When choosing the most appropriate technology vendor, B2B organizations often become so focused on features and functionality that they overlook two critical components: viability and vision. Vendors that are more established and ambitious will be more capable of supporting advanced states of skills and process.
A Longer-Term Vision
Vendors often have gaps in their architecture and go-to-market roadmaps, which makes their vision for addressing these gaps critical. Bridging capability gaps may necessitate collaborative agreements with other vendors. A longer-term vision will initially require internal development and/or acquisition, followed by subsequent tight integration into a core platform. Another critical component is determining the source of the vendor’s vision. For example: Is it reflective of an all-powerful CEO whose overall vision permeates the organization’s corporate culture, or does it represent the vendor’s long-standing core beliefs and values?
The Viability Factor
A vendor’s market position and experience are also important, including longevity, financial health, size, management, customer references, industries penetrated and the strength of its partner network. These factors drive credibility and confidence that the vendor will be around for the long term and continue to aggressively support its offerings. The dynamics of the vendor’s organization (e.g. level of sales and marketing alignment), along with an ability to demonstrate transparency and ethical operations, are additional factors to consider.