Understanding the market more broadly…attaining BI value by looking beyond BI vendorsTuesday, July 23, 2013 11:05
Although most of my role centers around research and advisory services, I also enjoy spending time onsite to help organizations get started with their BI implementations and strategies going forward. One of the things that I find interesting is that in addition to the fact that many SMBs are confused about the market place due to the amount of noise and marketing messages, all of the options are not presented. What this means is that in addition to vendor offerings, each vendor has partners with integrated offerings or solutions targeted towards specific business needs or industry verticals. In addition, broader technology access, cloud computing, and flexible pricing models lead to more diversity in deployment models. Unless an organization is specifically looking for this type of solution or researches the partner page of a BI vendor website, the breadth of solutions available may not be obvious.
Essentially, the market is changing. Trends such as cloud and mobile make BI more accessible to the mid-market. But partners also provide out of the box value for organizations looking for targeted solutions. A recent video, Evolving with Analytics, highlights this fact with IBM partners talking about the value they bring to customers. This value is independent of vendor and is specific to the type of solution and what an organization is hoping to achieve. For instance, in some cases, an organization is looking for a retail or healthcare application that doesn’t have to be created from scratch. This is especially true with organizations needing to leverage specific types of data or looking for add-ons to their operational solutions that expand beyond the reporting offered.
For SMBs specifically, this means that software evaluations falling short might just be a case of not having the extra insight to know which additional partner offerings exist or how to get the most out of a vendor partnership in general. Sometimes it involves conducting a more thorough evaluation or asking the right questions. Or it might involve working with current solution providers to understand which BI vendors they work with and what partnerships exist, as each partner will leverage data and provide analytics a little differently.
Whether or not leveraging partners is the way to go for a specific organization, the reality is that most SMBs should still start looking more broadly at the market to understand their options and learn about how they can leverage ready made applications.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.