Thanks to my fellow ebizQ blogger Ronan Bradley for pointing me at this blog post on Bankervision by James Gardner. Ronan specializes in financial services IT issues on ebizQ. The intent of Ronan's post is to comment on Gardner's thoughts from the suppliers'/salesperson's point of view.
You can also learn a lot by looking at it from the buyers' point of view. I especially like the line:
"...when someone shows up with something unique, there is often a scramble to make anything happen. Sometimes we actually can't make anything happen. I often wonder, when I sit across the table from a potential partner, whether they realize this, or think we're playing a negotiation game. I can assure you we're not."
This reminds me of my call for an IT user's organization that really represents IT users. It helps for individual suppliers to support groups of its users at events such as OracleWorld or Sapphire where the discussion is all about specific products you might use. It's great when suppliers fund groups of co-located users who get together in their geographies to talk about their respective state/province/country needs irrespective of product/technology.
To some extent, we're told by popular SAP-following bloggers like Dennis Howlett that the Nov. 22 replacement of the president of the American SAP Users Group (ASUG) appeared to be such a movement toward independence. But ASUG is still a product-centric group and is likely highly funded by SAP via advertising or association with Sapphire or whatever. You still need a non-supplier-funded, non-technology-centric, non-geographic-centric home to call your own where supplier funding in no way influences the agenda or activities of the group and overriding IT issues such as running IT as a business, IT governance concerns, professional certification and the like can be discussed.
Or where you can simply discuss the games suppliers play, as the folks on James Gardner's blog do.