India's Most Trusted IT Vendor


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A survey was done by The CTO Forum Team with CIOs under four parameters in 20 enterprise technology categories to determine the MOST TRUSTED IT VENDORS for the year 2008. MAIA Intelligence won this award in Business Intelligence category. The results of the survey were carried in the December 2008 The CTO Forum magazine.

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India's Most Trusted IT Vendor

  1. 1. INDIA ’ S MOST TRUSTED IT VENDORS Why was the survey COVER STORY eters that influenced CIOs in their technology buying conducted? decisions. The trend was much the same this year, with The vendor-client relationship has evolved over the years CIOs identifying the dominant parameters as customer to finally reach a stage where now the relationship is all intimacy, ability to demonstrate tangible and intangi- about reaping strategic value from the alliance. Ergo, ble business benefits, domain expertise and service and vendor selection has now become a well-defined and support. About 75 percent of wightage was given to the comprehensive process that requires the complete involve- four key parameters and the rest to other parameters that ment of each and every player in the technology buying we identified from the interaction with the select group chain. of experts. As the owner of the IT buying process, the CIO of today There was considerable variance among the impor- has developed a proven method that allows him to select tance attached to the above parameters among CIOs of the right vendor for providing the right solution for his various organizations. The importance attached to these organisation. This vendor selection process is based on parameters was to a large extent dependent on the busi- various parameters, which vary between organisations. ness objectives of various enterprises. This survey we present to you has been developed based Customer intimacy on the extensive interaction that we have had with CIOs of various organisations. We have tried to identify those A sales pitch and the accompanying hype that goes along elements that go into building a strong and sustainable with it is no longer impressing CIOs. What technology vendor-client relationship. managers want is customer intimacy—which means help- CIOs are looking for a problem-solution match in the ing out an organisation with appropriate foresight about proposals that are submitted to them by various vendors. emerging technology and business needs. Customer inti- Just talking about the features of a solution or explain- macy involves a composite dialogue that involves tracking ing how—in a very broad level—about how the solution customer needs and business processes. As the complexity would help an organisation will no longer satisfy a CIO. of the buying process considerably goes up, some vendors What the CIO is looking out for is how much a solution are expanding their scope of engagement with enterprises will solve the core problems of an enterprise. This is even to include business heads—and in a few cases, organi- more critical in the troubled times that we now live in. sational heads—to tailor solutions for enterprises that As enterprises are more and more pressed with budgetary address all the core demands of the firm. constraints and pressure to prove the value of technol- Demonstrating tangible business benefits ogy investments in business terms is ever-increasing, there is now more pressure on vendors to deliver the promise. Managements are increasingly demanding that CIOs Enterprises are looking at vendor partnerships to be stron- demonstrate tangible RoI on their IT investments. This has ger and deliver strategic value. lead to CIOs passing on the RoI debate to IT vendors. In a So what exactly does the survey of the most trusted IT number of cases, CIOs and IT heads were demanding that vendor measure? We evaluated how Indian CIOs perceive vendors present the entire business case behind their IT the value of their vendor products and service offerings; investments. However, a few smart CIOs are also expand- the vendor capability (which draws from domain exper- ing the scope of the RoI debate by engaging with actual tise); vendor ability to demonstrate business benefits and users and the respective business heads while preparing a CIO satisfaction with vendor support and service. case. No longer is the IT budget the exclusive domain of the CIO---even business heads have presented the budget, How we year that we are conducting our survey on did it witnessing intensive debate with organisational heads, This is the third IT managers and users. IT is hence getting increasingly India’s most trusted IT vendors. We surveyed over 200 top aligned with business. Firms are also opting for pilot proj- Indian CIOs from various verticals—BFSI, manufacturing, ects because they want to be convinced about the real busi- telecom, retail, utilities, government, IT/ITES, pharma and ness benefits of a particular IT solution. FMCG. Out of the selected respondents, around 20 percent Domain expertise were CIOs of enterprises with over Rs 800 crore in reve- nue. Close to half (50 percent of respondents) were from With increasing competition in each and every vertical, companies with revenues between Rs 300 crore and Rs enterprises are looking out for partners who can thor- 800 crore and the balance comprised firms with revenues oughly understand their respective domains. Large vendors between Rs 100 crore and Rs 300 crore. The survey was continue to look out for acquisitions which will help them conducted on the basis of an emailed questionnaire sent gain domain expertise in certain business and technology to the selected CIOs. Post this, we did a telephonic interac- verticals. Some of the most complex and biggest deals have tion with a select group of CIOs, vendor representatives been bagged by certain vendors purely because of their and analysts. domain knowledge. The adage ‘know thy customer’ has Like last year, we could identify four dominant param- never been more appropriate in this context. 14|THE CTO FORUM | 07 DECEMBER 2008 „
  2. 2. 92% INDIA ’ S MOST TRUSTED IT VENDORS This phenomenon was observed in areas like Business size of the storage market in India will keep rising by virtue COVER STORY Intelligence and CRM implementation, where enterprises of the fact that almost all enterprises are making efforts to inked contracts with niche vendors with substantial run their businesses efficiently and in real-time. Storage domain expertise. Service and support We have observed in the surveys conducted over the past two years that Indian enterprises have been attaching considerable importance to service and support. This year also, the scenario is pretty much the same. This trend is even stronger is larger organisations, where such compa- of respondents gave importance to the ability nies have narrowed down on bigger vendors (with a strong of the vendor’s solution to integrate across global footprint) because of the latter’s ability to support diverse platforms comprehensive solutions. As was the case last year, large conglomerates with diversified business interests are seek- ing out partners who can cope with exponential growth. is the aspect of information technology that, despite the economic slowdown and slashed IT budgets will continue How theywinners under three main categories - came in to rule. Almost 92 percent of respondents gave importance We categorised the to the ability of the vendor’s solution to integrate across Enterprise IT Infrastructure, Business Software and IT and diverse platforms. About 83 percent of respondents want Business Management. to partner with vendors who are pioneers in adopting/ Enterprise IT Infrastructure delivering futuristic technologies with the ability to help customers migrate to latest technologies. 88% Datacentre Infrastructure Enterprise connectivity Rising energy costs, power and cooling and knowing what IT assets exist within a datacentre environment are some From broadband and telecommunication providers to data of the critical issues for CIOs and datacentre managers connectivity solution vendors, this category covers the today. entire gamut of enterprise-wide data and voice network- When choosing service providers, CIOs look at how the provider would design, implement and ensure better 85% manageability of their datacentre. In addition, CIOs also want to adopt Green computing and energy efficient technologies within their datacentres to achieve optimal utilisation of IT infrastructure, increase efficiency, lower energy costs and address environmental concerns. of respondents say that seamless continuity of services from their connectivity is the most important criteria while evaluating solutions ing. Over 88 percent of respondents say that seamless continuity of services from their connectivity is the most of respondents choose vendors with important criteria while evaluating solutions. About 74 efficient customer service and wide range of percent of respondents feel that comprehensive offerings, solutions and products reliability and proven track record are a must in their connectivity provider. Almost 88 percent of respondents are looking for data- Information Security centre solutions and not just products from vendors. 85 percent of respondents feel efficient customer service and As global trends of workforce mobility and decentralisa- the vendor’s range of solutions and products are very tion put a greater strain on the IT security infrastructure, important. it is becoming increasingly more complex for corporate IT departments to safeguard information. And to achieve Information management and storage competitive advantage, lower costs of operation, easier The pace of innovation in the data storage industry will compliance and improved operations—information secu- only grow in the coming days. And the demand for and the rity is a strategic undertaking for most organisations. 15 07 DECEMBER 2008 | THE CTO FORUM | „
  3. 3. INDIA ’ S MOST TRUSTED IT VENDORS A popular trend in the network security space is UTM User organisations are looking at building a robust reliable COVER STORY (Unified Threat Management). UTM provides firewall, network infrastructure that delivers the security, availability, anti-virus, anti-spam, content filtering, IPS and VPN capa- manageability, and optimised application delivery required bilities in one box. A few enterprises have also opted for to meet and surpass service-level agreements, rapidly deploy 75% managed security services, i.e., outsourcing security to a new applications, support new technologies, and scale to managed security provider. Network Access Control is said accommodate future growth. to be the next big wave in the network security space. It About 70 percent of respondents feel that the implies enforcing policies on a machine and determining vendor’s service and support and reliability of solutions what level of network access to grant. are key to partner with them in the network infrastruc- ture domain. Enterprise-class Servers Servers are considered as an indispensable part of an enterprise network. They are now more reliable, faster and efficient than ever. Apart from being scalable, they can support data backup and security as well as reduce data bottlenecks for easy information flow. The server has of respondents want to partner with vendors evolved from an unmanaged, single-CPU to a more power- with solutions that are easy to implement and ful, multiple-processing, highly available, and fault-toler- maintain ant machine. The India server market grew by 30 percent year-on- 80% Almost 75 percent of respondents want to partner with year to touch $169 million during 2007, according to IDC. vendors with solutions that are easy to implement and Vendors like HP, Dell and IBM are betting big on the future maintain. A whopping 96 percent of respondents want potential of the Indian server market. to partner with only those with an impeccable reputation Around 80 percent of respondents have rated low and proven track record. power consumption and high uptime as key criteria for Managed Services A managed services provider or a hosted solution provider helps in cutting costs drastically as a company can lease particular services or solutions instead of buying each and every latest technology solution. Almost 95 percent of respondents are sensitive about the reputation of the vendor. Over 80 percent say that the vendor’s ability to of respondents have rated low power consump- integrate various solutions and technology expertise is tion and high uptime as key criteria for vendor critical. selection Networking Infrastructure Infrastructure is fast going IP. An intelligent IP infrastruc- vendor selection in the enterprise server category. About ture combined with a robust storage network and application 97 percent of respondents rated reliability of servers as 70% servers form the datacentre network foundation. Vendors like the critical criterion in choosing a vendor. Cisco, IBM, Sun, etc. provide systems that enable the infra- Power and Cooling Solution structure of the future for user organisations. Technology providers like Microsoft and CA provide management solu- Keeping down the cost of powering and cooling a datacen- tions to ensure a robust network and IT infrastructure. tre has become one of the top priorities for CIOs across the globe. According to research group IDC, for every dollar spent on new hardware, an additional 50 cents is spent on power and cooling. Around 86 percent of respondents feel that only those vendors whose solutions have proven efficiency and reli- ability features will be chosen in this category. Around 70 percent of respondents want their partner to prove their solution’s power and cooling efficiency. of respondents feel that the vendor’s service and support and reliability of solutions are key Business Desktop and Laptop to partner Riding on increased affordability, better security features, sleek designs, mobility and exciting in-built accessories, 16|THE CTO FORUM | 07 DECEMBER 2008 „
  4. 4. 88% INDIA ’ S MOST TRUSTED IT VENDORS Indians are increasingly opting for laptops. According to it easily accessible to key shareholders, IT can spend less COVER STORY MAIT, laptop sales have gone up by over 67 percent in Q1 time responding to requests and business users can spend less time looking for information. BI tools help improve the quality of data, put it in better context, provide integration of data and real time viewing in exactly the way required by an organisation. A very critical benefit of BI is that it helps to adhere to compliance by keeping data in context and making it easy to retrieve as and when needed. Over 73 percent of respondents seek partners with high domain expertise and technical know-how. Almost of respondents feel that service response and 67 percent of respondents are looking for cross platform cost effectiveness of the vendor’s solution in integration as a key feature of the BI solution. this category is the deciding factor CRM software providers of the current fiscal as compared to the corresponding CRM helps organisations to be closer to their customers period last year; the desktop market has remained stagnant in the true sense of the word. This technology enables a and sales are expected to fall further. company to be right on the pulse of the market by giving Laptops have been instrumental in bringing about this it a 360-degree view. It also gives an insight into the future change in the way we conduct business. Today more and and potential customers. CRM is essential in predicting more employees are on the field, especially the sales force and managing customer expectations. where they are closer to the market and customers. This Almost 80 percent of respondents look for ability of helps them catch the pulse of the market changes and the solution to integrate well with the existing applica- consumer demands. tion stack and RoI as key parameters in vendor solutions. Only 41 percent of respondents are looking at analytics Enterprise Printing and Allied Services as an important parameter. Selecting the right printing solution can help organisations ERP Software manage their environment, optimise their infrastructure and improve workflow. A trend that we have witnessed in ERP is good for the overall growth of an organisation as the printing space is that of the concept of ‘Green print- it increases efficiency in almost all business processes 84% ing’. In fact market researchers have placed environmental ranging from administration, sales, solution deployment concerns as one of the top business drivers while printer- to service and support by drastically decreasing response industry experts forecast Green practices will change the time to customer complains / inquiries and sales calls. conversations solution providers have with their custom- ERP can play a crucial part in strategic planning. The ers. Even today, enterprises have started assessing environ- reports and functions that ERP provides can help employees mental repercussions when purchasing and maintaining printing devices. 89 percent of the respondents look for quality of prod- uct and service as the most important deciding factor in this category, followed by favourable CAPEX and OPEX 73% options. Business Software of respondents look for vendors whose solu- tions are functionality-rich and have efficient Business Intelligence integration capabilities By integrating data from across the enterprise and making work through the strategic planning sessions and develop a comprehensive plan. It helps in forecasting demand and optimally utilising the company resources. It can assist you in keeping your finger on the pulse of the market and bring more accuracy and predictability to the business. About 84 percent of respondents look for vendors whose solutions are functionality-rich and have efficient integra- of respondents seek partners with high tion capabilities. domain expertise and technical know-how Web 2.0 / Web Technologies Web 2.0 has the potential to change the way we do busi- 17 07 DECEMBER 2008 | THE CTO FORUM | „
  5. 5. INDIA ’ S MOST TRUSTED IT VENDORS ness. There are claims that Web 2.0 technology can make a key factor for adoption. Over 90 percent of respondents 51% COVER STORY an enterprise more competitive, productive, proficient and want to deal with vendors who have proven track record innovative by creating a flat organisation which boosts and domain expertise and about 88 percent are looking growth at business partnership with their BPM/business process About 51 percent of respondents commented for this solution vendors. category and claim that ease of deployment and flexibility Infrastructure Management User organisations have today realized that IT is not their core focus area and are adopting services model to manage their IT infrastructure. Today, Indian organisations are moving towards outsourcing Infrastructure Management (IM) to a service provider for either remote or onsite management services. The trend to outsource IM is gain- of respondents claim that ease of deployment ing the managed Wipro, TCS and IBM are some Companies like key players services market. and flexibility in solutions as a key parameter to Over 60 percent of the respondents feel that ease of partner with a vendor use of the vendor products, low TCO and vendor’s ability to stick to SLA is a deciding factor in the infrastructure in solutions as a key parameter to partner with a vendor. management area. Open Source Software Compliance and Risk Management Reduced dependence on proprietary software vendors has Compliance and risk management solutions can ensure been a key element for enterprises to look at open source. that standards for information are created and main- This clearly indicates that CIOs feel that there is a certain tained in a cohesive and unified way. The need for effec- level of dependency on proprietary solutions and they want tive IT compliance and risk management is expected to to break free from this chain. These dependencies include become significantly more important as organisations being reliant on the vendor for maintenance and support become more dependent on their IT systems for their and accept version upgrades even if the CIO may not need livelihood. About 83 percent of respondents claim to or want it. look for ease of management and total cost of owner- Almost 90 percent of respondents commented on ship as key parameters while choosing a compliance on-support efficiency of a vendor as a key parameter and risk management partner. Around 65 percent of and 95 percent look critically at interoperability as a key respondents also look for reputation of the partner and differentiator. proactive nature in their selection. IT and Business Management System Integration System integration offers technology-driven business solu- Business Process Management and Auomation tions that meet the strategic objectives of enterprises. It To stay competitive, enterprises have realised that they have helps businesses to improve, grow, and manage all their to be agile in adopting technologies that will help them needs in a cost-effective manner. keep pace with the ever-changing market dynamics. The In this category, 72 percent of respondents are looking 64% statement can be substantiated with the statistical figures at resource availability and technical and domain expertise that prove that the adoption of BPI in India is increasing of the vendor. About 60 percent of the respondents said at a very fast pace. that the vendor’s track record of adhering to SLAs is a very About 64 percent of respondents gave importance to the positive advantage. solution’s integration ability and granularity of reports as Professional Services Professional service providers provide assistance in the areas of product development, IT strategy formulation, technology support and development, product manage- ment, Internet marketing consultancy, technology consult- ing, product testing, design fidelity consultancy and audits among many other services. About 96 percent of the respondents who take help of of respondents gave importance to the solu- professional service providers look for domain expertise tion’s integration ability and granularity of and technology acumen for their selection process. „ reports as a key factor for adoption Team CTOF 18|THE CTO FORUM | 07 DECEMBER 2008 „
  6. 6. INDIA ’ S MOST TRUSTED IT VENDORS EDITOR’S VERDICT COVER STORY What CIOs look for in vendors A must-read for vendors... the deliverables of a project and continuously track It has been three years that we have been presenting benchmarks. the “Most trusted IT vendor” rankings. This year, we Managing expectations and user relationship manage- have additional categories and enhanced the parameters ment are also important. False promises have disastrous to judge vendors from the four key parameters. repercussions on a healthy vendor-CIO relationship. It is We also used some of the key criteria used by the extremely critical for vendors to set realistic expectations Society of Information Managers. Here is the list and on their delivery. It is also important for the vendor to my thoughts on them: communicate regularly with the users about the stages of implementation / delivery of services, etc. Managing Ethics and Morals user relationship is what will differentiate the vendor. Honesty is the best policy – in business. And business is Decision-making all about relationship. What CIOs look for in vendors is the truth – on the vendor’s adherence to SLAs, commit- The much-needed skill of decision-making can go a ments and various aspects of the relationship. long way in fostering a healthy vendor-CIO relationship. Assume a project is off-track – the most critical decision Collaboration and teams for the vendor is to communicate this to the user along It is all about collaboration and teamwork in a relation- with ways to bring it on track or suggest alternatives. ship. Imagine a football team where players only think of Business analysis their win rather than the success of the team. Collective thinking and sharing become an important part of a While technology skills and domain expertise are critical winning vendor-CIO relation. characteristics of a good provider, business analysis is the advantage. With changing market sentiments and Critical thinking and problem-solving uncertain times that we see today, it is this skill that “Don’t sell me a product, sell me a solution.” This is not can help grow and create good rapport among the CIO uncommon – almost 60 percent of CIOs in the survey community. commented on the urgent need for vendors to change Creativity and innovation their selling strategy. For a long-lasting vendor-CIO part- nership, vendors need to start thinking of the business Technology and business skill keep the vendor alive and technology pain-points of the CIO’s business. and ticking. Creative and innovative thinking can help them leap ahead of competition, bring inorganic growth Communication, oral and written during economic slowdown and monopolise the space. I If you cannot write to the CIO explaining the real reason remember the head of a winning IT company telling me of the need to implement a solution in his organisation, that they have a process of sharing the innovation that how will you ever get into the relationship? However happens in their R&D outfit with CIOs and user compa- good the technology capability of the vendor is or how nies for them to take advantage of in their organisation. effective the solution, lack of communication blows the My advice to vendors – do that and CIOs will sell your deal. The better vendors can talk business rather than product/service in their organisations. technology jargon, leading to more chances that the CIO The relationship between a CIO and an IT vendor is will open up. one of give and take, compromises and adjustments – it is to the advantage of both parties to warm up to a Project leadership mutually trusting partnership for creating value thus CIOs are not particularly interested in the list of tech- strengthening it further. For vendors there is no survival nology capabilities that vendors have. An effective without the trusting relationship of a CIO. And the relationship that creates business value for the vendor reverse is also true – without the help of vendors CIOs and the user is one where the provider demonstrates cannot function. „ project leadership capabilities. A successful implemen- Sujay Nair tation is all about the vendor’s ability to define clearly 19 07 DECEMBER 2008 | THE CTO FORUM | „
  8. 8. BUSINESS SOFTWARE Business Intelligence COVER STORY Real-time intelligence: W The winning formula ith the exponen- the organisations emerged. tial growth Analysis of enterprise data of informa- became critical in many areas. SAS INSTITUTE tion in Sales and marketing depart- disparate teams/levels ments started mapping INDIA in an organisation, customer behavior, market it has become criti- trends, sales cycles, etc BUSINESS OBJECTS cal to utilise Business using analytic tools. Finance Intelligence (BI) tools departments could improve to streamline such efficiency and effectiveness MAIA INTELLIGENCE data to make it mean- with real-time access and ingful and consistent so analysis of data. that it assists in driving Soon vendors started devel- quick and informed deci- oping applications that used sion-making in an enterprise. complex algorithms to cull out More often enterprises cannot trends from enterprise data. These use data they already have as it is solutions started integrating with not easily available or they spend valu- most legacy systems that enterprises able time searching for the same. This exactly the way required by an organ- use to pull data for analysis. Soon these is critical and can cost companies the isation. A very critical benefit of BI user organisations started demanding competitive edge. is that it helps to adhere to compli- trends and analysis at real time. By integrating data from across ance by keeping data in context and In the previous and current year the enterprise and making it easily making it easy to retrieve as and we have seen a lot of activity and accessible to key shareholders, IT can when needed. consolidation in the BI space. Major BI players undertook lot of acqui- spend less time responding to requests Traditionally, analytics were done and business users can spend less on simple office tools and with the sitions, proving the growing need time looking for information. BI tools help of MIS reports. As organisations and adoption of business intelli- help improve the quality of data, put grew bigger and more complex the gence tools. To name a few, Oracle it in better context, provide integra- need for a comprehensive look into acquired Hyperion for $3.3 billion tion of data and real time viewing in the functioning and performance of in March 2007, Business Objects bought Cartesis in April 2007, SAP snapped up Outlooksoft Corp in June 2007, Cognos bought Applix in Sept 2007, IBM acquired Cognos for $5 billion in Q1 2008, SAP and Business Objects merged in a $7 billion-deal in Q1 2008, etc. Over 73 percent of respondents seek partners with high domain expertise and technical know-how. Almost 67 percent of respondents are looking for cross platform integration as a key feature of the BI solution. SAS Institute India leads the pack with 26 percent votes, followed by Business Objects (SAP) at 21 percent and MAIA Intelligence at 19 percent.„ 32 „ | THE CTO FORUM | 07 DECEMBER 2008