- Many entities in the enterprise space discuss their partnerships and relationships.
- We have done just the opposite to maintain our neutrality (and sanity).
One of the worst things of working in research in the enterprise software space has been dealing with vendors. After years of interacting with vendors, we arrived at our no vendor relationship policy in 2020.
The Issues We Found Interacting with Vendors
The relationship between vendors and media entities and analysts (Brightwork is a research entity, so not exactly a media entity nor an analyst) is that they seek to influence them to get favorable coverage. Vendors have people called alliance managers that suck up to and try to influence media entities and analysts to get favorable coverage. They know nothing about the product, but know how to manipulate people.
Common Issue with Vendors
The following are things we have run into.
#1: Deluded Vendor Employees
People that work in vendors are generally in a deluded state regarding both their products as well as their business practices. We have had people from ORACLE complain about the ethics at SAP. One Oracle employee told us that while he thought that Hasso Plattner lied a lot, that Larry Ellison was..
“A pretty good guy.”
Just let that roll through your mind and take it in. Larry Ellison is a pretty good guy.
Developing Special Hypocrisy Training
The problem was so bad we created a special article describing hypocrisy for Oracle employees Teaching Oracle About Hypocrisy on Lock-In. Each vendor employee seems to think that dishonest behavior is only something that exists at other vendors and is the only thing they are interested in discussing. You either agree with them or end up in a confrontation.
The information that is published at Brightwork Research & Analysis is some of the most accurate in the entire enterprise software space (here is our accuracy versus SAP in the article A Study into SAP’s Accuracy)
Because of this, we don’t think we need to have what is accurately explained to us by financially biased individuals that have quickly findable false or exaggerated information right on their company’s website. Or who makes an excuse that..
“That is just marketing talking.”
“I tend to ignore the marketing our company produces and just focus on the demos.”
#2: The Self Appointed and Arbiters of What is Right and Wrong: From a Position of 100% Financially Bias
Vendors typically categorize media and analysts as either “understanding their technology” (those that give them good reviews) or “not understanding their technology” (and giving them bad reviews or disagreeing with them). There are two choices, either effusive praise (in which case you are lauded) or skepticism around claims, which results in accusations of technological ignorance.
We find it curious that in each case, the vendor we are speaking with always has the best feature, and their competitors have the worst feature. And when the person we knew from a vendor we are talking with switches jobs to a new vendor, immediately that seems to be reversed. A lot of this is covered up with humor — such as..
“I know I said that before.”
“You might say I am a little biased.”
It requires an explanation of how a person who draws 100% of their compensation from an entity is only “a little biased.”
If that is not entirely biased, then what is the definition of bias?
#3: Overflowing with Salespeople
Our primary function is to fact check claims. This puts us on the exact opposite side of the playing field from salespeople. Vendors are filled with overbearing and presumptuous salespeople that we often find irritating and anti-intellectual. Furthermore, false statements by vendors salespeople seem to have enlarged since we first started working in the enterprise software field. One SAP salesperson justified their lies to use by saying that..
“The world is a corrupt place.”
And he was doing what he could to make it more corrupt.
Development of Our Policy Regarding Vendors
Over time, it became apparent that we don’t need to talk to vendors and that vendors added very little to our existence. Secondly, the information they provide is invariably biased in their favor.
Therefore, we began shutting down our connections to vendors. We created this article to explain to vendors and other interested parties why we have no vendor relationships. We now have only kept just a very few connections with vendors that we are aligned with philosophically.
When we first started Brightwork Research & Analysis, we thought it would be sufficient to have no financial ties to any vendor.
Finally, we concluded that this was not sufficient, and we also needed to have no relationships with vendors.