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The strategy gap lavaraging thechnology to execute winning strategies - Goveney M.

Goveney M. The strategy gap lavaraging thechnology to execute winning strategies - Wiley & sons , 2003. - 242 p.
ISBN 0-471-21450-7
Download (direct link): thestrategygapleveraging2003.pdf
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The “build” or “buy” choice will depend on each organization’s circumstances and must be considered carefully. The balance of this chapter provides guidance for organizations that decide to purchase a CPM package.
Once the project scope has been fully developed, the organization— especially someone from the implementation team—must critically evaluate vendors. This is no time to make a decision on gut instinct. After all, most vendors are highly adept at presenting their solutions in the best possible light. To choose the solution that will truly meet the organization’s business needs, the team must base its selection on knowing the facts about the product being offered and how it will be implemented within the organization. The evaluation process should include vendor research, product research, detailed evaluation, assessing implementation effort, negotiation, and vendor selection.
Vendor Research
A number of organizations provide advice and information about CPM solution vendors, ranging from specialized finance magazines to industry analysts who review and publish findings on vendor solutions. Be
Implementing a Corporate Performance Management Solution
aware that vendors themselves influence most free sources of information. Management consultancies will carry out evaluations on behalf of an organization for a suitable fee, but the organization needs to investigate whether the consultancy has strategic alliances with particular vendors. Always be aware that recommendations may not be as impartial as one might expect.
According to Gartner, software vendors promoting CPM solutions fall into four categories:
1. Traditional business intelligence vendors. These vendors are strong on enabling people to access data but have limited experience when it comes to supporting business processes.
2. Niche or specialty vendors. These vendors concentrate on one particular process, such as budgeting or consolidation. Because of their narrow focus, they typically cannot support true CPM.
3. Integration or ERP vendors. These vendors are making huge investments in CPM but tend to be limited by the complexity and closed architecture of their existing solutions.
4. Hybrid vendors. These vendors combine their process expertise with a general business intelligence (BI) platform. This group is also making large investments in CPM, but developments tend to be restricted by the vendor’s size.
Potential vendors must be committed to CPM and provide a proven, modern solution. To establish this, ask these questions:
• What is their background? Do they have expertise and a proven, positive history in the area of CPM, or are they just jumping on the bandwagon?
• Did they develop the solution they are selling, or are they partnering with someone else? Partnerships can break down, so examine and assess support arrangements and commitments. How do they resolve support issues when it is not clear in which product the problem occurs?
• How long has the solution been around? Is it an old solution that is about to be replaced? Will the product still be around five years from now? Many vendors are in the process of replacing their old, discrete solutions with those designed for CPM, so find out which product is being offered.
• Do they use current technologies? In other words, find out whether they use web protocols and mainstream database technologies. What is the vendor’s vision for future platform support?
The Strategy Gap
In the past, have they successfully migrated customers from one technology to another?
• What do industry analysts say about a vendor and its product? Who are the vendor’s customers, and what do they say about the solution?
• Can the vendors support us? Do they operate where the users are located? Can they support us internationally in local languages and at any time of day or week? Do they have an appropriate number of experienced staff? There is no value in having the best solution when it cannot be supported or has a limited life.
Product Research and Detailed Evaluation
Most vendors provide overviews of their applications via a web site, brochure, seminar, or personal demonstration. The organization’s objective here is to see, at a summary level, which vendors are best able to meet its requirements and should be the subjects of a more detailed evaluation.
Once the list has been narrowed down and vendors have been invited to speak about their products, organizations should beware of vendors that arrive armed with canned demonstrations. Naturally, such a demonstration will show the vendor’s strengths but may not reveal how the solution will—or will not—address the organization’s business problems. Instead of agreeing to view a canned presentation, inform the vendor about the basic business needs as described in the project scope document. Ask for a demonstration on how a given solution will meet those specific needs. A good vendor will respect an organization’s time and get straight to the point.
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