Daily Archives: August 3, 2008

The Vendor in Black (Repost)

The sun did not shine.
We had no time for play.
So we sat in the office.
On that dark, stormy day.

I sat there with Sally.
We sat there, we two.
And I said, “How I wish
We had good tools to use!”

We’re deep in the red.
Our paychecks are stale.
So we sat in the office.
And tried not to wail.

So all we could do was to
And we did not like it.
Not one little bit.

And then
something went BUMP!
How that bump made us jump!

We looked!
Then we saw him step in on the mat!
We looked!
And we saw him!
The Vendor in Black!
And he said to us,
“Why do you sit there like that?”
I know you are broke
And your paychecks are flat
But we can find
Savings to tuck under your hat.”

“I have some tools that you can use,”
Said the Vendor.
“I have some new tricks,”
Said the Vendor in Black.
“A lot of good tricks
I will show them to you
Your boss
Will not mind at all if I do.”

Then Sally and I
Did not know what to say.
Our boss was out of the office
For the day.

But Diligence said, “No!, No!
Make that vendor stand by!
Tell that Vendor in Black
You do NOT want to try.
He should not be here.
He should not be about.
He should not be here
When our boss is out!”

“Now! Now! Have no fear.
Have no fear!” said the Vendor.
“My tricks are not bad,”
Said the Vendor in Black.
“Why, we can find
lots of savings, if we try
with a report that I call
vendor-GL_code drive by!”

“Please get out!” said Diligence.
“This strikes me as void!
Please get out! said Diligence.
I do NOT wish to be unemployed!”

“Have no fear!” said the Vendor.
“My tool will always work.
It will find you savings
Wherever they lurk.
With a click of a button.
And your ERP app.
It will find you savings!”
Said the Vendor in Black.

“Look at it!
Look at it now!” said the Vendor in Black.
“It’s finding you savings.
To tuck under your hat.
It’s comparison report.
Can handle two divisions.
Broken down by category.
Into subdivisions.
And look!
Pie chart comparisons for one and for all!
But that is not all!
Oh, no.
That is not all … ”

“Look at it!
Look at it!
Look at it now!
It can handle AP data,
with the module that knows how.
It doesn’t cost much more.
Than the basic module costs.
But it’s worth the price.
To prevent savings loss!
And with extra reports.
Your savings explode.
You’ll find hidden treasure.
With that extra code.
Don’t fear the price tag.
It’s a nominal fee.
You heard me clear.
Have no fear!
Just a nominal fee!”

That is what the vendor said.
Then he fell on his head!
He came down with a bump!
From up there high on the wall.
And Sally and I,
We saw ALL our prospects fall!

And Diligence he gloated.
While grinning he did.
He sad, “Did I not tell you?”
Oh, yes! I sure did!
This was not a good game,”
said Diligence in a fit.
“No, I did not like it,
Not one little bit!”

“Now look what you did!”
Said Diligence to the Vendor in Black!
“Now look at this mess!
Look at this! Look at that!
You took all our money.
Sank us deep in the red.
You made us false promises.
Then you fell on your head.
You SHOULD NOT be here.
When our boss is gone out.
You get out of this office!”
Said Diligence with clout!

“But I like to be here.
Oh, I like it quite a bit!”
Said the Vendor in Black
To Diligence with wit.
“I will NOT go away.
I do NOT wish to roam!
And so,” said the Vendor in Black,
so …
I will show you
Another module you should own!”

And then he ran out,
And, then, fast as a fox,
The Vendor in Black
Came back in with a box.
A shiny blue box.
It was sealed with red tape.
“Now look at this,”
Said the Vendor.
“Take a look!”

Then he climbed on the soapbox.
And with a tip of his hat.
“I call this module Enhanced-Data-Blocks,”
Said the Vendor.
“In this box, two CDs.
I will load for you now.
You will like these apps,”
Said the Vendor with a bow.

“I will unseal the tape.
You will see something new.
Two apps. And I call them
App One and App Two.
These two apps will not hassle you.
They integrate well.”
Then, out of the box
came CDS for App One and App Two!
He installed them at once.
Then said, “They’re ready to use.
Would you like to try out
App One and App Two?”

And Sally and I
Did not know what to do.
So we decided to try out
App One and App Two.
We loaded them both.
But Diligence said, “No! No!
Those Apps should not be
on our system! They must go!
“They should not be installed
When our boss is not here!
Uninstall! Uninstall!
Said Diligence, wrought with fear.

“Have no fear, Diligence,”
Said the Vendor in Black.
“These apps are good apps.”
And he gave them a nod.
“They are great. Oh, so great!
They were built to work well.
They will save you more money
and make you feel swell.”

“Now, here is a new trick that I like.”
Said the vendor.
“They augment your data,”
Said the Vendor in Black.

“No! Not in our system!”
Said Diligence, quite hot.
“They should not change the data
in our system! They should not.
Oh, the errors they’ll make.
The mistakes I will find.
Oh, I do not like it!
Rewind, Rewind!”

Then Sally and I
Saw them merge our transactions.
We saw those two Apps
Put our systems in traction.
Bump! Thump! Thump! Bump!
For hours on end there was no reaction.

App One and App Two!
Power Down! Power Up!
Our processors maxed!
It was not abrupt!
In want of more memory,
swap space was used.
And our brand new SAN,
those Apps did abuse.

Then those Apps they spit out
A slew of reports.
Across all our data,
they said we were short.
And I said
“I do NOT like the way that they run.
If our boss saw this,
would he have bought one?”

Then Diligence said, “Look! Look!”
And trembled with fear.
“Our boss is on her way back!
Do you hear?
Oh, what will she do to us?
What will she say?
Oh, she will not like it
To find our systems this way!”

“So, DO something! Fast!” said Diligence.
“Do you hear!
I saw her! Our boss!
Our boss is near!
So, as fast as you can,
Think of something to do!
You must get results from
App One and App Two!”

So, as fast as I could,
I loaded Excel.
And I said, “With Excel
I can get meaning I bet.
I bet, with Excel,
I can use those reports yet!
Cut and Paste, Slice and Dice
Make our new reports useful and nice!”

“You see!” said the vendor
“Our new apps work great.
You’ll save.
Yes you’ll save.
Oh you’ll save
Ain’t that great!”

Then he left us the box
with the CDs inside.
And the Vendor went away
gleaming with pride.

“That is good” said Diligence.
“Vendor’s gone away. Yes.
But our boss will come back
She will find this big mess!
And the mess is so big
And through all systems spread,
We can not clean it up.
We are so dead!”

Who was back in the office?
Why, the Vendor!
“Have no fear of the mess,”
Said the Vendor in Black.
“I solve all your problems,
And so …
I have here another module
to answer your woes!”

Then we saw Vendor install
App Three, Your Original View.
For another small fee
our data renewed.
Our original views,
and our new views too
plus a hundred reports
and a slew of canned graphs
in bright shiny colors
to show us our gaffs.

Then Vendor was gone
with a tip of his hat.

Then our bass walked in
And asked of us two
“Did you accomplish your goals?
Tell me. How did you do?”

And Sally and I did not know
What to say.
Should we tell her
The things that went on here that day?

Should we tell her about it?
Or hope she never finds out?
Well …
What would YOU do
If your boss asked YOU?

This entry was originally posted on February 17, 2007.  It is being reposted not only because the spend analysis vendors were making a lot of noise last quarter, but because the spend analysis consultants are finding their workload at an all-time high — which means that many companies are waking up to the fact that there are only a handful of technologies, like spend analysis and optimization, that can save them money in this agflation-recession environment.  However, it has to be true spend analysis and not 100-reports-in-a-box.  In other words, when selecting your vendor, due to the large number of spend analysis solutions on the market that are not, at least in the doctor‘s view, true spend analysis solutions, it’s buyer-beware.