well for us to be frequently changing pricing to accommodate external and, in some cases, unrelated market factors."
We've been put on notice by most vendors that both software and hardware will be rising,
Macquarie Uni's Mary Sharp
Cisco Australia and New Zealand managing director Les Williamson, gave a response which leant neither way.
"Whilst we don't comment broadly on price adjustments, we pride ourselves on keeping our customers and partners aligned and informed with our strategies and the operational adjustments in our business that external factors may impose," he said.
"Clearly with regards to the exchange rate currently, now more than ever it is important we remain close to our customers and partners, align to their business goals and needs, and help as best we can to drive their productivity measure."
Spokespeople for Dell, Oracle and Nortel would not comment on the issue. Intel, whose prices on its new i7 line of CPUs are already much higher in Australia than in the US, did not respond to our questions in time for publication.
Chief information officers have admitted to ZDNet.com.au that they are already feeling the pinch. Carsten Larsen, general manager of technology strategy and operations at TransACT, said that he had factored in the change in the dollar into his budget, especially as it affected the company's state-based bid for the national broadband network.
He said he would try to wrangle better prices from suppliers, but since he was still in the middle of negotiations, he was not willing to comment on his success.
"We've been put on notice by most vendors that both software and hardware will be rising," said Mary Sharp, director IT services of Macquarie University, with rises sitting around 10 to 15 per cent. The CIO has not decided exactly what to do about it as she said it had only happened in the last week.
De Bortoli Wine's IT Manager Bill Robertson said his department was reconsidering some hardware purchases, but that he felt the economic environment in general had a bigger impact than the dollar's flux. "All execs have been asked to be careful with capital spend," he said. With an enterprise resource planning project he had been hoping to get on track, he said that if he went ahead at all, instead of using Unix he was now likely to go Linux, just for the price benefit.
Vendors were also likely to be a bit chary about raising prices, he thought, with the current environment dampening sales. "They're after every sale," he said. He considered it would be like the banks with a rate rise, that once one raised its price, the others would follow suit.