Project Management

Vending Machine

Bob Weinstein is a journalist who covers technology, project management, the workplace and career development.

Picking the right vendor is not as difficult as many analysts make it out to be. And it doesn’t mean buying or leasing the newest and coolest technology on the market, either. Problems often start when decision-makers look at the enormous vendor community. What they find are hundreds of players--many with dazzling credentials--and a client list spanning several industries.
Their websites are full of glowing endorsements. More confusing is that they make a big point of driving home the fact that they can serve any size company--big, small, medium, startup. In short, they all tout themselves as the “leading” vendor providing “bleeding edge” solutions. After reading all the glowing hype, you’re inclined to call the first impressive vendor you stumble on and schedule an appointment.
Here’s what might happen: You could be in for an Oscar-winning sales performance by folks who have their marketing act down to a science. Don’t expect one polite salesperson to sit across the desk from you and sell you on their company’s “solutions.” Expect their “development team” to descend upon you--scrubbed, clean shaven, decked out in their newest Armani. They’ll also be armed with graphs, power point presentations, pamphlets, reams of statistics and fat manuals full of case studies and …

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I have made good judgements in the past. I have made good judgements in the future.

- Dan