Feeds

Analyst squares up against Gartner's magic quadrant

'Whistleblowers' sought amidst defamation suit

High performance access to file storage

Ferris Research, an analyst firm focused on messaging, compliance and collaboration, is asking IT vendors to let the firm know if Gartner has ever improved any of their magic quadrant positions in return for cash.

Gartner is currently battling a defamation and trade libel claim from an IT company which has not been ranked as well as it may have hoped.

Gartner is a prominent IT analyst company and regularly issues MQs, or Magic Quadrants, for a variety of IT disciplines, such as external controller-based storage.

The four-box MQ places suppliers in one of four boxes plotted against two axes. "Completeness of vision" runs from left to right, and "ability to execute" runs vertically. This provides a bottom left-hand box for niche players, an upper left-hand box for challengers, a lower right-hand box for visionaries and an upper right-hand one for leaders.

It is generally thought that a substantial proportion of customers will only buy IT products and services from suppliers in particular MQ boxes, such as the top-right leaders' quadrant.

In an open letter to vendors, David Ferris refers to a lawsuit by archiving firm ZL Technologies against Gartner, which alleges its lowly MQ position is due to never having bought any Gartner services, and has sued Gartner for defamation and libel. Gartner strongly denies this.

Gartner disputes this allegation, saying:

First, in placing vendors into the Magic Quadrant diagram, the Reports express opinions rather than facts. The diagram maps abstract qualities, Ability to Execute and Completeness of Vision, based upon multiple, largely qualitative criteria chosen by Gartner and evaluated by Gartner from customer opinions and other qualitative information.

This highly subjective, value-laden process yields opinions concerning vendors, not facts, and the Magic Quadrant Reports make this crystal clear by informing readers that the Reports contain “opinions” and that the Magic Quadrant diagram in particular is shaped by Gartner's “views.”

Second, even if the Reports did not make it clear to readers that placement in the Magic Quadrant diagram is based upon Gartner's opinions, the placement of vendors in the diagram would be deemed an opinion as a matter of law because those placements are not sufficiently factual to be proved true or false and therefore cannot be treated as assertions of fact.

Ferris makes much of this, saying Gartner normally claims "its findings are based on factual and objective assessment".

Ferris is asking vendors to tell him, openly or in confidence, if Gartner reps alluded to better Gartner reviews if clients bought Gartner services, if their MQ position changed for the better or worse after paying or not paying for services, and if they believe Gartner reports are pure opinion or fact.

He suggests Ferris Research:

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.

Gartner has been asked for a comment but has not been able to provide one. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.