Eight visceral reactions to Gartner’s 2015 IRCM Magic Quadrant

Written by on December 4, 2015 in BillingViews, Guest Blog with 2 Comments

Superhero insideAs you may know, I generally write about things that puzzle me. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant has puzzled me for a while. How they come to some of the conclusions they come to puzzles many people. Witnesses state that they do not apply sufficient resources or time to look deeply enough at the companies they evaluate. It is also said that Gartner’s analysts do not respond consistently to comments from the vendors they judge, even when offered the opportunity. As we have said, Gartner’s Magic Quadrants have a strange and powerful influence in the industries they serve. And even though telcos do not tend to make final decisions based on these Quadrants, vendors are left off RFI and RFP lists if they do not feature. For that reason, fear stalks the industry, and only the brave – or those who will not be affected – speak out. Whatever the reason, here are my reactions to the latest IRCM ‘Magic’ Quadrant.

  1. In just two years, NetCracker moves from Challenger to the top spot (though not the farthest to the right spot). Guess that’s one way to measure an effective re-brand.
  2. Amdocs’ grip on the Leader box is slipping. Pitting two big rivals against each other is usually a good way to drive the price up. We’ll find out next year if they’re playing along.
  3. SAP is the lone visionary? If R&D leaders in IRCM ever looked at these reports, they’d probably be insulted. What I can’t figure out is how SAP went from leader to loser so quickly.
  4. RedKnee still stuck in Challenger land. I’m trying to sort out whether Lucas is as irritated as Dr. Tiller, or if he just doesn’t care enough to throw money at the problem. Let’s assume he’s too busy assimilating his acquisitions & pitching business. (Keep punching Lucas, the Giant Stone Balls award still stands).
  5. CSG International “breaks the plane.” In American Football, a touchdown is scored when an offensive team merely breaks the imaginary vertical plane extending from the front of the goal line into the sky. By that rule, CSG is in the Leader quadrant. TOUCHDOWN. If we’re talking Rugby…no goal. Maybe there’s a hidden message there. U.S. cable ain’t what she used to be.
  6. Cerillion wins the “new tech judged in an old tech beauty contest” award. So here’s what really ticks me off. I am pretty sure that Dominic Smith from Cerillion was the first person – certainly among the first – to engage me (as a reporter with BillingViews) on the idea of telco billing delivered from the cloud. When I look at Cerillion’s website today, I don’t see the term “cloud” at all. I see similar terms, like SaaS, but it’s as if “cloud” is a dirty word in the telco business. I’m going to guess this is Cerillion reacting to the telco market. If so, what they’re reacting to is this luddite attitude we see across this industry when it comes to embracing (i.e. learning how to use) anything “new tech.” Gartner is playing right into that attitude and reinforcing it. So Cerillion and others end up being typecast as niche players in an old tech evaluation rather than being rewarded for trying to move this inertia-bound industry forward.
  7. AsiaInfo deserves a look. I think Ray LeMaistre nailed the critical analysis on this one, so I’ll speak directly to Dr. Tiller: I feel your pain. There’s nothing more frustrating than having great tech and creative ideas and trying to sell them to people who don’t understand the tech and fear your creativity. Too often in big corporations – telcos especially – if you champion truly new ideas, you expose yourself to political defeat. I’ve been in too many conversations where I’ve seen a moment of inspiration in a client’s eyes snuffed out by the realization that some other group – legal, finance, IT – will find a way to exploit a new thought as a political vulnerability. You are breaking down those barriers, Dr. Tiller, and I applaud you for it. Don’t let the status quo keepers stand in your way.
  8. Tecnotree is playing it smart. I haven’t seen Tecnotree comment yet, but in past years it has celebrated its inclusion in the IRCM MQ and moved on. Well played. Third party validation is useful. Why get into the details of who ranks where? You’re on the list. That’s a positive. Move on. One might argue that objecting to where or how you are ranked lends credibility to the ranking scheme. By acknowledging inclusion, Tecnotree is effectively saying “thanks for saying our name in your 25 page press release.”

Who say’s billing is boring? This is good fun.

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Edward Finegold

About the Author

About the Author: Ed Finegold is CSO for Validas, a company that specializes in personalized user experiences that leverage analytics-as-a-service to simplify mobile buying, selling, pricing & billing. Ed has been a regular contributor to BillingViews. .

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  1. Avatar Bob says:

    Nice piece. “CSG is in the Leader quadrant. TOUCHDOWN!” is my takeaway from this…

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