Information Builders topped the list of seven vendors that agreed to participate in the study with a value index of 93%. The remaining vendors and their index scores were IBM Cognos Software, 81.3%; Infor, 80%; Softscape, 80%; Arcplan, 77.2%; Actuate, 73.1%; Symphony-Metreo, 70.6%; Microsoft, 70.3% and InetSoft, 64.6%.
The seven categories included five that were product-related: adaptability, manageability, reliability, usability and functionality; and two that were customer-focused: total cost of ownership and return on investment, and validation.
The usability category examined how much work the vendor had put into the human interface aspects of the software. In this area, Information Builders was followed by Infor, IBM Cognos and Softscape.
The reliability category involved the products' ability to deliver the required performance and scalability. The top suppliers in order were Information Builders, Arcplan, Softscape, Acutate and IBM Cognos software.
The capability of products was judged by the fit between the capabilities of the product and the needs of various players within the business, from executives to line managers. Following Information Builders were Infor, IBM Cognos Software, Actuate, Symphony-Metreo, Microsoft and Arcplan.
Adatability was evaluated based on product design to ensure configuration and customization to meet the needs of business. The evaluation included criteria on how configurable the product technology was to be able to interface with business and IT, to what extent it could be customized, and whether it supported user interface technologies and systems used by particular lines of business. The top vendors, in order, were Information Builders, Arcplan and IBM Cognos Software.
In judging validation, Ventana assessed the vendor's commitment to the market segment and its products along with the breadth of its communication of relevant information. In this category, Information Builders was followed by Softscape, Infor and IBM Cognos Software.
Finally, TCO/RIO was based on the value vendors delivered with their products. The top vendors, in order, were Information Builders, IBM Cognos Software, Actuate and Softscape.