Hey y’all. The final requests were in by the night of November 30…or so. I admit, I cut a few companies – those that requested extra time – a little extra time. What was amazing was that since I announced the open nominations, I had 88 companies request to be included on the candidates list. That’s beyond those who were already on the candidates list. Only 4 of the 88 made the candidates list who weren’t on it. Remember, the company could be nominated by someone who didn’t work for the company or they could be self-nominated. There were criteria that had to be addressed. There were 67 companies summarily eliminated because they didn’t bother to address the criteria. So the final choices were from the 21 who did.
Some of these were announced last week. The rest are now. Here are the new four.
The FINAL Lists
- Really Simple Systems
- CDC Pivotal
- INgage Networks
- Adobe (Omniture)
- ExactTarget (CoTweet)
- Cap Gemini
- Deloitte Touche
To Become a Winner
What I need from each of the vendors – or, rather what would make life easier – would be a response to my criteria – which I’m reproducing below. I’ll be researching the candidates further but it would be better (I would think) that the responses are given to me by the candidates because that way it will eliminate my likelihood of missing something, dontcha think? But that’s up to them. Several – thank you SAP, Cap Gemini, Infosys, Moxie, Genesys and several others – have done that, which allows me to follow up with questions if need be. Most haven’t yet, so I’ve relied on my own research so far.
So, once final time, here are the criteria without how I weigh them. Please, if you are a candidate, try to send me something responding to each of the eight.
- Financial Performance – This one is obvious, I would think. How well have they done in the last 12 months? Part of this is for understanding how they think about their top and bottom lines. Part of this is to gauge their stability. Needless to say, this will vary widely and all I’ll say about weight is that I take into account how long they’ve existed and a couple of other things when I look here. How important is this in the overall scheme? Hard to say – for you – heh, heh – but if you know me, you’ll know something about how I think here.
- Management – This is a look at who their top and CRM/SCRM management are. Remember this is a CRM watchlist so companies that might look good in some other category, might not look so good here. Think Apple -or maybe not. Leadership counts and since what you often find in companies is that there is an area, island, silo that is functioning extremely well, despite top management – well, in CRM areas, that matters a great deal here – as far as how I look at Management. How I weight it relative to the rest? Keep guessing.
- State of Technology Products (Vendor) – Since consulting firms and analyst institutions don’t have technology products, this is a vendor only category that takes a look at the quality of their technology portfolio as related to CRM – for its solidity, for its ability to do the jobs needed in its category, for its forward thinking.
- Partnerships/Alliances – who do these companies hang out – at least the tech vendors and the SI/consulting institutions. Was their partner mix a wise one? Are they getting results with their channel/ecosystem? Are they fair to their partners? All part of the thinking.
- Mission/Vision – Could be very important, since it sets the tone for all other things. What are they trying to do according to them – and how well are they doing it – according to me. What are they thinking long term – do they have the chops to accomplish it – or are they using their vision as a marketing/PR ploy? Hmmm.
- Market Presence/Impact – What kind of impact and presence do they have in the market? That means how they are perceived, how they participate, what their messaging is and how it coheres with their actions in the market. How they run their external operations – outreach to customers. Customers perception of them?
- Thought Leadership – This is different than market presence. For example, there is one major company (who shall be revealed in the final Watchlist probably) who has great market presence but is only providing modest to poor thought leadership. This means how you move the needle forward when it comes to thinking about ideas – which could be in your domain – say, analytics” – but it also looks at how you relate to analysts, bloggers etc. and how much you participate in the idea marketplace in the community – independent industry conferences etc. and what materials you are putting out there be it a white paper, an event, a video, a conference of your own.
- Corporate Culture – Finally, how does your mission/vision and belief structure affect your company and how it interacts with its staff and its customers? How well do you treat your employees? What do your customers think of working with you – not just of you. Are you flexible enough a culture to be able to change when need be. How imperious is management or how empowered are the staff etc.? All part of this equation.