I am a few days into the vendor review process for my pending MarketScope for Contract Management 2008. Going through the rigor of the Gartner process certainly brings back echoes of some of the questions and criticism I’ve heard over the last year about Gartner ratings.
For the record, I have been and continue to be thoroughly impressed by the well-honed methodologies that Gartner uses and enforces for Magic Quadrants, MarketScopes and Critical Capabilities notes, and I feel very good about the completeness and fairness of the ratings I have produced by using them. Some of my reasoning includes:
· References MUST be checked for all rated vendors. We cannot request references and then not bother to contact them. Furthermore, the references provided do not have to be Gartner clients. They are whomever the vendors chooses.
· We can use the input we gather over time from our client inquiries. This is not a trivial amount of information from a small number of clients. To give you an idea, I will speak to approximately 500 different end user clients this year alone. That means discussing leading vendors in my space day in and day out, almost every day.
· Ratings must be constructed granularly across a set of standard Gartner metrics including overall viability (one of my favorite!), product/service, and marketing strategy. These rating criteria and their weighting are disclosed in the rating document.
· Vendors are given time to review their ratings and write-ups, and they can submit factual corrections and requests for rewordings. This is very important because we don’t want to inadvertently misstate a fact or overstate an issue. If we are sued and must withdraw research, then we are unable to help anyone. The vendor review process is also important because it means that the text and ratings you see have been agreed upon as defendably fair and accurate. The independent Gartner obmudsman is charged to ensure this.
I am proud to be with Gartner and nearing the completion of this year’s marketscope for contract management feels like nearing the end of a pregnancy –(Yes I can say that –I have three children.) And I can’t wait for this next installment to be “born.”
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