We’ve seen the recent (re-launch) of the Gartner ‘Magic Quadrant’, after a 3 year absence and now renamed ITSSM to incorporate a wider span of ITSM and support concepts. This has been made publicly available by BMC and is therefore widely available in a full format for the first time.
This sort of analysis will always divide opinion around who should or shouldn’t be included, plus how conclusions are reached. However, in general I’m pleased to see this return as a focal point around the vendor industry and how this is evaluated. Overall there are no clear winners, although ServiceNow and BMC are best placed, plus there are solid placements for Hornbill, EasyVista and FrontRange, plus a great performance from Cherwell. In general l think it looks like a fair reflection of the key players, established and challenging. Roy Atkinson of HDI has a good summary review which covers the main points.
We are at the point where – aside from new and ever-changing niche areas – we have a commodity market in terms of functionality. The real challenge for many of the main players is how to differentiate themselves. For me this should be easy, and it’s not just about ‘customer service’ as is often quoted.
The key issue for me in assessing vendors must be capability to deliver – this is often mentioned and translated into numbers of technical and (ITIL/ITSM) process consultants available, as well as track record of course. But in reality this is really about project management, engagement, risk management, ownership and taking responsibility.
To what extent will or can your prospective vendor actually run a project in a way that delivers what your organisation needs? I.e. not just what their process or methodology says. How can they convince you that they will work with you and take away a lot of your pain, rather than simply give you too many choices that you don’t need and which will get in the way of delivery and quality? How will they demonstrate that they understand your sort of organisation and culture, so that they will provide appropriate people to work with you?
For me it’s essential to really investigate and feel comfortable with the vendor and their people as much as what their product does, and the process is as much about a good ‘chemistry’ fit as a functional or technological one.
So, in reality the Magic Quadrant can give you a good start and guide to the major players in the industry, but it’s not the whole picture and you need to identtify clearly what you need and expect from your vendor – after all they will be become a key business partner…
What are your thoughts on this? What do you require for that ideal fit?