About the Ventana Research Value Index & Inclusion Policy
The Ventana Research Value Index is an analytic assessment of how well vendors’ offerings will address buyers’ requirements for a particular category of software. The Value Index, which we have prepared for more than a decade, is structured to replicate an RFI/RFP process by incorporating all criteria needed to evaluate, select and deploy technology and maintain relationships with vendors.
We have designed the Value Index to ensure that it provides objective independent research and guidance to organizations looking to assess and evaluate their applications for business and IT needs. The structure of the Value Index reflects our understanding that the proper evaluation of vendors and products involves far more than just examining product features or potential revenue or customers generated from marketing and sales. Instead, the Index provides extensive evaluation of software in seven key categories. Five are product-related: Usability, Manageability, Reliability, Capability and Adaptability. In addition, we consider two customer assurance categories: Vendor Validation and Total Cost of Ownership and Return on Investment (TCO/ROI).
The Value Index is not an abstraction; Ventana Research uses a carefully crafted research- and best practices-based methodology to represent how organizations actually assess vendors. We believe it is important to take this approach, since making the wrong decisions can raise the total cost of ownership, lower the return on investment and hamper an organization’s ability to reach its performance potential. In addition, this approach can reduce the project’s overall duration and eliminate the risk of placing on a short list a vendor that is not best fit for an organization.
All vendors that offer relevant products and meet the inclusion requirements are invited to participate in the Value Index evaluation process, at no cost to them. If a vendor does not respond to or declines the invitation, a determination is made whether to include it in our analysis based on our defined set of inclusion criteria. These criteria are designed to ensure we include in our evaluation vendors’ geographic operations, customer base and revenue as well as all relevant aspects of the products’ fit for the particular category being evaluated. If a vendor is actively marketing, selling and developing a product as reflected on its website that is within the scope of the Value Index, it is automatically evaluated for inclusion. We have adopted this approach because we view it as our responsibility to assess all relevant vendors whether or not they choose to actively participate.
To ensure the accuracy of the information we collect and ensure that the Value Index reflects the concerns of a well-crafted RFP, we require participating vendors to provide evaluation data across all seven categories. Ventana Research then validates the information, first independently through our knowledge base of product information and extensive web-based research, and then in consultation with the vendors.
The Value Index is designed to be independent of the specifics of vendor packaging and pricing and whether the products are priced or sold as part of a suite or bundle or individually. To represent the real-world environment in which businesses operate, we include vendors that offer suites or packages of products, as the relevant individual modules or applications must still be evaluated by those responsible for those business processes. We take no position on the offering approach of the products or packages being offered; where options exist, organizations using the Value Index will need to decide whether they choose a suite of products or individual applications that best meet their requirements.
We urge organizations to do a thorough job of evaluating vendors and products that are referenced in any Value Index and use our in-depth analysis and evaluation methodology. The Value Index can also be used to evaluate existing suppliers and also provides evaluation criteria for new projects; applying it can shorten the cycle time for an RFP and selection process.
Unlike many IT analyst firms that rank vendors from an IT-only perspective, Ventana Research has designed the Value Index to provide a balanced perspective of vendors and products that is rooted in an understanding of business drivers and needs. This approach not only reduces cost and time but also minimizes the risk of making a decision that is bad for the business. Using the Value Index will enable your organization to achieve the levels of efficiency and effectiveness needed to optimize a contact center in the cloud.