Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Beyond the Checkbox - Part I

Chris Tyler from Cognos will be joining us for a series of Blogs focused on driving performance for ISVs and OEMs.  We will be publishing his Blogs on Thursdays for the next four weeks.  Chris is a subject matter expert on getting his clients to elevate value to their customers.  

Who should read this?

This document is intended for software vendors (ISV’s) and business process outsourcers (BPO’s) wanting to increase deal size, win more deals and improve customer stickiness by embedding packaged, advanced analytical capabilities as part of their application. 

Why should you read this?

  • The software and outsourcing industries are increasingly competitive businesses and vendors need to continue to innovate cheaper, faster and better than the competition
  • Vendors need to provide thought leadership for their customers and demonstrate unmatched domain expertise
  • ISV’s and BPO’s need to demonstrate rapid, quantifiable ROI
  • According to a 2008 Gartner report, most enterprise reporting and data warehouse projects fail primarily due to the complexity of the data in business systems, vendors      can guide their customers through the complexity

The vendor customer relationship

Every vendor designs, markets and sells its application or services to solve specific problems for its customers.  Here are a few examples.


Value Statements


  • Reduce sales cycle times
  • Increase deal sizes
  • Increase win rates
  • Reduce cost of sales


  • Reduce risk exposure
  • Decrease intrusions
  • Improve Data Governance and Compliance

Human Capital Management

  • Decrease attrition rates of high value employees
  • Improve employee satisfaction
  • Properly manage talent pool
  • Increase successful recruiting rates

Vendors are engaged by prospects to address their specific business pains.  Through the sales cycle, the prospect will generally evaluate multiple vendors for a match to their needs.  The vendor will demonstrate software capabilities and possibly prove out concepts that will provide the prospect with comfort that the vendor will meet their needs.  The prospect will select the vendor and the two parties will set off on a journey to start solving problems. 

Through the installation and implementation process, the solution is tailored for the customer, the users are trained on how to get maximum benefits, and the customer is taught how to maintain the application.  Once the solution is implemented, what happens?  The customer is happy with the solution; their users punch all the buttons and they just enjoy seeing the applications do stuff?  Sure, but the customer needs some sort of proof that the application is solving their problems.  They need reports!

About the author

Chris Tyler has been working for the past 4+ years with Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) and Business Process Outsourcers (BPO’s) to help them address the specific needs of embedding BI into their platforms.  He has seen some great successes and some dismal failures.  Some commonalities with the successes are that the vendor delivering the application actually put some thought and intellectual property into their content.  The failures typically did not.

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