We all know that competition among software application vendors has become cut-throat in our slow economy; vendors are challenged to find ways to improve their revenue. One way to come out as a winner amongst the competition is to have a better product – a product with an X-factor. [Easier said than done] Often times, companies employ different ways to distinguish themselves, which includes providing extra features within their core software application.
Even for a great application, there may only be an average level of reporting/graphing capabilities. The sales team looks for enhancements to the presentation layer for increased sales. If IT could provide some dashboards with a high-level picture using the application’s data, that could be a dealmaker. Now, let’s say, a vendor has decided to better their presentation so that the executives of the client could readily access information. The question then arises about build vs. buy. Should you employ more IT resources, or should you select to integrate a product that can deliver the information? If you find a product which excels at data visualization the choice will become obvious – embed a best-of-breed platform and leverage the data in your application.
Recently, I was on an engagement with a bank software vendor. It was very interesting to see how the presentation gap in their core offering was quickly filled with a dashboard tool. It clearly became a differentiating factor among competition, and a strong sales tool for the sales team. This vendor is now able to present their information in an easy-to-read format with dashboards. These dashboards are highly interactive and can be rolled out to different layers of management i.e. executives, VPs, directors, managers. These dashboards also pull information from different data sources to show the synergy among indicators on one single dashboard e.g. teller transaction volume vs. call center call volume vs. automated phone banking system.
I hope the blog was helpful for management and IT alike. Should you have questions/comments, please feel free to post.
Zahid Ansari – Technical Consultant, iDashboards