- The Brightwork Honest Software Vendor Ratings are an unbiased explanation of vendors.
- The logic for the ratings being is that software buyers can’t only review the application without also observing the software vendor.
What Are the Honest Vendor Ratings?
These are reviews of vendors performed without any financial bias as Brightwork receives no income from any vendor. Before we get to the rating list, it is good to have some background as to how vendors tend to be rated.
The Reality of How Vendors Tend to be Evaluated
The software company is one of the most important factors in the risk profile of any implementation, however, while applications tend to be the focus of software selection, the vendor tends to be far less evaluated in the process — except for one dimension — the size of the vendor. Software buyers have a strong preference for purchasing from large vendors. This preference is primarily driven by the IT department that frequently attempts to purchase software through the smallest number of vendors. This is not because there is any evidence that this is effective (the evidence actually supports the opposite view) but because they believe it makes their job easier. Large vendors are able to force poor quality and uncompetitive applications into accounts simply because they are “already there” selling larger applications.
Buying An Application….Just Because You Happen to be Buying Another Application from a Vendor
One of the biggest problems in IT procurement is the acquisition of uncompetitive applications through this bundling process. Large vendors normally only have a few competitive applications and databases to offer — but their business model is built around stuffing accounts with uncompetitive applications and databases. Many of these applications and databases could not survive in a competitive market. The concept of “one-stop shopping” is based upon software ignorance. There is no vendor that makes the best ERP system, and the best analytics application, and the best forecasting application, and the best middleware etc.. And this does not even account for the dimension of the specific requirements from the customer side.
One-stop shopping is a myth.
Yet it continues to lead to terrible decision making. Currently, several large vendors that have virtually no cloud capability are getting customers to buy heavily marked up cloud services that they don’t even offer. To read about this problem see the article SAP’s Upcharge as a Service, and Comparison of SAP HEC with Virtustream Versus AWS.
The Consulting Companies
The effect of consulting companies in all of this is that consulting companies created practices around the largest vendors that give them the highest revenues and profits. Consulting companies don’t rate vendors, they serve as advocates for vendors they have chosen to build practices around. Consulting companies can be viewed as sales arms for specific vendors — because most of the money in the IT consulting is in implementation, not software selection. Therefore, the largest consulting companies build their practice around implementation of the applications with the highest TCO.
To see our online TCO calculators for popular applications for each of the vendors below see the Brightwork TCO Calculators.
Therefore, the effect of consulting companies is to recommend the highest cost solutions. This is why consulting companies tend to pretend that open-source alternatives do not exist. Accenture, Deloitte, PwC, Infosys, IBM, Wipro, and many other consulting firms will all guide any new client to implement the applications that make each of these companies the most money. There is not even the slightest effort to look for what is best for the customer.
Getting bad information from supposedly independent entities like Gartner, pressured by consulting firms who fake concern for the customer while rigging the process against the customer and sharing all information they obtain on-site with their preferred vendors while being misled by vendors, that follow a specific strategy of overwhelming the buyer’s procurement department with options, it is very common for buyers to get decision fatigue. Some buyers will communicate to us that they just
“Want to make the purchase to get it over with.”
“We have a deadline for making a purchase they have to meet.”
When that type of language is used, the vendor and the consulting company have won.
Gartner and Forrester take money from vendors. G2Crowd looks like it is less corrupt, but it is really just a front end and lead generation website for vendors. They are virtually 100% vendor funded and if you fill in your information, it is shared with vendors. Secondly, the ratings, while written by individuals that don’t work for G2Crowd have a strong upward bias as we cover in the article G2Crowds Problem with Financial Disclosure. Gartner, Forrester, and G2Crowd all consider it ethical to hide their income from vendors — presenting themselves as entirely financially unbiased “truth seekers.”
Many vendors hire too many salespeople for the opportunities available, provide little solution training, and have aggressive sales targets that the salespeople do not think they can meet without lying. We count this against the vendor in the ratings under the quality of the information provided. Vendors that do the opposite, are rated higher. We would exclude vendors that lie — even if they have a few good products.
As an example, Oracle has a good database. However, it is one of the least reliable vendors in terms of information provided. Is the database worth dealing with Oracle as an organization? Application vendors often block out a buyer’s options by only certifying their applications on a few databases — with Oracle being one that is normally always certified. However, after you purchase the Oracle database, the Oracle sales rep will be aggressively pushing for more purchases, each successive purchase of Oracle products is normally of lower value than the initial purchase. If you refuse visits from Oracle sales reps, you will be audited. The audit is bound to find out of conformance items, and when they are found, Oracle will concoct an exaggerated audit claim, and then demand you buy other products to satisfy the audit. Letters from Oracle’s legal team may ensue. The entire intent is to metastasize Oracle products within the account until the account is an “Oracle” shop.
Tracking the Quality of Information Provided
We are the only entity in the IT space that both rates vendors on the basis of the accuracy of the information they provide, but incorporates the quality — and often lack of quality information that is provided to customers into the analysis of the success or failure of projects. To the rest of the entities that cover these topics, the quality of the information provided is considered entirely immaterial to the success of failure of projects.
Outside Entities that Rate Vendors
In the area of software and vendor rating, Gartner is the most influential of any entity. Gartner includes a size component in all of its Magic Quadrants. This pushes large vendors upwards in the rankings. These are the vendors that can also afford to pay Gartner the most money as we cover in the article How Gartner Makes its Money and in the article Use Gartner for Software Selection?
This will lead to inaccurate conclusions because while large vendors have more “scope” there is much more to support, to application quality, and to other quality metrics than simply a vendor’s size. It tells you really nothing about the important factors such as
- The typical quality of the information provided to buyers.
- Whether the software vendor has extractive sales practices.
- Whether you can expect to be audited by the software vendor.
- How good the implementation staff of the software vendor rates, etc..
The Problem with Taking Money from Entities You are Rating
- Gartner takes money from software vendors, and it makes the most money from the largest software vendors. This results in a strong bias against smaller software vendors, which are quite evident from their rankings.
- Gartner will rate a vendor that has outsourced support where you can barely get support questions answered higher than a vendor that has very good support, simply because the poorly performing vendor is larger — and pays them more money.
How Honest Software Company Ratings is Different
Our Honest Vendor Ratings provides realistic ratings that actually impact how well the typical company will be able to derive value from the software vendor. Honest Software Company Ratings looks at the vendor from more vantage points and provides the types of details on vendors that we have never seen at any other site that publishes this type of information.
See for yourself in the links below.
Financial Bias Disclosure
Neither this article nor any other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle, SAP or their competitors. As part of our commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research; no paid media placements, commissions or incentives of any nature are allowed.
How to Figure Out How to Effectively User Gartner
Whether you are a software buyer, a large or small vendor, or are wondering how Gartner can help you make better investment decisions, this book will give you new insights to Gartner’s research. By studying the methodology behind such popular analytical tools like the Magic Quadrant, you will understand how a vendor earned its rating and whether or not the ratings are justified!
Understanding Gartner, It’s History, and It’s Incentives
Starting with the history of Gartner and how it compares to other IT analyst firms, this book gives a realistic assessment of the value of Gartner research to a company and provides ideas about other resources that could complement Gartner’s analysis. You will also have the tools to level the playing field between large, medium and small vendors when using Gartner’s analysis in selecting software.
- Chapter 1: Introduction
- Chapter 2: An Overview of Gartner
- Chapter 3: How Gartner Makes Money
- Chapter 4: Comparing Gartner to Consumer Reports, the RAND Corporation, and Academic Research
- Chapter 5: The Magic Quadrant
- Chapter 6: Other Analytical Products Offered by Gartner
- Chapter 7: Gartner’s Future and Cloud Computing
- Chapter 8: Adjusting the Magic Quadrant
- Chapter 9: Is Gartner Worth the Investment?
- Chapter 10: Conclusion
- Appendix a: How to Use Independent Consultants for Software Selection
- Appendix b: What Does the History of Media Tell Us About This Topic
- Appendix c: Disclosure Statements and Code of Ethics