by Scott Nelson | August 3, 2011 | Comments Off on What Vendors Are Glad Users Didn’t Know (Until Now)
Yesterday I wrote about what I learned when I was a vendor. I looked at it from the point of view of what vendors wished their clients new. To be fair, today I talk about what I learned that vendors don’t want you to know. You could call these dirty little secrets.
Just imagine what it would be like if user organizations and vendors were completely open and honest — no lies, no miscommunications, and no failed implementations due to a sales process that over-promised and under-delivered. However, that is not going to happen, and there are a few secrets that enterprises need to be aware of as they evaluate the products offered in the market. Vendors are not likely to tell you these secrets, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them to your advantage.
Secret No. 3:“Featuritis” is not driven by a plan or by clients, but by the competition.
Software is plagued by a tendency to squeeze ever-more features into a product that doesn’t really need them. In many cases, clients cannot, and will not, ever use all of this functionality, but they will still have to pay for it. Hence, the vendor’s sales tactic is to show how responsive the vendor is to the client. The reality is that most of these features were put in not as part of a strategic product plan, or even as the result of user requests, but in response to something in a rival’s product.
Since this featuritis is a reactionary effort made in response to the market, it is often poorly thought out, and in many cases, destabilizing for the application itself. This is a reality that is not likely to change, so enterprises should try to remain active in working with vendors on their future product plans and try to influence vendors to do meaningful updates, rather than mere market reactions to the competition. In addition, clients should try to negotiate deals that only require them to pay for features they really need and use.
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