In his column today, InfoWorld's Ephraim Schwartz suggests that combining traditional advice from firms like Gartner with Nucleus Research's alternative ROI-case study approach can give the most complete picture of a product or technology. Schwartz writes: "As beneficial as Gartner, Forrester, or AMR Research can be in the decision-making process, however, there is an alternative way to approach the challenge of deciding what technology to deploy."
Schwartz spoke with Ian Campbell, CEO at Nucleus Research, who explained that there is only a single way to calculate ROI and to never look at TCO: "If you had to choose between two products — one that was a royal pain to deploy and required five people to manage versus one that required only one person — and then found that the pain-in-the-butt solution would bring in hundreds of millions of dollars more, which would you choose?," said Campbell.
He also said to avoid vendor-initiated case studies. Wrote Schwartz; "If you hear of some marquee enterprise-level company extolling the benefits of a given solution, Campbell suggests calling the company directly. You may hear quite a different story than what was in written in the marketing brochure."
Also, keep in mind that ROI is unique to a particular company. "The only thing it measures is how big of a step your company was able to take: from how bad off it was to how much better off it is now," Shwartz cited Campbell.
Here are some highlights we've been reporting from Nucleus Research in recent months:
Salesforce.com; a commodity product?
Annual per-user cost of SAP 12 times higher than PeopleSoft, study finds
Nucleus scores hosted CRM
Nucleus' top ten technology predictions for 2005