Is it time to say goodbye to the RFP?

I spend a good bit of my time writing RFP responses and I don’t mind saying that a little bit of me dies each time a complete one. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t stop doing them and I never put less than 100% effort (If you know me, you know that’s the only way I can work).

But I also know it’ll be really hard for us to win one. It doesn’t matter how much effort I put in. It doesn’t matter what I write. Why is this?¬†Why is simple to answer – but fixing it is a little harder.

We’re in 2017. We’re in the age of the smartphone – the device in your hand isn’t just a bit more powerful than the computers that sent man to the moon – it’s millions of times more powerful. And it costs a few hundred pounds, maybe a thousand (And as I’m also a bit of an engineer and do all my own maintenance on cars – that’s more than I spend on some of my cars).

But we’ve become so used to getting so much for so little and to be made so easy for us – people lose sight of value.

So when I do an RFP response, I’m being honest. I will say yes to everything – because I infer that if you’ve asked if something is possible, you want it, and I’ll make sure we can do it. And if I can’t say yes, there’s no point in responding, because someone else will.

But what about if it IS possible, but the cost benefit to you is low – it won’t save you much time, but it adds a lot to the cost. I can think of a smarter way of doing it instead, but involves a process change rather than a system change – how do I get that across in an RFP? I can’t! I can bring my experience to the table, but I also need to know the specifics of your business and your team to find the best answer and an RFP doesn’t have the scope to do that.

How does a supplier get chosen based on an RFP? The RFP is a box ticking exercise :

The questionnaire

  • Can the product do what we want?
  • Can you implement the product?
  • Can you provide references?
  • Are you the cheapest?

 

 

We probably won’t be the bottom line cheapest. But here’s a promise I can make:

You will get the best value, most stable, appropriately featured and fastest delivered solution.

What do I mean?

Firstly – time to value. We’ll start producing results that add value to the business faster than you can blink!! Well, maybe not blink….but faster than you’ll believe or expect.

Appropriately featured – we’ll focus on the biggest pain points and quick wins first. Let’s have a profound positive impact on the business as quickly as possible! But – always -with a goal – we’ll make sure we’re all agreed on where we’re going and what the target end state is – so that everything we do aligns with short, medium & long term goals.

Fastest Delivery – if there is a shortcut, we know it and can use it. But we also know the traps – and will avoid those too.

So while the headline implementation cost might look a little higher, the time taken for you to get value out of the solution, the long term viability of it in your organisation, the perfomance and the flexibility – we can win every time. If you want a box ticked, the big SI’s can help. But if you want to help transform, improve and accelerate your business – talk to Qubix.

I was in a conference yesterday and there was some lively debate about the pros and cons of APEX vs Oracle Analytics Cloud, OBIEE & BICS. I thought I’d drill in to this a little further and explore what role does Oracle Application Express plays in a Business Analytics environment and should (or could) Application Express be used instead of Oracle Analytics Cloud?

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I’ve been asked a number of times whether we can run existing “on premises” rules files in OAC, and also run in OAC using a SQL data source.

We’ve tested out both of these features and both work well:

  • Use Essbase 11.1.2.4 SQL based rules files
  • Developing them off-line on an on-premises install in EAS
  • Setting the SQL connection string to be a substitution variable
  • Deploy them to OAC
  • Update the substitution variable to point to the cloud RDBMS
alter application 'TBC' set variable 'OCIString' 'QUBIXDB:1521/pdb1.a28217.oraclecloud.internal';
import database 'TBC'.'TBC' data connect as 'admin' identified by 'password' using server rules_file 'data' on error write to 'c:\eastemp\data.err';
execute aggregate process on database 'TBC'.'TBC' stopping when total_size exceeds 10;