With our vendor perception survey in full swing seeking bone fide user opinion on CTRM and related solutions, and the work we are doing to update the CTRM Sourcebook, I am reminded just how diverse a vendor and product landscape there is in this application category. We have written many articles about why so many products are available and why 4-6 new ones emerge each and every year but essentially it is about complexity. So although there are some big names in CTRM, you can rest assured that there is always a deep choice in most areas. What is most exciting to me as an analyst at this point in time, is that the uptake and demand for cloud and SaaS subscription basis CTRM is really providing the smaller and newer technology vendors a lift. Some of the big names are stuck with highly complex platforms and large installed bases making them a tad sluggish when it comes to moving with newer technologies. Newer vendors who started on new technology are of course more nimble and able to adapt more readily although they can of course be hindered by a lack of cash too.
Recently, talking to many of the vendors in the space, they point to the adoption of cloud and SaaS as one driver that is filling their pipelines and levelling the playing field for them a bit when competing with larger vendors. Jan van den Brom of Agiboo was one of the more vocal saying that his firm was not just competing with the larger vendors but beating them based on technology, deployment models, pricing and other factors. He said they had a waiting list for implementation! Other smaller vendors have also pointed to a growing need to not be tied into a specific provider ensuring that smaller vendors make it to the final list in selection exercise. I.e – they are getting a look in that a few years ago they felt they were often denied. This actually ties up well with a trend we noted in the last vendor perception study in 2020 that saw provided by a large and well-known vendor drop significantly as a selection criteria. However, all of this is healthy for competition I would argue.
As I look through our online directory, there remains significant choice. Increasingly, the range of choice is being extended to the smaller users as well via ‘instant’ CTRM solutions in the cloud. As smaller firms are forced off of spreadsheets by regulations, stakeholders and the like, they are finding a growing number of vendors providing solid and basic functionality in a multi-tenanted cloud environment at a price anyone can afford.