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Gartner Wants $$ to Improve Magic Quadrant Position?

An Open Letter to Vendors

Analyst giant Gartner is defending itself against an interesting lawsuit (see links at the end of this message). In a nutshell, ZL Technologies, an archiving firm, asserts that its low ranking on the Magic Quadrant is a result of never spending money with Gartner. Gartner denies that its reviews are affected by fees paid to it.

Surprisingly, Gartner also says its opinions aren’t based on fact, but are merely assertions of opinion. This itself is potentially explosive, because Gartner normally claims its findings are based on factual and objective assessment.

Many vendors feel that Gartner’s assessments are a dirty business, but due to Gartner’s dominant position, they feel powerless to do anything about the situation. If they protest, Gartner will punish them. They view a Gartner subscription like a tax, something that has to be paid if you are to be a player.

If ZL’s contentions are correct, now is a good time for the industry to provide supporting evidence. So if you are a vendor, here are some questions we’d like to hear from you on:

  • Did a Gartner sales person ever allude to the ability to alter a Gartner review if you paid for services from Gartner? If so, can you recall any specifics about what was said?
  • Did you notice any change in Gartner’s opinion of you after meeting with the salesperson and either paying or not paying for services?
  • Do you believe that Gartner reports are pure opinion? Or do you believe that the reports are based on fact?

Please respond to me at  either david.ferris@ferris.com, or +1 415 367 3436. You need to identify yourself to me, but I will not reveal your name/organization to any third party without your permission.

If appropriate, we may try to testify to the Federal Trade Commission. This in turn would likely trigger e-discovery at Gartner. If this confirms that Gartner’s views can be bought, this would confirm ZL’s assertions, and would be very damaging to Gartner. Your identity would be kept entirely anonymous and no-one, including Gartner, will ever know you’ve testified.

Hope to hear from you!

David Ferris

1 415 367 3436

Court Documents:

* Appellant’s (ZL’s) Opening Brief
* Appellee’s (Gartner’s) Opposition
* ZL’s Reply

One Comment

  1. Posted January 26, 2011 at 11:19 AM | Permalink

    I think that in the past Gartner has been a great resource for judging products viability. “The Magic Quadrant” has always been an influence on what I have bought in the past. No matter which Company I have worked for, if we had access to the reports from Gartner we would use them.

    If they are really expecting $$ for placement then this is a sad day for them. They will be discounted as an impartial judge of our IT products and we will just do more “try and buys..”
    Thanks!
    ~David

  2. Posted February 22, 2011 at 7:40 AM | Permalink

    It sounds like Gartner tried to back out of things by saying it’s assessments were just guesses. That doesn’t even make sense coming from analysis ts. They are changing what makes up their very foundation.

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