SI’s Policy: No Time Limit and No Fixed Schedule on Briefs

One week ago today, Spend Matters (“SM”) announced that it was limiting briefings to

a one-hour-and-twenty-minute interval on Thursdays and a

two-hour-and-30-minute interval on Fridays. SM stated that

briefings would be limited to 40 minutes, including 10-15 minutes of introduction/background,

the remaining time to be spent on “the presentation or announcement”.  SM further stated that it requires

reference contacts for a follow-up call, and that it is limiting follow-up demos to 30 minutes.

While it is not Sourcing Innovation’s place to comment on the policies of other blogs in the space,

the doctor would like to take this opportunity to make SI’s policies, most of which are very different from the above (and laid out in the FAQ), very clear.

  1. SI will schedule briefs at times of mutual convenience. If this means after hours, that can be arranged.
  2. Although initial demos are usually limited to 60 or 90 minutes, SI does not impose time limits of any kind on briefs. If a brief needs to be continued,

    then it will be, for as long as it takes. SI is interested in your solution. Very interested.

  3. SI is not interested in “announcements” or “presentations.” Rather, SI wants to see your

    solution in action. Plan on a deep dive into your solution, followed

    by an intelligently-written post, assuming that the doctor believes that your solution solves a

    real problem in our space. Note that the doctor is very respectful of any software solution that

    solves a real problem, because he knows what it takes to bring such solutions to market, having

    done it himself on multiple occasions.

  4. SI is generally not interested in making reference calls*, because the doctor doesn’t care about your Marketing department’s ability to find customers who think your solution is the greatest thing since sliced bread. He is interested in your solution, not third-party opinions about your solution. This is not People Magazine or Gartner, so the opinion of a random “celebrity” customer, regardless of how prestigious his or her corporate logo may be, is irrelevant here. Lemmings are plentiful, and they come in all sizes.

Finally, SI sees no issue in trying to “keep up with” vendor products and announcements. Although many vendors make routine “exciting” announcements about new functionality and so forth, in practice these announcements are usually just marketing noise, having little to do with important functionality changes and enhancements. SI is confident of its ability to cover real enhancements and real innovations when they really occur, and can see no immediate danger of running out of cycles to do so.

For vendors who require a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before providing a demo, SI is not interested in reviewing your solutions. the doctor’s assumption is that organizations requiring an NDA before doing a deep dive for a reviewer are irrationally hiding functionality that is released and in the public domain anyway, so their motives for trying to conceal that functionality are suspect.

Thank you for your attention.

* The exception being when you make a strong claim about savings, ROI, etc.