Enterprise customers value software providers on factors beyond cost, benefit and ROI, a new IDC study shows.
Issues such as ease of doing business, license compliance, application management and cloud support make a difference to enterprise customers in selecting a preferred vendor, according to IDC data from a survey sponsored by Flexera, a provider of licensing, compliance and application installation tools and solutions.
The study, referred to by the sponsors as the “Customer Choice Awards” for rivals in the enterprise software market, asked 147 participants to rate vendors on eight different factors–criteria that “vendors should take note of and be aware of as they develop, launch and support their products,” IDC and Flexera said. The vendor for each category landing the most “Strongly Agree” or “Agree” responses won the “Customer Choice Award” for that question.
Competitors included Adobe (ADB), CA (CA), Citrix (CTRX), EMC (EMC), HP (HPQ), IBM (IBM), Microsoft (MSFT), Oracle (ORCL), SAP (SAP), Salesforce (CRM), Symantec (SYMC) and VMware (VMW), which taken together command about 50 percent of the market, or $200 billion in software spend.
“Applications require ongoing effort and cost to manage, support and maintain throughout the lifecycle of the license,” said Amy Konary, IDC Software Licensing and Provisioning research vice president. “The ease with which organizations can support those applications, and partner with their application providers during the process has a dramatic impact on vendors’ favorability ratings.”
Keeping in mind that anecdotal data is just that, basically the respondent’s opinion, here are the winners and losers:
- Easiest vendor to work with? EMC. 91 percent of the survey’s respondents said so. Who scored the lowest? Oracle, at 43 percent.
- Vendor’s apps easiest to manage, patch, maintain and upgrade? VMware. 91 percent said so. Who scored the lowest? Oracle again at 35 percent.
- Vendor’s licensing policies easiest to understand? HP at 89.8 percent. Citrix came in a close second at 89.6 percent. Yet again Oracle scored the lowest at 42.9 percent.
- Vendor’s usage and spend stats easy to understand? VMware at 93 percent. Poor Oracle, last again at 31 percent.
- Vendor’s mobile, virtualization and cloud licensing rules help with migration? Citrix at 88 percent. Who lost? You guessed it, Oracle at 45 percent.
- Vendor rarely issues license compliance audits? Citrix at 94 percent. Do we say Oracle lost at 35 percent or did you already know?
- Vendor rarely forces license compliance true-up fees? HP wins at 93 percent with Oracle losing at 29 percent.
- Vendor’s app prices reasonable and offer good ROI? Citrix at 87 percent with Oracle scoring the lowest at 44 percent.
“Building great products that deliver ROI is and should be the primary driver for every software vendor,” said Richard Northing, Flexera Products and Services senior vice president. “However, this report suggests that software companies must also look downstream and optimize the customer experience across a wide range of value criteria,” he said.