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Fudd or FUD? What ever happened to Competitive Intelligence among ERP vendors?


May 15, 2012


Elmer Fudd -wikipedia

“be vewy vewy quiet, ERP vendors are hunting wabbits?”

Doug Hadden, VP Products

FUD – “fear uncertainty and doubt” is a technique used in the technology industry to raise concerns about competitors. Wikipedia defines this as a disinformation tactic. FUD can be effective when the disinformation is based on facts. Vendors extrapolate an argument from those facts to create uncertainty in the customer’s mind. It’s not an attractive part of the software industry. Yet, frequently used.

Openness and FUD

The Internet changes the FUD calculus. On one hand, it provides more opportunity for vendors to understand competitors’ weaknesses. It’s all there on web site, product reviews and social media. On the other hand, vendor FUD based on outdated information or made-up information is quickly exposed. This can make these vendors look like cartoon characters – not unlike Elmer Fudd.

Why FUD about FreeBalance?

I sometimes wonder why ERP vendors don’t play to their strengths. Play the high road. It’s probably because these vendors have a competitive disadvantage in Government Resource Planning (GRP) – higher Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and failure rates.

It continues to amaze me whenever I hear that these vendors suggest that FreeBalance software is not web-based. As I heard earlier this week from one of our business partners.

Web-based or Web-enabled?

Here’s the thing: the FreeBalance Accountability Suite Version 7 is completely web-based. Not web-enabled. No client/server code. No wrapping of proprietary programming languages to interface with Java. No legacy code. Completely re-written in Java. In other words, web-native. Built on Java Enterprise Edition. More web-based than ERP products.

This fact should not be a mystery to any ERP vendor’s competitive intelligence unit. We’ve been talking about our technology for about 5 years. We’ve been vocal on the blog.

Perhaps ERP vendors are confused because some FreeBalance customers are not running the latest version of software. That’s because we don’t force customers to upgrade to the latest version. That’s an ethical stand.

I’m curious. Do you think that the following legacy languages used by ERP vendors mean that their software is really web-based?

Competitive Intelligence

Competitive Intelligence is a profession. There is an association called Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP). I held a “CI” position some years ago. I recall researching to discover if a competitor’s weakness had been overcome. We kept a competitor inventory and had to be quite certain that this inventory was accurate. We needed to make sure that our people in the field did not sound like buffoons. And, easily outsmarted by a wabbit.

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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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