Wednesday, September 20, 2006

If it is about the apps...where are the apps?!?

So I have run into something very frustrating. For background, I am putting together a collaboration and document management services strategy for my new employer (a large system integrator). I am looking at all of the different platforms that are out there and the solutions that ride on top of them. Our services stretch the gambit of strategic consulting to low level development. I have a strong belief that our customer base (Construction, Public Sector, Utilities and Maqnufacturing) is going to be looking for more CotS based solutions in the future and thus I am trying to find a platform company that has either a) the drive itself or b) the real ISV community to constantly deliver quality solutions. I would like to settle on one or two platforms but from what I am finding that might not be possible.

My problem to date is that I cannot the apps. It seems like everyone is focused on making a great generic platform (i.e. SharePoint, Domino/Notes/Workplace, WebEx Workspace, Adobe Breeze, etc...) and not all of them are created equal. On the other hand there seem to be some decent vertical collaboration solutions (i.e. AutoDesk Constructware/Buzzsaw, Skire, etc...), but then they are built on yet another platform. However, I am left in the dark about whether there is, for instance, a Capital Project Management application for any of the major general collaboration vendors. I have found a couple of lists here or there of partners but then it comes to my second problem which is the companies that seem to be doing this work are 10-15 person shops with annual revenues of $1- 2M. Unfortuantely, that is not substantial enough for me to build a practice around and typically isn't large enough for our typical customer to trust for a long term investment unless we financially get involved usually by escrowing the code and saying that we will support it if Company X goes out of business. That usually leaves me then approaching the customers solution the same way...take the platform and build a custom solution on top of it which gets me further from the CotS + slight technical services + strategic services story I want to tell.

Even with that said I am willing to entertain the smaller ISVs if I can find them. So help me out...where is a good list (not just the "here's everyone that paid their $1,500 to sign up for the partner program" list) that breaks down what industry they are focused on, what their solution is and who I can call to find out more.

1 Comments:

At 10:37 PM, October 02, 2006, Blogger Bushman said...

Scott, take a look at e-Builder (www.e-builder.net) and see if this is in line with what you're after.

 

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