DailyPost 1753

Vendor is ”a person or company offering something for sale, especially a trader in the street.” As per Investopedia  the term “vendor” is ”typically used to describe that is paid for goods that are provided, rather than the manufacturer of the goods itself.” What is the feeling the Vendor generates in you, more so on the technology side? Whatever you buy from a shop, you don’t say you have bought from the vendor. Though Amazon vends more than anything else we don’t call it a vendor. Manufacturers are different, shopkeepers are different, who are vendors in between. Why are they precisely called vendors?

Are there vendors in technology? The sale of products through a procurement process or a part of a series for purchases with a  common purpose in mind, to establish a project or a system or doing operations and maintenance is a vendor. The business entity delivering the consumables and spares are also vendors. The pride of the place goes  to a large number of staffing or body shopping organizations who are also termed vendors in that trade.  In the technology trade in this country,  this seems to have come to stay where technology is vended in terms of products, services and tech staff,  where the seller has no value add.

The Vendor Mindset cannot take us very far, same as the trader mindset in the technology age. Buying and selling in a mechanical manner is not what the technology world is made of. The paradigm shift can be seen in the nature of companies who are at the center stage today. They don’t fall in the vendor category, being small or big is a different issue. What is to be understood is that you are in the business of technology, as are organizations in the business of governance, research, defense, health etc. and not in the business of vending. Vending gives the feeling of a mechanical act with no element of expertise involved in it.

The customer which is also mostly an organization has the same mindset. Transactional Mindset. That has been the biggest tragedy with IT technology in this country. It cannot be productized beyond a point, which is minimal. For anything bigger, the concept of technical and domain competence comes into play. Also, the digital ecosystem in which you are supposed to deliver. How do you align a new product or a system? Where do the legacy systems fit in? The alignment of technology with business goals very rarely happens, with governments the story is even more dismal. What about the technology upgrade? The product / services will never understand the governance, risk and compliance issues, which businesses and other organizations’ are grappling endlessly. A vendor has to understand the technology ecosystem and its growth trajectory to a great level to graduate from a vendor to be an important player in the business of technology.


Sanjay Sahay

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