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“Can You Believe the Vendors DID THAT?” by Debbie Wilson

by Debbie Wilson  |  February 22, 2019  |  Comments Off on “Can You Believe the Vendors DID THAT?” by Debbie Wilson

Its only February and I’ve already had multiple conversations this year with analysts on my team who are frustrated over something a vendor in their space did.  Vendors fail to develop their channel partners; they fail to leverage their success in one segment into success with another, even when their clients want and need them to; they fail to be as customer-centric as they aspire.  It’s sometimes really difficult to watch vendors do things (or not do things!) that we know will trouble end users and disrupt markets. 

It’s important however to remember that every business (and government for that matter) does things that make stakeholders gaze in astonished disappointment.  Everyone makes mistakes.  Even when we know what we need to do, we find that cultural barriers, politics and competing goals make it challenging to do the right thing.  No organization or person is immune from the laws of human nature, and that means we all let each other and our customers down.

What do we do analysts do when we are deeply frustrated?  We give open, honest, unvarnished feedback to our vendors when they request it.  We do this in private.  When end users ask for our opinion on a vendor or market, we give it, straight up, not sugar-coated, again in private.

What we DON’T do is engage in inflammatory research or blog posts.

Hot, emotional writing can generate a lot of traffic, and as the writer, it can feel really good to get some frustration out on paper.  But provocative, critical comments about vendors – expressed too strongly, out of context, or lacking balance with the good things vendors are doing – just stirs up the water.  Provocative, critical comments often lack actionable advice for stakeholders, which means the writing is venting instead of being helpful.

One of the many reasons I am proud to work at Gartner is that our mission is so uplifting.  We are happiest when a market has great vendors with terrific products and happy customers who achieve their mission critical priorities.  Our work focuses on making markets more productive.  And when vendors frustrate us – we strive to engage with the stakeholders in a professional, caring way.

Category: applications  erp  

Deborah R Wilson
Managing Vice President, ERP Strategy Team
12 years at Gartner
20 years IT industry

Deborah Wilson, a recovering Gartner research analyst, leads the Gartner ERP strategy research team. Read Full Bio




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