Will Booz Allen Hamilton Tell You Who Has the Best Forecasting Software?

Question: Will Booz Allen Hamilton Tell You Who Has the Best Forecasting Software?

The Advice that Booz Allen Hamilton Gives

Enterprise software buyers go to Booz Allen Hamilton because they are supposedly “experts” in many topics, including enterprise software and supply chain planning. It is true that Booz Allen Hamilton has many consultants with many years of experience in these topics. However, when we evaluate the forecasting software that Booz Allen Hamilton recommends to its clients, it is uniformly the software from the large and expensive software vendors like SAP and Oracle. However, these applications (neither the forecasting functionality in SAP ECC/R/3 or Oracle JD Edwards Enterprise One, nor in the specialized forecasting applications of SAP DP, and Oracle Demantra) scores well in our tests. In fact in our view, one of these applications could not even exist as an independent product and perpetually leaves clients unable to perform what we consider basic forecasting functions – much less the advanced functions that we consider necessary to achieve the forecast accuracy that buyers desire. These functions are covered in the book Supply Chain Forecasting Software.

In fact, our research shows that buyers are seriously hamstrung in improving forecast accuracy because of the predominance of low quality forecasting applications. However, excellent forecasting applications do exist.

Where Can You Find These Applications?

Unfortunately, the best forecasting software resides primarily with software vendors that do not offer the major consulting companies their consulting business to Booz Allen Hamilton in return for Booz Allen Hamilton recommending their software to their clients. If you want to evaluate or purchase these superior and lower TCO applications, you should expect resistance from your consulting partner. This is because they only want you to purchase software that they have resources trained up on and ready to bill hours – regardless of whether this is either the right software for you, or even good software.

Being Cognizant of Reasons Booz Allen Hamilton will Give You

Common reasons Booz Allen Hamilton will give is that this software is not “integrated to SAP or Oracle,” when our research shows that integration is a small portion of the overall TCO of any enterprise software implementation. Far more important is the functionality of the application, its usability, how difficult is to implement and its maintenance costs. As the graphic below shows, our research over many applications reveals where the costs are incurred, and maintenance costs are preeminent.

The costs above are truly “total.” We include the internal as well as the external costs for both implementation and support. For details on our TCO method, see the book Enterprise Software TCO: Calculating and Using Total Cost of Ownership for Decision Making.

Our Analysis Results

Selecting an application because it is integrated (which in fact most SAP and Oracle applications are not much more integrated than non-SAP and Oracle applications, as they almost all have adapters.), is simply poor decision-making.

Understanding Booz Allen Hamilton’s Institutional Structure

However, Booz Allen Hamilton is not working off of any research orientation, but is simply attempting to steer it’s clients into purchasing the application that makes Booz Allen Hamilton the most money, and they will come up with any argument necessary in order to achieve this objective, including providing misinformation about the applications they are “recommending.”

Controlling for Bias

It is not necessary to accept such biased advice. However biased advice is quite standard in enterprise software. In fact, it is the identical issue to financial information, where the advisers are incentivized to lead their clients to investments that make the most money for the financial advisor.

It is reasonable to expect better, but before selecting a source of information, it is essential to set the criteria which control for bias and results in the selection of sources that have their client’s interests as a primary concern — and few entities that offer enterprise software advice do. We propose the following criteria:

  1. Controlling for Bias: The source must be financially unbiased. That is the source must not financially benefit from their client’s decisions. Consulting companies break this rule when they perform both software selection as well as software implementation — as most of the money resides in the software implementation. If their clients choose the software, they have consultants ready to bill in they make substantially more money than if the client goes in a different direction. IT analyst break this rule when they market services to software vendors while selling research to buyers. Both are seriously financially biased — casting considerable doubt on their recommendations.
  2. Transparency: Major consulting companies receive the consulting business in return for their recommendation to specific vendors, but hide this from their clients. IT analysts are quiet about the services they sell to vendors that they then rate. Clients are never told this explicitly by these entities, and these entities prefer not to divulge their conflicts of interest. They should not have these conflicts in the first place, but at the very least they must list these conflicts prominently on their websites.
  3. Independence of Though: The source must have the confidence to recommend not merely large brands, but must be able to recommend the right application and vendor based upon their merits.
  4. The Importance of a Research Basis to Support Contentions: The source must produce or at least reference actual research. Anecdotes are easy to come by and are primarily what the major consulting companies offer. However, they perform no analysis to support their anecdotes. Many of the anecdotes presented by major consulting companies turned out to be false when scrutinized and compared with research. This was shown conclusively for the topic of ERP in the book The Real Story Behind ERP: Separating Fact from Fiction. The research follows specific and rigorous rules, and if these rules are not adhered to than it is not valid research. These rules, and how one enterprise software entity which claims to perform research are explained in detail in the book by Gartner and the Magic Quadrant: A Guide for Buyers, Vendors, Investors. In this book, they are compared against university research, The RAND Corporation, and Consumer Reports.
  5. No Focus on Profit Maximization: If the only dedication of an information source is making money, the advice provided will be biased and of poor quality. The financial advisory area also demonstrates this irrefutably. This is why most of the research in the US and internationally come out of universities which are non-profit.

How to Improve Outcomes

Enterprise software decision making is in a poor state. Implementation failure rates continue to be high, and the major advisory firms continue to dispense exceedingly poor advice. The relationship between the business users and the business with IT is strained at the vast majority of companies, and companies are not able to come anywhere close to leveraging the potential of enterprise software. In areas ranging from forecasting to finance & accounting, companies pay far too much for underperforming software. The most prominent enterprise software advisers are the most to blame for this state of affairs — and it primarily comes down to their financial bias. They make more money when their clients make bad decision. They have no financial incentive to help them make good decisions.

Reasonable Expectations

One cannot expect to receive intelligently selected software, an effective planned implementation, risk-appropriate software or a low maintenance solution relying upon biased sources of information that place their interests ahead of your own – and who approach every question from the perspective of “how can we make more money from their decision?

Getting The Real Story

You get the real story about vendors, and information technology trends per software category, without any connection to some line of business. There is no one manipulating the data to steer you into a decision that maximizes their some organizational incentive program. That is called getting the real story.

Research is Our Only Business

We perform serious research, and research is our only business. We provide both written explanations, but many calculators and estimators to empower you to come to your own conclusions (see below).

Enterprise Software Estimation Database

We maintain the largest and most accurate enterprise software estimation database in the world. Unlike companies that provide research only to begin a consulting relationship, our calculators are self-service. We have 0% financial bias and are not focused on profit maximization. Therefore, we can afford to perform actual research. Our research offerings can be reviewed from the menu above or from the table below.

Questions?

If you have any questions, contact us with the contact form to the right.

Analytical Products

LinkDescription
Honest Vendor RatingsSoftware vendors rated on innovation, reliability, etc.
Software Category AnalysisHigh level analysis of covered software categories
MUFI Ratings & RiskOur application ratings & risk estimation
Project Planning PackagesInteractive calculator providing FTE, duration, finish date estimates.
Enterprise Software TCO CalculatorsInteractive TCO calculation; software costs, hardware costs, implementation costs & maintenance costs.
Solution Architecture PackagesCost comparisons between different solution architectures.

Will Cap Gemini Consulting Tell You Who Has the Best Production Scheduling Software?

Question: Will Cap Gemini Consulting Tell You Who Has the Best Production Scheduling Software?

The Advice that Cap Gemini Gives on Production Scheduling

Enterprise software buyers go to Cap Gemini because they are supposedly “experts” in many topics, including enterprise software and production scheduling. It is true that Cap Gemini has many consultants with many years of experience in these topics. However, when we evaluate the production scheduling software that Cap Gemini recommends to its clients, it is uniformly the software from the large and expensive software vendors like SAP and Oracle. However, these applications (neither the production scheduling functionality in SAP ECC/R/3 or Oracle JD Edwards Enterprise One, nor in the specialized production scheduling applications of SAP PP/DS, and Oracle Production Scheduling) scores well in our tests. Advanced production scheduling systems were introduced in the mid-1990’s, yet few buyers can differentiate between good and poor quality applications – and they get no help from Cap Gemini in this endeavor.

Where Can You Find These Applications?

Unfortunately, the best production scheduling software resides primarily with software vendors that do not offer the major consulting companies their consulting business to Cap Gemini in return for Cap Gemini recommending their software to their clients. If you want to evaluate or purchase these superior and lower TCO applications, you should expect resistance from your consulting partner. This is because they only want you to purchase software that they have resources trained up on and ready to bill hours – regardless of whether this is either the right software for you, or even good software. However, for companies that have process industry requirements, this means they will have software recommended to them that does not meet their requirements. The commonality of this problem is explained in detail in the book Process Industry Manufacturing Software: ERP, Planning, Recipe, MES & Process Control.

Being Cognizant of Reasons Cap Gemini will Give You

Common reasons Cap Gemini will give is that this software is not “integrated to SAP or Oracle,” when our research shows that integration is a small portion of the overall TCO of any enterprise software implementation. Far more important is the functionality of the application, its usability, how difficult is to implement and its maintenance costs. As the graphic below shows, our research over many applications reveals where the costs are incurred, and maintenance costs are preeminent.

The Results of Our Analysis

Selecting an application because it is integrated (which in fact most SAP and Oracle applications are not much more integrated than non-SAP and Oracle applications, as they almost all have adapters.), is simply poor decision making.

Understanding Cap Gemini’s Institutional Structure

However, Cap Gemini is not working off of any research orientation, but is instead steering it’s clients into purchasing the application that makes Cap Gemini the most money, and they will come up with any argument necessary in order to achieve this objective, including providing misinformation about the applications they are “recommending.”

Controlling for Bias

It is not necessary to accept such biased advice. However biased advice is quite standard in enterprise software. In fact, it is the identical issue to financial information, where the advisers are incentivized to lead their clients to investments that make the most money for the financial advisor.

It is reasonable to expect better, but before selecting a source of information, it is essential to set the criteria which control for bias and results in the selection of sources that have their client’s interests as a primary concern — and few entities that offer enterprise software advice do. We propose the following criteria:

  1. Controlling for Bias: The source must be financially unbiased. That is the source must not financially benefit from their client’s decisions. Consulting companies break this rule when they perform both software selection as well as software implementation — as most of the money resides in the software implementation. If their clients choose the software, they have consultants ready to bill in they make substantially more money than if the client goes in a different direction. IT analyst break this rule when they market services to software vendors while selling research to buyers. Both are seriously financially biased — casting considerable doubt on their recommendations.
  2. Transparency: Major consulting companies receive the consulting business in return for their recommendation to specific vendors, but hide this from their clients. IT analysts are quiet about the services they sell to vendors that they then rate. Clients are never told this explicitly by these entities, and these entities prefer not to divulge their conflicts of interest. They should not have these conflicts in the first place, but at the very least they must list these conflicts prominently on their websites.
  3. Independence of Though: The source must have the confidence to recommend not merely large brands, but must be able to recommend the right application and vendor based upon their merits.
  4. The Importance of a Research Basis to Support Contentions: The source must produce or at least reference actual research. Anecdotes are easy to come by and are primarily what the major consulting companies offer. However, they perform no analysis to support their anecdotes. Many of the anecdotes presented by major consulting companies turned out to be false when scrutinized and compared with research. This was shown conclusively for the topic of ERP in the book The Real Story Behind ERP: Separating Fact from Fiction. The research follows specific and rigorous rules, and if these rules are not adhered to than it is not valid research. These rules, and how one enterprise software entity which claims to perform research are explained in detail in the book by Gartner and the Magic Quadrant: A Guide for Buyers, Vendors, Investors. In this book, they are compared against university research, The RAND Corporation, and Consumer Reports.
  5. No Focus on Profit Maximization: If the only dedication of an information source is making money, the advice provided will be biased and of poor quality. The financial advisory area also demonstrates this irrefutably. This is why most of the research in the US and internationally come out of universities which are non-profit.

How to Improve Outcomes

Enterprise software decision making is in a poor state. Implementation failure rates continue to be high, and the major advisory firms continue to dispense exceedingly poor advice. The relationship between the business users and the business with IT is strained at the vast majority of companies, and companies are not able to come anywhere close to leveraging the potential of enterprise software. In areas ranging from forecasting to finance & accounting, companies pay far too much for underperforming software. The most prominent enterprise software advisers are the most to blame for this state of affairs — and it primarily comes down to their financial bias. They make more money when their clients make bad decision. They have no financial incentive to help them make good decisions.

Reasonable Expectations

One cannot expect to receive intelligently selected software, an effective planned implementation, risk-appropriate software or a low maintenance solution relying upon biased sources of information that place their interests ahead of your own – and who approach every question from the perspective of “how can we make more money from their decision?

Getting The Real Story

You get the real story about vendors, and information technology trends per software category, without any connection to some line of business. There is no one manipulating the data to steer you into a decision that maximizes their some organizational incentive program. That is called getting the real story.

Research is Our Only Business

We perform serious research, and research is our only business. We provide both written explanations, but many calculators and estimators to empower you to come to your own conclusions (see below).

Enterprise Software Estimation Database

We maintain the largest and most accurate enterprise software estimation database in the world. Unlike companies that provide research only to begin a consulting relationship, our calculators are self-service. We have 0% financial bias and are not focused on profit maximization. Therefore, we can afford to perform actual research. Our research offerings can be reviewed from the menu above or from the table below.

Questions?

If you have any questions, contact us with the contact form to the right.

Analytical Products

LinkDescription
Honest Vendor RatingsSoftware vendors rated on innovation, reliability, etc.
Software Category AnalysisHigh level analysis of covered software categories
MUFI Ratings & RiskOur application ratings & risk estimation
Project Planning PackagesInteractive calculator providing FTE, duration, finish date estimates.
Enterprise Software TCO CalculatorsInteractive TCO calculation; software costs, hardware costs, implementation costs & maintenance costs.
Solution Architecture PackagesCost comparisons between different solution architectures.

Will Accenture Tell You Who Has the Best Supply Chain Solutions?

Question: Will Accenture Tell You Who Has the Best Supply Chain Solutions?

The Advice that Accenture Gives on Supply Chain Solutions

Enterprise software buyers go to Accenture because they are supposedly “experts” in many topics, including supply chain solutions. It is true that Accenture has many consultants with many years of experience in these topics. However, when we evaluate the supply chain solutions that Accenture recommends to its clients, it is uniformly the software from the large and expensive software vendors like SAP and Oracle. However, the supply chain solutions functionality in SAP ERP ECC/R/3 or Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne is a recipe for inefficiency. SAP and Oracle’s advanced planning suites lag other vendors in supply chain management the market and have very high maintenance costs. However, Accenture’s clients don’t know this, they keep recommending these supply chain solutions regardless of its competitiveness or appropriateness to their “client” needs. Capabilities that companies should be asking for are outlined in Supply Chain Forecasting Software and Supply Planning with MRP/DRP and APS Software. However, Accenture recommends software that can only provide the necessary capabilities at the highest overheads. Many of the applications recommended are of such high overhead that its quite common to find them in a state of disrepair post implementation and after Accenture has left the project.

Where Can You Find The Best Supply Chain Solutions?

Unfortunately, the best supply chain solutions resides primarily with software vendors that do not offer the major consulting companies their consulting business to Accenture in return for Accenture recommending their software to their clients. If you want to evaluate or purchase these superior and lower TCO applications, you should expect resistance from your consulting partner. This is because they only want you to purchase software that they have resources trained up on and ready to bill hours – regardless of whether this is either the right software for you, or even good software.

Understanding Accenture’s Institutional Structure

However, Accenture is not working off of any research orientation, but is instead steering it’s clients into purchasing the application that makes Accenture the most money, and they will come up with any argument necessary in order to achieve this objective, including providing misinformation about the applications they are “recommending.”

Controlling for Bias

It is not necessary to accept such biased advice. However biased advice is quite standard in enterprise software. In fact, it is the identical issue to financial information, where the advisers are incentivized to lead their clients to investments that make the most money for the financial advisor.

It is reasonable to expect better, but before selecting a source of information, it is essential to set the criteria which control for bias and results in the selection of sources that have their client’s interests as a primary concern — and few entities that offer enterprise software advice do. We propose the following criteria:

  1. Controlling for Bias: The source must be financially unbiased. That is the source must not financially benefit from their client’s decisions. Consulting companies break this rule when they perform both software selection as well as software implementation — as most of the money resides in the software implementation. If their clients choose the software, they have consultants ready to bill in they make substantially more money than if the client goes in a different direction. IT analyst break this rule when they market services to software vendors while selling research to buyers. Both are seriously financially biased — casting considerable doubt on their recommendations.
  2. Transparency: Major consulting companies receive the consulting business in return for their recommendation to specific vendors, but hide this from their clients. IT analysts are quiet about the services they sell to vendors that they then rate. Clients are never told this explicitly by these entities, and these entities prefer not to divulge their conflicts of interest. They should not have these conflicts in the first place, but at the very least they must list these conflicts prominently on their websites.
  3. Independence of Though: The source must have the confidence to recommend not merely large brands, but must be able to recommend the right application and vendor based upon their merits.
  4. The Importance of a Research Basis to Support Contentions: The source must produce or at least reference actual research. Anecdotes are easy to come by and are primarily what the major consulting companies offer. However, they perform no analysis to support their anecdotes. Many of the anecdotes presented by major consulting companies turned out to be false when scrutinized and compared with research. This was shown conclusively for the topic of ERP in the book The Real Story Behind ERP: Separating Fact from Fiction. The research follows specific and rigorous rules, and if these rules are not adhered to than it is not valid research. These rules, and how one enterprise software entity which claims to perform research are explained in detail in the book by Gartner and the Magic Quadrant: A Guide for Buyers, Vendors, Investors. In this book, they are compared against university research, The RAND Corporation, and Consumer Reports.
  5. No Focus on Profit Maximization: If the only dedication of an information source is making money, the advice provided will be biased and of poor quality. The financial advisory area also demonstrates this irrefutably. This is why most of the research in the US and internationally come out of universities which are non-profit.

How to Improve Outcomes

Enterprise software decision making is in a poor state. Implementation failure rates continue to be high, and the major advisory firms continue to dispense exceedingly poor advice. The relationship between the business users and the business with IT is strained at the vast majority of companies, and companies are not able to come anywhere close to leveraging the potential of enterprise software. In areas ranging from forecasting to finance & accounting, companies pay far too much for underperforming software. The most prominent enterprise software advisers are the most to blame for this state of affairs — and it primarily comes down to their financial bias. They make more money when their clients make bad decision. They have no financial incentive to help them make good decisions.

Reasonable Expectations

One cannot expect to receive intelligently selected software, an effective planned implementation, risk-appropriate software or a low maintenance solution relying upon biased sources of information that place their interests ahead of your own – and who approach every question from the perspective of “how can we make more money from their decision?

Getting The Real Story

You get the real story about vendors, and information technology trends per software category, without any connection to some line of business. There is no one manipulating the data to steer you into a decision that maximizes their some organizational incentive program. That is called getting the real story.

Research is Our Only Business

We perform serious research, and research is our only business. We provide both written explanations, but many calculators and estimators to empower you to come to your own conclusions (see below).

Enterprise Software Estimation Database

We maintain the largest and most accurate enterprise software estimation database in the world. Unlike companies that provide research only to begin a consulting relationship, our calculators are self-service. We have 0% financial bias and are not focused on profit maximization. Therefore, we can afford to perform actual research. Our research offerings can be reviewed from the menu above or from the table below.

Questions?

If you have any questions, contact us with the contact form to the right.

Analytical Products

LinkDescription
Honest Vendor RatingsSoftware vendors rated on innovation, reliability, etc.
Software Category AnalysisHigh level analysis of covered software categories
MUFI Ratings & RiskOur application ratings & risk estimation
Project Planning PackagesInteractive calculator providing FTE, duration, finish date estimates.
Enterprise Software TCO CalculatorsInteractive TCO calculation; software costs, hardware costs, implementation costs & maintenance costs.
Solution Architecture PackagesCost comparisons between different solution architectures.

Will Booz Allen Hamilton Tell You Who Has the Best CRM Software?

Question: Will Booz Allen Hamilton Tell You Who Has the Best CRM Software?

The Advice that Booz Allen Hamilton Gives on CRM Software

Enterprise software buyers go to Booz Allen Hamilton because they are supposedly “experts” in many topics, including CRM software. It is true that Booz Allen Hamilton has many consultants with many years of experience in these topics. However, when we evaluate the CRM software that Booz Allen Hamilton recommends to its clients, it is uniformly the software from the large and expensive software vendors like SAP and Oracle. This is also curious; because CRM is a system where the traditional arguments regarding requiring the purchase of a system due to integration concerns is particularly weak. What is apparent is that Accenture simply recommends SAP and Oracle CRM systems because they have resources trained on these applications and so they are poor sources of information on software selection.

Where Can You Find The Best CRM Software?

Unfortunately, the best CRM software resides primarily with software vendors that do not offer the major consulting companies their consulting business to Booz Allen Hamilton in return for Booz Allen Hamilton recommending their software to their clients. If you want to evaluate or purchase these superior and lower TCO applications, you should expect resistance from your consulting partner. This is because they only want you to purchase software that they have resources trained up on and ready to bill hours – regardless of whether this is either the right software for you, or even good software. This is explained in detail in the book Enterprise Software Selection: How to Pinpoint the Perfect Software Solution using Multiple Information Sources.

Understanding Booz Allen Hamilton’s Institutional Structure

However, Booz Allen Hamilton is not working off of any research orientation, but is instead steering it’s clients into purchasing the application that makes Booz Allen Hamilton the most money, and they will come up with any argument necessary in order to achieve this objective, including providing misinformation about the applications they are “recommending.”

Controlling for Bias

It is not necessary to accept such biased advice. However biased advice is quite standard in enterprise software. In fact, it is the identical issue to financial information, where the advisers are incentivized to lead their clients to investments that make the most money for the financial advisor.

It is reasonable to expect better, but before selecting a source of information, it is essential to set the criteria which control for bias and results in the selection of sources that have their client’s interests as a primary concern — and few entities that offer enterprise software advice do. We propose the following criteria:

  1. Controlling for Bias: The source must be financially unbiased. That is the source must not financially benefit from their client’s decisions. Consulting companies break this rule when they perform both software selection as well as software implementation — as most of the money resides in the software implementation. If their clients choose the software, they have consultants ready to bill in they make substantially more money than if the client goes in a different direction. IT analyst break this rule when they market services to software vendors while selling research to buyers. Both are seriously financially biased — casting considerable doubt on their recommendations.
  2. Transparency: Major consulting companies receive the consulting business in return for their recommendation to specific vendors, but hide this from their clients. IT analysts are quiet about the services they sell to vendors that they then rate. Clients are never told this explicitly by these entities, and these entities prefer not to divulge their conflicts of interest. They should not have these conflicts in the first place, but at the very least they must list these conflicts prominently on their websites.
  3. Independence of Though: The source must have the confidence to recommend not merely large brands, but must be able to recommend the right application and vendor based upon their merits.
  4. The Importance of a Research Basis to Support Contentions: The source must produce or at least reference actual research. Anecdotes are easy to come by and are primarily what the major consulting companies offer. However, they perform no analysis to support their anecdotes. Many of the anecdotes presented by major consulting companies turned out to be false when scrutinized and compared with research. This was shown conclusively for the topic of ERP in the book The Real Story Behind ERP: Separating Fact from Fiction. The research follows specific and rigorous rules, and if these rules are not adhered to than it is not valid research. These rules, and how one enterprise software entity which claims to perform research are explained in detail in the book by Gartner and the Magic Quadrant: A Guide for Buyers, Vendors, Investors. In this book, they are compared against university research, The RAND Corporation, and Consumer Reports.
  5. No Focus on Profit Maximization: If the only dedication of an information source is making money, the advice provided will be biased and of poor quality. The financial advisory area also demonstrates this irrefutably. This is why most of the research in the US and internationally come out of universities which are non-profit.

How to Improve Outcomes

Enterprise software decision making is in a poor state. Implementation failure rates continue to be high, and the major advisory firms continue to dispense exceedingly poor advice. The relationship between the business users and the business with IT is strained at the vast majority of companies, and companies are not able to come anywhere close to leveraging the potential of enterprise software. In areas ranging from forecasting to finance & accounting, companies pay far too much for underperforming software. The most prominent enterprise software advisers are the most to blame for this state of affairs — and it primarily comes down to their financial bias. They make more money when their clients make bad decision. They have no financial incentive to help them make good decisions.

Reasonable Expectations

One cannot expect to receive intelligently selected software, an effective planned implementation, risk-appropriate software or a low maintenance solution relying upon biased sources of information that place their interests ahead of your own – and who approach every question from the perspective of “how can we make more money from their decision?

Getting The Real Story

You get the real story about vendors, and information technology trends per software category, without any connection to some line of business. There is no one manipulating the data to steer you into a decision that maximizes their some organizational incentive program. That is called getting the real story.

Research is Our Only Business

We perform serious research, and research is our only business. We provide both written explanations, but many calculators and estimators to empower you to come to your own conclusions (see below).

Enterprise Software Estimation Database

We maintain the largest and most accurate enterprise software estimation database in the world. Unlike companies that provide research only to begin a consulting relationship, our calculators are self-service. We have 0% financial bias and are not focused on profit maximization. Therefore, we can afford to perform actual research. Our research offerings can be reviewed from the menu above or from the table below.

Questions?

If you have any questions, contact us with the contact form to the right.

Analytical Products

LinkDescription
Honest Vendor RatingsSoftware vendors rated on innovation, reliability, etc.
Software Category AnalysisHigh level analysis of covered software categories
MUFI Ratings & RiskOur application ratings & risk estimation
Project Planning PackagesInteractive calculator providing FTE, duration, finish date estimates.
Enterprise Software TCO CalculatorsInteractive TCO calculation; software costs, hardware costs, implementation costs & maintenance costs.
Solution Architecture PackagesCost comparisons between different solution architectures.

SELECTION

Enterprise Software Selection: How to Pinpoint the Perfect Software Solution Using Multiple Sources of Information

What the Book Covers

Essential reading for success in your next software selection and implementation.

Software selection is the most important task in a software implementation project, as it is your best (if not only) opportunity to make sure that the right software—the software that matches the business requirements—is being implemented. Choosing the software that is the best fit clears the way for a successful implementation, yet software selection is often fraught with issues and many companies do not end up with the best software for their needs. However, the process can be greatly simplified by addressing the information sources that influence software selection. This book can be used for any enterprise software selection, including ERP software selection.

This book is a how-to guide for improving the software selection process and is formulated around the idea that—much like purchasing decisions for consumer products—the end user and those with the domain expertise must be included. In addition to providing hints for refining the software selection process, this book delves into the often-overlooked topic of how consulting and IT analyst firms influence the purchasing decision, and gives the reader an insider’s understanding of the enterprise software market.

This book is connected to several other SCM Focus Press books including Enterprise Software TCO and The Real Story Behind ERP.

By reading this book you will:

  • Learn how to apply a scientific approach to the software selection process.
  • Interpret vendor-supplied information to your best advantage. This is generally left out of books on software selection. However, consulting companies and IT analysts like Gartner have very specific biases. Gartner is paid directly by software vendors — a fact they make every attempt not to disclose while consulting companies only recommend software for vendors that give them the consulting business. Consulting companies all have an enormous financial bias that prevents them from offering honest advice — and this is part of their business model.
  • Understand what motivates a software vendor.
  • Learn how the institutional structure and biases of consulting firms affect the advice they give you, and understand how to properly interpret information from consulting companies.
  • Make vendor demos work to your benefit.
  • Know the right questions to ask on topics such as integration with existing software, cloud versus on-premise vendors, and client references.
  • Differentiate what is important to know about software for improved “implement-ability” versus what the vendor thinks is important for improved “sell-ability.”
  • Better manage your software selection projects to ensure smoother implementations.

Buy Now

Chapters

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Software Selection
  • Chapter 2: Understanding the Enterprise Software Market
  • Chapter 3: Software Sell-ability versus Implement-ability
  • Chapter 4: How to Use Consulting Advice on Software Selection
  • Chapter 5: How to Use the Reports of Analyst Firms Like Gartner
  • Chapter 6: How to Use Information Provided by Vendors
  • Chapter 7: How to Manage the Software Selection Process

Why is KPMG Promoting SAP HANA?

Question: Why is KPMG Promoting SAP HANA?

  • KPMG promotes its clients to get excited by SAP HANA.
  • KPMG is a partner with SAP and simply repeats whatever SAP says without looking for evidence as to whether it is true.
  • Both KPMG and SAP are constantly lying to their clients about one topic or another.
  • HANA is SAP’s big marketing program – and the entirely of what HANA is would be beyond the scope of this article, but HANA is much less than advertised.

What is SAP’s HANA?

If one could sum up HANA briefly, it is accurate to say that it is essentially a combination of moving the application and data to solid state device drives (SSDs) from hard drives combined with attempting to move clients that currently use Oracle databases over to Sybase (SAP’s acquisition). SAP uses the standard argument that they are better integrated and will lead to higher performance. This part of the program is false, as Oracle has been providing effective databases for SAP applications for decades – and is nothing more than a sales program to increase sales of Sybase. As for the first part of HANA, software vendors like Teradata have been moving to SSDs for some time – without developing an enormous marketing program, the SAP has for HANA. We began only purchasing SSD based computers around four years ago, but we did not put out a press release.

A History of False Assertions

SAP has a long habit of misinforming its customers on technology, and HANA is merely another example of this. It also has a dangerous aspect to it that is described in the following bullet points:

  1. Future Selling: HANA will be used (in fact is being used current) to provide a false hope to many problematic SAP implementations. As in “If you are concerned right now, don’t worry because HANA is coming.”
  2. Confusion as to HANA Benefits: HANA, which is isolated to the hardware layer, is generalized to improve the actual application – such as its business logic. HANA has nothing to do with business logic, but SAP is implying that it is, and KPMG is not educating its clients as to why this isn’t true.

A Zero Independence Policy

Why is KPMG so compliant on serving as a repeater for SAP’s statements and programs? It’s straightforward, KPMG has zero independence from SAP. A big part of KPMG’ revenue stream is built around SAP implementations, and they are not about to contradict the goose that lays the golden eggs. They are willing parts of SAP’s sales arm. So whatever SAP says, is fine and dandy with KPMG – they want to bill hours you see. A lot of people at KPMG want to make partner you see, and they will need to give out false information to do so.

If you can see a problem with this regarding getting the straight story on SAP from KPMG, well you are way ahead of many of KPMG’ clients. Consulting companies may partner with software vendors, but are not supposed to be captured by them.

Software Selection

  • Questions About This Area?

    The software space is controlled by vendors, consulting firms and IT analysts who often provide self-serving and incorrect advice at the top rates.

    • We have a better track record of being correct than any of the well-known brands.
    • If this type of accuracy interests you, tell us your question below.

Controlling for Bias

It is not necessary to accept such biased advice. However biased advice is quite standard in enterprise software. In fact, it is the identical issue to financial information, where the advisers are incentivized to lead their clients to investments that make the most money for the financial advisor.

It is reasonable to expect better, but before selecting a source of information, it is essential to set the criteria which control for bias and results in the selection of sources that have their client’s interests as a primary concern — and few entities that offer enterprise software advice do. We propose the following criteria:

  1. Controlling for Bias: The source must be financially unbiased. That is the source must not financially benefit from their client’s decisions. Consulting companies break this rule when they perform both software selection as well as software implementation — as most of the money resides in the software implementation. If their clients choose the software, they have consultants ready to bill in they make substantially more money than if the client goes in a different direction. IT analyst break this rule when they market services to software vendors while selling research to buyers. Both are seriously financially biased — casting considerable doubt on their recommendations.
  2. Transparency: Major consulting companies receive the consulting business in return for their recommendation to specific vendors, but hide this from their clients. IT analysts are quiet about the services they sell to vendors that they then rate. Clients are never told this explicitly by these entities, and these entities prefer not to divulge their conflicts of interest. They should not have these conflicts in the first place, but at the very least they must list these conflicts prominently on their websites.
  3. Independence of Though: The source must have the confidence to recommend not merely large brands, but must be able to recommend the right application and vendor based upon their merits.
  4. The Importance of a Research Basis to Support Contentions: The source must produce or at least reference actual research. Anecdotes are easy to come by and are primarily what the major consulting companies offer. However, they perform no analysis to support their anecdotes. Many of the anecdotes presented by major consulting companies turned out to be false when scrutinized and compared with research. This was shown conclusively for the topic of ERP in the book The Real Story Behind ERP: Separating Fact from Fiction. The research follows specific and rigorous rules, and if these rules are not adhered to than it is not valid research. These rules, and how one enterprise software entity which claims to perform research are explained in detail in the book by Gartner and the Magic Quadrant: A Guide for Buyers, Vendors, Investors. In this book, they are compared against university research, The RAND Corporation, and Consumer Reports.
  5. No Focus on Profit Maximization: If the only dedication of an information source is making money, the advice provided will be biased and of poor quality. The financial advisory area also demonstrates this irrefutably. This is why most of the research in the US and internationally come out of universities which are non-profit.

How to Improve Outcomes

Enterprise software decision making is in a poor state. Implementation failure rates continue to be high, and the major advisory firms continue to dispense exceedingly poor advice. The relationship between the business users and the business with IT is strained at the vast majority of companies, and companies are not able to come anywhere close to leveraging the potential of enterprise software. In areas ranging from forecasting to finance & accounting, companies pay far too much for underperforming software. The most prominent enterprise software advisers are the most to blame for this state of affairs — and it primarily comes down to their financial bias. They make more money when their clients make bad decision. They have no financial incentive to help them make good decisions.

Reasonable Expectations

One cannot expect to receive intelligently selected software, an effective planned implementation, risk-appropriate software or a low maintenance solution relying upon biased sources of information that place their interests ahead of your own – and who approach every question from the perspective of “how can we make more money from their decision?

Getting The Real Story

You get the real story about vendors, and information technology trends per software category, without any connection to some line of business. There is no one manipulating the data to steer you into a decision that maximizes their some organizational incentive program. That is called getting the real story.

Research is Our Only Business

We perform serious research, and research is our only business. We provide both written explanations, but many calculators and estimators to empower you to come to your own conclusions (see below).

Enterprise Software Estimation Database

We maintain the largest and most accurate enterprise software estimation database in the world. Unlike companies that provide research only to begin a consulting relationship, our calculators are self-service. We have 0% financial bias and are not focused on profit maximization. Therefore, we can afford to perform actual research. Our research offerings can be reviewed from the menu above or from the table below.

Questions?

If you have any questions, contact us with the contact form to the right.

Analytical Products

LinkDescription
Honest Vendor RatingsSoftware vendors rated on innovation, reliability, etc.
Software Category AnalysisHigh level analysis of covered software categories
MUFI Ratings & RiskOur application ratings & risk estimation
Project Planning PackagesInteractive calculator providing FTE, duration, finish date estimates.
Enterprise Software TCO CalculatorsInteractive TCO calculation; software costs, hardware costs, implementation costs & maintenance costs.
Solution Architecture PackagesCost comparisons between different solution architectures.

Why Did Accenture Promote SAP NetWeaver?

Question: Why Did Accenture Promote SAP NetWeaver?

 What is SAP’s NetWeaver?

Accenture promoted its clients to get excited about SAP NetWeaver. For quite a few years, before HANA took over the role, NetWeaver was SAP’s big marketing program – SAP and Accenture explained to clients how a brave new world was going to arrive once SAP NetWeaver showed up on the scene. About as cynical as it gets, NetWeaver was actually never anything tangible, nothing more than a marketing construct. Rather it was simply a logical container within which different SAP applications were placed (the applications in the NetWeaver box changed over time without very much logic). Even to this day, if you go to SAP and say “sell me NetWeaver,” there is nothing to sell you. You can buy NetWeaver BI/BW or NetWeaver PI (their integration application) but all of the “NetWeaver” applications existed in the same form before NetWeaver showed upon the scene.

The Outcome of SAP NetWeaver

As with the promotion of something, which does not actually exist, there were negative consequences to the SAP NetWeaver program.

  1. Wasted Time: Consultants and clients had to spend time interpreting the marketing information surrounding SAP NetWeaver.
  2. Future Selling: Netweaver was used to provide a false hope to many problematic SAP implementations. As in “If you are concerned right now, don’t worry because HANA is coming.” And in the end, NetWeaver delivered nothing to these projects but empty promises.
  3. Confusion as to NetWeaver Benefits: NetWeaver, which was essentially isolated to the infrastructure layer, was generalized to improve the actual application – such as its business logic. NetWeaver had nothing to do with business logic, but SAP is implied that it did, and Accenture backed up SAP in this false assertion.

A Zero Independence Policy

Why does Accenture simply parrot SAP’s marketing hyperbole to its clients? Its very simple, Accenture has zero independence from SAP. A big part of Accenture’s revenue stream is built around SAP implementations, and they are not about to contradict the goose that lays the golden eggs. They are willing parts of SAP’s sales arm. So whatever SAP says, is fine and dandy with Accenture – they just want to bill hours you see. A lot of people at Accenture want to make partner you see, and they will need to give out false information to do so.

If you can see a problem with this in terms of getting the straight story on SAP from Accenture, well you are way ahead of many of Accenture’s clients. Consulting companies may partner with software vendors, but are not supposed to be captured by them.


Controlling for Bias

It is not necessary to accept such biased advice. However biased advice is quite standard in enterprise software. In fact, it is the identical issue to financial information, where the advisers are incentivized to lead their clients to investments that make the most money for the financial advisor.

It is reasonable to expect better, but before selecting a source of information, it is essential to set the criteria which control for bias and results in the selection of sources that have their client’s interests as a primary concern — and few entities that offer enterprise software advice do. We propose the following criteria:

  1. Controlling for Bias: The source must be financially unbiased. That is the source must not financially benefit from their client’s decisions. Consulting companies break this rule when they perform both software selection as well as software implementation — as most of the money resides in the software implementation. If their clients choose the software, they have consultants ready to bill in they make substantially more money than if the client goes in a different direction. IT analyst break this rule when they market services to software vendors while selling research to buyers. Both are seriously financially biased — casting considerable doubt on their recommendations.
  2. Transparency: Major consulting companies receive the consulting business in return for their recommendation to specific vendors, but hide this from their clients. IT analysts are quiet about the services they sell to vendors that they then rate. Clients are never told this explicitly by these entities, and these entities prefer not to divulge their conflicts of interest. They should not have these conflicts in the first place, but at the very least they must list these conflicts prominently on their websites.
  3. Independence of Though: The source must have the confidence to recommend not merely large brands, but must be able to recommend the right application and vendor based upon their merits.
  4. The Importance of a Research Basis to Support Contentions: The source must produce or at least reference actual research. Anecdotes are easy to come by and are primarily what the major consulting companies offer. However, they perform no analysis to support their anecdotes. Many of the anecdotes presented by major consulting companies turned out to be false when scrutinized and compared with research. This was shown conclusively for the topic of ERP in the book The Real Story Behind ERP: Separating Fact from Fiction. The research follows specific and rigorous rules, and if these rules are not adhered to than it is not valid research. These rules, and how one enterprise software entity which claims to perform research are explained in detail in the book by Gartner and the Magic Quadrant: A Guide for Buyers, Vendors, Investors. In this book, they are compared against university research, The RAND Corporation, and Consumer Reports.
  5. No Focus on Profit Maximization: If the only dedication of an information source is making money, the advice provided will be biased and of poor quality. The financial advisory area also demonstrates this irrefutably. This is why most of the research in the US and internationally come out of universities which are non-profit.

How to Improve Outcomes

Enterprise software decision making is in a poor state. Implementation failure rates continue to be high, and the major advisory firms continue to dispense exceedingly poor advice. The relationship between the business users and the business with IT is strained at the vast majority of companies, and companies are not able to come anywhere close to leveraging the potential of enterprise software. In areas ranging from forecasting to finance & accounting, companies pay far too much for underperforming software. The most prominent enterprise software advisers are the most to blame for this state of affairs — and it primarily comes down to their financial bias. They make more money when their clients make bad decision. They have no financial incentive to help them make good decisions.

Reasonable Expectations

One cannot expect to receive intelligently selected software, an effective planned implementation, risk-appropriate software or a low maintenance solution relying upon biased sources of information that place their interests ahead of your own – and who approach every question from the perspective of “how can we make more money from their decision?

Getting The Real Story

You get the real story about vendors, and information technology trends per software category, without any connection to some line of business. There is no one manipulating the data to steer you into a decision that maximizes their some organizational incentive program. That is called getting the real story.

Research is Our Only Business

We perform serious research, and research is our only business. We provide both written explanations, but many calculators and estimators to empower you to come to your own conclusions (see below).

Enterprise Software Estimation Database

We maintain the largest and most accurate enterprise software estimation database in the world. Unlike companies that provide research only to begin a consulting relationship, our calculators are self-service. We have 0% financial bias and are not focused on profit maximization. Therefore, we can afford to perform actual research. Our research offerings can be reviewed from the menu above or from the table below.

Questions?

If you have any questions, contact us with the contact form to the right.

Analytical Products

LinkDescription
Honest Vendor RatingsSoftware vendors rated on innovation, reliability, etc.
Software Category AnalysisHigh level analysis of covered software categories
MUFI Ratings & RiskOur application ratings & risk estimation
Project Planning PackagesInteractive calculator providing FTE, duration, finish date estimates.
Enterprise Software TCO CalculatorsInteractive TCO calculation; software costs, hardware costs, implementation costs & maintenance costs.
Solution Architecture PackagesCost comparisons between different solution architectures.

Validating Accenture’s Business Intelligence Implementation Duration Estimate

Question: Validating Accenture’s Business Intelligence Implementation Duration Estimate

Accenture and BI Software

Accenture both recommends and staffs primarily SAP BI/BW and Oracle BI for its clients. However, both of these applications have very long implementation durations, which actually is a problem for a number of BI applications. It is no coincidence that the applications with the longest durations tend to be preferred by Accenture as they maximize the consulting dollars. This is explained in detail in the book Enterprise Software Selection: How to Pinpoint the Perfect Software Solution using Multiple Information Sources. Therefore Accenture recommends the software that it prefers to implement rather than software, which is the best fit for its clients. There are actually much better and faster solutions to implement and to maintain than SAP and Oracle’s tier 1 applications.

Getting Unbiased and Knowledgeable Business Intelligence Implementation Estimation

Any company dealing with Accenture should obtain a second opinion as to the BI implementation duration. This can provide the buyer with the knowledge to validate Accenture’s estimates. Accenture is most likely not providing the full story as to how long your business intelligence implementation will actually take. Companies also should be aware of the comparative business intelligence implementation durations of different business intelligence systems before making any business intelligence purchase, and this is information that Accenture does not share as it would interfere with steering their client’s into the applications that Accenture would prefer they purchase.


Controlling for Bias

It is not necessary to accept such biased advice. However biased advice is quite standard in enterprise software. In fact, it is the identical issue to financial information, where the advisers are incentivized to lead their clients to investments that make the most money for the financial advisor.

It is reasonable to expect better, but before selecting a source of information, it is essential to set the criteria which control for bias and results in the selection of sources that have their client’s interests as a primary concern — and few entities that offer enterprise software advice do. We propose the following criteria:

  1. Controlling for Bias: The source must be financially unbiased. That is the source must not financially benefit from their client’s decisions. Consulting companies break this rule when they perform both software selection as well as software implementation — as most of the money resides in the software implementation. If their clients choose the software, they have consultants ready to bill in they make substantially more money than if the client goes in a different direction. IT analyst break this rule when they market services to software vendors while selling research to buyers. Both are seriously financially biased — casting considerable doubt on their recommendations.
  2. Transparency: Major consulting companies receive the consulting business in return for their recommendation to specific vendors, but hide this from their clients. IT analysts are quiet about the services they sell to vendors that they then rate. Clients are never told this explicitly by these entities, and these entities prefer not to divulge their conflicts of interest. They should not have these conflicts in the first place, but at the very least they must list these conflicts prominently on their websites.
  3. Independence of Though: The source must have the confidence to recommend not merely large brands, but must be able to recommend the right application and vendor based upon their merits.
  4. The Importance of a Research Basis to Support Contentions: The source must produce or at least reference actual research. Anecdotes are easy to come by and are primarily what the major consulting companies offer. However, they perform no analysis to support their anecdotes. Many of the anecdotes presented by major consulting companies turned out to be false when scrutinized and compared with research. This was shown conclusively for the topic of ERP in the book The Real Story Behind ERP: Separating Fact from Fiction. The research follows specific and rigorous rules, and if these rules are not adhered to than it is not valid research. These rules, and how one enterprise software entity which claims to perform research are explained in detail in the book by Gartner and the Magic Quadrant: A Guide for Buyers, Vendors, Investors. In this book, they are compared against university research, The RAND Corporation, and Consumer Reports.
  5. No Focus on Profit Maximization: If the only dedication of an information source is making money, the advice provided will be biased and of poor quality. The financial advisory area also demonstrates this irrefutably. This is why most of the research in the US and internationally come out of universities which are non-profit.

How to Improve Outcomes

Enterprise software decision making is in a poor state. Implementation failure rates continue to be high, and the major advisory firms continue to dispense exceedingly poor advice. The relationship between the business users and the business with IT is strained at the vast majority of companies, and companies are not able to come anywhere close to leveraging the potential of enterprise software. In areas ranging from forecasting to finance & accounting, companies pay far too much for underperforming software. The most prominent enterprise software advisers are the most to blame for this state of affairs — and it primarily comes down to their financial bias. They make more money when their clients make bad decision. They have no financial incentive to help them make good decisions.

Reasonable Expectations

One cannot expect to receive intelligently selected software, an effective planned implementation, risk-appropriate software or a low maintenance solution relying upon biased sources of information that place their interests ahead of your own – and who approach every question from the perspective of “how can we make more money from their decision?

Getting The Real Story

You get the real story about vendors, and information technology trends per software category, without any connection to some line of business. There is no one manipulating the data to steer you into a decision that maximizes their some organizational incentive program. That is called getting the real story.

Research is Our Only Business

We perform serious research, and research is our only business. We provide both written explanations, but many calculators and estimators to empower you to come to your own conclusions (see below).

Enterprise Software Estimation Database

We maintain the largest and most accurate enterprise software estimation database in the world. Unlike companies that provide research only to begin a consulting relationship, our calculators are self-service. We have 0% financial bias and are not focused on profit maximization. Therefore, we can afford to perform actual research. Our research offerings can be reviewed from the menu above or from the table below.

Questions?

If you have any questions, contact us with the contact form to the right.

Analytical Products

LinkDescription
Honest Vendor RatingsSoftware vendors rated on innovation, reliability, etc.
Software Category AnalysisHigh level analysis of covered software categories
MUFI Ratings & RiskOur application ratings & risk estimation
Project Planning PackagesInteractive calculator providing FTE, duration, finish date estimates.
Enterprise Software TCO CalculatorsInteractive TCO calculation; software costs, hardware costs, implementation costs & maintenance costs.
Solution Architecture PackagesCost comparisons between different solution architectures.

SELECTION

Enterprise Software Selection: How to Pinpoint the Perfect Software Solution Using Multiple Sources of Information

What the Book Covers

Essential reading for success in your next software selection and implementation.

Software selection is the most important task in a software implementation project, as it is your best (if not only) opportunity to make sure that the right software—the software that matches the business requirements—is being implemented. Choosing the software that is the best fit clears the way for a successful implementation, yet software selection is often fraught with issues and many companies do not end up with the best software for their needs. However, the process can be greatly simplified by addressing the information sources that influence software selection. This book can be used for any enterprise software selection, including ERP software selection.

This book is a how-to guide for improving the software selection process and is formulated around the idea that—much like purchasing decisions for consumer products—the end user and those with the domain expertise must be included. In addition to providing hints for refining the software selection process, this book delves into the often-overlooked topic of how consulting and IT analyst firms influence the purchasing decision, and gives the reader an insider’s understanding of the enterprise software market.

This book is connected to several other SCM Focus Press books including Enterprise Software TCO and The Real Story Behind ERP.

By reading this book you will:

  • Learn how to apply a scientific approach to the software selection process.
  • Interpret vendor-supplied information to your best advantage. This is generally left out of books on software selection. However, consulting companies and IT analysts like Gartner have very specific biases. Gartner is paid directly by software vendors — a fact they make every attempt not to disclose while consulting companies only recommend software for vendors that give them the consulting business. Consulting companies all have an enormous financial bias that prevents them from offering honest advice — and this is part of their business model.
  • Understand what motivates a software vendor.
  • Learn how the institutional structure and biases of consulting firms affect the advice they give you, and understand how to properly interpret information from consulting companies.
  • Make vendor demos work to your benefit.
  • Know the right questions to ask on topics such as integration with existing software, cloud versus on-premise vendors, and client references.
  • Differentiate what is important to know about software for improved “implement-ability” versus what the vendor thinks is important for improved “sell-ability.”
  • Better manage your software selection projects to ensure smoother implementations.

Buy Now

Chapters

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Software Selection
  • Chapter 2: Understanding the Enterprise Software Market
  • Chapter 3: Software Sell-ability versus Implement-ability
  • Chapter 4: How to Use Consulting Advice on Software Selection
  • Chapter 5: How to Use the Reports of Analyst Firms Like Gartner
  • Chapter 6: How to Use Information Provided by Vendors
  • Chapter 7: How to Manage the Software Selection Process

Should You Trust Cognizant Technology Solutions’ Advice on Enterprise Software?

Question: Should You Really Trust Cognizant Technology Solutions?

Understanding Cognizant Technology Solutions

Should you trust a consulting company that already has resources trained in a specific application and can bill for only these resources? Unfortunately this is how Cognizant Technology Solutions does business. Companies have paid a heavy price for not asking this question before engaging with large consulting companies. In fact, a singular focus on billing hours a primary reason that so many quite inefficient ERP systems that have done so little for companies, were implemented – as explained in the book The Real Story Behind ERP: Separating Fiction from Reality.

Our Finding

Our research shows that the applications recommended by Cognizant Technology Solutions always have a high or the highest TCO in the respective software category.  None of the best rated or best value software is ever recommended by Cognizant Technology Solutions. Is this a coincidence?

We believe this is because Cognizant Technology Solutions’ advisement is entirely based upon what maximizes the amount of money is can extract from its “clients.” This is low quality advice for low information decision makers — and you can do better.

 

Controlling for Bias

It is not necessary to accept such biased advice. However biased advice is quite standard in enterprise software. In fact, it is the identical issue to financial information, where the advisers are incentivized to lead their clients to investments that make the most money for the financial advisor.

It is reasonable to expect better, but before selecting a source of information, it is essential to set the criteria which control for bias and results in the selection of sources that have their client’s interests as a primary concern — and few entities that offer enterprise software advice do. We propose the following criteria:

  1. Controlling for Bias: The source must be financially unbiased. That is the source must not financially benefit from their client’s decisions. Consulting companies break this rule when they perform both software selection as well as software implementation — as most of the money resides in the software implementation. If their clients choose the software, they have consultants ready to bill in they make substantially more money than if the client goes in a different direction. IT analyst break this rule when they market services to software vendors while selling research to buyers. Both are seriously financially biased — casting considerable doubt on their recommendations.
  2. Transparency: Major consulting companies receive the consulting business in return for their recommendation to specific vendors, but hide this from their clients. IT analysts are quiet about the services they sell to vendors that they then rate. Clients are never told this explicitly by these entities, and these entities prefer not to divulge their conflicts of interest. They should not have these conflicts in the first place, but at the very least they must list these conflicts prominently on their websites.
  3. Independence of Though: The source must have the confidence to recommend not merely large brands, but must be able to recommend the right application and vendor based upon their merits.
  4. The Importance of a Research Basis to Support Contentions: The source must produce or at least reference actual research. Anecdotes are easy to come by and are primarily what the major consulting companies offer. However, they perform no analysis to support their anecdotes. Many of the anecdotes presented by major consulting companies turned out to be false when scrutinized and compared with research. This was shown conclusively for the topic of ERP in the book The Real Story Behind ERP: Separating Fact from Fiction. The research follows specific and rigorous rules, and if these rules are not adhered to than it is not valid research. These rules, and how one enterprise software entity which claims to perform research are explained in detail in the book by Gartner and the Magic Quadrant: A Guide for Buyers, Vendors, Investors. In this book, they are compared against university research, The RAND Corporation, and Consumer Reports.
  5. No Focus on Profit Maximization: If the only dedication of an information source is making money, the advice provided will be biased and of poor quality. The financial advisory area also demonstrates this irrefutably. This is why most of the research in the US and internationally come out of universities which are non-profit.

How to Improve Outcomes

Enterprise software decision making is in a poor state. Implementation failure rates continue to be high, and the major advisory firms continue to dispense exceedingly poor advice. The relationship between the business users and the business with IT is strained at the vast majority of companies, and companies are not able to come anywhere close to leveraging the potential of enterprise software. In areas ranging from forecasting to finance & accounting, companies pay far too much for underperforming software. The most prominent enterprise software advisers are the most to blame for this state of affairs — and it primarily comes down to their financial bias. They make more money when their clients make bad decision. They have no financial incentive to help them make good decisions.

Reasonable Expectations

One cannot expect to receive intelligently selected software, an effective planned implementation, risk-appropriate software or a low maintenance solution relying upon biased sources of information that place their interests ahead of your own – and who approach every question from the perspective of “how can we make more money from their decision?

Getting The Real Story

You get the real story about vendors, and information technology trends per software category, without any connection to some line of business. There is no one manipulating the data to steer you into a decision that maximizes their some organizational incentive program. That is called getting the real story.

Research is Our Only Business

We perform serious research, and research is our only business. We provide both written explanations, but many calculators and estimators to empower you to come to your own conclusions (see below).

Enterprise Software Estimation Database

We maintain the largest and most accurate enterprise software estimation database in the world. Unlike companies that provide research only to begin a consulting relationship, our calculators are self-service. We have 0% financial bias and are not focused on profit maximization. Therefore, we can afford to perform actual research. Our research offerings can be reviewed from the menu above or from the table below.

Questions?

If you have any questions, contact us with the contact form to the right.

Analytical Products

LinkDescription
Honest Vendor RatingsSoftware vendors rated on innovation, reliability, etc.
Software Category AnalysisHigh level analysis of covered software categories
MUFI Ratings & RiskOur application ratings & risk estimation
Project Planning PackagesInteractive calculator providing FTE, duration, finish date estimates.
Enterprise Software TCO CalculatorsInteractive TCO calculation; software costs, hardware costs, implementation costs & maintenance costs.
Solution Architecture PackagesCost comparisons between different solution architectures.

Should You Rely Upon Deloitte for Process Industry ERP?

Question: Should You Rely Upon Deloitte for Process Industry ERP?

Deloitte and Process Industry ERP Software

Deloitte both recommends and staffs primarily SAP and Oracle ERP for its process industry and non-process industry clients. However, these applications, SAP ECC/R/3 or Oracle JD Edwards Enterprise One have quite poor process industry functionality. This is consistent with a long history of the recommendation of software, which is inappropriate for process industries by the major consulting companies. The reason for this is that the major consulting companies have resources trained in specific software and would rather keep implementing this software than have to retrain a portion of its employees to implement process industry specific software. Therefore Deloitte recommends the software that it prefers to implement rather than software, which is the best fit for its clients.

This one size fits all approach is more focused on maximizing Deloitte’s revenues than providing advice of any quality to its clients. The replication of this strategy with other consulting companies is a primary reason that process industries tend to have such customized and high maintenance systems.

Where Can You Find These Applications?

Both SAP and Oracle spend more effort on developing marketing literature which talks about what a good fit their software is for process industries than actually developing specific process industry functionality. A perfect example of this is batch functionality in SAP ECC/R/3 that is extremely difficult to configure and use, but the same functionality is standard in at least one other ERP system. What functionality is required of an ERP system in process industries is explained in the book Process Industry Manufacturing Software: ERP, Planning, Recipe, MES & Process Control.

Understanding Deloitte’s Institutional Structure

However, Deloitte is not working off of any research orientation, but is instead steering it’s clients into purchasing the application that makes Deloitte the most money, and they will come up with any argument necessary in order to achieve this objective, including providing misinformation about the applications they are “recommending.” However process industry companies don’t have to continue to rely upon this extremely self serving advice from Deloitte.

Controlling for Bias

It is not necessary to accept such biased advice. However biased advice is quite standard in enterprise software. In fact, it is the identical issue to financial information, where the advisers are incentivized to lead their clients to investments that make the most money for the financial advisor.

It is reasonable to expect better, but before selecting a source of information, it is essential to set the criteria which control for bias and results in the selection of sources that have their client’s interests as a primary concern — and few entities that offer enterprise software advice do. We propose the following criteria:

  1. Controlling for Bias: The source must be financially unbiased. That is the source must not financially benefit from their client’s decisions. Consulting companies break this rule when they perform both software selection as well as software implementation — as most of the money resides in the software implementation. If their clients choose the software, they have consultants ready to bill in they make substantially more money than if the client goes in a different direction. IT analyst break this rule when they market services to software vendors while selling research to buyers. Both are seriously financially biased — casting considerable doubt on their recommendations.
  2. Transparency: Major consulting companies receive the consulting business in return for their recommendation to specific vendors, but hide this from their clients. IT analysts are quiet about the services they sell to vendors that they then rate. Clients are never told this explicitly by these entities, and these entities prefer not to divulge their conflicts of interest. They should not have these conflicts in the first place, but at the very least they must list these conflicts prominently on their websites.
  3. Independence of Though: The source must have the confidence to recommend not merely large brands, but must be able to recommend the right application and vendor based upon their merits.
  4. The Importance of a Research Basis to Support Contentions: The source must produce or at least reference actual research. Anecdotes are easy to come by and are primarily what the major consulting companies offer. However, they perform no analysis to support their anecdotes. Many of the anecdotes presented by major consulting companies turned out to be false when scrutinized and compared with research. This was shown conclusively for the topic of ERP in the book The Real Story Behind ERP: Separating Fact from Fiction. The research follows specific and rigorous rules, and if these rules are not adhered to than it is not valid research. These rules, and how one enterprise software entity which claims to perform research are explained in detail in the book by Gartner and the Magic Quadrant: A Guide for Buyers, Vendors, Investors. In this book, they are compared against university research, The RAND Corporation, and Consumer Reports.
  5. No Focus on Profit Maximization: If the only dedication of an information source is making money, the advice provided will be biased and of poor quality. The financial advisory area also demonstrates this irrefutably. This is why most of the research in the US and internationally come out of universities which are non-profit.

How to Improve Outcomes

Enterprise software decision making is in a poor state. Implementation failure rates continue to be high, and the major advisory firms continue to dispense exceedingly poor advice. The relationship between the business users and the business with IT is strained at the vast majority of companies, and companies are not able to come anywhere close to leveraging the potential of enterprise software. In areas ranging from forecasting to finance & accounting, companies pay far too much for underperforming software. The most prominent enterprise software advisers are the most to blame for this state of affairs — and it primarily comes down to their financial bias. They make more money when their clients make bad decision. They have no financial incentive to help them make good decisions.

Reasonable Expectations

One cannot expect to receive intelligently selected software, an effective planned implementation, risk-appropriate software or a low maintenance solution relying upon biased sources of information that place their interests ahead of your own – and who approach every question from the perspective of “how can we make more money from their decision?

Getting The Real Story

You get the real story about vendors, and information technology trends per software category, without any connection to some line of business. There is no one manipulating the data to steer you into a decision that maximizes their some organizational incentive program. That is called getting the real story.

Research is Our Only Business

We perform serious research, and research is our only business. We provide both written explanations, but many calculators and estimators to empower you to come to your own conclusions (see below).

Enterprise Software Estimation Database

We maintain the largest and most accurate enterprise software estimation database in the world. Unlike companies that provide research only to begin a consulting relationship, our calculators are self-service. We have 0% financial bias and are not focused on profit maximization. Therefore, we can afford to perform actual research. Our research offerings can be reviewed from the menu above or from the table below.

Questions?

If you have any questions, contact us with the contact form to the right.

Analytical Products

LinkDescription
Honest Vendor RatingsSoftware vendors rated on innovation, reliability, etc.
Software Category AnalysisHigh level analysis of covered software categories
MUFI Ratings & RiskOur application ratings & risk estimation
Project Planning PackagesInteractive calculator providing FTE, duration, finish date estimates.
Enterprise Software TCO CalculatorsInteractive TCO calculation; software costs, hardware costs, implementation costs & maintenance costs.
Solution Architecture PackagesCost comparisons between different solution architectures.

Does CSC Have Independence from SAP?

Question: What Is CSC’s Independence from SAP?

The Inside Man

Many might think that CSC provides independent consulting advice with respect to enterprise software. However, if this true, why does CSC simply parrot SAP’s marketing hyperbole to its clients? Its very simple, CSC behaves as a sales arm for SAP. This is because a big part of CSC’s revenue stream is built around SAP implementations, and they are not about to contradict the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Clients may think they are getting objective advice — when in fact the advice has been predetermined based upon CSC’s financial incentives. The agreement is made between CSC and SAP without the client being in the room. Its a quid pro quo and the conversation between the two goes a little something like this —

“You give us the recommendation — we give you the implementation consulting business.”

A Strict Zero Independence Policy

Do you want to make software decisions based upon advice from a consulting company that is dedicated to sending your business to a predefined software vendors based not upon what is the best fit for your business, but based upon what maximizes their consulting revenues?

Before you engage CSC, you should consider the question….what type of advice do you actually want? Because at CSC, all clients get the same advice — which in a peculiar predictability just happens to be the advice that maximizes CSC’s profits.

Houston….Do We Have a Problem?

If you can see a problem with this in terms of getting the straight story on SAP from CSC, well you are way ahead of many of CSC’s clients who can’t seem to grasp the term “conflict of interest.”

There are actually many innovative and high value applications out there in the market. Unfortunately for companies that follow the “advice” of CSC they will never get to access them. That translates into lost opportunities because getting the right enterprise software is a primary driver of a company’s capabilities.

We provide customized TCO calculators for a wide variety of applications, and our method is explained in the book Enterprise Software TCO: Calculating and Using Total Cost of Ownership for Decision Making. However, companies that want to evaluate or purchase these superior and lower TCO applications should expect resistance from the CSC partner. This is because CSC only wants its clients to purchase software that they have resources trained up on and ready to bill hours.

Controlling for Bias

It is not necessary to accept such biased advice. However biased advice is quite standard in enterprise software. In fact, it is the identical issue to financial information, where the advisers are incentivized to lead their clients to investments that make the most money for the financial advisor.

It is reasonable to expect better, but before selecting a source of information, it is essential to set the criteria which control for bias and results in the selection of sources that have their client’s interests as a primary concern — and few entities that offer enterprise software advice do. We propose the following criteria:

  1. Controlling for Bias: The source must be financially unbiased. That is the source must not financially benefit from their client’s decisions. Consulting companies break this rule when they perform both software selection as well as software implementation — as most of the money resides in the software implementation. If their clients choose the software, they have consultants ready to bill in they make substantially more money than if the client goes in a different direction. IT analyst break this rule when they market services to software vendors while selling research to buyers. Both are seriously financially biased — casting considerable doubt on their recommendations.
  2. Transparency: Major consulting companies receive the consulting business in return for their recommendation to specific vendors, but hide this from their clients. IT analysts are quiet about the services they sell to vendors that they then rate. Clients are never told this explicitly by these entities, and these entities prefer not to divulge their conflicts of interest. They should not have these conflicts in the first place, but at the very least they must list these conflicts prominently on their websites.
  3. Independence of Though: The source must have the confidence to recommend not merely large brands, but must be able to recommend the right application and vendor based upon their merits.
  4. The Importance of a Research Basis to Support Contentions: The source must produce or at least reference actual research. Anecdotes are easy to come by and are primarily what the major consulting companies offer. However, they perform no analysis to support their anecdotes. Many of the anecdotes presented by major consulting companies turned out to be false when scrutinized and compared with research. This was shown conclusively for the topic of ERP in the book The Real Story Behind ERP: Separating Fact from Fiction. The research follows specific and rigorous rules, and if these rules are not adhered to than it is not valid research. These rules, and how one enterprise software entity which claims to perform research are explained in detail in the book by Gartner and the Magic Quadrant: A Guide for Buyers, Vendors, Investors. In this book, they are compared against university research, The RAND Corporation, and Consumer Reports.
  5. No Focus on Profit Maximization: If the only dedication of an information source is making money, the advice provided will be biased and of poor quality. The financial advisory area also demonstrates this irrefutably. This is why most of the research in the US and internationally come out of universities which are non-profit.

How to Improve Outcomes

Enterprise software decision making is in a poor state. Implementation failure rates continue to be high, and the major advisory firms continue to dispense exceedingly poor advice. The relationship between the business users and the business with IT is strained at the vast majority of companies, and companies are not able to come anywhere close to leveraging the potential of enterprise software. In areas ranging from forecasting to finance & accounting, companies pay far too much for underperforming software. The most prominent enterprise software advisers are the most to blame for this state of affairs — and it primarily comes down to their financial bias. They make more money when their clients make bad decision. They have no financial incentive to help them make good decisions.

Reasonable Expectations

One cannot expect to receive intelligently selected software, an effective planned implementation, risk-appropriate software or a low maintenance solution relying upon biased sources of information that place their interests ahead of your own – and who approach every question from the perspective of “how can we make more money from their decision?

Getting The Real Story

You get the real story about vendors, and information technology trends per software category, without any connection to some line of business. There is no one manipulating the data to steer you into a decision that maximizes their some organizational incentive program. That is called getting the real story.

Research is Our Only Business

We perform serious research, and research is our only business. We provide both written explanations, but many calculators and estimators to empower you to come to your own conclusions (see below).

Enterprise Software Estimation Database

We maintain the largest and most accurate enterprise software estimation database in the world. Unlike companies that provide research only to begin a consulting relationship, our calculators are self-service. We have 0% financial bias and are not focused on profit maximization. Therefore, we can afford to perform actual research. Our research offerings can be reviewed from the menu above or from the table below.

Questions?

If you have any questions, contact us with the contact form to the right.

Analytical Products

LinkDescription
Honest Vendor RatingsSoftware vendors rated on innovation, reliability, etc.
Software Category AnalysisHigh level analysis of covered software categories
MUFI Ratings & RiskOur application ratings & risk estimation
Project Planning PackagesInteractive calculator providing FTE, duration, finish date estimates.
Enterprise Software TCO CalculatorsInteractive TCO calculation; software costs, hardware costs, implementation costs & maintenance costs.
Solution Architecture PackagesCost comparisons between different solution architectures.

TCO3

Enterprise Software TCO: Calculating and Using Total Cost of Ownership for Decision Making

Getting to the Detail of TCO

One aspect of making a software purchasing decision is to compare the Total Cost of Ownership, or TCO, of the applications under consideration: what will the software cost you over its lifespan? But most companies don’t understand what dollar amounts to include in the TCO analysis or where to source these figures, or, if using TCO studies produced by consulting and IT analyst firms, how the TCO amounts were calculated and how to compare TCO across applications.

The Mechanics of TCO

Not only will this book help you appreciate the mechanics of TCO, but you will also gain insight as to the importance of TCO and understand how to strip away the biases and outside influences to make a real TCO comparison between applications.
By reading this book you will:
  • Understand why you need to look at TCO and not just ROI when making your purchasing decision.
  • Discover how an application, which at first glance may seem inexpensive when compared to its competition, could end up being more costly in the long run.
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of the cost, categories to include in an accurate and complete TCO analysis.
  • Learn why ERP systems are not a significant investment, based on their TCO.
  • Find out how to recognize and avoid superficial, incomplete or incorrect TCO analyses that could negatively impact your software purchase decision.
  • Appreciate the importance and cost-effectiveness of a TCO audit.
  • Learn how SCM Focus can provide you with unbiased and well-researched TCO analyses to assist you in your software selection.
Chapters
  • Chapter 1:  Introduction
  • Chapter 2:  The Basics of TCO
  • Chapter 3:  The State of Enterprise TCO
  • Chapter 4:  ERP: The Multi-Billion Dollar TCO Analysis Failure
  • Chapter 5:  The TCO Method Used by Software Decisions
  • Chapter 6:  Using TCO for Better Decision Making