Making Vendor Selection Easy at Money20/20
Updated: Dec 3, 2019
While walking through the Money20/20 exhibitor floor aisles I continued to pass vendor booth after vendor booth. Being in the security and fraud prevention space, I particularly took note of the vendors that serve this market. I started thinking about how difficult it is for a security practitioner to make sense of all the clutter and noise. How does one vendor that does X differentiate from another vendor that does X? Or does the vendor that you think does X really do Y? Or does the vendor that claims to do Y really do X? Or only half of Y?
As a former industry analyst, cutting through vendor noise became a necessary skill.
Understanding market dynamics and figuring out where the business and technology was heading was challenging and exciting. But, that’s mostly what I did. I didn’t have to actually run the software I was evaluating and therefore had a lot of time to research. And, I didn’t really have to live with the selected vendor’s technology on a daily basis.
And you know what? After attending over 100 technology conferences over the past 15 years or so, not much has changed. It’s exciting to find some new trend or new vendor technology that uniquely addresses a market need or creates a unique opportunity. But, there always was, always is and always will be something better on the horizon. And the challenge of slogging through a sea of options to select the right technology and the right vendor to deliver that technology will always be present.
As I thought about it, what makes the technology/vendor decision so challenging is really around the so-called vendor lock-in. Once a vendor technology is selected, the company mobilizes a slew of cross-departmental teams to plan, install, test and debug the technology. It’s typically a massive, lengthy, resource-intensive effort. To change vendors once the technology is installed and integrated into the organization’s technology stack is avoided at all costs. Organizations actually tolerate subpar, expensive, difficult to manage technology just to avoid the “rip and replace” burden.
But, what if “rip and replace” changed to “switch on and switch off?” What if replacing one vendor with another really was a fairly simple exercise? Would that change how we evaluate and select new vendor technology? Would we be more willing to take chances and feel less burdened by our vendor selection decisions?
“Switch on and switch off” is one of the key benefits of the Transmit platform. New technologies can be directly and easily integrated into the platform. User journeys can then be configured using graphical journey editing tools and then easily pushed out to any application in any channel as the replaced technology is seamlessly decommissioned. All these steps occur in days, not the months required for traditional implementation efforts.
Suddenly, technology and vendor selection decisions can be made knowing that a “get out of jail [almost] free” card exists. The heavy burden and endless committees required to make technology and vendor decisions can be replaced by a more streamlined and nimble decision process. The technology replacement cycle can keep up with the pace of technology innovation. Vendor decisions can be made knowing, and expecting, technologies to change on a more frequent basis. And, you’ll feel lighter on your feet walking through the floor of a technology conference knowing how easy it is to switch out the vendor that promises X and delivers Y.