Daily Archives: September 30, 2011

Patent Pirates Are Still Plundering

According to this recent article over on CNN Money, patent trolls have cost investors Half A Trillion Dollars over the last 20 years. Half A Trillion Dollars! That’s an awful lot of innovation down the drain!

At this point, I’m wondering which pirates are worse? The pirates off the coast of Somalia, who have escalated their attacks and brought ocean piracy to an all time high this year, with 142 attacks in the first quarter alone (and 346 attacks as of September 27). Now, it’s true that the attacks are sometimes violent and that 15 people have been killed this year, but for the most part, the Somali pirates are more focussed on taking hostages in return for ransoms, and release the hostages when they get the ransom. And while the ransoms are getting higher, with the average ransom reaching 5.4 Million in 2010, total payments in 2010 were only 238 Million. Yes, this is a big number, and 20 times 238 Million is a bigger number at 4.76 Billion, but that’s only 1% of losses that can be attributed to patent pirates. One percent!

And the “contributions” that the patent trolls supposedly make to innovation are essentially nonexistent. They’ve funnelled less than 10 Billion to R&D, or less than 1/50th of what they’ve cost investors and innovators. All they do is create a disincentive to innovate. And in SI’s view, they should be made to walk the plank.

High Definition Adoption Measurement Part V

Today’s guest post is from John Shaw (Senior Director, Adoption Services) of BravoSolution, a leading provider of spend analysis, (e-)sourcing, supplier performance management (SPM) and healthcare sourcing solutions and a sponsor of Sourcing Innovation (SI). It is the fifth of an eight (8) part series, which, when complete, will form a white-paper that BravoSolution will be releasing to the general populace next Wednesday.

Yesterday’s post (Part IV) provided a case study that describes typical challenges faced by a large global manufacturer. In the case study, a 30,000-foot view would show positive progression, even though a number of users would not be using the system to maximize supplier value. The case study described symptoms, likely causes, and potential actions by the adoption team to increase value received.

Today’s post focuses on the process that Company A would follow to transition to high definition.

Understand the Category Impact

The interview concept is very important because each Category is different. Patterns that emerge at the 10,000-foot level may seem like problems, but may be a natural result of the constraints of sourcing a Category. In order to make the most of this data, the Adoption Team must be willing to learn about the characteristics of each Category. Just as an e-Sourcing solution isn’t “one-size-fits all” for each company, and it isn’t “one-size-fits-all” for each Category.

The process of interviewing Category managers and discussing data trends observed by the Adoption Team creates an additional layer of data, and it is in that layer of data that we transition to a High Definition view of adoption.

Transitioning to High Definition:

As we drop down from our 10,000-foot view to our High Definition view, we are going to expand beyond the Category and User dimensions to include Category-specific targets over time. We move to this view as we recognize that each Category not only has its own characteristics, but that the strategies deployed in that Category should change over time.

In most organizations, a Category’s overall strategy is determined as part of a periodic review process. As the strategy for each Category is established, the Adoption Team becomes a key stakeholder in this process because it is their job to help the Category Manager use the tools in a way that supports the strategy.

The examples below highlight how adoption goals can be tied directly to the strategy for a particular Category:

Category goals.

It is at this point, when you have aligned both Adoption Measurement and Adoption Opportunity Assessment directly with both your organizational objectives and Category-specific strategies that you have achieved High Definition Adoption Measurement. Your Adoption Team is now in a position to directly enable and monitor progress towards you business objectives.

Part VI will provide an example case study that describes some of the adoption challenges of an energy company operating in a (European) regulatory environment.