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Alice in the Enterprise Software Wonderland


May 24, 2016

Do you get the impression the enterprise software market has become more of “up is down and down is up?”

It’s fascinating to watch large ERP vendors create and refresh corporate mythology – well beyond narrative. These firms suffer from the forlorn hope that we’ve all lost our collective memories in the onslaught of tweets, press releases, analyst papers/”paid content”, and loud crowded user conferences. The multi-media wonderland acting as a reality distortion field. It’s as if Lewis Carroll had predicted the effects of ERP vendor marketing – especially the interplay between the largest Tier 1 vendors, Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

As a public service, let me offer the following 3 Lewis Carroll quotes to slice through the vendor claptrap and maintain your sanity.

“How puzzling all these changes are! I’m never sure what I’m going to be, from one minute to another.”

Yes, one minute it’s a solid on-premises company and the next minute, it’s a cloud company. And, a mobile company. Not to mention “innovation”. There’s so much innovation going on in these firms they’re forced to acquire other firms. There was a time when features were features. Now, features are “innovations.”

Sanity check: don’t get overwhelmed by the hype. Block out the marketing noise words and you will see what is really going on.

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Sanity check: here’s what not to believe before breakfast:

  1. complex has become “simple”
  2. engineering-focused software firms have become customer-centric
  3. social media and digital transformation means releasing long and insufferable press release headlines.
  4. continuous acquisition of vendors means “seamless integration”
  5. open has become closed
  6. walled gardens of proprietary technology protects you

“It is better to be feared than loved.”

FUD – “Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt” – remains the narrative exercised by large vendors. It underpins much of interplay among enterprise software vendors. Upstarts claim they will displace leading vendors. Leading vendors claim increasing market shares at the expense of competitors. This fuels the “myth of success.”

Sanity check: buying from financially successful vendors adds to their success – it doesn’t necessarily translate to your success.

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Doug Hadden

Doug Hadden

Executive Vice President, Innovation at FreeBalance
Doug is responsible for identifying new global markets, new technologies and trends, and new and enhanced internal processes. Doug leads a cross-functional international team that is responsible for developing product prototypes and innovative go-to-market strategies.

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