How magic is a magic quadrant?

The Gartner “magic quadrant” for Strategic Sourcing Application Suites has just been published. You will be hearing all about it from those solution providers who sit in the favoured quadrant, and you won’t hear anything about it from those that don’t do so well or weren’t included.

One provider asked me the other day – how much attention do senior procurement people really pay to Gartner quadrants? It varies, was my honest answer. Frankly, some CPOs are only vaguely aware of Gartner, others will take their words as gospel. There’ll always be a bit of cynicism around just how the decisions are made, and those in the know will query the definitions and who is included and who isn’t. (That’s very relevant here, with the “strategic sourcing application suite” definition seeming a little odd perhaps ).

But, I said, let’s be honest – as a provider, you’re better off being well-positioned in it than not! There’s no downside to being evaluated as a top quadrant provider.

So congratulations in particular to BravoSolution who come out of it particularly well - the top rated provider based on the position in the quadrant. Others who do well include IBM (Emptoris), SAP, Ariba and GEP. Iasta and Zycus also make it into the “top” quadrant - good news for all of them.

As I say, interpret the data with caution, and there are notable absences such as Oracle and Proactis. It also doesn’t cover the market informed sourcing / advanced sourcing world, so no Trade Extensions or CombineNet, who are key options for sophisticated users, or major new entrants into sourcing such as Coupa and Basware.

Not surprisingly, you can request a free copy of the report here from BravoSolution. And we’ll return to this whole area again, as you’ll be seeing more from Spend Matters in terms of the sourcing solution marketplace in the not too distant future.

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Voices (5)

  1. Rasputin.:

    As a respondent to the gartner survey I found it pretty robust and asked all of the right questions.

    I echo Frank’s comments about Bravo – bravo chaps !

  2. Frank Tudor:

    We used gaartner a fair bit until quite recently – cutbacks, you know! Whilst our intent was generally to look beyond the usual suspects in whatever IT category we were interested in, inevitably they ended up being used to reaffirm the selection of the supplier as being the right one if Gartner call them Leaders or Visionaries. However if we have selected a supplier who either isn’t on the quadrant or on the wrong part of the quadrant then it was very far from being a show stopper!

    Reading them can be a useful, though provoking exercise, but they are not a replacement for a thorough analysis of requirement versus supplier capability and pricing. Just because a company is top or bottom right on the quadrant, that doesn’t necessarily make then the best selection for your business.

    Also the natural cynic in me suggests that the quadrants are now covering more subjects and include more vendors as companies who are in the top quadrant have to pay a handsome licence fee to distribute this valuable marketing material. But thank you Bravo Solutions for providing me with the free copy which reaffirms our decision to select them two years ago after a competitive tender ……

  3. Market Dojo e-Sourcing:

    What is good about the report is that it does at least cover the broad market and doesn’t just focus on those with deeper pockets, which is a tendancy for some of these analyst papers.

    Unfortunately they do specify that the eSourcing provider needs to also cater for at least one other solution from spend analysis, contract management and SRM. This does mean the niche best-of-breed solutions like CombineNet, Trade Extensions and indeed Market Dojo don’t qualify for inclusion. That said, no idea why Coupa, Basware, Proactis and Oracle didn’t make it.

    With all the recent talk about ease of use, and hence adoption, of eProcurement solutions, it was good to see the ease of use attribute being considered in the Gartner reviews. A quarter of the solutions were marked as ‘exceptional’ which is perhaps higher than expected although still leaves a lot of room for improvement with the others. However it does appear as though the marking was on the generous side, given that some solutions were marked as having ‘good’ ease of use and yet the customer feedback comments noted that the user experience was poor.

    Nevertheless, some valuable insight to the market and finger’s crossed we’ll be up there for Gartner 2016!

  4. Herman:

    Just such a pity you have to pay Gartner so much to be ‘seen’! No ‘free’ rating….

    Keen to see Spendmatter’s quadrant soon. They used a very sensible approach to doing it!

  5. Feetontheground:

    We have made use of the Magic Quadrants in the past but I read an interesting article recently about the concept of ‘Crowd Sourcing’ where practitioners are asked to rate suppliers in the specific areas and a quadrant is produced based on their responses.

    Sounds a bit like Facebook ‘likes’ or even Tripadvisor but an interesting concept to compare the views of people who actually use the suppliers/products vs the Analysts who may have a more academic view. Plus Crowd Sourcing might be free!

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