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Craig Schiff

I am very excited about this opportunity to share my perspectives and experience in my BeyeNETWORK Blog. For those of you who may not have read my articles and newsletters over the past few years, I hope you will appreciate a vendor-independent perspective on all things related to Business Performance Management (BPM). I focus on key topics organizations should consider throughout their BPM project lifecycle, from early stage requirements definition and justification, key measure development, vendor selection and finally, successful deployment and rollout. Of course, market trends and vendor updates will also be part of the mix. Please stop by on a regular basis to see what's new, and to make this interactive, please share your opinions. If you have a specific question, contact me directly at cschiff@bpmpartners.com.

About the author >

Craig, President and CEO of BPM Partners, is a pioneer in business performance management (BPM). Craig helped create and define the field as it evolved from business intelligence and analytic applications into BPM. He has worked with BPM and related technologies for more than 20 years, first as a founding member at IMRS/Hyperion Software (now Hyperion Solutions) and later cofounded OutlookSoft where he was President and CEO.

Craig is a frequent author on BPM topics and monthly columnist for the BeyeNETWORK. He has led several jointly produced webcasts with Business Finance Magazine including "Beyond the Hype: The Truth about BPM Vendors," the three-part vendor review entitled "BPM Xpo" and "BPM 101: Navigating the Treacherous Waters of Business Performance Management." He is a recipient of the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. BPM Partners is a vendor-independent professional services firm focused exclusively on BPM, providing expertise that helps companies successfully evaluate and deploy BPM systems. Craig can be reached at cschiff@bpmpartners.com.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Craig's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

Everyone hates RFPs (Request for Proposal). The end users that send them out hate creating them and reviewing them. The vendors hate having to respond to them. They don't even accomplish much. Most vendors learned a long time ago that they need to find a way to say 'yes' to every question posed to them. So the end result is an unpleasant, costly, time consuming process, that leaves everyone back where they started: trying to reduce a long list of vendors to a short list. Since this process has been so ineffective I can't understand why it is now spreading.

In the past the RFP process was primarily reserved for software vendors. At least it made some sense there. Software products do have different feature sets and trying to figure out who does what and how was at least a well-intentioned endeavor. Now we are seeing RFPs on a regular basis at my company (a consulting company). To me, this makes even less sense. Everyone knows all consultants do everything and they do it well (more on this in a future entry) so what could you possibly ask them to help differentiate other than price? One of our prospects has a $ 10,000 project and they are going through an RFP process. They took about 2 months to prepare the RFP and have been reviewing the responses for about a month now. $ 10,000! Are they crazy or am I for responding to it?

Posted August 24, 2005 6:46 AM
Permalink | 1 Comment |

1 Comment

Well, I'm not going to say you're crazy. I run a website called the RFP Database (http://www.rfpdb.com) that is a free portal for people to post RFPs and to find RFPs to bid on. You can approach RFPs two ways: you can bid on all that you're qualified for, or you can bid on the ones that you feel you have a substantial chance of winning. My company, Confluent Forms LLC (http://www.confluentforms.com), initially went the route of bidding on all projects we were qualified to bid on, and even some we weren't. We had thought that if we threw enough darts at the target, hopefully one would stick. Talk about LOTS of wasted time with little return. Now we just apply to the ones that we're local to and honestly feel we're going to win. And you know what? Our win percentage is much higher and our hours are much more productive.

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