The man responsible for founding analyst firm Gartner in New Zealand has turned his attention to lessening the workload of companies bidding for project tenders.
Preparing responses to request and tender documents is often a major financial and resources load, particularly for small companies seeking a role in large and complex projects.
John Hislop, former head of Gartner NZ, is selling the products of Pragmatech, with names like Proposal Express and The RFP Machine. This suite of tools analyses the questions in a request for proposal document and converts them into a standard query, which can be put to a database engine drawing on the knowledge stored in the submitting company’s databases.
Hislop acknowledges that analysis of natural-language statements is not an exact science. The Pragmatech software will put up as many as 10 possible interpretations of an RFP question (“How long has your company been in business in New Zealand?”, “How many customers do you have in this market?”). The operator clicks in the standard query that matches his/her perception of the question’s meaning and the software finds the right data and presents it again for checking and incorporation in the response.
Hewlett-Packard is an international customer for Pragmatech’s Proposal Express.
Hislop is working from a Wellington base under a three-year reseller agreement, in collaboration with Sydney-based Paul Rahme.
Hislop established the local Pragmatech presence on July 1. Potential customers have expressed interest he says, but it typically takes about three months to close a sale.