I often hear a very common statement from clients that has always struck me as interesting. The comment is, I have to use a different technology solution then my rivals, or else how can I possibly gain any advantage?
I find that this reveals a basic flaw in the thinking of end user organizations. The key is not the vendor chosen. Rather it is what you do with that solution.
Now don’t get me wrong. There are definitely right and wrong solutions based on what a client needs for their environment. And some solutions offer capabilities that other don’t, given a user an opportunity to gain an advantage through it’s use. But at the end of the day, it is not the vendor’s solution that is going to determine success or failure. It is the strategy that drives it.
I view it as analogous to a car. Two people may each have a car. In fact, they may have the same car, same year, same options. The key is what each does with that car. One may use it to go to the airport and fly to another country to negotiate a business deal. The second person may use it to deliver meals to shut ins. The car does not determine the usage. It is just an enabler.
Likewise two companies may have the exact same CRM solution. One may use it to produce a robust service environment. Another may be deeply into the analysts and opining from the available data. The two would come to different results. Neither is bound by the fact that their rival uses the same software.
So I advise firms to spend less time worrying about what software a rival uses, and instead spend more time on developing a robust customer strategy. That’s what will determine your success. And it may even make vendor selection easier.