When companies compare solutions, the initial look involves demos, comparisons of features and functionality, solution provider roadmap and growth potential, overall viability, and marketing hype. ¬†Although the combination provides an introductory look, it doesn’t help organizations gain a broad understanding of how the solution will directly affect the business’s BI environment and goals. The next step involves learning about the expertise of the vendor based on their involvement on previous projects and what their customers are doing with the solution. ¬†This includes, not only what was planned and executed, but overall growth and expansion. ¬†And provides the next level of understanding which is essential as part of the software selection process.
But the key to selecting the right BI vendor is through a proof of concept (POC). Organizations should require a POC when selecting a vendor for the first time. By incorporating personalized data within a solution, companies are better able to identify whether there is a fit. ¬†In reality, most solutions can meet the general needs of many companies, but the level of customization and details required will differ. ¬†A POC lets organizations see what needs to be done, what is realistic, and the intricacies involved. ¬†When evaluating more than one solution, this helps limit the choices and provides greater insights into the differentiations between solution offerings.
Although not all businesses choose to include a POC within their software selection, it may help provide the greatest window into which solution will best meet the needs of the organization. ¬†Although a small piece of the overall project is being used, it still helps give broader visibility into the potential. When looking at BI for the first time, this becomes essential to being able to see the potential of the solution.
Posted April 4, 2011 6:49 PM
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