Ola ei march 21 2014

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  • Topics to be Explored:
    Teaching & learning
    Online learning, changes in teaching, experiential learning, etc.
    Technology
    Top trends
    Digitization & Digital media
    Publishing Trends
    The marketplace for education
    Academic research
    Scholarly communication
    Learning spaces
    Physical & virtual
  • Topics to be Explored:
    Teaching & learning
    Online learning, changes in teaching, experiential learning, etc.
    Technology
    Top trends
    Digitization & Digital media
    Publishing Trends
    The marketplace for education
    Academic research
    Scholarly communication
    Learning spaces
    Physical & virtual
  • Topics to be Explored:
    Teaching & learning
    Online learning, changes in teaching, experiential learning, etc.
    Technology
    Top trends
    Digitization & Digital media
    Publishing Trends
    The marketplace for education
    Academic research
    Scholarly communication
    Learning spaces
    Physical & virtual
  • Topics to be Explored:
    Teaching & learning
    Online learning, changes in teaching, experiential learning, etc.
    Technology
    Top trends
    Digitization & Digital media
    Publishing Trends
    The marketplace for education
    Academic research
    Scholarly communication
    Learning spaces
    Physical & virtual
  • Ola ei march 21 2014

    1. 1. Next Generation Vendor Relationships and Negotiations Stephen Abram, MLS Lighthouse Consulting, Dysart & Jones OLA Education Institute Friday, March 21, 2014
    2. 2. 2 What mindset do we need to change for changing times? As digital strategies get ever more complex . . . From a pre-digital world where books and subscriptions could be scalably acquired one title at a time and decisions were measured in <$100. . . Morphing into $12-100K+ decisions and long term commitments with a ripple effect on training and infrastructure that presented new challenges. •As the need to deal with a hybrid print and digital content environment grows . . . •As integration increasingly involves re-purposing a range of content formats into digital experiences (i.e. LMS and discovery systems)... •Is the combative negotiation style going to continue to work for libraries . . . if it ever did?
    3. 3. 3 Comprehensive Digital Strategies: More than just Content!
    4. 4. 4 • My Experience • I’ve been lucky to be on all sides of the table ▫ Beta tester ▫ Vendor (software, portal, federated search, recommendation engines, databases, etc.) ▫ Developer ▫ Personas research ▫ Librarian (in many types of libraries) ▫ Consortia advisor and founder ▫ Contract and license editor and crafter ▫ Content licensor ▫ Trend watcher ▫ Content creator, author, copyright owner
    5. 5. 5 • What are we buying now? • Early years: ▫ Software (OPACs, ILS) ▫ Print ▫ Databases (from CD-Online-Web-Cloud) ▫ Subscription agencies ▫ ‘Book’ jobbers • Now (all of the above and . . .): ▫ Customer experience systems (e.g. BiblioCommons, Learning Management Systems, Summon, Discover, etc.) ▫ Data and statistical packages and analytical tools ▫ Portals (information, learning, knowledge, etc.) ▫ Social networking and social media tools. ▫ On Demand collections ▫ eBook collections ▫ Articles versus Serials Titles ▫ Software tools (intranet, citations, repository software, virtual reference, ILL, etc.) ▫ Streaming Media ▫ And more… • And the vendor community is not one-stop shops or one trick ponies any longer
    6. 6. 6 Both Sides Bring Strengths to the Table . . . Not stereotypes • Library Staff ▫ Your needs, plans, and goals (It shouldn’t be a secret) ▫ Your IT environment ▫ Your user dynamics (warts and all) ▫ Your budget context (YE, overall, strategic initiatives) and purchasing rules, preferences, and guidelines ▫ Your partners (consortia, IT environment, community, etc.) ▫ Your culture • Vendor Staff ▫ Their products and services current and future ▫ Competitive information ▫ They see more libraries in all sectors and different contexts than nearly anyone ▫ Their research on user behaviours ▫ Their research on IT trends (Gartner, Deloitte, PwC, etc.)
    7. 7. 7 Observations • Respect trumps everything – both ways • Sales is not evil nor unethical and starting from that point is a bad launching point • Both sides need to respect and engage each other as people engaged in meeting a goal. Agree to that goal first and you’re on your way. • Prejudice has no good role in this process. Critical thinking on both sides is a good thing though. • Ask your questions from the source first. Crowdsourcing your questions (versus verifying answers) is not an optimal way to build good relationships over the long term. • If you’ve got a very new or inexperienced rep . . . 2 things . . . We were all there once so be gentle but you have a fight to have them seek a better answer or serve as a gateway to the internal expertise. • Don’t waste eachother’s time.
    8. 8. 8 Biggest Issue: Getting Lost in the Reeds
    9. 9.  Are Your Users Finding Your Resources? • Are you in the search business or the answer business? • Do your collections in integrate with programs or stand alone? • Are you recognizing the emerging chasm between answers and entertainment programming? • Are you co-creating the tools you need with users and vendors? • Have you developed a collaboration culture in consortia or are you just participating in buying clubs? • Where can we lead and how – management, marketing, partnerships?
    10. 10. Digital is more complicated than Print.
    11. 11. Understand the difference between Search and Find • Roy Tennant and I have been saying for years: “Users want to find not search”. • Librarians enjoy the challenge of search and try to create mini- librarians. • Information literacy is different than contextual information fluency. •The user experience is mostly “elsewhere”. • Learning, research and decision-making processes trump search.
    12. 12. Understand the difference between the roles of discovery services and native search • Search is the identification of potential objects to read or view in either a known item retrieval scenario or – more importantly – an immersion environment where choices are made. • Until recently, we handled immersion environments in the context of defined subsets of content (a single database or small group). • Discovery services are one step before search – the identification and discovery of the resources (databases) that are worth searching.
    13. 13. The Field Mapping Failure
    14. 14. Double a penny every day for a month = Over $1 billion in just 30 days
    15. 15. And the Algorithm Understanding Failure 15 The power of algorithm is in the target user needs, the institutional needs, and the behavioral history . . . Not the underlying content Are there any real national initiatives to understand and differentiate library end user behaviors from Google commercial constructs? (yes but …)
    16. 16. Get the naming and labeling right • Vendors must develop unique names and brands for their services to meet positioning, marketing and sales needs to you. • There is no need for you to fall in line and pass through these names – or worse try to train end users to know hundreds of them! • Can anyone defend using these titles to be the single most important label for end users? MLA, Scopus, Compendex, ABI/Inform . . .? • Honestly! The needs of trademark law don’t match the needs of users to identify resources.
    17. 17.  Are you organized for the 21st Century? • When was your last reorganization that was planned around strategy and not staff turnover? • Was it predicated on relationships between digital and print and service leads being more nimble, customer process-oriented, cross- functional and externally focused or was it just an org chart? • What are your investments in negotiation, team work and management training (as compared to technology…?
    18. 18.  Are you using numbers strategically? • Statistics versus measurements • Satisfaction and Impact • Visual versus data • Stories build on data springboards • Are your numbers showing customer satisfaction or just activity? • Do you trust your numbers (It’s easy to mess with an interface and increase hits or whatever statistics you’re using.) • How can the vendor help your numbers issues and insights?
    19. 19. Impact: Your Negotiation, Relationship, and Acquisition Strategies and Priorities What should libraries do?
    20. 20. 20 21st  Century Procurement • RFP, RFI, RFC ▫ No one likes these processes – like the weather. ▫ Have a conversation first before starting. There’s nothing more ethical in building an under-informed tendering process that overly restricts critical information sharing. ▫ Don’t over implement the rules. ▫ Always talk first before going to bid. ▫ Use the informal conference and exhibit halls as opportunities for conversations (and not just getting tchotchkes!) ▫ Look into the real cost of RFP and mitigate that cost for value. Too many RFP participants adds costs for the entire sector. ▫ Do you homework and don’t just re-send a 150 page RFP where it’s 90% ignored boilerplate.
    21. 21. 21 Your Sales Team • The sales representative or account manager ▫ Lead person but not the ONLY person. Gateway not Gatekeeper! • Your Sales executive ▫ Gateway to the executive team and special consideration for licensing issues. • Your customer service team and satisfaction leadership ▫ Know their stuff and very experienced • Other executives ▫ CEO, VP, CTO, CIO, etc. • Training and “Marketing” ▫ Not a frill • Product Management ▫ Detailed knowledge of content and future goals and plans • Special Services ▫ From building websites, analytics, authentication, APIs, localization and customization, even chatting with your IT folks in ‘their’ language. • If you’re only talking to the sales rep on bigger deals you’re missing learning and knowledge.
    22. 22. 22 Learning Better • Doing Your Homework ▫ Actually using the trial (Vendors get data on whether you used it or not and how much). Most will gladly do a walkthrough on Skype, etc. with you. ▫ Engaging end-users in the trial when appropriate ▫ Talking to other librarians in that content area ▫ Look into integration issues with your IT infrastructure, discovery systems, authentication servers, filters, LinkedData, Cloud, Learning Management Systems, LibGuides, persistent linking, etc. (Vendors often have a kitbag of workarounds to meet your needs.)
    23. 23. 23 What matters? • Content (pretty basic foundation) • Experience (does it match, improve programs, align with learning or improve decision-making quality or productivity?) • Customer Service (share measures, SLA’s) • Customer satisfaction (Internal, External, Foresee) • Training, Marketing, Promotion, Communication (Vendors track whether you open their e-mail communications so adding the vendor or something like Mailchimp to your spam filter and then complaining about lack of communication is . . .) • Technological readiness • Total Cost of Ownership of digital is exponentially more a factor with digital products than print. • References (but not just the good ones) (For software be alert that many libraries are many versions behind on upgrades (the cloud helps to fix this issue) so their opinion may be quite out-of-date.
    24. 24. 24 Demonstrations and Meetings • “People do what people do because people do what people do” (my father-in-law) • Is it really necessary to have a beauty pageant where competing systems staff are flown in to demonstrate to a committee by specially trained show ponies? ▫ i.e. show us how you check out a book… catalogue . . . ILL . . . search • Know what you want to know that is a priority and use the time wisely. ▫ Who needs to be in the (virtual) room? Sometimes the demo pro isn’t the right person to learn about  Customer service  Training  Future plans  Depth of company experience  Private Research
    25. 25. 25 Try these questions as set up for the more demanding meeting • We’d like you to present: ▫ Your statistics and knowledge of how your system is used and how it will easily integrate with our systems ▫ We’d like you to share your user feedback, customer service standards and data (Foresee, internal tracking, etc.) ▫ Tell us about your displays: Is your algorithm based on behaviour (Whose?) or reverse chronological, or other? ▫ Tell us about current known problems (e.g. Adobe compliance, proxy issues, browser issues, etc.) and your plans and timeline to address them. ▫ We’d like to talk to the leadership of your organization to learn more about future directions and technologies ▫ Talk to us about your approach to flexibility, localization, authentication, customization and sustainability of same. ▫ Talk to use about training, engagement, marketing support, etc. for staff AND users.
    26. 26. 26 New methodologies • Alternatives or supplements to site visits ▫ Webinars ▫ Private webinars ▫ Skype ▫ Test accounts ▫ Trials ▫ Beta testing ▫ Pilots ▫ Partnerships ▫ Exhibit Halls ▫ Conferences where more vendor and library staff are there already. ▫ User Group meetings ▫ Phone calls ▫ Web searches
    27. 27. 27 Talking Money • Price • Cost • Billing • Value • Deals • TCO • Value of Your Time • Value of Their Time
    28. 28. 28 The Big Lens What are your priorities? Just the cheapest price? Or 1.An excellent customer/user experience that aligns with your enterprises goals? (Clearly know when the librarian is the real end user and when it’s someone else.) 2.Increased productivity and reduced TCO (total costs of ownership) 3.Preparedness for the coming future changes, on trend or stability and maintenance. Focusing on each of these priorities may be cheaper over the long term than the cheapest price in the short term. The only way to get there is through conversations with all players based on respect, sharing, and relationships
    29. 29. 29 Last Words • KISS: Avoid over-complicating things. (Is that really a policy or just an old habit?) • RESEARCH: Do your homework and reduce spoon-feeding and increase engagement • FOCUS: Don’t splatter the list and increase costs to all libraries • PRODUCTIVE: Look at all costs and not just the price. • SHARE: Don’t make your organization a black box. • LEAD: Focus on alignment with your goals and not just your budget.
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    32. 32. Stephen Abram, MLS, FSLA Consultant, Dysart & Jones/Lighthouse Consulting Cel: 416-669-4855 stephen.abram@gmail.com Stephen’s Lighthouse Blog http://stephenslighthouse.com Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr: Stephen Abram LinkedIn: Stephen Abram Twitter: @sabram SlideShare: StephenAbram1

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