In the past six months, I've gotten quite a lot of feedback from readers of Spend Matters who would like me to take a deeper dive into vendor products, going a step below the level of analysis that I usually provide (with some exceptions, mind you, especially regarding ERP product analyses that put most readers to sleep, or so I've been told). I'm taking this feedback to heart on two levels. First, the Spend Matters bake-off series of reviews, which will help set definitive comparative standards for technology products, solutions and services. But there are only so many bake-offs I can do a good job focusing on each year (even with input from Paul Martyn who is partnering with me on the effort).
In addition to the bake-off series, I'd also like to hire a part-time solution analyst to spend some quality time digging into vendor offerings with me and publishing these reviews in down-loadable format (with some teaser copy on the blog). I'll be involved as well and plan to structure the format of the reviews and contribute from an editorial perspective, but since I still divide much of my day and night between my consulting firm and the blog, this person will be an invaluable resource in spending the time to go beyond regular webex product demonstrations to really understand what makes certain products tick and sing from a user perspective. I'll need her/him to drive the deep-dive review process (I'll handle everything else).
Rather than simply call a number of colleagues I know are qualified, I thought I'd also post the position up here to see if any Spend Matters readers might be interested. I couldn't care less about years of employment, educational background, geek/tech credentials, etc. What I do care about are both Spend Management solution depth and the ability to produce marginally good copy (e.g., knowing the difference between the active and passive voice) at a good clip. In addition to these requirements, the ideal candidate is probably a business-minded person who has implemented Spend Management systems either as an end-user or as a consultant for at least a few years (or has worked in a product management capacity, working closely with users). An analyst or journalism background may or may not be relevant based on actual product experience and solution depth (and an interest in really playing in the product sandbox). Soft-hands, demonstrable ethics, intellectual honesty and social graces matter -- you'll be representing the Spend Matters brand, something I've worked for over four years to build. Compensation approaches, geography, start-date timing, number of hours per week/month, etc. are flexible. I'm after the right person -- the rest will fall into place.
This is clearly a virtual, part-time gig. If you have a day-job, that's fine. But past experience, solution familiarity and writing ability are absolutely essential. While the person will have the option of getting a joint byline (should they want it), no one who currently works for a vendor or consults on vendor product development should apply (unless they're planning to leave the vendor side of the market before taking on this part-time role). I want to be especially careful about any conflicts of interest. This person will need to be available during normal business hours for a couple of hours per week (on some weeks) for vendor discussions, demonstrations, etc. (while the rest of the work can be conducted during non-business hours). The candidate will not have to worry about being available on short-notice, at least most of the time. I'll continue to handle the regular briefings, demonstrations and vendor discussions on a daily basis, using this resource for more in-depth reviews (at the rate of perhaps 1 or 2 per month). In other words, you’ll largely be able to set your own schedule.
If you're interested in learning more and jointly exploring this opportunity, please drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you.
- Jason Busch