Your company is gung-ho about signing an enterprise agreement with a business intelligence provider. Great! However, before you sign on the dotted line, you need to get smart and evaluate whether the BI provider will continue as a viable business to support you as time goes on. One of Gartner's top 10 predictions for 2002 is that "as many as half of all information technology suppliers that existed in early 2001 will disappear from the competitive landscape by the end of 2003 as they are acquired or go out of business" (Gartner Research, January 9, 2002). This prediction really makes one pause and take notice. Before you partner, you need to make sure your BI provider has more than just the feature/functionality you need.

There are a few things you should look into before committing to a long-term agreement. The provider's focus may be business intelligence, but you need to do a little intelligence work regarding their business. Objectives of this analysis are to determine their financial viability, technical viability and ability to survive as a company within their market space.

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