Emptoris: Framing Solution Enhancements Around the Customer — Empower Dispatch 3

Earlier this week, I had the chance to talk to Kevin Potts at Emptoris about some of the solution news they'd be unveiling at Empower. But what was most interesting to me was not just diving into some of the specific product enhancements and new product releases, but rather the philosophy behind what led Emptoris to prioritize these initiatives. With the Emptoris Release 8 (and related solution/services delivered on top of the platform), Emptoris set out to address four specific challenges it saw in its customer base: "a lack of risk analysis capabilities, data overload without actionable intelligence, disconnected processes / global agility and limited technical expertise". Piecing these observations together took Emptoris down the path of making hundreds of both major and minor enhancements to Release 8. But it also led them to create a program that they've called "true potential".

Looking somewhat like the Gartner Hype Cycle for technology adoption, Emptoris shared a chart with me that describes the true potential of its program goal, which is to help companies that have already adopted technology to drive from initial engagement, proof of concepts and the vendor/customer handoff phase to a state of continued results rather than lost momentum. In other words, Emptoris designed the program, which combines training, education and related services, to help typical customers more uniformly achieve the results that best-in-class companies achieve.

Specific True Potential program components will include assessment workshops focused on helping organizations better understand their current state relative to benchmark performance metrics and enabler workshops to teach and train companies on technology usage, tactics. The program also includes general knowledge enrichment/transfer, additional customized training options and upgrade programs that help organizations get more from new features, capabilities and approaches.

What's interesting to me is that a lot of what Emptoris appears to be offering in this program are the types of services that third-party consulting organizations have delivered in the past. But perhaps technology providers should have delivered them all along given the critical process linkages between applications and organizations. In fact, one of the major reasons, I'd argue, that only a minority of organizations use the majority of capabilities available to them -- even in Excel, for example -- is because technology and process integration and education is wanting in most organizations, often in the best of cases (and non-existent in the worst). Will Emptoris be more successful than third-party consultants at helping companies achieve their true potential leveraging the advanced -- and even fundamental -- capabilities of the technology they've already purchased? We'll see, but I'd certainly argue this is an important step in the right direction.

Stay tuned for additional coverage on Emptoris' recent solution enhancements.

Jason Busch

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