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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!

May 2008 Archives

In the performance management space there are currently at least 6 vendors that could be classified as 'big'. While they all have a broad and deep range of offerings, for some end users these solutions can be overkill - too complex, too expensive, too much of a good thing. For some vendors, their sheer size has also had a negative impact on their behavior in the field and therefore their ability to win business. We have recently observed the actions of one of these vendors at several prospects where their 'big company behavior' cost them the business. In at least one case it was a multi-million dollar deal that ended up gong to a much smaller competitor.

The specific big company problems evidenced by this vendor fall under the headings of bureaucracy and over-confidence (or arrogance). Many prospects coached by us ask the vendors to provide a customized, scripted demo that shows specifically how they would address their unique needs. While all the other vendors (including most of the other big guys) comply, this vendor shows up again and again with a canned demo and talks about ways they might be able to address their needs. This is due to both bureaucracy and arrogance. The bureaucracy part relates to the fact that they take forever to get a simple non-disclosure agreement signed (required to work with the customer's data), so unlike every other vendor, they don't have enough time left to customize the demo. The arrogance is evidenced in the attitude that 'we are vendor X and have thousands of customers, you'll just have to take our word for it that we can meet your needs'. This over confidence shows itself in one other serious way - the assumption by the account rep that he doesn't have to work for the business. In the most flagrant example of this (which happened to be the multi-million dollar deal mentioned earlier) the rep sat in the corner alternately talking on the phone or texting on his Blackberry while the poor pre-sales person tried to address customer specific requirements with his canned demo. Specifically based on that behavior the project team removed this vendor from consideration. Before you start feeling sorry for this vendor keep in mind that many prospects do not perform the proper due diligence and make purchase decisions based primarily on brand name, marketing, and reputation alone without evaluating the fit with their unique requirements. Sometimes they only look at one vendor and never discover that they may be able to get equivalent functionality elsewhere at a lower cost and with more personalized attention. In those situations this vendor does quite well. However, with most companies starting to look at major expenditures of this type much more closely those days are coming to an end and this vendor needs to rethink their behavior in the field. Keep in mind that most other large vendors leverage their size where they can but they also remember that every deal counts, its still a competitive world, and they need to do their best to remain nimble and hungry.

Posted May 16, 2008 10:11 AM
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