Tech Selection Tips #8: Target the Right Suppliers

  • 20-Jun-2017

Now that you have a decent understanding of a particular technology marketplace, it's time to identify those suppliers that may potentially meet your needs. Initially, you’ll want to explore as wide a set of potential suppliers as possible, to give yourself the best odds of finding an optimal solution. This is a process of getting to a “long list” first, and then a “short list” of vendors to approach.

Filtering from long to short list

Use Scenario Analysis to Get to Short Lists

Explicitly or not, different tools target different use cases. Any technology platform or product “wants” to behave a certain way. Vendors will boast about omnibus capabilities, but baked in underneath is a vision about how a particular subset of problems gets solved. This reflects a kind of imprinting: the tool’s initial incubators or flagship customers wanted it for those specific use cases. The product might have broadened its scope as it matured, but typically the initial roots remain visible.

The key for you is to match a vendor’s sweet-spot use cases with your specific needs, and the way to do this is via scenario analysis. Think of a scenario as a high-level business use case, like “peer-based customer support” for customer relationship management systems, or “short-form video” for digital asset management technology. Note that these are business uses, and not technical attributes.

How a product's fundamental scenario fit aligns with your intended use cases should be the primary filter when determining your initial short list of vendors to evaluate. Understanding the business scenarios that fit better or worse for the different packages enables you to see deeper into their relative strengths and weaknesses for your particular circumstances.

To see this in action, check out RSG's RealQuadrant decision-support app.

Vendor Filtering Tips

  • The ideal long list is between 8 to 12 vendors; use basic filtering criteria (e.g., geographic footprint) to develop this list.
  • The ideal short list is between 6 to 8 vendors; focus on your use cases to filter this list.
  • Don't lock into a single "tier" of vendors (e.g., high-end, lower-end) at this point.
  • Remember that typically only 33-66% of your short list vendors will respond to your RFP, so cast a wide net.
  • To that end, don't just focus on recognizable, "name" vendors.
  • Do not place a vendor on your list if you are certain they would not constitute a good fit — it's a waste of your time and the vendors' time.

To speed up and reduce risks in your selection process, contact RSG to see how we can make your team more successful.

Other Posts in This Series

Buy the book


Our customers say...

"Every organisation considering portal technology should obtain a copy of the Enterprise Portals Research, to gain access to best-practice approaches and concepts, built up from real-world experience."

James Robertson, Managing Director, Step Two Designs

Other Enterprise Portals posts

There is STILL no such thing as a DXP

  • January 23, 2018

There is no marketplace here, because no enterprise digital leader in her right mind would actually purchase "digital experience" as a platform....

How did our 2017 predictions fare?

  • January 15, 2018

Like every analyst firm RSG makes annual predictions, but uniquely in the industry, we go back each year to evaluate our own prescience....