Intelligence Software Learns New Tricks -
Fuld Intelligence Software Report discloses a major one-year improvement in technology
Cambridge, MA – March 11, 2002 – Competitive intelligence software vendors have made major strides over the past year in their technology offerings, according the just-released 2002 Fuld & Company Intelligence Software Report TM. As a result, these technology tools have become “true helpmates” for managers who need to keep their companies competitive in recessionary times, says Leonard Fuld, president of Fuld & Company.
Some of the “new tricks” embedded in these upgraded products include:
Ability to access the “hidden or invisible” web using advancements in search technology;
Support for early warning systems through voice-to-text technology;
Identification of strategic relationships through advanced extraction technology;
Ability to search online message boards, web communities using agent technology;
In its review of 13 packages in the 2002 report, measuring their performance and features against 120 benchmark criteria, Fuld witnessed greatest improvements in the technology’s ability to help in workflow, collect both primary and secondary (published) information, and to a lesser extent in analysis. Analysis does remain the weak link for CI technology with the average score for all packages at 8.9 out of a total of 15, or just 59% of the total possible score. The overall average score for all 13 packages reviewed was 22.2, a considerable improvement over last year’s group where the average was only 13.0.
Since Fuld & Company issued its first intelligence software report in 1998, the recognition – if not interest – in the Competitive Intelligence (CI)* field has skyrocketed. Competitive Intelligence software sales are expected to surge as the technology becomes ever more widely deployed. Although considered by many to be a niche market, CI software has been generating significant and growing interest within and beyond the competitive intelligence industry.
Contained in the 2002 report are survey results of nearly 1,000 corporate managers from 56 countries participating in a survey on competitive intelligence software overwhelmingly stated a strong desire to purchase new competitive intelligence technology in the coming year despite the recession, according to Leonard Fuld, an international expert on competitive intelligence, announcing the findings in his firm’s just-released 2002 Intelligence Software Report™.
Nearly one-half of the survey participants stated that their companies already have an intelligence process, and an extraordinary number (72%) declared that they plan to either develop or purchase CI software tools. These findings draw attention to the perceived need by corporations for improved, more expedient competitive intelligence tools to support CI processes, as well as advice and counsel in selecting the right tool. Among the key findings of the Fuld survey are:
Forty-eight percent (48%) responded that their companies have an organized CI effort;
Seventy-two percent (72%) responded that they plan to either develop or purchase CI software tools;
Of the 28% who have no plans to purchase a CI product, 25% percent currently use a CI tool.
“Technology is an important element of any competitive intelligence process,” claims Melanie Wing, Vice President, Marketing Strategy at First USA Bank. “The Fuld report highlights the increasingly broad range of technology options CI managers have, and the need for objective, expert advice to select and deploy the right tool,” she adds.
“The technology does by no means substitute for people, but it has come a long way since it first entered the marketplace in the early 90′s,” commented Mr. Fuld. “A corporate intelligence department now knows that it has some tools that will help organize the workflow – not substitute for critical analysis that only human beings can offer.”
Other issues examined in the report include:
Vendors respond to past criticism
Technology cannot drive process, but helps with workflow and efficiency
Analysis evolving, but still weak link
No one-size-fits-all solution
Choosing a CI technology solution
Find the right time to deploy a technology – too early may lead to failure
Fuld & Company reviewed thirteen competitive intelligence packages and rated the functionality of each against the five key components of the traditional Intelligence Cycle. These components include:
Planning & Direction
Published Information Collection
Primary Source (Human Intelligence) Collection
Analysis & Production
Report & Inform
This comprehensive CI software report is located at http://www.fuld.com/ and is designed as a strategic executive tool to improve the decision-making process when gathering, organizing, analyzing and evaluating competitive intelligence data.
Fuld & Company
Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with offices in London, England and Geneva, Switzerland, Fuld & Company is a world leader in competitive intelligence consulting services and has extensive experience in both installing competitive intelligence processes and integrating technology systems to assist the CI process. Fuld & Company offers clients unbiased, vendor-neutral help in building competitive intelligence technology solutions. Leonard Fuld is president and founder of Fuld & Company, and a recognized worldwide as an expert and author in the field of competitive intelligence.