Tag Archives: analyst relations

[repost ]Analyst Relations – Reports


Below is a collection of reports published by leading independent analyst firms on, or including, Microsoft. Microsoft has secured all copyright and publishing privileges with the firms to include the reports on this site for all audiences. All reports were researched and funded by the analyst firms themselves.


Gartner Magic Quadrant for Corporate Telephony, 2011 (Gartner Inc, September 15, 2011). Microsoft placed in the Visionaries Quadrant. Gartner notes “Companies are increasingly focusing their strategies and acquisition decisions around unified communications and collaboration (UCC) technology; it is supplanting the historic domain of corporate telephony.”
Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace (Gartner Research, August 25, 2011) Gartner positions Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant in the 2011 Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace.
Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications, 2011 (Gartner Research, August 22, 2011) Microsoft is positioned in the Leaders Quadrant. According to Gartner, “the overall UC market has matured and evolved significantly in 2011. The most notable change has been the shift in emphasis from broad UC portfolios toward fuller UC suites.” This research reviews relevant technologies and vendor offerings that can assist in these goals.
Magic Quadrant Secure E-mail Gateways, 2011 (Gartner Research, August 10, 2011) Gartner positions Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant in the 2011 Magic Quadrant for Secure E-mail Gateways.
Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation (Gartner, Inc., July 14, 2011) Microsoft is rated as a Leader for the on-premises version and as a Visionary for the online version of Dynamics CRM in the latest Gartner Sales Force Automation Magic Quadrant.
MarketScope for Enterprise Instant Messaging and Presence (Gartner Research, July 5, 2011). Microsoft is rated as Strong Positive in this MarketScope report. Gartner believes IM and presence platforms have become elements of core infrastructure for enterprises and the integration of presence information with email and other business applications is a central requirement that impacts workflow and collaborative decision making.
Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure (Gartner Research, June 30, 2011) Gartner positions Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant in its x86 Server Virtualization Magic Quadrant. This Magic Quadrant assessment takes into account vendors’ current product offerings and overall strategies, as well as their planned initiatives and product road maps.
MarketScope for Email Systems, 2011 (Gartner Research, June 22, 2011) Microsoft was rated Strong Positive in this report. Gartner emphasizes “Buyers should avoid the popular notion that email is a commodity, easily sourced from a variety of suppliers.”
MarketScope for Project and Portfolio Management Applications (Gartner Research, June 13, 2011) Microsoft earned a Strong Positive rating in the MarketScope for PPM Applications based on Project 2010.
E-Mail Maturity Model: Optimizing the Investment (Gartner Research, April 27, 2011) In this report, Gartner said “Most organizations will benefit from a careful analysis of the maturity of their e-mail system to uncover weaknesses. This exercise can lead to a substantial improvement in all aspects of the e-mail infrastructure. Ultimately, we believe e-mail — despite its reputation as a commodity — can offer substantial competitive advantage.”
Evaluating Microsoft Dynamics CRM (Gartner Research, April 25, 2011) This research provides an overview of Microsoft Dynamics CRM product offering and its applicability to sales force automation and customer-service-centric processes.
Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Service Contact Centers (Gartner Research, April 15, 2011) This Magic Quadrant looks at CRM software for customer service representatives in the contact center. Social media trends, a strong application and technology refresh cycle, and a demand for analytics and business rules are driving changes in the industry.
Critical Capabilities for Unified Communications as a Service (Gartner Research, March 30, 2011) This research evaluates leading UCaaS portfolios in the North American market. It focuses on enterprise use cases and also considers hybrid, SMB and very large enterprise environments. Microsoft’s BPOS offering was given an overall score of 3.0 in use cases, with a Product Viability score of Excellent.
MarketScope for Ajax Technologies and RIA Platforms (Gartner Inc., March 29, 2011) Gartner positions Microsoft as “Positive” in the 2011 MarketScope for Ajax Technologies and RIA Platforms.
One Year In, and the Use Cases for Microsoft’s SQL Azure are Becoming Clear (451 Group, February 11, 2011, .pdf file, 108 kb) The 451 Group assesses that “SQL Azure is a clear indication that Microsoft is prepared to listen to and respond to the demands of customers in providing a fully managed relational, scalable database service.”
The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Data Warehousing Platforms, Q1 2011 (Forrester Research, Inc., February 10, 2011, .pdf file, 641 kb) Microsoft has launched cost-effective EDW appliances for midmarket and large enterprises. With an increased focus on massively parallel EDW scale-out, Microsoft positions its EDW offerings as the foundation for self-service BI for information workers who rely on SQL Server.
E-Mail Is a Commodity and Other Fairy Tales (Gartner Research, February 9, 2011) – Gartner’s report says “understanding the complex nature of e-mail systems will lead to more informed decisions about e-mail provisioning models.”
Magic Quadrant for Integrated Software Quality Suites (Gartner Inc., January 31, 2011) Gartner positions Microsoft in the Visionary Quadrant in the 2011 Magic Quadrant for Integrated Software Quality Suites.
Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms (Gartner Inc., January 27, 2011) Gartner positions Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant in the 2011 Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms.


Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, North America (Gartner Research, December 20, 2010). “Businesses should view UCaaS as an emerging alternative to premises-based UC platforms for improving productivity, processes and workflow.”
Magic Quadrant for ERP for Product-Centric Midmarket Companies (Gartner, December 17, 2010) This Magic Quadrant evaluates ERP products that have a global presence and are specifically tailored for product-centric midmarket companies with roughly $50 million to $1 billion in revenue. Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics NAV are both featured in this report.
Critical Capabilities for Unified Communications (Gartner, December 13, 2010). Microsoft received an “excellent” rating in Product Uses Cases, with Gartner noting, “Critical capabilities are attributes that differentiate products in a class in terms of their quality and performance.”
Magic Quadrant for Event Correlation and Analysis (Gartner, December 13, 2010) Gartner positions Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant in its IT Event, Correlation & Analysis Magic Quadrant. This Magic Quadrant assessment takes into account vendors’ current product offerings and overall strategies, as well as their planned initiatives and product road maps.
IDC MarketScape Excerpt: IT Project and Portfolio Management 2010 Vendor Analysis – Four Views to Enable Effective Evaluation (IDC, December 2010). In this report, IDC identifies the top IT PPM vendors and lists Microsoft as a leader in the IT PPM market, “with excellent capabilities as a result of its close coordination between Visual Studio 2010, Microsoft Project Server 2010, the combined collaboration capabilities with SharePoint 2010, and emerging agile support.”
Microsoft Project 2010 Adapts to Thrive (Gartner Research, November 29, 2010). “This research is about the new release of Microsoft’s Enterprise Project Management (EPM) solution. Enhancements and integrations make it the most important release of the product in a decade.”
Microsoft And SAP Duet’s New Vision For The Information Workplace In SharePoint (Forrester Research, Inc. November 24, 2010, .pdf file, 266 kb) This report examines Duet Enterprise, a joint initiative between Microsoft and SAP designed to bridge SAP data and processes with Microsoft Office productivity applications, including Microsoft SharePoint. According to Forrester content and collab pros with strategic commitments to Microsoft and SAP should take a close look at the new focus of Duet Enterprise, as it is highly aligned with Forrester’s view of the Information Workplace value proposition.
MarketScope for Enterprise Search (Gartner Research, November 22, 2010) Microsoft achieved a Strong Positive rating in this report. Gartner attributes a Strong Positive rating as a provider of strategic products, services or solutions. Gartner states, “The enterprise search market has endured about 15 years as a robust, distinct market intended to aid companies and governments in making their information available.”
Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management (Gartner Research, November 16, 2010) Microsoft is placed in the Leaders Quadrant of this report, which looks at the enterprise content management market and how Gartner rates vendors and their packaged ECM products. According to Gartner “process-centric solutions, social content management and integration are key factors differentiating the vendors assessed in this document.”
Windows Azure AppFabric: A Strategic Core of Microsoft’s Cloud Platform (Gartner, November 15, 2010) Examines Microsoft’s strategy with Windows Azure AppFabric and the AppFabric services, concluding that “continuing strategic investment in Windows Azure is moving Microsoft toward a leadership position in the cloud platform market, but success is not assured until user adoption confirms the company’s vision and its ability to execute in this new environment.”
Workplace IT Survey 2010 Reveals Cloud, Social Software and E-Mail Turbulence (Gartner, Nov. 10, 2010) In this report, Gartner finds that, “a significant number of enterprises have at least a latent desire to switch vendors. The survey also indicates that two forces, in particular — cloud computing and social software — could change enterprises’ choice of vendors and therefore alter vendors’ relative positions in workplace IT markets.”
The Forrester Wave™: Comprehensive Integration Solutions, Q4 2010 (Forrester Research, Inc., November 9, 2010, .pdf file, 825 kb) Forrester Research Inc., a leading independent research firm, recognized Microsoft as a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Comprehensive Integration Solutions, Q4 2010 report. Microsoft’s BizTalk 2010 received some of the top-level scores in the areas of integration server and application development support.
SQL Azure Raises The Bar On Cloud Databases (Forrester Research, Inc., November 2, 2010, .pdf file, 187 kb) Over the past six months, Forrester interviewed 26 companies using Microsoft SQL Azure to find out about their implementations. Most customers stated that SQL Azure delivers a reliable cloud database platform to support various small to moderately sized applications as well as other data management requirements such as backup, disaster recovery, testing, and collaboration. In the report, analyst Noel Yuhanna states that key enhancements position SQL Azure as a leader in the emerging category of cloud databases and writes that it delivers the most innovative, integrated and flexible solution.
Marketing Investment Planner 2011: Benchmarks, Key Performance Indicators, and CMO Priorities (IDC, November, 2010, .pdf file, 877 kb) IDC analysts Richard Vancil and Joseph A. Ferrantino provide research and insight to help technology marketers improve the productivity and efficiency of marketing practices.
The Information Workplace Light Burns Brighter (Forrester Research, Inc. October 29, 2010, pdf file, 595 kb) This report examines specific Information Workplace trends that indicate the need for content and collaboration professionals to make increasingly bigger, strategic bets on IW solutions with broad and long-term implications. According to Forrester, Microsoft is one of four key vendors that offer compelling anchor points for an Information Workplace strategy.
Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace, 2010 (Gartner Research, October 25, 2010) Microsoft is positioned in the Leaders’ Quadrant of this report, which focuses on the market for products that support social networking within an enterprise. According to Gartner, “buyers in this market are looking for persistent virtual environments, in which participants can create, organize and share information, as well as find, connect and interact with each other.”
Magic Quadrant for Application Infrastructure for Systematic SOA-Style Application Projects (Gartner, Inc., October 21, 2010) Microsoft is positioned in the Leaders’ Quadrant of this report which examines vendors’ application infrastructure worthiness for systematic service-oriented architecture (SOA)-style application projects. According to Gartner, “Systematic projects include long-term consideration and project planning in the process of design and technology selection for the application. They target applications that are intended for extended periods of use, carry advanced service-level requirements and typically have an impact on the overall information context of the business organization.”
The Forrester Wave: Enterprise Business Intelligence Platforms, Q4 2010 (Boris Evelson, Forrester Research, October 20, 2010, .pdf file, 620 kb)
Magic Quadrant for Application Infrastructure for Systematic Application Integration Projects (Gartner, Inc., October 18, 2010) Microsoft is positioned in the Leaders’ Quadrant of this report that identifies which products contain the features required to address the needs of systematic application-to-application (A2A), B2B and cloud-based application and integration projects. According to Gartner, “[t]he part of the application infrastructure market focused on integration products for A2A, B2B and cloud-based application integration will undergo consolidation, because multiple product features are used across each of the project types. Many users are looking to support their integration projects with an integrated suite provided by one vendor, thus eliminating the burden to act as a system integrator for application infrastructure.”
Gartner Marketscope for Enterprise IM and Presence (Gartner Research, October 8th, 2010). Microsoft is rated as Strong Positive in this Marketscope report. Gartner believes the IM market continues to thrive, stating “by 2013, 95% of workers in Global 100 organizations will use the IM client as their primary interface for computer‐based, real‐time communications.”
Customer Relationship Management 2010/11: Driving Value from Next Generation CRM (Ovum , October 2010, .pdf file, 133 kb) The Ovum CRM Decision Matrix explores the competitive dynamics within the CRM application suite market and is designed to help organizations make informed choices among the leading offerings. It presents a view of the market based on three factors: technology assessment, user sentiment, and market impact. Microsoft is included on Ovum’s shortlist for CRM vendors.
The Forrester Wave™: Order Management Hubs, Q3 2010 (Forrester Research, August 19, 2010, .pdf file, 537 kb) Forrester Research Inc., a leading independent research firm, recognized Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 as a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Order Management Hubs, Q3 2010. Positioned as a leader, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 was cited for the strength of its strategy, including a top three product and go-to-market strategy as well as market-leading ownership costs.
Market Mover Array Report: Testing Platforms (voke, August 11, 2010) This Market Mover Array Report evaluate 13 vendors across the testing market and names Microsoft “Transformational”. voke reports that “Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2010 is an organically created lifecycle solution designed to eliminate the tedious tasks associated with testing and improve communication between testers and developers. Microsoft bolstered its quality offering by integrating transformational new technology available in Visual Studio Test Professional 2010 and Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate. Test Professional is a highly innovative and groundbreaking testing solution that is revolutionizing manual testing. The Microsoft testing solution with integrated virtual lab management is poised to be as significant to the testing market as the introductions of RUP and BTO. This game-changing release shows that Microsoft intends to make testing a strategic component of the Visual Studio brand. Microsoft has seamlessly integrated technology that will likely force innovation in the market. Microsoft is using new technology to solve age-old problems.”
Critical Capabilities for Secure E-Mail Gateways (Gartner, August 3, 2010) In this report, Gartner evaluates 15 security secure e-mail gateway technologies against seven critical capabilities and three use cases to help project managers select the best product for their organization.
Two-Tier ERP Suite Strategy: Considering Your Options (Gartner Research, July 28, 2010, .pdf file, 426 kb) In this report, Nigel Montgomery analyzes two-tier ERP strategies that can dramatically reduce implementation times and improve operational cost savings while providing greater agility and faster user acceptance.
Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation (Gartner Research, July 28, 2010) Despite slow sales due to the economy, organizations continue to invest ($3,965 billion in 2009) in sales force automation (SFA). Gartner has not seen a drop-off in client requests for help with vendor evaluations related to SFA. Leaders demonstrate a market-defining vision of how technology can help the top sales executives achieve business objectives. Leaders have the ability to execute against that vision through products, services and demonstrated solid business results in the form of revenue and earnings. Leaders have significant successful customer deployments in North America, EMEA and Asia/Pacific in a wide variety of vertical industries with multiple proof points above 500 users.
The Forrester Wave™: CRM Suites Customer Service Solutions, Q3 2010 (Forrester Research, July 19, 2010, .pdf file, 585 kb) Forrester Research Inc., a leading independent research firm, recognized Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: CRM Suites Customer Service Solutions, Q3 2010 report. According to Forrester, Microsoft Dynamics CRM gets high marks for flexible customer service solutions and was cited as providing strong support in a multitude of areas.
Survey Says E-Mail Rocks; Social Networking Used by Some, Rejected by Few, Investigated by Most (Gartner Research, July 2, 2010) This report discusses social software and collaboration adoption trends and business value sentiments from Gartner’s 2010 workplace survey. Gartner says “conventional collaboration technologies lead adoption and perceptions of importance; but the business importance of newer technologies will increase.”
Convergence 2010 Atlanta: Omnipresent Cloud Without New Business Content (Gartner Research, June 21, 2010) Microsoft’s annual conference for its Dynamics ERP and CRM business focused on a number of key product releases and initiatives.
The Forrester Wave™: CRM Suites For Midsized Organizations,Q2 2010 (Forrester Research, June 16, 2010, .pdf file, 756 kb) Microsoft Dynamics CRM shines by offering flexibility for large and midsized organizations. Forrester Research Inc., a leading independent research firm, recognized Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a Leader in the Forrester Wave Report™: CRM Suites for Midsized, Q2 2010.
The Forrester Wave™: CRM Suites for Large Organizations, Q2 2010 (Forrester Research, June 16, 2010, .pdf file, 749 kb) Microsoft Dynamics CRM shines by offering flexibility for large and midsized organizations. Forrester Research Inc., a leading independent research firm, recognized Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a Leader in the Forrester Wave Report™: CRM Suites for Large Organizations, Q2 2010.
Microsoft Positioned in the Leaders Quadrant of Gartner, Inc.’s 2010 Magic Quadrant for IT Project and Portfolio Management (Gartner Research, June 7, 2010) This Magic Quadrant assesses vendors with offerings in the Project and Portfolio Management space. According to Gartner, the IT PPM market is showing signs of resiliency and innovation, as many PPM vendors transform themselves to support software as a service and other changing user requirements.
Cost Model for Upgrading Microsoft Office or Moving to OpenOffice.org (Gartner Research, May 28, 2010). In this report, Gartner outlines how “organizations must understand how much it will cost to move from their current office productivity suites to future ones. This research provides a guide and a model to enable organizations to project migration costs for both scenarios.” One of Gartner’s findings are that “organizations have determined that homogeneity of product use among users brings value, as the costs and difficulties of migrating various groups to different products can be onerous”.
Enterprises’ Productivity Plans Include SharePoint 2010 And Office 2010 (Forrester Research, May 11, 2010, .pptx file, 581 kb) Forrester Research Inc, a leading independent research firm, found in a Q1 2010 global survey that 1/3 of respondents plan on upgrading Office within a year, and that firms will upgrade to SharePoint 2010 sooner than Office 2010. According to Forrester, the alternatives to Microsoft Office today do not meet the needs of the enterprises surveyed.
The Forrester Wave: Agile Development Management Tools, Q2 2010 (Forrester Research, May 5, 2010, .pdf file, 674 kb) This Forrester Wave evaluates 10 vendors offering Agile development management tools and names Microsoft a “leader.” Forrester reports that “Microsoft provides the most comprehensive platform for .NET development. With extensive project support and comprehensive integration into the Visual Studio development environment, Team Foundation Server continues in the tradition of Microsoft products with an easy install and simple configuration. Out-of-the-box process configurations supporting Agile and other popular process models make adoption simpler. The VS2010 release, which was not evaluated, demonstrates a firm commitment to Agile with improvements to planning, reporting, and task management.”
The Reality of the HP-Microsoft Partnership: Management, Applications and (Virtual) Infrastructure (Gartner Research, April 6, 2010) In this report Gartner analysts Ronni Colville and David Williams evaluate the recent partnership announcement between Microsoft and HP.
Case Study: Customer Input Shaped Office 2010 (Forrester Research, March 29, 2010, .pdf file, 548 kb) An independent report that “highlights best practices in injecting customer input into the product creation life cycle,” using the Office 2010 example.
SharePoint 2010 Steps Up to the ECM Plate (Gartner Research, February 26, 2010). In this report Gartner analysts Mark Gilbert and Karen Shegda evaluate the upcoming SharePoint Server 2010 release.
Case Study: Microsoft Engages Employees and Creates a Self-Service Knowledge Repository (Gartner Research, February 24, 2010) A Gartner case study focusing on Microsoft and its employees.
Microsoft AppFabric: A Platform for the Cloud Era Is Under Construction (Gartner Research, February 11, 2010) In this report Gartner analysts Yefim Natis, Massimo Pezzini, David Cearley and Eric Knipp evaluate Microsoft AppFabric.
Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management Systems (Gartner, Inc., January 28, 2010) This Magic Quadrant assesses the Data Warehousing, Database Management Systems market offerings and their providers. Gartner states that “The Leaders’ quadrant for data warehouse DBMSs contains those vendors that demonstrate the greatest degree of support for data warehouses of all sizes, with large numbers of concurrent users and the management of mixed data warehousing workloads. These vendors lead the market in data warehousing by consistently demonstrating customer satisfaction and strong support, as well as longevity in the data warehouse DBMS market, with strong hardware alliances.”
Exchange 2010 – An Upgrade Worth Considering (Forrester Research, Inc., January 27, 2010) According to this independent report, Forrester analysts believe “Microsoft’s recent release of Exchange Server 2010 has material benefits that should prompt some Exchange 2007 and many Exchange 2003 customers to consider an upgrade. Look for improvements in three areas: back-end improvements largely connected to storage; benefits to information workers; and built-in basic archiving capabilities.”
Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms (Gartner, Inc., January 10, 2010) Gartner positions Microsoft in Leaders Quadrant in the 2009 Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms.


Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, North America (Gartner Research, Dec. 9, 2009) Microsoft is positioned in the Challengers Quadrant in the Unified Communications as a Service, North America Magic Quadrant. “Unified communications as a service is a cloud-based delivery of integrated communications capabilities spanning voice, messaging, conferencing and presence. Businesses should view UCaaS as an emerging alternative to premises-based UC platforms for improving productivity, processes and workflow.”
Magic Quadrant for PC Configuration Life Cycle Management Tools (Gartner, November 24, 2009) In this report by Gartner analyst Terrence Cosgrove, Microsoft is evaluated as a Leader in the PC configuration lifecycle management tools market.
Microsoft Convergence 2009: Upgrading The Dynamics Channel (IDC, October 30, 2009) This report by analyst Bo Lykkegaard focuses on Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM news at Convergence 2009. Lykkegaard highlights Kirill Tatarinov’s keynote, new partner initiatives such as flex licensing, and how Microsoft supports the continuing specialization of the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem.
Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace (Gartner Research, Oct. 22, 2009) Gartner positions Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant in its Social Software in the Workplace Magic Quadrant. This Magic Quadrant evaluates social software products used primarily by internal employees and brings into sharp contrast the strategies and choices pursued by established large vendors and smaller specialist ones.
IDC Flash: SharePoint 2010: Re-thinking Information Work (IDC, Oct. 21, 2009) IDC analysts provide a summary of SharePoint 2010 news announced at the 2009 SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas.
Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management (Gartner Research, Oct. 15, 2009) Gartner positions Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant in its Enterprise Content Management Magic Quadrant. This Magic Quadrant assessment takes into account vendors’ current product offerings and overall strategies, as well as their planned initiatives and product road maps.
Microsoft Joins M&A Resurgence in Enterprise Applications Market (IDC, September 25, 2009) IDC analyst Albert Pang reviews the Microsoft acquisitions of industry solutions from Fullscope Inc., Computer Generated Solutions Inc., LS Retail EHF and To-Increase Denmark A/S (wholly owned subsidiaries of Columbus IT Partner A/S) across manufacturing, professional services and retail industries. Pang states, “In addition to strengthening vertical industry expertise, the Microsoft buying spree is designed to help customers run their quasi-independent subsidiaries or divisions of large companies more effectively by creating a two-tier ERP structure.”
Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Application Servers (Gartner Research, September 24, 2009) Gartner positions Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant in its Enterprise Application Servers Magic Quadrant. “Leaders in the EAS market combine insightful understanding of the realities of the market, the ability to influence the market’s direction, the ability to attract a following and the capacity to lead. Leaders have the proven ability to deliver on their vision and to support their customers through periods of stability, as well as periods of change or economic hardships. The leaders control most of the market’s business activity and are the primary influencers of market evolution.”
Gartner Evaluates Microsoft’s BPM Strategy and Partner BPMS Products (Gartner Research, September 14, 2009) Gartner evaluates Microsoft’s business process management strategy and the strengths and challenges of its BPM suite partners in the context of our Four Corners BPM Framework, BPM Usage Scenarios and Five BPMS Technology Evolutionary Paths.
Forrester Report: Tier Your Workforce To Save Money With Cloud-Based Corporate Email; Forrester Finds Customers Can Save “$1.3 Million Annually With Exchange Online Deskless Worker” (Forrester, Aug. 13, 2009, .pdf file, 423 kb) Information and knowledge management (I&KM) pros are used to giving all employees the same software tools. While this has the benefit of simplicity, it often means buying licenses for software that is seldom or never used. With cloud-based email, firms now have a way to tune their email costs to the actual needs of their workforce. The easiest way to get started is to host some mailboxes on-premises and others in the cloud. While firms with fewer than 15,000 employees can almost always save money by moving all mailboxes to the cloud, every firm can save money by moving their occasional users — workers that can get away with a Web-based email client — to a cloud-based email provider. How much money? For these occasional users, as much as $63 per user per year.
The Forrester Wave: Collaboration Platforms, Q3 2009 (Forrester, August 6, 2009, .pdf file, 442 kb) This Forrester Wave evaluates 11 collaboration platform vendors and names Microsoft a “leader.” Forrester reports that “while the primary initial use case for SharePoint is often document workspace functionality, the suite approach generally leads to broader adoption of functionality including search, portal, an application development platform, business intelligence in the form of PerformancePoint Services, and basic content management.”
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Corporate Telephony (Gartner, August 5, 2009) In this report, Gartner positions Microsoft in the Visionary Quadrant and says “The market for telephony will continue to be turbulent. The future direction for the players will vary.”
ROI Case Study Microsoft Dynamics CRM ISS Worldwide (Nucleus Research, Aug. 2009, .pdf file, 152 kb) ISS Worldwide deployed Microsoft Dynamics CRM to streamline its CRM operations, increasing customer retention and cross selling while improving collections.
Microsoft Revamps Its Partner Community. Will Customers Feel the Heat? (AMR Research, Aug. 2009, .pdf file, 128 kb) At its Worldwide Partner Conference in a hot and humid New Orleans, Microsoft announced a strategic-level realignment to its partner models, which includes partners and independent software vendors selling and servicing its Dynamics products. The company’s goal is to drive consistently high customer experience standards, with the might of its extensive channel marketing spending focused on business growth and customer service.
Microsoft Stacks Up its Web Platform Technologies (Gartner Research, July 29, 2009) This report evaluates Microsoft’s Web Platform Technologies.
Microsoft Goes for the Gold with the Release of Silverlight 3.0 (Gartner Research, July 29, 2009) This report evaluates the release of Microsoft’s Silverlight 3.0.
Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation (Gartner Research, Inc., July 22, 2009) With shrinking sales resources and market opportunities, investing in technology to automate critical sales processes may be the only alternative to still meet sales targets. The economy has affected vendors in different ways; some vendors on our 2008 SFA Magic Quadrant continued to see double-digit growth, while others dropped out of the market completely.
The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Database Management Systems, Q2 2009 (Forrester, June 30, 2009, .pdf file, 327 kb) This Forrester Wave assesses more than a dozen firms based primarily on their enterprise open source and closed source database management systems. Forrester named Microsoft a ‘leader’ in the DBMS Wave and states that Microsoft is “The most aggressive DBMS vendor with a strong road map.” In this Wave, Forrester categorizes Leaders as offering “broad set of functionality to support any critical transactional application.”
Case Study: Pfizer Takes a Two-Pronged Approach to Content Management (Gartner Research, Inc., June 29, 2009) This Case Study details how Pfizer standardized on a basic content services (BCS) offering for work in progress along with a robust enterprise content management (ECM) platform that addresses Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-mandated content applications. CIOs, business and IT leaders, and application managers executives should read this study to see how Pfizer dealt with governance issues, migration from legacy systems and the costs of maintaining two solutions.
The Case for Enterprise Applications in a Recession (Ovum, May 28, 2009, .pdf file, 136 kb) The current recession surprised nearly everyone with its size and suddenness. Few foresaw the carnage it would wreak on Wall Street or it’s flash-freeze effect on credit markets. As revenues sank, many companies responded by aggressively cutting staff and budgets, including those for IT. An understandable response, but not necessarily a smart one.
Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Wireless E-Mail Software Market (Gartner Research, May 27, 2009) In this Magic Quadrant, Gartner determines that “the market for enterprise wireless e-mail products is mature, with most new demand coming from the expansion of the user base in companies that already deployed the technology. Despite shrinking IT budgets in 2009, wireless e-mail continues to be a priority for mobile investments.”
Gartner MarketScope for E-mail Systems (Gartner, May 15, 2009) In this report, Gartner finds that “demand for e‐mail services is strong and overall message volumes continue to climb, to the point where users are struggling with overload issues, and legal and compliance issues are of paramount importance. “
Microsoft’s Web Platform Expands To PHP (Forrester, Inc., May 12, 2009, .pdf file 214kb) In this report, Forrester notes that the new Microsoft Web Platform will offer simplified install of certain popular PHP Web applications such as Acquia Drupal, Gallery, and SilverStripe CMS as well as popular ASP.NET Web applications such as dasBlog, DotNetNuke, and ScrewTurn Wiki. Forrester points out that Microsoft has also announced that the Web Application Gallery will allow developers to offer free versions of these applications directly to IT development shops. Forrester writes, “Microsoft’s contribution to the open source software (OSS) community is to support PHP apps and make them easy to install — on Windows servers. The result: Open source software has another direct channel into the enterprise, which means that it’s now easier for enterprises to find and install an OSS alternative to expensive commercial application platforms that run on Windows and Internet Information Services (IIS).”
The Forrester Wave™: Mobile Device Management Solutions, Q2 2009 (Forrester Research, April 27, 2009, .pdf file, 331 kb) Microsoft’s extensive efforts at streamlining and simplifying mobile device management have paid off. Within the report, System Center Mobile Device Manager is mentioned as a “Contender” and Forrester notes “IT operations professionals who demand granular control, such as Active Directory enrollment and Group Policy, device-specific policies, management via IPsec tunneling, or full software inventory of their Windows Mobile 6.1 devices and up, SCMDM is a must-have solution for you.”
Microsoft Moves Dynamics Forward With New Releases And Simplified Pricing Strategies (Forrester Research, Inc. April 17, 2009, .pdf file 279kb) About 7,000 customers, partners, Microsoft staff, and industry observers made the pilgrimage to New Orleans to hear the latest and greatest from the Microsoft Dynamics team. Kirill Tatarinov, corporate vice president of Microsoft Business Solutions, gave the keynote outlining how businesses could become more dynamic, why now is the time to seize the moment, and how enterprises could adapt to the change in front of them. Overall, conference goers were upbeat, optimistic, and energetic. One explanation for this sense of “can-do” attitude among attendees is based on how Microsoft has made the transformation into a value and innovation alternative to the large ERP vendors moving into the small and medium-sized business (SMB) space. Forrester believes that strong attendance despite the down market indicates a healthy business and one that Microsoft seeks to reinforce its value proposition as it tries to bring more customers into its maintenance offerings.
Workflow Supplement Scenarios for Microsoft SharePoint (Gartner Research, April 16, 2009) In this report Gartner discusses “several scenarios for better coordination of the interactions between people, process and content.”
“X” marks many spots in xRM (Ovum Research, April 2009) In the high-tech industry, one of the most fertile fields of innovation is TLAs – three-letter acronyms that describe some hot new category of software. Most are so obscure that they are meaningless unless presented in context. One that may prove to have staying power, at least if Microsoft has its way, is xRM – a category of “relationship management” applications in which “x” isn’t fixed but a variable that stands for “anything.”
Magic Quadrant for Integrated SOA Governance Technology Sets (Gartner Research, March 31, 2009) Gartner positions Microsoft in the Challengers Quadrant in its Magic Quadrant for Integrated SOA Governance Technology Sets. SOA governance is about ensuring and validating that assets and artifacts within the architecture are operating as expected and maintaining a certain level of quality. Now in its second year, this Magic Quadrant reduces the market to one set of technologies with strong architectural cohesion (integration), promoting ease of use and the interoperability of products.
Case Study: Microsoft Speeds Tool Delivery With Agile Development (Forrester, Inc., March 27, 2009 .pdf file, 242 kb) This case study looks at the agile development practices of Microsoft’s TeamArch and its involvement with Visual Studio Team System 2010. TeamArch decided to begin using Agile development practices to better connect with its customer, improve the planning process, and increase predictability and quality. Forrester states that “TeamArch decided to begin using agile development practices to better connect with its customer, improve the planning process, and increase predictability and quality.” Additionally, Forrester states that “Microsoft’s TeamArch incrementally evolves a release, adding and refining rather than deleting features.”
Magic Quadrant for Software Change and Configuration Management for Distributed Platforms, 2009 (Gartner, Inc., March 26, 2009) This vendor evaluation looks at the Software Change and Configuration Management market and the tools that support assignments, monitoring, execution and reporting of changes to software products for teams and for groups of teams. Gartner states that “SCCM tools are evolving on a path toward integrating tightly with or becoming generalized management platforms for requirements, test plans and other aspects of the application life cycle.” Additionally, Gartner writes that during the next three to five years, most high-performance development organizations will add aspects of ALM to their SCCM solutions
Case Study: Pfizer Takes a Two-Pronged Approach to Content Management (Gartner Research, March 13, 2009) In this case study, Pfizer, a global pharmaceutical company, adopted a two-prong strategy to solve its content management requirements. Pfizer’s two-pronged approach is a prime example of how many Gartner clients are addressing the varying content types they must manage and providing users with appropriate tools for the tasks.
Windows 7 Won’t Need SP1, but Will Still Need 12 to 18 Months Before Deployment Begins (Gartner Research, March 12, 2009) Gartner evaluates Windows 7 SP1 in this report.
Getting Off Windows XP Is More Important Than Windows Vista vs. Windows 7 (Gartner Research, March 12, 2009) Gartner evaluates enterprise OS migration plans.
Case Study: University of Kentucky Uses Unified Communications to Enhance Communication and Cut Costs (Gartner Research, March 11, 2009) The University of Kentucky evaluated Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 as a means to offer UC and manage growth of the university’s large telephony infrastructure. IT personnel discovered that OCS 2007 could also reduce IT costs and enhance the way people communicate.
Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2010 (Butler Group, March 2009, .pdf file, 207 kb). In this report, Butler Group reviews Microsoft Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) 2010 calling it a complete ALM offering. As outlined in the report, strengths of VSTS 2010 include improved software quality management features, simplified testing in virtualized environments with lab managem ent and TFS version control that enables code branch visualization and branching. The report states “Butler Group believes that Visual Studio 2010 is an essential product for high-productivity development on the Microsoft platform: it is unlikely that enterprise .NET developers will want any other IDE, and project managers, software architects, and other team members will find excellent new functionality and ALM support with this release.”
The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Data Warehousing Platforms, Q1 2009 (Forrester, February 6, 2009, .pdf file 556 kb) This Wave assesses more than a dozen firms based primarily on their enterprise data warehousing (EDW) platforms. Forrester named Microsoft a ‘leader’ in the EDW Wave and states that “Microsoft challenges the EDW market leaders with its aggressive scalability push.” Forrester categorizes Leaders as offering “mature, high-performance, scalable, flexible, secure, and robust EDW solutions that combine an analytics-optimized database with query optimization, fast loading, and mixed-workload management tools.”
Green Software: The Partner Opportunity (Ovum, January 28, 2009, pdf. 140kb) Enterprise applications vendors have a significant opportunity to help customers cut operating costs and become “greener” by reducing the amount of energy consumed in manufacturing, building operations, transportation and other business functions. But the opportunity is not limited to the vendors alone. Given their strong and growing reliance on channel partners, there is a corollary opportunity for the VARs, ISVs, SIs, consultants and others that sell and implement the vendors’ applications. This opportunity is largely unclaimed–and makes good business sense even in difficult economic times.


MarketScope for Ajax Technology and RIA Platforms (Gartner, Inc., December 29, 2008) This MarketScoope addresses “the needs of Gartner customers in evaluating product offerings and vendor relationships in an early to midstage market.” Gartner writes that “despite having appeared as early as 1999, Ajax technologies and rich Internet application platforms are still in a dynamic and early adopter phase of market evolution, with respect to enterprise-level adoption.” Microsoft has been ranked as ‘Positive’ in the MarketScope.
European Software Configuration Management Tool Adoption Trends (Forrester, December 23, 2008, .pdf file, 454 kb). This report highlights an increase in awareness and adoption of application life-cycle management (ALM) processes and tools. Forrester writes that “when it comes to SCM and software change and configuration management (SCCM), European application development leaders frequently adopt tools from Microsoft” and other companies and open source solutions.” According to Forrester, Microsoft Team Foundation Server has integrated change management, process enforcement, and metrics-gathering capabilities that make it one of the most capable SCCM tools available.
Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management Systems, 2008 (Gartner, Inc., December 23, 2008) This Magic Quadrant depicts Gartner’s analysis of how data warehouse DBMS software-only vendors measure against specific criteria within the marketplace. Gartner states that “The data warehouse DBMS market has evolved from a traditional information store supporting business intelligence (BI) users and tools into an analytics infrastructure repository for the enterprise. And organizations are adding additional workload from online transaction processing (OLTP) applications and increasing the frequency of data loading to intraday, approaching continuous loading.”
Magic Quadrant for Application Infrastructure for New Systematic SOA Application Projects (Gartner Research, December 19, 2008) Gartner positions Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant in its Magic Quadrant for Application Infrastructure for New Systematic SOA Application Projects. Gartner states that the “New development of service-oriented business applications requires a complex collection of capabilities in runtime-enabling technologies and development tools and examines the ability of leading application infrastructure vendors to provide complete end-to-end support for such projects.”
Magic Quadrant for Application Infrastructure for SOA Composite Application Projects (Gartner Research, December 19, 2008) Gartner positions Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant in its Magic Quadrant for Application Infrastructure for SOA Composite Application Projects. This report aims at helping organizations select comprehensive end-to-end application infrastructure to support composite application projects in the context of SOA and other initiatives.
Magic Quadrant for Application Infrastructure for Back-End Application Integration Projects (Gartner Research, December 19, 2008) Gartner positions Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant in its Magic Quadrant for Application Infrastructure for Back-End Application Integration Projects. Gartner states that “Back-end application integration technology providers continue to consolidate as users expand and increase the complexity and sophistication of their service-oriented-architecture driven and software-as-a-service-driven integration requirements.”
MarketScope for Application Life Cycle Management (Gartner, Inc., December 17, 2008) This MarketScope assesses the market offerings and their providers. Gartner states that “Efficient coordination and automation of the delivery process requires new collaborative approaches to the planning, measurement, control and reporting of activities. These new approaches are what differentiate current application life cycle management (ALM) tools, and what make ALM processes vital to leading-edge development activities.”
Microsoft Dynamics Evolves Role-Based and Vertical Approaches (IDC, December 2008, .pdf file, 85 kb) In the midst of financial crisis and a gloomy economic outlook, Microsoft gathered 4,000 customers, partners, and employees from Europe, Middle East, and Africa in Copenhagen to talk about business applications and its vision of the “Dynamic Business.” Dynamics businesses are leveraging three key resources for competitive advantage: people, processes, and ecosystems. The big announcement at the conference was the launch of Dynamics NAV 2009 with “RoleTailored” user interface with 21 preconfigured roles.
The Forrester Wave™: Order Management Hubs, Q4 2008 (Forrester, November 20, 2008, .pdf file 792 kb) Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 makes one of the most significant gains as a Strong Performer in this edition of the Forrester Wave evaluation of order management hubs. In fact, the solution just missed the Leader band by a fraction…Overall product strategy represents a compelling vision for end-to-end order management. As companies in the upper midmarket continue to experience difficulty with existing systems, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 will play an increasing role as a key alternative for divisions and subsidiaries looking for a lower-cost and more effective alternative. The solution fared in the top half of vendors evaluated for corporate and go-to-market strategy due to strong customer references and global reach. Forrester recommends the Microsoft solution to companies with existing Microsoft tools and technologies and for larger SMBs up to $5 billion in revenues looking for a user-centric solution. Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 shows good traction with companies in discrete and process manufacturing, distribution, retail, and professional services.
The Forrester Wave: Customer Service Software Solutions, Q4 2008 (Forrester Research, October 21, 2008, .pdf file, 1.01 mb) Microsoft Dynamics CRM shines by offering its infrastructure to enterprise organizations. Microsoft’s strategy for growth is to offer buyers a choice of both on-premise and SaaS service deployment, a flexible user interface, a choice of payment options, and a strong partner community. Buyer interest in Microsoft Dynamics CRM is high in the SMB market and is growing in the enterprise segment.
Client Virtualization Promises to Speed App Delivery: A TÜV NORD Group Case Study (Forrester Research, October 7, 2008, .pdf file, 106 kb) This case study by Natalie Lambert examines the steps TÜV Nord Group took to meet the application demands of its large mobile population and a large-scale migration to Windows Vista. The solution was a combination of local application virtualization and management tools, which the company found easily met its office and mobile workers’ needs, as well as saved time and money for IT. As Natalie Lambert states in the study, “For TÜV NORD, the quantifiable benefits of application virtualization have been significant. Most importantly, it has found that its desktop operations staff spends less time deploying software to machines and supporting installed applications.”
The Forrester Wave™: Sales Force Management, Q4 2008 (Forrester Research, October 3, 2008, .pdf file, 883 kb) Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a Leader in SFA. Sales analysis tools, opportunity management, and setup and configuration capabilities are the application’s key sales strengths, as well as internationalization, usability, and versatile deployment capabilities. An added bonus is that the solution deploys quickly, giving buyers a fast time-to-value. Its low license and subscription costs make it an attractive sales application for enterprise and midmarket firms that are highly cost- sensitive.
A New ERP For The 21st Century (Forrester Research, October 3, 2008, .pdf file, 298 kb) Enterprise applications vendors successfully address users’ operations objectives in the pursuit of efficiency improvement. But companies’ executive and senior managers are focused on business transformation, which is not supported by today’s operations-oriented enterprise applications. This unmet need will give rise to a new class of vendor or an established vendor that can learn new tricks, i.e., that can structure solutions that support executive action-taking and not just information sharing.
“Microsoft Unleashes India’s Creative Capitalism” (Forrester Research, Inc., October 2008, .pdf file, 188 kb) “Microsoft’s 17-month-old Unlimited Potential (UP) program brings together the company’s business strategy and corporate citizenship goals in a coordinated effort. UP’s goal? To help address the diverse social and economic issues faced by 5 billion people in the world who currently receive little or no benefit from technology. In India, for instance, UP works closely with grassroots innovators to co-develop and co-market tech solutions that enhance local communities’ standard of living. UP’s success proves that tech vendors can do well while doing good in the world. Following Microsoft’s lead, tech multinationals should integrate their for-profit business models and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives into a coherent strategy to profitably serve users at the bottom of the economic pyramid.”
SQL Server 2008 Ups Pressure On Competitors; Microsoft Boosts Manageability, BI, Performance, Productivity, and Security (Forrester Research, Sept. 22, 2008, .pdf file, 115 kb) For the majority of mission-critical applications today, SQL Server 2008 already has the strongest combination of price/performance, manageability, security, and DBA productivity. The latest version of SQL Server from Microsoft SQL Server 2008 offers hundreds of new DBMS features that boost the productivity of database administrators (DBAs) and developers, improve support for larger databases, and enhance security.
Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications (Gartner Research, September 12, 2008) This vendor evaluation by Bern Elliot examines enterprise unified communications as it relates to productivity, collaboration and business process improvement. Gartner positions Microsoft in the Leaders’ quadrant. According to Gartner, “The Leaders quadrant contains vendors selling comprehensive and integrated UC solutions that directly or, with well-defined partnerships, address the full range of market needs.”
The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise CRM Suites, Q3 2008 (Forrester Research, August 29, 2008, .pdf file, 579 kb) Microsoft Dynamics CRM shines by offering flexibility to enterprise buyers. Microsoft is trying to exploit its desktop applications strength in large enterprises and promote its now-more robust business applications to this sector. Its strategy for growth is to offer buyers a choice of both on-premise and SaaS service deployment, a flexible user interface, a choice of payment options, and a strong partner community. Buyer interest in Microsoft solutions is high in the SMB market and is growing in the enterprise segment… Buyers have a full range of deployment options: on-premise, SaaS, on-premise hosted, or hybrid. The solution’s code is the same regardless of deployment choice, so migration from one deployment type to another is relatively easy… Buyers also like Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s usability, lower price, and its quick time-to-value compared with traditional CRM applications.
The Forrester Wave™: Midmarket CRM Suites, Q3 2008 (Forrester Research, August 28, 2008, .pdf file, 549 kb) Over the past five years, Microsoft has established itself as a major CRM player thanks to deep capital investment, a formidable strategy, and strong branding. The product is strong in SFA, internationalization, and usability. Arguably its greatest strength is its native Microsoft Office user experience. The solution is set up to look, feel, and function like Outlook. Sales analysis tools, opportunity management, and setup and configuration capabilities are the application’s key SFA strengths. The product also is available in multiple deployment options and is attractively priced below many of the alternative products in the market. The solution is built on the Microsoft .NET framework and integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft productivity tools, like Office, Outlook, and SharePoint.
Globalization Comes Home: What It Means to Small and Midsize Businesses (AMR Research, August 23, 2008, .pdf file, 153 kb) Building geographically diverse supply chains that account for high fuel costs has become top priority for global leaders, especially in organizations where logistics costs cut into a large percentage of revenue and meeting customer service levels is critical. While we would expect companies to look first at tactical initiatives like managing inventory tradeoffs versus fuel costs and improving transportation efficiency, they’re taking a backseat to the more strategic focus of having the right network design. Along with this supply network emphasis, the right skills and talent are required at the local level, along with supporting tools and technologies.
Awakening a Sleeping Giant: Inside Microsoft Business Solutions ’ERP Strategy (AMR Research, August 2008, .pdf file, 331 kb) Microsoft Business Solutions is ready to strike: The midmarket is ripe for ERP, and the company’s four ERP products — AX, NAV, GP, and SL — have stable, long-term roadmaps as well as alignment with Microsoft’s People Ready positioning. Microsoft Business Solutions and its partners have a tremendous opportunity to exert a unique leadership position in the midmarket through delivering not only business applications, but also the surrounding infrastructure, all of which is backed by Microsoft’s brand reputation of ease of use, strong R&D dollars, and executive leadership.
Virtualization Price War: VMware’s Little Big Horn? (Yankee Group, July 2008, .pdf file, 1.8 mb) This report discusses the emergence of vendors (specifically Microsoft, Citrix and Oracle) competing with VMware on price. Microsoft is portrayed as working to close the gap on VMware’s performance & functionality edge.
What’s Up, .DOC? ODF, Open XML, and the Revolutionary Implications of XML in Productivity Applications (Burton, June 18, 2008) Industry debate about the relative merits of OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Office Open XML (OOXML) highlights the significance of the productivity application market shift from binary and proprietary file formats to vendor- and product-independent Extensible Markup Language (XML) models. The competitive stakes are huge, and the related political posturing is sometimes perplexing. In this overview (updated after OOXML’s approval by ISO [International Organization for Standardization]), Research Directors Guy Creese and Peter O’Kelly introduce ODF, OOXML, and related World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards, and project their implications for future productivity applications.
Choosing an ISV Partner Program (Forrester, June 18, 2008, .pdf file, 473 kb) This independent report describes Microsoft’s ISV program as “very friendly to small players.” Forrester analyst, Merv Adrian, also says Microsoft’s program “is the largest program, from the largest vendor, with the most at stake — 95% of Microsoft’s revenue comes from partners. Microsoft manages its program closely: In addition to fees, ISVs must earn “partner points” with customer references, solution certifications, employee certifications, and customer satisfaction scores to keep or raise their status. The connection to Microsoft logos and its enormous, well-integrated, and well-promoted Web presence is also a big plus.”
Six Reasons Why Microsoft’s Hyper-V Will Overtake VMware (Clabby Analytics, May 2008, .pdf file, 464 kb) Analyst Joe Clabby defines the server virtualization technology and presents a six-point argument for why Microsoft can overtake VMware in this space within the next five years. Specifically, Joe asserts that Microsoft has an advantage with price, packaging, depth, reach, control/integration and install base.
Microsoft Announces System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (Enterprise Management Associates, May 2008, .pdf file, 204 kb) This report provides a favorable overview of the details of Microsoft’s announcements relative to cross platform management of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, as well as heterogeneous support in System Center Operations Manager.
Microsoft Plans to Manage Next Generation Data Centers (Enterprise Strategy Group, May 2008, .pdf file, 124 kb) ESG analysts Mark Bowker and Mary Turner predict that Microsoft’s move toward heterogeneous management, combined with its long-term vision for the next-generation data center, will create “fireworks” in the management vendor market over the next few years.
Microsoft Shows New Attitude at MIX08, but Consistency Will Be Key (Gartner Research, April 17, 2008) This report looks at the major announcements made at Microsoft’s MIX08 conference.  David Mitchell Smith, Ray Valdes and Brian Prentice state that “Web designers will no longer just be creating innovative consumer-facing Web sites. They’re going to be leading the redesign of the computing experience in the enterprise.”
Forrester Data Chart – Microsoft Office -The Current And Very Likely Future King Of Desktop Productivity  (Forrester Research, April 2, 2008, ppt file, 359 kb) This PowerPoint deck presents data charts originally published in Forrester’s independent analyst report, “March 2008 North American and Western European Enterprise Microsoft Office 2007 Adoption Online Survey”.  Based on a survey of 259 IT decision-makers at enterprises in North America and European enterprises, Forrester found that most enterprises (83%) believe Microsoft to be the innovation leader in desktop productivity.
Forrester Data Chart – The State Of Microsoft Office 2007 Desktop Adoption (Forrester Research, March 31, 2008, pptx file, 166 kb)  This PowerPoint deck presents data charts originally published in Forrester’s independent analyst report, “March 2008 North American and Western European Enterprise Microsoft Office 2007 Adoption Online Survey”.  Based on a survey of 259 IT decision-makers at enterprises in North America and European enterprises, Forrester found that more than 40% of enterprises have Office 2007 desktop applications in use and that most will deploy Office 2007 desktop applications within the next 12 months.
Microsoft and EDS Go After the Contact Center, Together (AMR Research, March 21, 2008 .pdf file, 189 kb) The partnership between Microsoft and EDS opens up client acquisition opportunities for both vendors in the burgeoning customer management and business process outsourcing market. In an extension to the strategic relationship the two companies have had in place for some time, EDS has now also become a Dynamics CRM partner and will focus specifically on providing consulting and services for application areas, such as contact centers and sales force automation.
Convergence 2008: Microsoft Is Serious About Business Applications (AMR Research., March 15, 2008, .pdf file, 163 kb) highlights “Microsoft’s commitments to the business applications market and moving forward with all four ERP products, as well as a long-term commitment to software plus services. It also showed a company with a vision: supporting a diverse set of customer shapes and sizes with a blend of hosted services and on-premise software.”
IDE Usage Trends (Forrester Research, February 12, 2008, .pdf file, 556 kb) Forrester surveyed 703 application development professionals who subscribe to 1105 Media’s .NET or Java newsletters and are actively involved in .NET or Java development to understand their integrated development environment (IDE) usage patterns and attitudes toward open source. As expected, Microsoft Visual Studio is the primary IDE of choice in the .NET group. In fact, at 97%, it’s nearly a clean sweep. Open source alternatives to Visual Studio .NET are still immature, and express editions of Visual Studio are available for free; there won’t be any change in the monoculture of .NET development any time soon
The Buzz about BizTalk: from toy to deploy? (IBRS, February 2008, .doc file, 333 kb) In this IBRS report, Joseph Sweeney explores the evolution of BizTalk, concluding that “organisations moving towards Microsoft for development projects can now consider BizTalk R2 as a viable alternative to the more established middleware products.”
Microsoft Pushes Virtualization Frontier (Enterprise Management Associates, February 2008, .pdf file, 182 kb) This impact brief covers recent announcements by Microsoft around its virtualization strategy. In particular, this paper discusses the acquisition of Calista Technology and a recently-announced expanded partnership with Citrix. This paper includes a brief introduction to current virtualization challenges and concludes with Enterprise Management Associates’ (EMA’s) favorable perspective on the announcements and Microsoft’s strategic virtualization vision.
Getting Virtualized – Microsoft Charts the Way to Dynamic IT (Pund-IT, January 23, 2008, .pdf file, 114 kb) This write-up in Pund-IT’s weekly review concludes that while news made at Microsoft’s Virtualization Deployment Summit has the potential to have “remarkable” impact on the virtualization market, there are questions if the company’s strategic efforts will actually take root.
Microsoft Will Turn Up the Server Virtualization Volume in 2008 (Enterprise Strategy Group, January 2008, .pdf file, 132 kb) ESG analysts provide a favorable overview of Microsoft’s virtualization strategy and consider Microsoft to be a viable virtualization vendor, referencing findings from their end user surveys to support their points

12 Enterprise Business Intelligence Platforms Evaluated by Forrester

12 Enterprise BI Platforms have been evaluated as part of the latest Forrester Wave study: Enterprise Business Intelligence Platforms Q3 2008. (Thanks goes to the Dashboard Spies who posted the findings document.)

Based on their evaluation of 151 criteria, Forrester finds that IBM/Cognos and SAP/Business Objects maintain market leading positions while Oracle and SAS Institute move up into leadership spots in enterprise BI because of their product functionality, scalability and completeness of corporate/product vision and strategy.

Here’s a diagram with the results of the BI platform evaluation:

forrester wave enterprise business intelligence platform evaluation

A look at the relative scoring of the BI platforms compared across various criteria:

Forrester evaluation of enterprise business intelligence platforms

Click on the read more to find out more about the study of these BI platforms:

As explained by Forrester, to qualify for the survey, the vendor (and tool) must provide:

  • At least three out of the four major functional BI components:
    • Production/Operational Reporting
    • Ad Hoc Querying
    • OLAP
    • Dashboards
  • The ability to query databases using SQL and MDX.
  • A self-contained, complete, fully functioning BI environment, i.e. the tool must be a self-contained, complete BI environment or platform that does not have to be necessarily embedded in other applications.
  • Sufficient market presence and interest from Forrester clients, defined as at least 100 in-production customers present in more than one major geographical region, with more than 10 percent enterprise-grade, cross-line-of-business installations with more than 100 users.
  • Significant BI revenues: at least $40 million in BI revenues.

The findings include:


The evaluation uncovered a market in which:

IBM Cognos and SAP Business Objects continue to lead the pack. Even though IBM Cognos
and SAP Business Objects scored very closely, they offer very different approaches to enterprise
BI platforms. SAP Business Objects believes that enterprises need the best BI tool for every
use case, sometimes even at the expense of less-than-complete integration. As a result of such
strategy, the company went on a spree of acquiring and building many different BI tools over
the past few years and ended up with one of the richest BI portfolios on the market in its XI
release. IBM Cognos, on the other hand, offered a different philosophy: It believed that a unified,
integrated platform is preferable, even if it did not address every single BI function and feature
end users wanted. Rather than acquiring multiple technologies, IBM Cognos completely rebuilt
its architecture in release 8, falling a bit behind SAP Business Objects in functionality but
leading in modern unified architecture.

Oracle and SAS Institute move into leadership positions. Indicating that many large
enterprise-grade BI vendors now “get it,” we expect more and more vendors to accumulate
enough functionality to qualify for leadership positions. Oracle moves into the leadership
category as it enriches its BI portfolio, and the company brings the best of its recently acquired
technologies from Siebel and Hyperion into Enterprise Edition Plus. SAS also becomes a leader
by continuing to build on its amazing 32-year success story of uninterrupted growth. SAS
remains the best game in town for fully integrated high-end analytics from a single vendor.

Information Builders, Microsoft, and SAP offer competitive options. Just looking at this list,
I&KM pros can rest assured that contrary to some market consolidation trends, respectable
and rich BI alternatives abound. Information Builders shines with continued innovation,
comparable to much larger BI vendors, and the most comprehensive information access
adapters, easily connecting a large number of very heterogeneous data sources including legacy
mainframe databases. Microsoft is becoming enterprise-grade with dizzying speed, and the
market penetration of key BI components like SharePoint and SQL Server Analysis Services is
hard to ignore. SAP NetWeaver BI offers a unique BI Accelerator appliance, addressing some
current performance issues. While its portfolio of BI products is still best for SAP environments,
the Business Objects acquisition and the converged product road map will change that equation
over the next 12 months.

Actuate, MicroStrategy, and TIBCO Spotfire go after best-of-breed components. There
are more choices still, especially when all one is looking for are best-in-class reporting
and analytical tools, and integration with the rest of the BI stack components is less of an
issue. Actuate continues to differentiate with a sophisticated production report development
environment, offers a unique e.Spreadsheet report delivery option, and is becoming more and
more attractive to enterprises seeking to leverage open source alternatives. MicroStrategy still
outperforms the competition with a truly unified platform and the top ROLAP engine, which
is very competitive — especially in environments with multiterabyte data warehouses or poorly
architected or optimized reporting databases. TIBCO, a recent entrant into the BI market with
the acquisition of Spotfire, leverages its long history of success and expertise in middleware for
integrating visual information analysis with process orchestration and business rules.

Panorama Software and QlikTech still lack breadth, but they shine in specific use cases. Even
though Panorama Software and QlikTech lack the breadth of options and features needed to
be all-encompassing enterprise BI solutions, they offer highly differentiated tools for certain
specific BI use cases. Panorama Software is a great option when 100% of the analysis is done
on OLAP databases, and there’s no need to muddle the waters with other tools and overlapping,
sometimes redundant, functionality of SQL- and MDX-based data access. QlikTech and
TIBCO Spotfire invented “BI without borders” — lightning-fast access to large in-memory data
models, where recalculations, re-aggregations and what-if analysis can be performed with few
limitations. In-memory architectures do not require prebuilt data models, so any element can be
re-examined as a fact or a dimension on the fly.

For similar BI vendor comparisons and product evaluations, please see the Dashboard Spy Business Intelligence White Paper collection.

Also, watch these interesting videos about business intelligence, KPIs, metrics, and dashboards.

original file:http://dashboardspy.com/dashboards/118/forrester-wave-enterprise-business-intelligence-platform-evaluation

Decoding BI Market Share Numbers – Play Sudoku With Analysts

In a recent post I discussed Oracle’s market share in BI, based on a press-published chart taken from IDC data – showing Oracle coming in second. As often happens in such discussions, I got quite a few direct emails and twitter messages – some in no uncertain terms – about why the particular metric I chose was not sufficiently nuanced or representative of the true picture. I freely admit: that’s true. In general, market observers know Oracle is not typically placed second overall – but the picture is more complex than a single ranking. My point was, and is, that it’s too easy to slip into a “who’s on top” mentality that obscures true market dynamics. In this post, I’ll dig a bit deeper, and describe what different approaches or categorizations show us – and what they don’t. Finally I’ll talk about how much this matters – and to whom.

I went back to the sources for more specific pieces from the two leading research organizations that track vendor revenues. The first, labeled BI Platforms, is drawn from Gartner Market Share Analysis: Business Intelligence, Analytics and Performance Management Software, Worldwide, 2009, published May 2010 , and Gartner Dataquest Market Share: Business Intelligence, Analytics and Performance Management Software, Worldwide, 2009. Oracle BI Platform share ranks 5th in this analysis, and if everyone’s growth continues at the same rates shown in column 5, there would be no change in the ranking this year. That’s clearly not what any of them has in mind, and all have been making moves. The catalyst for my first post was Oracle’s new version and aggressive plan for OBIEE. IBM has shown a similar focus on BI promotion and product  release recently. For SAS it’s been business as usual, and all is well, if flat. SAP has been and will continue to be very busy with some other matters, although it has been aggressively promoting Explorer and will have a new launch soon. It had its first decline in some time during 2009, off a spectacular growth percentage the prior year,post-acquisition. Microsoft’s doing many things at once, and its BI story has not generated a strong, persistent message with a clear center, as I noted in a recent post. Its launch of the new Office, SQL Server and SharePoint versions will likely drive some growth.

Let’s look at a different sector of the market – what Gartner calls Corporate Performance Management suites (CPM). There are different descriptions of this depending on who you talk to. For now, let’s focus on how Gartner measures the market, drawn from the same sources cited above. In this chart, we get an entirely different result: Oracle is the leader. And here also, SAP’s revenue was down slightly off a big prior year. Microsoft is not on the chart at all. SAS is flat. And IBM is growing a bit faster than Oracle, but off a smaller base, so not a great deal of change is likely in this sub-market if trends remain the same. This large Oracle share, driven by the Hyperion Planning tools, has a corresponding impact on the higher-level aggregate picture I showed in my prior post – even if much of the revenue there is maintenance, not new licenses.

Another View From IDC, and Sudoku

IDC’s market model is different. This is no surprise; one of the ways research vendors differentiate is by having different takes on the market. The vendors are no help, given the opacity of their reporting. They don’t reveal product-line revenues, or even groups of product revenues, in any comparable way; the public ones’ required financial filings are usually at Division level or even higher. The carefully negotiated data they confirm (or choose not to contest) from the research firms can’t be checked, except by seeing if all the numbers add up somehow to the reported ones. Hints at vendor press events about “x% of this category was on platform y,” or “…in geography z” or “…represented 14.6% of the non-GAAP overall growth of 37.8%” are carefully compared, in between bouts of pulling one’s hair out. Pity the market share analyst; think of it as a game of Sudoku, using revenue numbers that are partly revealed. Still, there are lessons to be learned, and eventually an agreed-upon picture emerges.

IDC’s model includes a category called BI Tools, and its market data appears in the report Worldwide Business Intelligence Tools 2009 Vendor Shares. Notice that in this rendering, Oracle is fourth – and its growth, at 2.6%, looks like the growth in the Gartner BI BI Platforms chart. But the differences in the revenue numbers between the two charts reflect significant variations in definition. SAP’s 2009 numbers are almost identical – $1557M in IDC’s chart and $1548M in Gartner’s. But IDC credits IBM with $1224M, while Gartner counts $876M. Oracle gets credit for $719 from IDC and $675 from Gartner.

A subset of the BI Tools space as IDC defines it is called Query, Reporting and Analysis (QRA). SAP’s  revenue in IDC’s chart for that is identical to that in its BI tools chart – $1557M. That’s all there is in IDC’s BI Tools number for SAP. But IBM’s QRA is $996, while its BI Tools number is $1224, so there is $228M of “other stuff” in IBM’s BI tools number; hold that thought. Oracle has $710M in QRA (and is 3rd on this chart) compared to $719M for BI Tools – only $9M different.

Where is the additional IBM revenue? In the Advanced Analytics category. By IDC’s reckoning IBM, with – you guessed it – $228M, which used to be labeled SPSS, comes in 2nd in that category to SAS.  (SPSS was struggling to compete with SAS when IBM acquired it well into 2009; the impact has not begun to show yet in higher growth.) The $228M neatly fits the additional revenue that showed up in the overall BI Tools chart above. Oracle plays in Advanced Analytics too, with a distant 7th place finish based on $9.5M in revenue. SAP didn’t play there at all in 2009 – looks like a portfolio gap.

Finally, there is another IDC category found in Financial Performance and Strategy Management Applications 2007-2009 Vendor Shares. FPSM corresponds partly to the Gartner CPM category above. In IDC’s accounting, Oracle’s lead over SAP is a little smaller, SAP’s growth is a little higher than Oracle’s, and IBM lags a bit further behind, although its growth in 2009 is best on both charts. There’s at least one good thing for almost all of these vendors to point to somewhere.

SAS appears on every one of these charts, and continues to execute steadily. Being privately held, it’s even more opaque than the others, and the Sudoku game is of a higher degree of difficulty. Colleagues of mine have said they don’t see SAS in some of the categories nearly as much as their numbers might indicate – and the more skeptical among us wonder whether the real distribution of revenues is different from the final agreed numbers in reports like these.

There’s much more detail, and rich analysis, in the full reports; if you want to know this much about the market, get these reports from IDC and from Gartner. They provide a great deal of color, discussion of market trends, and so on, that is well worth your time, and the analysts concerned are friends and colleagues whose work I respect enormously.

What It Means

I’ll be blunt here: with respect to the vendors I’ve discussed, if you’re trying to make a purchase decision, these rankings mean nothing to you. None of the majors is struggling with its viability, or currently trending down enough to be questionable. An investment you make in their products is not “at risk” because they are 3rd instead of 1st – that’s not how or why you ought to buy them. If their product fits your needs, and the price is acceptable, buy it. Put 2009 in perspective: it was an odd year, especially in light of longer term trends. How much of the change was due to economic conditions and differing ability to respond? How much leverage will each of the majors get out of its acquisitions in the last 2-3 years? This year will prove a truer test, as conditions have improved, integration projects are wrapping up, and new versions are coming to market.

So, who cares?

They do. The numbers are good for bragging rights from a marketing perspective.

Gartner and IDC care too, because the people who spend money on these reports are the vendors themselves.

But the data is also tactically useful to vendors: in drill-down levels of analysis not shown here, they are helpful for targeting which competitors to attack, industries to focus on, geographies to boost, and channels to invest in. This is a paradox: even though the numbers tend to come from the vendors, the model built by analyst firms becomes a source for planning in vendor marketing and sales groups. (Though the big firms have massive staffs doing very sophisticated work I’ve occasionally been privileged to see.)

I spent the time to put this post together in part in response to questions about just where Oracle sat at the end of 2009, before launching OBIEE 11g. I spent more time on it than I planned to, because I realized that outside the research industry some of the sausage-factory work is opaque, and it might be interesting to some of my readers. And finally, as an analyst, I’m also one of the ones who cares about this. I want to watch the dynamic play out, see how the products, strategies and tactics fare, and this is a scoreboard for me that serves the same purpose as it does for the vendor marketing person putting slides together: it gives me something to talk about. Hope you found it useful.

Disclosures: IBM, Oracle and SAP are clients of IT Market Strategy.