Vendors have the good times rolling again, as many IT projects kept on the backburner see the light of day. In fact, it may be quite a while since many of your smaller RFP invites will see even an acknowledgement mail these days. Expect to see major spikes in “project management” fees as well, since most vendors are not in a mood to bargain much. There are enough deals out there, and one less project does not perturb vendors. But all these business gains come at other costs to you, the existing customer.
Last year saw vendors down-sizing their workforce in a major manner. Just the fact that this year brings in new orders hasn’t meant scaling back to the old team strengths. So you’ll find that your earlier single point of contact is handling many more job responsibilities than he used to before the recession.
As an SI employee put it, it’s the customer who suffers since vendor teams have only so many hours in a day. “Each person had to handle the responsibilities of around three employees during the recession. So the business got used to us working 18 hour days and handling around 20 calls per day (as opposed to the earlier 12 calls). We can’t handle the pressure anymore, so we find it extremely difficult to stick to customer’s timelines and quality requirements” he said, as he tackled his 15th appointment of the day (at 7.30 pm).
Even if I discount a bit of this as a rant, it’s disturbing to find that teams from other SIs find the case no different! In fact, many SI and support teams are facing serious attrition issues. So if your single point of contact sends you a “moving on” e-mail one of these days, do be prepared to face the inevitable.
Do you have vendor management stories to share? We’ll happy to hear from you, so do write to apatrick at techtarget dot com.