Executive Summary

  • How are we able to so consistently out predict and analyze vendors like SAP and Oracle versus the major IT analysts?
  • How does one measure and prove being smarter?
  • Focusing on the outcomes of the analysis.


All of the sources of information on enterprise software consider themselves intelligent. Gartner and Forrester have analysts who graduated from the most prestigious schools. The major consulting companies talk up their vast amount of experience in implementing SAP and Oracle. So why is their analysis of such low quality? In this article, we will discuss why, and why we can produce so much better work with much smaller resources than the standard companies.

Research Versus Sales Orientation

Even if most of the people that worked at Deloitte or Gartner came from CalTech, it would not make that much difference, because these companies are entirely sales oriented. That is, people with a sales background run these companies, and they run them for profit-maximizing purposes.

Does honest research go together well with high sales quotas? We don’t think so. Yet the significant providers of information in the IT space have extraordinarily high quotas. 

In the book Gartner and the Magic Quadrant, we covered how Gartner, which pretends to be a research firm, actually follows no research rules. For this, it is necessary to understand their business model, which we covered in the article How to Understand Gartner’s Business Model. This sales orientation causes these entities to focus on telling their clients what is profit-maximizing rather than what is true. For example, the only interest that any of the SAP and Oracle consulting companies have is billing hours for implementing SAP or Oracle. Anything that contradicts this objective will not be disclosed to the client.

Lack of Writing and Analytical Detail

Brightwork focuses on detailed analysis. None of the SAP or Oracle consulting firms we have seen nor Gartner or Forrester get to a sufficient level of detail in any of their analysis to base decisions off of their material. Gartner and Forrester are filled with people who have, in most cases, never been on either and SAP or Oracle projects. This means that they are writing without the authentic knowledge that project experience brings and are quite commonly entranced by marketing statements from these two vendors.

We consider the implementation experience necessary for researching IT topics. However, Gartner and Forrester do not agree and are perfectly willing to take strategy consultants with not software background to serve as analysts. This lack of technical expertise (along with the money vendors pay them) is how both Gartner and Forrester were so easily fooled on SAP HANA. Forrester created an estimated for HANA’s lower TCO before HANA had even been implemented. Impressive!

Should All Information Provided to Clients be Promotional in Nature?

If one looks at the material produced by the SAP and Oracle consulting firms, there is rarely any critical information included so that nearly everything is stated in favorable terms. The consulting companies are cautious not to include any negative experienced they encountered from previous projects, and in general, the consulting firms tend to operate internally as competing fiefdoms and are unable to leverage their collective knowledge. For instance, if a partner in Kansas helps a partner in California close a deal, it does not much help the partner in Kansas. Therefore their incentive for internal cooperation is not promoted by the organizational structure of these firms.


Much of the “analysis” of the IT analyst firms are not only financially biased, but it is also rigged and manipulated by sales types before clients ever see it.

In each case, the adjustments to any content are based upon marketability. Against this backdrop, it is not at all challenging to excel past the low bar set by the SAP and Oracle firms and the IT analyst firms. And we can do so even though we have a tiny fraction of the human resources that they have. The more access we get to the materials provided by Gartner and the consulting firms to our clients, the weaker the advice ends up looking.

So yes, based upon our research quality and the outcomes for our clients, we are quite a bit smarter than what is available in the market. And even better than being smarter, we put our client’s interests at the top of the list, and we don’t simply perform analytics projects to rig the results to pick up the implementation business. And that is a massive differentiator.