That's One Way To Choose A Technology Vendor - InformationWeek

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5/14/2008
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That's One Way To Choose A Technology Vendor

Smaller businesses rely on partners to design, customize, install, support, and service their technology needs from infrastructure to customer-facing applications and everything in between. That makes the choice of vendor every bit as crucial, as the software, hardware, and services they provide. There are myriad reasons to select a particular vendor, but the latest third-party data on their quality could help inform a tough decision.

Smaller businesses rely on partners to design, customize, install, support, and service their technology needs from infrastructure to customer-facing applications and everything in between. That makes the choice of vendor every bit as crucial, as the software, hardware, and services they provide. There are myriad reasons to select a particular vendor, but the latest third-party data on their quality could help inform a tough decision.The bottom-up rank by community model is one way to wade through the sea of vendors. VendorRate provides exactly that type of ranking and recently announced new functionality at Interop Las Vegas. Another way to slice it, is with the top-down Consumer Reports style model and conveniently Aberdeen Group just released the latest edition of its "Annual State of the Market Report -- you can buy your own hardbound copy for the "special" rate of $1,995. Plying the poles between these two particular methodologies might provide some kind of baseline for decision-making.

The Aberdeen report purports to present a "compilation of the top 100 organizations that excelled at providing value to the business community," including hardware, software, and service providers. The top 11 (looks who "goes to 11"): 1. Microsoft 2. Oracle 3. SAP 4. IBM 5. Cisco 6. Hewlett Packard 7. Dell 8. Salesforce.com 9. EMC 10. Sun Microsystems 11. Google

Aberdeen asked survey participants to rank the top two criteria for their organization when choosing a technology solution. The leading responses included: --Total cost of ownership (43%) --Product functionality (42%) --Vendor stability (24%) --Market specific knowledge and experience (24%) --Domain or industry expertise (22%) --Reputation (21%)

Skipping over to the VendorRate rankings doesn't allow for an apples to apples comparison, but does reveal a different yet familiar pecking order, albeit one with less statistically significant rigor based upon the scarcity of ratings for some vendors. VendorRate slices categories much more finely than Aberdeen (offering 21 distinct software categories alone), but one name popped up on every category ranking in the services and software categories: a certain vendor from Redmond, WA.

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