I know people measure Gartner by its Magic Quadrants, Cool Vendor lists and Symposium presentations, but to me Gartner really shines when it triangulates
a) maturing, large markets it sees from its thousands of client queries each month
b) summarizes what it has learned from vendor presentations, client RFP analysis and other sources it is privy to
c) integrates points of view from its many silos.
I saw a very good example of that – or at least the first two elements in the recent report “Seven Ways to Compare the Enterprise HCM Suite “Big Three” by Ron Hanscome and Yvette Cameron.
There are potentially thousands of replacement deals in PeopleSoft, SAP HCM, Lawson, ADP and other HR customer bases so it’s a market ready for churn. Gartner query shows most customer short lists have Workday, Oracle HCM and SAP’s Success Factors in the mix. Those are the three the report focused on.
What I liked was a nice summation of strengths and weaknesses for each of the three vendors. That’s what clients want – they want pointers to add to their own RFPs, scripted scenarios during demos and other evaluation and contracting processes. A Magic Quadrant with 20 vendors is often a waste of their time. So is research on very mature technologies or way too early emerging vendors.
I would love to see similar reports from Gartner in other technology markets. Focus on market segments which are maturing (“crossing the chasm”) and focus on a handful of vendors who have momentum (at least at the time of the report).
I would also like to see that them add my 3rd point above - take it a step higher with integration across a few Gartner silos. When I was writing SAP Nation, it struck me 5-6 Gartner analysts from their ERP, systems integration, application management outsourcing, hosting/cloud infrastructure, telecom groups could have pulled together what took me months to research. They could have easily pulled together 4-5 times the number of case studies I did.
That’s Gartner's strengths – multiple areas of coverage, tens of thousands of data points from customer queries, ability to cut through vendor BS and net out the good and ugly.
Hope they do more of that