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Critical Analysis or Not?

It seems like Gartner is quickly following into the footsteps of its analyst ancestors – investment banking research departments. By this I mean a less-than-stellar analysis which lags behind what is normally available to anyone who follows industry trends via social media blogs or twitter.

Reading a recent core retail banking report, I can’t help but notice glaring holes in otherwise shallow analysis. Since I’m knee deep in one of its market leader’s effort (according to the ability to execute measure) of implementing financial services (SAP) I find the following points and descriptions lacking in that report ( I’m expecting the link to be removed at company’s discretion):

1.  How does limited availability of product/business experts allow the vendor to top the chart? Isn’t availability somewhat related to the ability to execute?

2. There’s a mention of BIAN participation, but there’s no reference to either SWIFT or ISO20022. Aren’t the electronic payment systems the bread and butter of banking? Yes, even at the retail level?

3. There’s no mention of specific modules offered by the vendor like In-House Cash, Cash and Liquidity Management, BCM and others.

4. SAP’s biggest competitor gets a mention of an in-column database, but SAP HANA, SAP’s flagship in-column data base solution is left out. Gartner thinks to put this new architecture as a mitigating factor in its Oracle weaknesses section. This is out of place as it should be considered a strength of SAP, but not some kind of offsetting a weakness of its competitor.

5. There’s no mention of the SEPA, which is an Euro-based effort to reduce the burden of retail banking costs in Europe. I realize that many may want to write off Euro as a nonviable currency, but omitting it from a global analysis amounts to ignoring the most important banking initiative on the old continent.

6. I like the magic quadrant concept as a quick list of who’s up and who’s down in Gartner’s client list, but explaining methodology behind it as part of the research is a bit over the top. It’s highly subjective and seems to be related to the company’s pricing more than actual features behind each vendor’s product, those included and those excluded.

7. instead of treating us to geography listings of continents (we get EMEA spelled out for us and for our CIO’s) and technology like operating systems (Unix, Linux, Windows), the audience would be better served with a list of the core banking features and why some vendors have a better handle on them than others.

I have been configuring SAP ever since i have left Gartner in the late 90′s, and I expect a better quality and more depth from this top vendor in the IT analysis marketplace. Otherwise, the company risks getting ignored and not being taken seriously.

Posted by on November 24, 2012.

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