Before you fall for the advice of an industry analyst when making a critical long-term S2P technology platform selection. (Just today I heard about a company four  years in to a six  year Ariba implementation. That’s right! Six years! Wowzers. I’m not even sure Slow Poke Rodriguez could do an implementation that slow! But I digress … )
You see, as the prophet clearly states in Industry Analysts vs. Technology Analysts, industry analysts provided company/solution-level analysis and evaluation while technology analysts provide product/module- and architecture-level focus and comparative solution analysis. That’s a big difference.
In other words industry analysts tell you about the stability and market acceptance of the company while technology analysts tell you about the stability and market appropriateness of the technology, as well as the future outlook of its effectiveness post-implementation. [Just because your hardware is obsolete the minute you open the box doesn’t mean your software should be.]
Furthermore, what’s going to give you more reliable insight into a potential platform — information gathered by phone-based customer discussions, powerpoint presentations, and the odd customer survey — or — ground-up technology evaluation through interactive, in-depth, live product demonstrations focussed around granular RFI questions and important platform elements. If you trust an industry analyst, the best you’re going to get is second hand insight from happy customers where the blush is still on the rose and a review of the UI — from static screen captures in a powerpoint presentation. Not good. Not good at all.
For more insight on what makes a technology analyst, and just how rare they are, check out the prophet‘s article. FYI: as far as the doctor is concerned, the chances of encountering a true technology analyst is less than 100 to 1. Especially when you consider the educational and experiential background needed. (FYI: operations, MBA, psychology, history, etc. are NOT the right backgrounds to understand algorithms, software architectures, and modern technology at a deep technical level.)