ARC 2010: Best, Worst Vendors For Product Innovation1:25 PM EST Fri. Oct. 29, 2010
In a down economy especially, successful companies know they must be innovative or they'll die. To do that, they need to select the best and brightest partners out there.
CRN's 2010 Annual Report Card takes Product Innovation into consideration when it compiles IT vendors' scores. VARs rate vendors by:
- (Product) Quality and Reliability
- Richness of Product Features/ Functionality
- (Product) Technical Innovation
- (Product) Compatibility & Ease of Integration
- Services Opportunity.
Following are the ARC's best and worst vendors in Product Innovation.
Winning with its Product Innovation score of 93.2 in Server Virtualization Software, VMWare earned much higher marks than competitors Microsoft and Novell for Product Innovation. In particular, the vendor blew the doors off its rivals in the Quality and Reliability criterion, in which its 100.9 was one of the highest scores in the entire ARC.
SonicWALL's 93.9 in the Network Security Appliances category for Product Innovation was an improvement from the vendor's very respectable 89 in the criterion last year. SonicWall's 101.5 in the Quality and Reliability criterion was also one of the highest in the entire ARC.
Coming in third place for Product Innovation is EMC in the Enterprise Network Storage (SAN or NAS) product category, with a 94.7. The product category did not perform well in the subcategory, with EMC's closest rival, NetApp, earning a 85.5. Last year, however, EMC's 94.6 earned it the rank of number one in Product Innovation.
At 95.7, Network Security Appliances vendor Fortinet just barely missed the top slot. Its 106.7 in the Quality and Reliability criterion just missed out being the highest score in the entire report card. (That honor went to Intel's whopping 107 in the quality criteria within the Processor subcategory.)
EMC, with a Product Innovation score of 95.8 in the Data Protection Software product category, earned the rank of top Product Innovator in 2010. It performed particularly well in the quality and Richness of Product Features/ Functionality criteria.
Sun/Oracle's efforts in Product Innovation for Midrange (High-End) Servers ($25,000 and above) earned it a 65.5. The vendor struggled in marketability and Services Opportunity. Fifth lowest score in Innovation also went to Sun last year, for its Data and Information Management Software entry.
Any way you slice it, Sun/Oracle can't make hay in this criteria with their servers: the vendor received a 62.7 in Innovation within the Volume Mainstream Business Servers ($24,999 and below) category. Neither Oracle nor Sun participated in last year's ARC in that product category.
The notebook category fared terribly in Product Innovation. Dell managed a 61.7, but was hurt primarily by a poor showing in Services Opportunity. Last year, Dell managed a 67.9 in Product Innovation.
Toshiba's 61.4 was just barely lower than Dell's showing, but its Achille's Heel was Marketability, in addition to Services Opportunity. The Notebook vendor tumbled quite a distance from its 75.9 in Product Innovation last year.
Scoring a dismal 58.6, Fujitsu earned the designation of worst vendor for Product Innovation in the 2010 ARC. Last year, CA, in the Client Security Software category, wore the title, with a 58.4. Fujitsu's score is in stark contrast to its 75.5 in 2009; between last year and 2010, it lost almost 23 points in the criterion of (Product) Compatibility & Ease of Integration.