Posted by: Adam Deane | 10/03/2010

BPM: Influencing BPMS Vendors

influencing bpms vendorsJon Pyke in his last article “Anyone got anything new?” said “BPM is far too important a topic to leave in the hands of product vendors”.

I agree. I know that there are many people out there with ideas on how BPM should be done.

These are my tips on getting your message through to the BPMS vendors:

Influence the BPMS management

The two key people to target are the BPMS’s CEO and CTO.
One is in charge of the business side and the other – technology.

1. Write an article (for example: “BPM Trends” , “The future of BPM”, “BPM Roadmap”)
2. Add links in the article to all the BPMS vendor websites (All vendors have Google alerts set to their company name)
3. Write the article using an easy to understand checklist. Leave out all the mumble jumble.
4. State the reasons why they should buy into the concept. Use the stick and carrot approach:

  • CEOs: Carrot – Explain why the concept will generate more revenue and business benefits.
  • CEOs: Stick – Explain why using the concept will prevent problems (“rework”, “not industry standard” “not compliant” )
  • CTOs – Carrot – “cutting edge technology” “technology differentiator”, “must have”
  • CTOs – Stick – “Lagging behind”, “clunky”, “in a couple of years this technology will be obsolete”, “not user friendly”

5. Repeat your main point at the end of the article (people usually jump to the end to read the closing point)
6. Articulate. Don’t expect them to call you for clarification or follow up.
7. Don’t overwhelm – one or two “life-changing” concepts are digestible. More than that – you’ll lose them.

Influence the influencer

You don’t have to be an analyst to influence vendors.
Years ago, one of our potential customers said that he heard about us from a consulting company.
From that moment – that company was one of the “voices” that we followed.
It’s not because they are a leading consulting & analyst company. It’s because they can affect our sales cycle.
And if a potential customer will ever say to me that they read about us in the “Huffington Post”, I can promise you that I will be listening carefully to anything “Huffington Post” say about BPM.
It sounds a bit shallow, but the logic is simple: anyone that can affect a sales cycle must be listened to carefully.

Ask for a product briefing

Most BPMS vendors do regular product briefings to analyst and consulting companies, and are more than happy to show their product, discuss and hear input. Again, the logic is simple: people in the BPM community speak to potential customers. Anyone that can affect a sales cycle will be listened to carefully. Don’t be shy.

Don’t preach to the converted

Get out of your comfort zone.
For example: If you believe everyone should convert to BPMN – do your preaching in non-BPMN forums and conferences.
Don’t be afraid to raise your opinion. Be polite, but pay no attention to those who try to knock you down. The people you want to convince are actually the quiet ones that listen quietly to what you have said and start doing their homework by themselves.

“It’s not that I don’t have opinions, rather that I’m not paid to think aloud.”

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