Following is an example of a simple Business scenarios:
- In order to increase it's revenue Business Operations would like to learn more about the customer - to identify opportunities for cross-sell/up-sell.
- They approach their partners - typically their preferred SI and/or their preferred software vendors.
- Depending on the vendor (including SI - their resell relationship with the ISV) they would recommend a Data Warehouse, Business Intelligence, EAI and/or Master Data Management Solution. In addition, they will also be willing to guarantee, typically as a fixed bid, implementation within weeks/months (typically 3 to 6 months).
- Business buys into it - spend the money and a year later had not yet achieved the end-result they were promised.
- Vendors focus on delivering an IT solution (generate the revenue and move on to the next project) instead of solving the business problem
- As part of every engagement - both the SI and ISVs need to insist on conducting a Business workshop (prior to starting the IT implementation).
- Provide real-practical advices - example: for a customer master the vendor typically looks for decision from the business to provide them with direction on where to add the customer - Lead Management, Opportunity Management or Order Management. As the vendors have done multiple implementations - shouldn't they know the best practices in the vertical and recommend the approach?
- SI typically have separate organizations that deal with business transformations and IT (CRM/ERP )implementation teams. Shouldn't every engagement have folks from both the practices at the customer site during the initial stages? Agreed the engagement cost will be a bit higher for the customer - but the value received will be substantial greater than the up-front cost. I for one - would be willing to pay. My problem was that no one approached me with such a proposal. However, I was lucky - my CIO recommended (and funded) that I have a full-time architect(s) from an SI on my team.
The above example is based on my own experience and the case study is available here. As the case study indicates - I had to solve the same problem twice. First implement and learn from my mistakes and then repeat it again later. If we had real advice - we would have got it right the first time.