Vendor Roadmaps:  What You Need To Know

Written by:  Mark Cowan, CDO, Put It Forward

22 January 2019.

The more information you can get about vendor intentions, the better, right? Yes, if it’s the right information, and it’s relevant to your situation. Unfortunately, vendor roadmaps may not be as useful as you think. Here’s why.

Roadmaps aren’t integrated among vendors or with enterprise data flow requirements. Nor do they address product-API integration, where data resides, or how to share data that needs to be associated with new product features. When vendors change direction or drop support for certain products, features or APIs, users are left to figure out workarounds or new solutions – sometimes with little notice and at considerable expense and disruption.

To learn more about the specific roadmaps to ask about, download our whitepaper, "The Truth with Native Integration”.

Vendors: What They Do and Why It Doesn’t Scale

Businesses are self-serving. Each one moves independent of other companies, focused on its strategy and technology and on how to sell its products and solutions. How an application works with other applications is generally of little concern. Technology vendors understand, however, that their products and solutions need to connect with others to some extent or they won’t be adopted. Even if the connection is minimally viable, they can demonstrate that their software plays nicely with others and isn’t an island of technology, even if it is platform-limiting.

The reality is that vendor-supplied native integration is a sales tool, often in the guise of an open API. Of course, open API really means “go build it.” Nonetheless, native integration eases the purchase process and locks an application into another application in the environment.

Integration Choices: Effects on Performance and Data Quality

A reflexive, just-in-time, adaptive business model requires two essential enablers. The first is performance, defined by real-time speed, completeness, accuracy, and timeliness. The second is information flowing at the same velocity.

The Solution: Third-Party Integration

Built-In Performance and Data Quality

At Put It Forward, we believe that an enterprise can operate best when information is put forward to the next person in line whose job is dependent on good data. A configuration approach includes a prebuilt foundation unto which business rules, APIs, analytics, and products can be layered.

The solution provides transparency, measurability, usability, accuracy, completeness, repairability and security. It checks data integrity; for example, two fields go through integration and need to equal three. Logs and time stamps record activities. Views are customizable for each user and for managers and administrators.

Consider the value to marketing, sales, service and other departments when users can access instantly the customer lifecycle and view the entire history of a contact. Put It Forward’s Foresight solution surfaces that data in the platform you are working in ― no longer do you need to search for it in another system. Check out Foresight in action in our demo video.

Put It Forward believes that people can do their best when the right information is put into their hands – to collaborate without compromise. We create the ability for people and organizations to simply get control of their data story and realize its full potential.  Core to this vision is the Data Automation Network of Put It Forward, a configuration-driven approach to integrate, manage the platform, orchestrate, and see around corners.

About the Author: Mark Cowan is the Chief Data Officer at Put it Forward, the Data Automation Network. He has contributed to the definition of several global data standards, patents for data management, distributed system integration and financial systems. Mark is a recognized expert in system design, integration, and business enablement.

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