Emancipating Your IT Department Through Web-Based Spend Intelligence

Posted on March 4, 2011

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Viador Business Intelligence, Reporting and Analytical solutions are entirely web-based and can be hosted in a local environment or in the Cloud.  We bring over 15 years of Business Intelligence and Analytics expertise to business reporting and analysis.

from the Home Page of the Viador website

References to Spend Intelligence seems to come up from every direction, every day so when I read the above opening paragraph from the Viador website’s home or landing page I must admit that besides the number of years that the company has been in business there is not much to distinguish their offering from other notable SI players in the market.

In making this comment, I am not being overly harsh . . . at least I don’t think so, as very few people have the time to drill down beyond the cursory view associated with a subjective interpretation of what a company may or may not offer through a website visit.  This is one of the reasons why like the smoke and mirrors Search Engine Optimization “SEO” strategies, I feel that the majority of websites do little more than create an unoccupied permanent address for random visitors.

I mean come on let’s get real in that even with an Oracle, who’s website is ranked in the top 700 worldwide in terms of traffic, the average amount of time spent on the site according to Alexa is four minutes per visit and 57 seconds per pageview, with a bounce rate (single pageview only) of 48%.  What insights can you truly gain on a company’s products and services within 4 minutes – especially if you have a global rank of 3.5 million?

Perhaps I should be thankful for this reality in that it forms an important basis for why people read this blog, or tune in to our radio and television broadcasts . . . to get the facts and insights that inform and empower the decision-making process through the benefits of our dedicated and unbiased research.

For example, and referencing my comment relative to the 15 years that Viador has been in existence, in and of itself time has very little meaning beyond perhaps providing an indication that the company must be doing something right for it to be around that long?!  Those who would dispute this perception by pointing to the automotive industry are duly noted.

So it is not so much the length of time but, where and how that time was spent that I believe holds the key to what differentiates Viador from other SI vendors.  You see Viador’s elemental roots can be found in the IT world where the company’s solutions were geared towards enhancing or maximizing system performance through the utilization of accessibly intuitive dashboards.

Based on a multi-author architecture that through a secure hierarchical access platform creates and correlates the data from diverse intelligence gathering points , Viador intelligence ensured that an organization’s systems were operating a peak efficiency.  What this means is that as the company expanded its intelligence capabilities to include the driving of peak performance within a client’s purchasing practice, they did so through an IT point of view.  Note, I am not saying a technology point of view, but an IT Department point of view, and there is a big difference.

As every purchasing manager already knows, accessing spend data through the intelligence gatekeepers that is a company’s IT department was often times determined by available IT resources.  So for example, if you required a report related to purchasing, you would have to submit a request and then get in line behind a myriad of other requirements in the hope that you would eventually receive the information when it was still relevant.  Needless to say, the amount of time that usually passed between the original request and actually receiving the information was tantamount to buying a map of the world which reflected the view that the planet was still flat.

 

The IT Department's view of it's users

Unfortunately, and despite the mainstream’s revelation that IT ERP-centric platforms are not synonymous with timely access to Spend Intelligence, I doubt that even with the advent of SaaS-based solutions, companies will after investing tens of millions of dollars, jettison their existing ERP applications.  Nor do I believe that a big enough majority of IT departments view many of the exciting SI dashboard solutions as being major breakthroughs, seeing them instead as nothing more than a nuisance, bolt-on solution that will create more work than it is worth.  Remember, it was after all the IT Department denizens’ position in the early years of the personal computer, that the desktop invaders were going to be a short-lived fad.  And this is the key point.

Because Viador’s origins are within the IT world, unlike any other SI dashboard solution that I have encountered, theirs is the only platform that seems to reflect the collaborative interests and realities of a company’s IT and purchasing departments.

Perhaps a better way to put it is that the Viador8 Intelligence Suite is an SI solution that has been built according to IT Department standards while still being able to meet the convenient and timely accessibility requirements of a purchasing department looking for critical data at the point of purchase rather than after the purchase.  As a result, Viador has removed an important obstacle to adoption, which usually centers around the reluctance on the part of an IT Department to introduce into the environment an outside application.

For this reason alone purchasing professionals who, like someone waiting in an interminable line-up to buy prized event tickets, relative to receiving requested intelligence reports on a timely basis, now have their IT Department’s ear.  The fact that the Viador Suite is actually on a par with the top dashboard intelligence SaaS solutions means that all parties can walk away happy.

The next logical step following your review of the Viador offering, is to then let your department know that they are now free to focus on their core competencies and priorities without compromising the information requirements on the front lines.

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