Customer Experience vs Technology Excellence in BI


Dennis Howlett posted this today and was the first thing I read today morning.
http://diginomica.com/2013/09/25/user-experience-trumps-technical-excellence-gartner-bi-reports/
He and I also had a quick google hangout on this topic – and I thought I might as well add a few comments here.

First – Customer Experience and Technology Excellence should not be looked up on as mutually exclusive things.
For short term, they can be mutually exclusive – but certainly not for mid to long term.
They are both needed for a viable solution – BI or otherwise.

Second – I have no arguments that new generation BI tools focussed heavily on CX and were amply rewarded for that by customers directly, and by investment community indirectly. Valuation of these companies are many multiples above incumbent vendors – as a ratio of market cap to revenue. And rightfully so – they opened up a new battlefront and used that advantage to the fullest. I applaud them.

Third – For a second, I don’t believe that this is detrimental to incumbents. The big companies have work to do to up their innovation game – and from what I see, that is being taken care of already. Even better, at least where I work – there are serious product plans on leapfrogging over the new competitors and disrupting their game. of course it all depends on execution – but I am betting on good execution this time.

Big companies have many things going for them – large footprint of loyal customers and partners, steady revenue (yes, including maintenance ), large R&D and sales force and so on. Smaller companies don’t have these luxuries. But on the other hand – these keeps the smaller vendors very focused on execution.

Four – although there are a few cases where new vendors are replacing existing vendors, in most customers the new solutions are strictly additive. They continue to use their classic systems because they are rock solid – and for the last mile usecases, they resort to the new tools. Large vendors of course would like to get a part of this action too – and have their work cut out.

Five – Analyst reports like Gartner MQ use aggregate data. With larger vendors, there is always the risk of the older technology being the larger part of their footprint. When customers on older versions get interviewed, they can only answer based on what they have. What was great CX last decade probably sucks this year. And this will skew the data in awkward ways for the larger vendors. No on-premises company can force upgrades down a customer’s throat. SaaS vendors have a definite advantage on this front.

There are a few more, but time is up and I have to run to my day job and make a cool new announcement 🙂

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One thought on “Customer Experience vs Technology Excellence in BI

  1. Pingback: Enterprise hits & misses - week ending Sept 27 #ensw

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