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On Choosing a Vendor

Blog: Process Cafe

ThinkingWe’ve spoken before about the criteria companies use to chose a BPM vendor, but I want to revisit this in light of conversations I’ve been having recently with vendors.

The fact of the matter is that there are a large number of vendors on the market with products that are not differentiated to any great extent from the others on the market (no names, as that is not the point of this post).

Sure, they have the odd bell or whistle that might be useful to one organisation (or part of an organisation), so the differentiator is not in the software itself.

So what is it that a company will/should look for when looking at vendors where the product itself is not a differentiator.

As examples I’ve spoken to vendors who cite their excellent after-sales service as a differentiator. Also vendors who use the fact that they are small and responsive as a great selling point. Others point to their training offerings, Gartner approbation and other things as reasons why you would want to look at them rather than the competition.

Of course price will certainly be a differentiator for many companies. If your product costs peanuts (The ‘Microsoft Visio’ approach), you can put thousands of copies into an organisation and use other means to get your main income (consulting, training etc). On the other hand if you are selling a product that has a substantial cost per license, and the company needs many licences to make a project worthwhile, you are  looking at an uphill struggle in many cases to sell your product. But there are companies in this situation at the moment and they seem to be selling a substantial number of copies of their product to both large and small organisation around the world.

See here’ my question: What are the differentiators you would look at when choosing your software provider for BPM software?

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