A focus of capioIT on emerging technology has provided access to a number of small niche application vendors. Coverage aligns across a diverse range of markets through BI and analytics, credit union mortgage platforms, board portals, payroll, billing systems meeting room management amongst many others, . It has highlighted the granular nature of some software providers, but it has unfortunately reinforced belief that there is a consistent lack of focus on integration and professional services by these vendors.
Of the 15 or so niche ISV’s I have looked at closely in recent months (from a customer, integration, API and product basis) virtually all have a good and in many cases great product that meets customer expectations and requirements.
Where these vendors consistently struggle is in professional services and integration. This is identified by capioIT consistently across both mature and emerging markets in Asia Pacific. The resource model is clearly difficult especially in second tier markets or geographies. Finding the balance or being able to invest in appropriate flexible mobile resources is proving beyond the abilities of vendors.
I spoke with customers of one vendor this week. Service in the home city was fantastic, service outside of this location whilst still in major metropolitan areas was barely acceptable. It is this inconsistency that creates poor outcomes for customers and blows out the time and cost of integration. Clearly the lack of depth costs organisations money; several customers I have spoken with have scaled back their implementations not due to direct costs, but due to indirect costs as a result of delays to implementation.
I have heard of the challenges of the lack of ISV services (professional or implementation) in all major Asia Pacific markets from India, through China, ASEAN markets and Australia.
Bottom line is that independent ISV’s if they want to maintain their independence need to focus on service and integration. It doesn’t matter how good the product is, if service is poor, customers will reconsider investment.