JUL 22, 2010 6:07am ET

Related Links

Should You Always Obey Orders from Your Executives?
August 7, 2014
Ensuring Portfolio Price Optimization
August 6, 2014
IBM Introduces Watson to Consumers in Service for USAA Clients
July 23, 2014

Web Seminars

Why Data Virtualization Can Save the Data Warehouse
September 17, 2014
Essential Guide to Using Data Virtualization for Big Data Analytics
September 24, 2014

Use a Four-Step Approach to Select the Right BI Services Provider

Print
Reprints
Email

BI projects are never short, and, alas, many of them don't end since a fast-paced business environment often introduces new requirements, enhancements and updates before you're even done with your first implementation. Therefore, we typically recommend doing sufficient due diligence upfront when selecting a BI services provider — as you may be stuck with them for a long time. We recommend the following key steps in your selection process:

  1. Map BI project requirements to potential providers. Firms should use Forrester's "BI Services Provider Short-Listing Tool" to create a shortlist of potential providers. With the tool you can input details about your geographic scope, technology needs, and the type of third-party support you need (i.e., consulting versus implementation versus hosting/outsourcing). The tool then outputs a list of potential providers that meet the criteria. For each potential fit, the tool also generates a provider profile summary that offers key details around practice size, characteristics, and areas of expertise.
  2. Narrow your short-list based on additional needs and considerations. Beyond the capabilities of Forrester's "BI Services Provider Short-Listing Tool," firms must eliminate or add partners based on factors such as their current strategic suppliers list or past partner success or failure (and therefore image and reputation internally), plus references from peers. Similarly, some BI services buyers will have a preference for larger, global companies whereas others may want to consider more regional players and boutiques. Some firms will consider a single-provider strategy whereas others may engage multiple providers for different needs/phases.
  3. Send RFI/RFP to potential candidates. Forrester's "BI Service Provider Short-Listing Tool" is a basic starting point only. Most firms will need a more detailed RFI or RFP to uncover additional relevant details about project approach, proposed staffing model for a specific need, costs, or technical IP/accelerators/tools. Beyond key details about project approach and resources, BI services buyers will likely benefit from finding out details around provider strategy, such as SaaS and cloud capabilities or strategic partnerships.
  4. Zero in on the finalist using Forrester's BI consultants' selection methodology. This is where the hard work starts, because from this point on the selection process becomes quite subjective. Dig deeper and understand your prospect's strategic advisory capabilities. Also, check out their existing methodologies, reference architecture, and any relevant solution accelerators. Review their execution methodology, strength in data governance, and experience with next-generation BI technologies (such as Agile BI, self-service BI, and others).

Get access to this article and thousands more...

All Information Management articles are archived after 7 days. REGISTER NOW for unlimited access to all recently archived articles, as well as thousands of searchable stories. Registered Members also gain access to:

  • Full access to information-management.com including all searchable archived content
  • Exclusive E-Newsletters delivering the latest headlines to your inbox
  • Access to White Papers, Web Seminars, and Blog Discussions
  • Discounts to upcoming conferences & events
  • Uninterrupted access to all sponsored content, and MORE!

Already Registered?

Filed under:

Advertisement

Comments (1)
Hi Boris, Love the article. As a BI service provider ourselves, we find we are most successful when working with clients who have put thought into how they will select their service provider, and how the BI journey (as you say, it's not just a project) will play out in the long term.

I wonder, with the shifting landscape of BI service providers, how often will your tool be updated in the future?

From a self-serving point of view, I also wonder if our organization has been considered as part of the total set of providers. The BI Builders is a long standing BI consulting and implementation partner, and has been recognized with numerous partner awards by SAP BusinessObjects. I think we'd fit under the 'boutique' category: http://www.bibuilders.com

Best, -IainR

Posted by Iain R | Monday, July 26 2010 at 1:18PM ET
Add Your Comments:
You must be registered to post a comment.
Not Registered?
You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.
Already registered? Log in here
Please note you must now log in with your email address and password.
Twitter
Facebook
LinkedIn
Login  |  My Account  |  White Papers  |  Web Seminars  |  Events |  Newsletters |  eBooks
FOLLOW US
Please note you must now log in with your email address and password.