by Michael Friedenberg

Do Your Vendors Really Deliver?

Jan 15, 20062 mins

Over the past few years it’s become obvious that IT organizations want to partner with fewer vendors while reaping greater strategic value from those relationships. According to a recent IDC survey of IT and line-of-business executives, almost 60 percent plan to consolidate their partnerships. As this consolidation occurs, IT vendors have been quick to devise “road map” visions of how their products can provide a suite solution for their users and prospects. I’m sure you can rattle them off: CA’s EITM (Enterprise IT Management), Mercury’s BTO (Business Technology Optimization), EMC’s ILM (Information Lifecycle Management), SAS’s EIP (Enterprise Intelligence Platform) and Symantec’s Information Integrity. These platforms are all intended to be easy to use while reducing complexity and creating superior levels of speed, security and intelligence within the organization.

These are ideal goals. But what I want to know is: Are the vendors delivering? In CIO’s most recent “State of the CIO” research (which you can find by going to, your answer was, well, pretty mixed: 54 percent of you said yes, meaning that 46 percent of you were not satisfied with the relationship. How can this still be? Are the vendors promising too much, or are you failing to communicate to them exactly what you need?

The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, but we live in a world where the customer is always right. So be it perception or reality, 46 percent of the user community is screaming that the IT vendor community is not delivering on its value proposition.

This is appalling, and vendors need to wake up. A reckoning is around the corner. The user community, pressed by the demands of driving revenue, profits and customer affinity, will no longer accept the status quo. IT vendors need to deliver on the promise of ELAV—Enterprise Leadership and Value. Bottom line: It’s high time for the partnership between vendor and user to become more beneficial to both. If you have that kind of relationship with your vendor, and you have that kind of ELAV platform, please let me know.

P.S. Here’s hoping you had a happy and healthy New Year, and please don’t worry about Gary Beach. He’ll be back in the next issue. He has been gracious enough to share this space with me, and our columns will alternate in every other issue.