June 9, 2021

When Purchasing takes back control of its tools

By Patrick Chabannes

Although exciting, the landscape of purchasing IS solutions remains complex and fragmented, resulting in calls for tender that are still too high for both publishers and their prospects. Buyers; reduce costs and make information more reliable by standardized it in your Associations. Ideas for sandardization: the published roadmap, standardized functional and technical questionnaires, evaluation of software vendors, shared cybersecurity tests… 

What if editors published their product roadmap to the professional associations?

Wouldn’t it be the role of the purchasing function, rather than the analysts, to be aware of the editors’ vision? Wouldn’t it be fair for the execution of the roadmap at three, six and nine months to be published to the representatives of the purchasing function? Their members, prospects or clients, regardless of their purchasing turnover, would be more likely to trust documents distributed to the entire profession to build their digital strategy.  And if, as is only natural, the product roadmap calendar should vary, there is no doubt that this will be in the interest of the profession, which needs vision and execution more than ever.

Why shouldn’t the purchasing function standardise the RFP SI purchasing questionnaires?

The questionnaires and Excel spreadsheets sent to vendors at RFI or RFP occasions asking them about their strategy, their company, cybersecurity and all the functionalities they are able to cover, involve on the one hand a mutual waste of time and on the other hand a reduction in attention on the key points relating to your specific needs. Of course, large accounts can afford to hire expensive consultancy firms to provide the content that publishers will spend countless hours working on. 

What if trade associations used the resources of their members to standardize these documents. Then it would be enough to ask publishers twice a year to answer the common questionnaire. Consequences: reduced costs for the parties, access to information for our ETIs, more complete and coherent data and the ability to focus on the major issues: the postulate of the project with its specific and priority questions, the conduct of POC (Proof of Concept), the analysis of the administration of the solution and the identification of the impact on business gestures, a necessary prerequisite for effective change management with adoption as the primary criterion for success. 

What if, tomorrow, an evaluation of the different solutions of the editors were launched among the buyers in France?

The treatment of bugs and SLAs has often left me dreaming. Of course, software is a work of art, a product of business and technical intelligence that is always in motion. And unless you don’t touch it anymore, malfunctioning is inevitable, whatever the tests implemented. What troubles me is that the reported bug tickets and their handling process remain in a relationship between the editor and a specific customer, while the sales people sell you a standard solution with a unique code. Not only should all customers of the same vendor be aware of all open tickets but, ultimately, this information should be shared with trade associations to showcase the good craftsmen of the software industry.

Cybersecurity tests carried out jointly by the Buyers of France would reduce costs and risks.

These are not the only subjects that can be dealt with jointly: cybersecurity tests, the quality of updates, the administration load, the ability to integrate in a connected world or the real functional capacities of the supplier repository are all subjects that require transparency, sharing and collaboration in order to offer the Purchasing Function in the public and private sectors, in large companies as well as in small and medium-sized enterprises, tools that are commensurate with the challenges they face.

Lectori salutem, Patrick Chabannes
“In an age of universal deception, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. G Orwell in 1984.