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Sometimes it’s really nice working for a profitable and established
public company. With the launch of Actional 8, we’ve put some
discipline on our focus around Business Transaction Assurance (BTA).
We’ve rolled out lots of internal materials to train our field to
understand the “problem” from a customer perspective, so that they can
engage in conversations around the problem, rather than “pitch
In any case, I’m reading through some research around order fallout
(revenue leakage) Progress just sponsored that was completed by Vanson Bourne. Vanson Bourne
carried out over 200 company interviews (these, to my knowledge, were
not all Progress customers). The companies are in the USA, Europe, and
Asia/Pacific and all had a minimum revenue of $200M. The study was not
limited to the Telecommunications industry, but does call out specifics
about both the Telecommunications and Hospitality industries because of
their heavy reliance on consumer transactions.
that we sponsored the research and so it is perhaps somewhat suspect, I
can’t help but be amazed at the raw statistics the report showed. Some
There are phenomenal implications to these numbers. The inefficiency is outstanding. And, there is plenty more where that came from!
I’m a student of life, and in particular of software companies. I’m always amazed when companies spend huge efforts to win new business, only to discard the relationship once the deal is won. Sure, no one does this purposely, but... through compensation and other more subtle motivations, there aren’t too many people in companies whose job it is to deal with happy customers without problems to keep them happy. I find this curious, because “relationship revenue” has a much lower cost of sale than “RFP revenue” and puts much less burden on every aspect of the company.
I digress a little, only to make the point that the companies in this survey are LOSING MONEY THEY HAVE ALREADY EARNED. Therefore, these lost transactions represent the most profitable ones they process! It’s like there’s a queue for service, with someone at the head saying “I’ll take yours, I’ll take yours, I’ll take yours, Nope - you, drop that on the floor, but don’t worry, keep our service.”
The report goes on to talk about some of the interesting “management” facts that usually are part of press releases about “new software versions” but often don’t actually make it into the software release (hasn't anyone developed a compiler that can compile press releases yet... it's a product some companies really need). It seems like there are a lot of difficulties with the software meant to solve these problems. Such as:
All that said, I still have a personal favorite...
It goes without saying that I believe Actional solves the problems in the first list, without introducing the ones in the second.
Who cares what I think though when you have Forrester studying two of our IN PRODUCTION customers, and finding the same results:
I’ve blogged before about the importance of the scalability and performance of the management system, without which features don’t really matter. This report validates my earlier post, and calls out specifically that many management features can’t be used in production because of the impact on performance. I wonder if the vendors of these management systems didn’t oversell their products... I wish they had asked that question in the survey! (And, when looking for that link, I found another post that was also mentioned in the report... the importance of actually knowing you have a problem.)
Thank you for reading this far. Email me if you like a copy of the Vanson Bourne report and the Forrester case studies. (These case studies are anonymous, but all research was completed by and validated by Forrester Research).
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