Who Made The Grade: The 2010 ARC Winners

CRN's Annual Report Card: The Winners

CRN's Annual Report Card offers IT solution providers a unique look at IT vendors performance during the past year. Vendors in 18 product categories are rated on 18 criteria, which comprise 3 subcategories: Innovation, Support and Partnership.

Here now is a look at each of those product categories. See if your partners earned top scores -- or if it's back to the drawing board.

Client Security Software

#1: Kaspersky Lab Overall Score: 82.5

Kaspersky came on like a powerhouse in Partnership. It really shined in Revenue and Profit Potential, Return on Investment and Ease of Doing Business. Based on the strength in those criteria and in the Partnership subcategory overall, it won the Product subcategory.

Click here for the Client Security Software.

Data And Information Management

#1: IBM Overall Score: 70.8

IBM eked out this win over Microsoft by 0.1 point. Big Blue did well in Innovation, but lost significant ground in the Partnership subcategory, particularly in Management of Channel Conflict and Ease of Doing Business.

Click here for the Data and Information Management report card.

Data Protection Software

#1: EMC Overall Score: 88.3

EMC is the clear winner in Data Protection Software, coming in first in all three subcategories Product Innovation, Support and Partnership. EMC can boast two of the highest scores in the entire survey: a 103.1 in the Product Quality criterion and a 101.9 in Revenue and Profit Potential.

Click here for the Data Protection Software report card.

Display Technologies

#1: ViewSonic Overall Score: 74.2

ViewSonic came back as a leader in this category for the first time since 2001. Despite close competition from NEC Display, ViewSonic swept all three subcategories. Last year's winner, Samsung, fell to third place.

Click here for the Display Technologies report card.

Enterprise Network Storage

#1 EMC Overall Score: 86.3

EMC was far and away the winner of the Enterprise Network Storage category, trouncing last-place Oracle by more than 30 points. EMC's 105.1 in Product Quality was among the top five scores in the entire ARC.

Click here for the Enterprise Network Storage report card.


#1: Microsoft Overall Score: 77.7

Microsoft had a solid win against IBM and Oracle in Middleware. The vendor did particularly well in the Partnership criteria, with VARs giving comparatively high marks in the criteria of: Partner Portal, Manages Channel Conflict and Ease of Doing Business.

Click here for the Middleware report card.

Midrange High-End Servers

#1: Dell Overall Score: 70.0

Dell's Partnership and Support scores were solid enough to lift it to the number one spot, despite its coming in second in Product Innovation to IBM. In that category's Product Quality criteria, IBM bested Dell by 10 points, lowering Dell's results in the Innovation subcategory.

Click here for the Midrange High-end Servers report card.

Network Security Appliances

#1: Fortinet Overall Score: 87.6

Fortinet edged out Juniper by less than a point for top honors in Network Security Appliances. Fortinet, which also won this product category last year, earned two of the highest scores in the survey: a 106.4 in the Product quality criterion, and a 100.9 in Richness of Product Features/ Functionality.

Click here for the Network Security Appliances report card.

Network Security Software

#1: Trend Micro Overall Score: 75.0

Trend Micro swept all 17 criteria, beating Websense and Novell. The network security software vendor earned its highest marks in Product Quality. It performed substantially better than competitors in the Product Compatibility & Ease of Integration, Solution Provider Program and Ease of Doing Business criteria.

Click here for the Network Security Software report card.

SMB Network Storage

#1: HP Overall Score: 68.3

Moving up from last year's #4 rank in SMB Network Storage, HP came in first in Product Innovation, but lost in Partnership and in Support to D-Link. The ARC methodology weighs some criterion more heavily than others; HP's high scores in the two most heavily weighted criteria -- Product Quality and Technical Innovation -- helped it win the category.

Click here for the SMB Network Storage report card.

Enterprise Networking Infrastructure

#1: Juniper Overall Score: 80.4

Juniper beat 2009 category champ Cisco with a strong showing in Support and Partnership. It lost the Innovation subcategory to Cisco by roughly a point. Its impressive marks in Revenue and Profit Potential and Return on Investment played a big role in its overall win.

Click here for the Enterprise Networking Infrastructure report card.


#1: Panasonic Overall Score: 65.1

Once again, Panasonic came in first in the Notebooks category. The vendor swept all three subcategories (Innovation, Support and Partnership) and particularly distinguished itself with its high mark in Quality, coming in 18 points ahead of Dell, which ranked last in that criterion.

Click here for the Notebooks report card.

Processors and Platforms

#1: Intel Overall Score: 79.7

Intel handily beat AMD for the crown, winning every criterion except Return on Investment. In Quality, Intel garnered the highest score in the entire ARC: 107, making AMD's very respectable 93.8 pale in comparison.

Click here for the Processors and Platforms report card.

Server Virtualization

#1: VMware Overall Score: 79.6

VMware was the clear winner in Server Virtualization. Its most impressive scores were in Innovation; its 100.9 was one of the highest scores in the Report Card. In addition, VMware's performance in Richness of Product Features/ Functionality earned a score 17 points higher than second-place Microsoft.

Click here for the Server Virtualization report card.

SMB Networking Hardware

#1: Cisco Overall Score: 77.7

Cisco won the SMB Networking Hardware category, but Adtran gave it a run for the money. Cisco won the Innovation and Support categories, while Adtran took the Partnership subcategory, due largely to its superior scores in Ease of Doing Business.

Click here for the Server SMB Networking Hardware report card.

Unified Communications/VoIP

#1: Cisco Overall Score: 78.1

Cisco won this product category, although Microsoft greatly improved its scores so that, in the end, it lost by only 1.2 points. Cisco achieved high scores in Product Innovation -- driven by excellent performance in Quality, Richness of Product Features/ Functionality and Technical Innovation.

Click here for the Unified Communications/VoIP report card.

Volume Mainstream Business Servers

#1: IBM Overall Score: 74.7

Despite losing the Innovation category (to HP), IBM pulled out a decisive win in Volume Mainstream Business Servers. Notably, its Support scores were very strong, beating the next leading competitor in that criteria (again HP) by nine points, and the last-place contender (Oracle) by 27.4 points.

Click here for the Volume Mainstream Business Servers report card.

Workgroup Color Printers

#1: Xerox Overall Score: 75.2

Xerox ousted last year's category winner HP, taking top honors in Support and Partnership but losing Innovation to the 2009 champ. Xerox did particularly well in Communication and Ease of Doing Business.

Click here for the Workgroup Color Printers report card.