Executive Summary

  • This article is part of our honest vendor series, which is one of the only ratings of vendors rather than applications.
  • The vendor quality is critical to the decision making process as software purchases have a high long term involvement by the software vendor.


AspenTech is a well-regarded vendor for process “heavy” manufacturing environments, and they dominate the oil and gas industry. It is a surprisingly large company – at close to 1400 people that tend to fly under the radar – virtually unknown outside of process industry manufacturing, but very well known inside of it. AspenTech has significantly grown through acquisition and previously went through growing pains as they were managing software that they did not understand.

Quality of Information Provided

The quality of information from sales is low due to how AspenTech structures and compensates sales.

Consulting and Support

AspenTech has experienced consulting, support and development resources with excellent subject matter expertise in their areas, but AspenTech has also lost a significant component of some of its most experienced employees, and many hires do not last very long. The blame for this primarily rests with AspenTech’s management. AspenTech is following policies that reduce what one of its high assets, which was it’s highly experienced consulting force which had deep industrial subject matter expertise was. This is showing in AspenTech’s low levels of customer satisfaction, and we have a concern with AspenTech being able to support its software into the future. Do you want your consulting team to be comprised of individuals who feel they were cheated out of much of their promised bonus the previous year? That could quickly happen with AspenTech.

Internal Efficiency

Overall, AspenTech has one of the lowest levels of employee satisfaction not only in this software category but also in any enterprise software category that we cover. AspenTech has a high degree of bureaucracy, which is an enormous drag on its internal efficiency.

AspenTech is much more focused on its executives over the employees, and this harms motivation and employee retention. AspenTech’s products are the leaders in their space, but any company, which is primarily run for the benefit of its executives, is a concern. AspenTech has the weakest management of all the vendors in the production planning space.


AspenTech is a problematic vendor. It’s the most extreme discrepancy between application capabilities, and dysfunctional vendor attributes that we have found in any software vendor we have evaluated. While AspenTech currently has innovative products, no company can continue to innovate with the internal culture that AspenTech has presently, which is why we have assigned them a lowered Current Innovation Level.  However, where would process heavy software buyers turn as AspenTech has acquired most of the vendors in this space?

Vendor Scores

Honest Vendor Ratings

Search for the vendor in this table using the search bar in the upper right of the table. Shortening Key: 
  • VC = Vendor Consulting
  • VS = Vendor Support
  • QIP = Quality of Information Provided
  • IE = Internal Efficiency
  • I = Innovation
  • C = Category
  • ACS = Average Category Score
Average Score for the BI Heavy Software Category6. HeavyCategory Average
Average Score for the BI Light Software Category7.76.756.36.8BI LightCategory Average
Average Score for the CRM Software Category5. Average
Average Score for the PLM Software Category7. Average
Average Score for the Production Planning Software Category7.36.765.25.7Production PlanningCategory Average
Average Score for the Small and Medium ERP Software Category7. and Medium ERPCategory Average
Average Score for the Supply Planning Software Category7. PlanningCategory Average
Average Score Score for the Demand Planning Software Category7. PlanningCategory Average
Average Score for the Big ERP Software Category4. ERPCategory Average
Actuate77865BI HeavyApplication Specific
Arena Solutions91010810PLMApplication Specific
AspenTech43437Production PlanningApplication Specific
Base CRM88997CRMApplication Specific
Birst8888.59BI HeavyApplication Specific
Business Forecast Systems991098Demand PlanningApplication Specific
Delfoi888.548Production PlanningApplication Specific
Demand Works99101010Supply PlanningApplication Specific
ERPNext888.5109Small and Medium ERPApplication Specific
FinancialForce10109109.5FinancialApplication Specific
Hamilton Grant89.589.58PLMApplication Specific
Intacct1010999.5FinancialApplication Specific
Intuit88966.5FinancialApplication Specific
JDA3.53422Demand PlanningApplication Specific
Microsoft45211Small and Medium ERPApplication Specific
MicroStrategy87777BI HeavyApplication Specific
NetSuite65644CRMApplication Specific
OpenERP788.587Small and Medium ERPApplication Specific
Oracle52111ManyApplication Specific
PlanetTogether91081010Supply PlanningApplication Specific
Preactor787.533Production PlanningApplication Specific
ProcessPro1089109Small and Medium ERPApplication Specific
QlikTech87589.5CRMApplication Specific
Salesforce73866CRMApplication Specific
SAS971077Demand PlanningApplication Specific
SugarCRM44553CRMApplication Specific
Tableau101091010BI LightApplication Specific
Teradata98.58.568BI HeavyApplication Specific
ToolsGroup1010999Demand PlanningApplication Specific
SAP53111ManyApplication Specific

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Software Selection Package for Production Planning