To continue the discussion of what information you can trust and from whom, I’ve recently received a number of emails wondering about my opinions on various other research groups.
Here, I’ll address IMS, just because I seem to have as much of the full story as you can get.
So, after reading my blog about Frost & Sullivan, a reader emailed me:
Frost & Sullivan - Is their business strategy being copied by other “prestigious” market research companies?
Just read your interesting piece on Frost & Sullivan and thought you may be interested to read the link below.
So, I went to that link, and you get this:
In the ‘Software-only Vendors of Open Platform Network Video Management Software (VMS)’ category, See Tec was ranked number 2 in the EMEA region and is rapidly closing in on the number 1 position. In the rankings for all open platform VMS vendors, including players also offering hardware, See Tec was ranked number 3. The report also clearly foresees a macro-shift in favour of hardware independent open platform based VMS in the period between 2009 and 2014. Furthermore, IMS Research expects proprietary VMS solutions to decline significantly in the same period.
The implied question: Is IMS doing studies to determine market rankings, then selling the ability for a company to tout that ranking?
So, I asked that question of Alastair Hayfield, who heads up their video practice at IMS:
Me: “Hey, I’ve seen a couple releases like this one lately:
That’s just them touting their ranking on their own, right? You don’t charge them for the privilege or anything, do you?”
Alastair: “Yep, that’s pretty much it. If a vendor/manufacturer wants to promote their market position from the report that’s fine with us and there’s no cost. We even have a press release code that they have to adhere to.
The rankings are also always based on annual calendar revenues from vendors (i.e. sales of product in 2009). Another thing to bear in mind is that we don’t include maintenance, service or integration/consulting revenues in our equipment reports (i.e. World CCTV 2010). Just equipment or, in the case of the above, sales of VMS.”
Thought that was an interesting back and forth and worth sharing.