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Top Software Vendors Analyzed in 2014 RIS Software LeaderBoard

By Joe Skorupa

Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative, according to Oscar Wilde, except when applied to the methodology used for major benchmark studies. Consistency, then, becomes a virtue. The 2014 RIS Software LeaderBoard is built on a rock of consistency and bulletproof objectivity. And yet it clearly fires the imagination because it ranks all the major retail software vendors based on end-user (a.k.a. retailer) evaluations. Find out which vendors came out on top and which didn't.

The mission of the RIS Software LeaderBoard, now in its 14th year, is to be a fact-based guide to the best technology vendors operating in retail. The rankings are determined by adding together scores for customer satisfaction (retailer satisfaction) and publicly available information from vendor websites. The result is one of the most widely anticipated reports in the retail industry, which ultimately influences tens of millions of dollars in annual technology purchases. (To download the complete report click here.)
 
Customer Satisfaction is the signature feature of the Software Leaderboard and what makes it unique among vendor reports. Unlike other vendor landscapes, the LeaderBoard gives voice to user opinions – a peer-to-peer exchange of vital information.
 
The Customer Satisfaction score used in the LeaderBoard is based on retailer reviews of 10 criteria that range from return on investment to innovation to quality of support or service. Each of the 10 criteria is worth a maximum of five points, so a perfect score is 50.
 
Many of the top vendors in the LeaderBoard have outstanding Customer Satisfaction scores that climb well into the upper 40s. It is not impossible to get a perfect score of 50, but few do. None did this year.
 
Here are the top 10 software vendors purely viewed through a customer satisfaction lens:
 
  1. Cornell-Mayo
  2. ECRS
  3. RTC Quaterion Group
  4. Celerant Technology
  5. JDS Solutions
  6. Mi9
  7. TradeStone Software
  8. QuantiSense (tied)
  9. Reflexis (tied)
  10. NGC Software
  11. Logility (tied)
  12. Lexmark (tied)
However, Customer Satisfaction is not the only area tracked in the RIS Software LeaderBoard. Another area is called Retail Recognition, a metric worth 50 points that is achieved by counting software modules worth one point each (i.e. one point for POS, one for workforce management, one for assortment planning, etc.). Finally, we also track Revenue Factor, a category where vendors get one to five points based on annual revenue earned in the retail industry (one point for less than $20 million and five for more than $250 million).
 
When we combine all the metrics together we get a top-20 master list that offers a big-picture perspective of versatility and multi-dimensional strength for software vendors. Here are the top-10 companies on the master list:
 
  1. ECRS
  2. Celerant Technology
  3. JDS Solutions (tied
  4. Oracle (tied)
  5. PCMS
  6. MicroStrategy
  7. SAP
  8. NCR
  9. Mi9
  10. Epicor
  11. Manthan Systems
 
2014 RIS Software LeaderBoard by the Numbers
 
Since the Software LeaderBoard is all about data, measurement and numbers, here are some of the most important from and about the report:
 
869     Vendor evaluations by retailers
373     Retail voters
238     Voters < $1 billion in annual revenue
140     Specialty retail voters
135     Voters > $1 billion in annual revenue
114     Apparel voters
66        Fast-moving consumer goods voters (i.e. grocery, convenience, drug)
51        Separate top-10 (plus one top-20) vendor ranking lists in the LeaderBoard
45        Department store, mass merchants, big box voters
41        CIO voters
37.8    Average Customer Satisfaction score for all 90 vendors that received votes
33        CEO or president voters
33        IT executive voters (VP, SVP, EVP, etc.)
21        Non-IT VP-level voters
18        Other C-level voters (not CIO or CEO)
14        Years of annual Software LeaderBoard reports
 
As noted, this is just a small preview of the data-rich 2014 RIS Software LeaderBoard. To download the full report, click here.
 

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