About to go on a rant…a rant about marketing speak. I guess this isn’t the first time I’ve done this. I guess what is probably frustrating for me is that seemingly a lot of people swoon and end up in a trance at the horse and pony show a lot of companies produce. "Yes, oh great company [read, marketing organization], I do need a real-time collaborative knowledge management portal…I’ve never used those phrase in my life until now, but I’m sure I need that." You know what? What people really need are easy-to-use tools that provide information that people can take action on and make improvements to their organizations. Maybe I’m just too pragmatic in my approach.
Unfortunately, I think too many people pour money into things that don’t actually solve the problems that they have in the first place, or that will really deliver the business results that they need. [Side bar: I guess I’m guilty sometimes, too…I almost made the plunge into a time-share that we could not realistically taken advantage of…but they key is: almost.] Scott Whitlock has an example (if his blog hasn’t moved yet) about pouring good money after bad.
The VP at one of my clients tells a great story every time I bring other potential clients in to see there company. "Give me the $2 million you were to spend on the ERP package you were going to buy, I’ll kick you in the shins because that’s how implementation would have felt, and then go buy Thrive instead." (for obvious reasons I’m a little biased in why I like this quote). While blunt, his point is of course that unfortunately many organizations do fall for the lure the dressed-up sales speak thrown around big systems. Of course, we all know how Kevin Meyer feels about this as well.
I have a lot of feelings about ERPs, but here’s my current favorite visual about enterprise applications (from Go Big Always):
So what do people need? Well let’s start with why in the world would you collect data to begin with? People want to know where the problems are. We need to know that something went wrong (or that things are going well). We need feedback. We need to know where the opportunities lie. And then people want to be able to manage the process of improvement and see results later that they did indeed reach the desired target.
I guess if you do this through integrated and browser-based portal rationalization systems that non-intrusively collect data from disparate sources and provide real-time, resource multiplying, supply chain enhancing solutions, then more power to you.