Interview with Bravo’s Sexton goes beyond Ontario Government implementation

Posted on August 3, 2017


Claire Sexton, who has taken the helm of the Ontario Government implementation from former BravoSolution VP Dan Warn made two interesting statements regarding the status of the at times challenging initiative. In case you missed my previous posts on this story, here is the link to access the archive.

To start, Sexton indicated that they have “reached a critical mass” regarding the onboarding of all Provincial organizations. She then went on to say that the focus is now on optimizing usage.

When I asked what she meant regarding “critical mass,” she said that while the numbers related to my previous posts are just one indication of adoption, they are not a “relevant marker of success” and that at this point she believes that the Ontario initiative is “already a success.”

I then inquired about the previously referenced challenges relating to low adoption rates and supplier resistance to a “vendor pay model.” Sexton indicated that while addressing these issues has to be done on a joint basis, they originated within the Ontario Government and therefore have nothing to do with the viability of the Bravo platform itself.

Ontario Gov Supply Chain

As for supplier resistance, she said that Canada is one of only a few countries that have adopted the vendor pay model citing Australia, the UK, and numerous other nations who do not have a pay-to-play program.

On the first point, I am inclined to agree with Sexton’s position that adoption problems are in fact the responsibility of the end-user client whether in the public or private sectors.

I have seen clients follow the select and abdicate approach to initiatives whereby they take little if any responsibility for overcoming the inevitable resistance to change internally. Instead, and as part of the overall “package,” they place the burden of acceptance directly on the shoulders of the “winning” vendor. Success by any definition is unlikely in such a scenario.

Given that the departed Warn indicated that Bravo considers the Ontario Government to be a vital beachhead account for establishing the vendor’s creditability in the North American public sector market, I asked Sexton if taking on the Ontario implementation was a good strategy. In other words, might they have done better had their beachhead account been another government entity?

The new Canadian Head said “no.” Despite the challenges over the past two years, Bravo is very well positioned to “support Ontario’s procurement function.”

The reason for her confidence is that forty to fifty percent of Bravo’s global business is with the public sector meaning that besides their depth of expertise, the company has deployed its solution in a variety of environments. I got the impression that it is their client diversity that is the basis for Sexton’s confidence.

Only time will tell if Claire Sexton’s position is well-founded. What I will be looking for is a greater level of engagement, supplier involvement, and quantifiable taxpayer benefit, with the last providing the “real” measure of success.


Posted in: Commentary