About that Weighting in the Gartner 2012 MQ for iBPMS, Part 3

Scott Francis
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This is part 3, and probably the last in the series on the Gartner Magic Quadrant on Intelligent Business Process Management Suites.

The three Vendors That Matter are:

  • Pegasystems
  • Appian
  • IBM

Roughly in that order in terms of how Gartner ranked them in this edition of the quadrant.  But as always, there’s some interesting stuff below the fold in the Gartner Magic Quadrant…

Ability to Execute

For example, there is the weighting of evaluation criteria for ability to execute.  Receiving a “High” weighting were:

  • Product/Service
  • Marketing Execution
  • Customer Experience

You’d have to say that all three vendors did well on these criteria, or they wouldn’t be in the Leaders quadrant. But only one item was rated “Low” weighting:  “Overall Viability (Business Unit, Financial, Strategy, Organization).”

What does that mean?  It means your financial wherewithal was weighted as less important than the other criteria.  You can guess who has the highest (by far) degree of “viability”.

Completeness of Vision

For completeness of vision, we have the following ranked “High:

  • Market Understanding
  • Market Strategy
  • Offering (Product) Strategy
  • Innovation

The interesting thing about market understanding and strategy, and about product strategy – is that this is really a measurement of how close your vision is to the vision of the Gartner analysts (or how much your vision is able to shape their vision).

Anecdotally, I saw this happen years ago in another market space: our vision was completely out of alignment with the analysts, who believed other vendors had much more completeness of vision. But we went on to get 80% of the market (or more) and those vendors were put out of business over the course of 4 years, as a result of the stiff competition and not implementing the right features to win the market. But the analysts were pretty well sold on their vision, if that’s any consolation.

And in the “Low” Category: Geographic Strategy.

So, if the firm had global reach and coverage – and if they were able to field their BPM capabilities across Europe, the Americas, and Asia – well that would have no impact on the ranking of completeness of vision.  Including, presumably, ignoring issues like localization for language and currency, etc.

But Geographic strategy can also matter for hosting.  Hosting in different geographies has different implications and legal requirements (companies based in different countries may require hosting to be on their home soil).  A company like IBM has an almost unfair global reach relative to the other firms ranked in this MQ report.  It looks like Gartner just punted on this criteria, to make it a fair fight for the other guys.

And that’s fine. But if you’re a multi-national corporation, with designs on a world-wide or multi-geography roll-out, you might look at the foot notes in this report and want to pick a company based on criteria that the analysts didn’t think were that important.

Conclusions…

In Summary, it isn’t just the conclusions that matter, it is how they weighed the data they were assessing as well.  If I were running any of the three BPM initiatives – Pegasystems, IBM, or Appian, I’d like the cards I was holding in the market.  There’s a lot of business to go get, and all three of these firms are likely to do well.

 

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  • To clarify the use of the term “Vendors That Matter” – I’m referring to the fact that for many customers the vendors they look at are on the leaders quadrant – and those are the only vendors that matter. I realize there are other vendors that matter, but they have a tough row to hoe now, to win in the market in spite of the headwind that Gartner has created (or lack of tailwind).

    (I won’t be referring to them by that moniker going forward, just in the context of these three posts! )