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Keep up with technology's impact on business. This blog provides summaries of the latest industry research.



June 2005 Archives

Ok, enough with bashing the analyst firms. Let's berate some vendors! (Just kidding of course.) One of the more interesting Evalubase Research findings, however, is the variance in how IT professionals like you rate vendor credibility--both among different classes of technology and among vendors themselves.

Maybe this is because people really like people who tell them the truth, operate in a forthright manner, and follow-up on their commitments...and really dislike those who don't. Let's face it, the DW/BI market place is as competitive, if not more competitive, than it's ever been. Evalubase is tracking--that is, you all have evaluated--well over 100 vendors already in this space. This ultra-competitiveness means some vendors will say/do almost anything to win business. Others have developed and thrived on a culture of trust between vendor and customer.

Some say that vendors that are aggressive in winning your business will be aggressive in keeping it. But really, is the person who sold you the product the same one who's helping you implement it or the same one who's supporting it. Rarely, and only in startups. But when it comes to BI bravura, let's not confuse aggression with passion, or with credibility.

Credibility is one of those characteristics (Evalubase tracks two-dozen such metrics on vendors and their wares) that pervades almost every aspect of a vendor's interaction with you. From press-releases to marketing materials to tradeshows to sales calls to demonstrations to product trials to negotiating licenses to training to services to support (and everything in-between) vendors have every opportunity to gain or lose your trust. Don't let them forget that.

Within this market, you and your colleagues give vendors of data administration-related tools the highest credibility score, followed by data integration, data quality, metadata/repositories, and data modeling vendors. Then it drops off considerably with business intelligence, portal and database vendors sporting lagging credibility indices overall.

View Evalubase Chart

Looking at a select sample of some of the vendors in the space, it probably won't come as any surprise to see SAS with an outstanding credibility rating. Having been around since 3500 B.C. if I'm not mistaken, SAS has simply nailed the do-right-by-customers culture. Not a bad example for vendors that want to be around another three years, let alone another thirty. Other highly-credible vendors in this mix include Ascential, Embarcadero, Business Objects and Firstlogic. But compare also how each stacks-up to the average within their predominant technology class.

View Evalubase Chart

In the end, credibility is all about setting expectations that can be met and meeting expectations that have been set. Let's see what we can all do to avoid setting vendors down the slippery slope or into tangled webs. Vendor credibility traps really don't help anyone. Much of the "column fodder" I see in gordian RFPs is one thing that comes to mind.

Just telling IT like it is,

Be sure to make your voice heard, get instant peer comparison scorecards, and qualify for complimentary access to all Evalubase research. Submit a confidential evaluation or two of your favorite (or least favorite) BI products today: www.evalubase.com

Posted June 1, 2005 7:50 PM
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