2015 Customer Choice Awards: Enterprises Rate their Software Vendors


According to IDC’s Worldwide Software 2014-2018 Forecast Summary Report1 the top 11 software vendors represent almost half – more than 47 percent --of the commercial software market. With worldwide commercial software revenue in 2013 at $368.9 billion, these top vendors represent approximately $212 billion in software spend.

While software vendors are frequently ranked based on size, revenue, market share, growth and various other criteria – we know that customers form opinions about their vendors based on a host of factors. So we decided to ask enterprise respondents a series of questions that could provide deeper insights into customer preference for the largest commercial software providers.

We sought respondents’ feedback about the following software vendors: Adobe™, CA™, Citrix™, EMC™, HP™, IBM™, Microsoft™, Oracle™, SAP™, Salesforce.com™, Symantec™, VMware™2. Only enterprise respondents, of which there were 147, completed these vendor rating questions, and they were asked to provide opinions only about vendors they use. For each vendor from whom they purchase software, respondents were asked to indicate whether they agree or disagree with the following statements:

  • The price for this vendor’s applications are reasonable and provide good ROI
  • This vendor’s applications are easy to manage, apply patches, maintain and upgrade
  • This vendor is easy to work with
  • This vendor’s licensing rules are easy to understand making it easy to maintain software license compliance
  • It is easy for us to understand and manage our usage of and spend for this vendor’s applications
  • This vendor’s licensing rules around mobile, virtualization and the cloud will better facilitate our organization’s migration to those environments
  • We rarely face software license compliance audits from this vendor
  • We are rarely forced to pay software license compliance true-up fees to this vendor

Results are stack-ranked based on response options, which included “Strongly Agree,”, “Agree,” “Disagree,” and “Strongly Disagree.” For purposes of these Customer Choice Awards, the vendor in each category that received the highest percentage of “Strongly Agree” and “Agree” responses, combined, was named the winner for that particular category. Likewise, the vendor that received the highest percentage of “Disagree” or “Strongly Disagree” responses, combined, lost for that category.

We see this data as providing fascinating insight into enterprises’ opinions across a broad spectrum of topics about their largest software vendors.

Reasonable Cost & High ROI: Winner – Citrix

Price and ROI are often cited as primary reasons for favoring one vendor over another. So we wanted to first see how vendors rated using this basic metric. Respondents were asked whether they agree or disagree that their vendor’s applications are reasonably priced and provide good ROI. 87 percent of respondents agree or strongly agree that Citrix offers reasonably priced software that provides good ROI. Oracle scored lowest in this category, with 44 percent of respondents disagreeing or strongly disagreeing.

Application Management Ease: Winner – VMware

It’s critical that organizations can effectively manage the full lifecycle of an application, and apply Application Readiness best practices and processes to ensure that their applications are manageable, and that patches, upgrades and enhancements can be efficiently tested for compatibility, remediated and repackaged for hand off to the enterprise app store or deployment system. Otherwise it’s the application that manages the IT team – rather than the other way around. So we asked respondents whether they agree or disagree that their vendors’ applications are easy to manage, apply patches to, maintain and upgrade.