We have designed the Value Index evaluation categories to reflect the breadth of the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal to vendors such as yourself. We will evaluate your submissions in seven categories, five relevant to the product or package being evaluated and two to the vendor grouped into a focus we call Customer Assurance. These categories and criteria are as follows:
Usability of the Product
The Usability category involves evaluation criteria intended to assess the value to a business of an investment by looking at its utility for varied levels of business and the diverse ages and competencies of organizations. The evaluation criteria include the extent to which the product provides the support needed by each of the functional roles involved in enabling the particular business process – executives (CxO), management (EVP, SVP, VP), managers, directors, analysts and those involved from the IT organization. They also include how sophisticated the product’s support of mobile, Web and voice technologies is, including the extent to which the product design enables its usage by workers of different generations. The Usability section examines how much work the vendor has put into the human interface aspects of the product.
Manageability of the Product
The Manageability category involves evaluation criteria intended to ensure that the products meet business and IT needs for installation, deployment and administration. The evaluation criteria include the support that the product provides for IT administration and for business administration. They also include how sophisticated the security provisions built into the application are with respect to user identity and role and access, how effective the data security is that the application provides, to what extent it supports auditing and compliance, what the license options are, how use is audited and what investments are required in licensing or subscription and maintenance.
Reliability of the Product
The Reliability category involves evaluation criteria intended to ensure that the products can deliver the performance and scalability required. The criteria include the nature of the product’s support for an organization’s IT architecture at the levels of the enterprise, the network, the ser¬ver and the data, and how sophisticated its development and customization capabilities are. They also include the extent to which it supports access by remote and mobile users, how well and quickly it performs server processing, how well it scales in terms of number of users, volume and complexity of data and server demand, and what investments are required to ensure reliability.
Capability of the Product
The Capability category involves criteria to evaluate the fit between the capabilities of the products and the needs of various groups within the business, from executives to line managers. It examines functionality to provide support across the enterprise, for commerce, suppliers and consumers. It also evaluates integration potential with other systems, sup¬port for standard protocols, and specific capabilities.
Adaptability of the Product
The Adaptability category applies evaluation criteria designed to ensure the products can be configured and customized to meet the needs of a given business. The evaluation criteria include how configurable the product technology is to enable it to interface with business and IT, to what extent it can be customized, and whether it supports user interface technologies and systems used by particular lines of business. The evaluation criteria also include how well the product operates across data-related process and workflow systems, whether it can interface well with business applications and databases, and what investments are required to ensure adaptability.
Customer Assurance: Validation of the Vendor
The Validation category applies evaluation criteria designed to assess the vendor’s commitment to the market segment and its products along with the breadth of its communication of relevant information. The evaluation criteria include the extent to which the vendor is focused on and committed to this product line, how stable the vendor company’s management and financial condition are, and what existing customers say about the company and its products. The evaluation criteria also include the extent to which the vendor can provide a clear road¬map of the product line’s development and direction, what services it provides to support deployment, and the quality of its product support.
Customer Assurance: TCO/ROI of the Vendor
The TCO/ROI category applies evaluation criteria designed to assess the value the vendor delivers with its products. The evaluation criteria include the extent to which the vendor is focused on and committed to this product line and how sophisti¬cated it is in demonstrating product value, TCO and total benefit of ownership. The criteria also include an evaluation of what tools and documentation it provides to enable customer evaluation of ROI and TCO and what the vendor cites as its investment in optimizing the customer’s TCO and ROI.