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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!

In the highly competitive race to win more business performance management deals, a new approach has recently emerged. It goes something like this - the first vendor in says 'If you agree to not look at any other vendors, I will give you the best possible deal'. For most people wise to the software purchasing process this should clearly be a red flag. First of all, many companies have specific policies that require them to look at multiple vendors before they make any major purchase. There is good reason for this - you have to do your homework. The world is littered with failed IT initiatives where the appropriate level of due diligence was not performed. What is the vendor afraid of anyway? If they truly have the best solution for your needs they'll win in the end.

Do you really think if you looked at their competitors and were seriously considering going with one of them the original vendor wouldn't put their best deal on the table? In other words, you should still be able to get their best deal after going through an appropriate due diligence process. Just looking at one vendor is a big mistake. While most BPM products appear to perform the same basic tasks, they differ widely on how they actually perform those tasks. You wouldn't want to end up with a solution that was difficult to use or difficult to maintain or slow performing or required a lot of consulting customization in the key areas that were most important to your business. The only way to be sure you have the best solution for your needs is to examine multiple products in detail and compare how they address your requirements. While I often hear people say 'you can't go wrong with (insert name of leading vendor here)', I think you can go wrong, Minimally you may end up paying for many bells and whistles, features, and perhaps even modules that you simply don't need. In addition, I strongly believe that there is not one solution available today that is right for everyone. On the other hand there is one solution that is just right for you. The only way to find it is to go through an in depth vendor evalutation process.

Posted February 22, 2007 12:50 PM
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