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Key Points to Consider with PRM Vendors

When developing a strategy for implementing PRM, it is important to keep in mind the following key points:

  • Start out with your goals in clear focus. First, decide what you want to accomplish with a PRM system, and move forward with the integration strategies to make the systems work together. Many companies use PRM applications in conjunction with their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) prospecting tools, so be sure to think through the role that PRM can play in all areas of your organization. The opportunity to gather greater input into Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is also perfectly attuned to the data captured by PRM.

  • Focus on metrics. There is the need to develop a solid business strategy based on the actual performance that occurs in your channels of distribution. Metrics on the development of sales for a new product, the sell-through rates on specific products, and the definition of new strategies based on the results of promotional strategies are all necessary to create a consistently effective PRM strategy.

  • Think scalability. Because many PRM vendors both have an ASP-focused hosted model in addition to a license model, be sure to allot a significant amount of time to check out how the applications are hosted, and with whom. Exodus is clearly a leader in this area because its commitment to security is one of the most aggressive in the industry.

  • What does the future product direction look like? For many PRM vendors, there is the opportunity to move into order management, partner with Siebel, acquire other companies, or merge with other vendors. Be sure to get involved with a customer advisory council if your PRM vendor offers one. If not, suggest to the vendor's CEO that they start one to gain insights into their customer base. Find someone within your organization with the time to devote to an advisory council on PRM because this area is rapidly changing and will be entirely different a year from now.

  • Enjoy Siebel watching. With Siebel and its eChannel initiative being very attractive to many PRM vendors, expect to see many of them become Premier Partners. Siebel's capability to build a virtual organization through the development of these partnerships will in turn add value to each PRM vendor's solution set.

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