Customer evaluations of 400 cloud-software implementations compiled by peer-review research firm Raven Intel show that while SAP, Oracle and Workday all have certain strengths, the question remains open: who’s #1 in customers’ minds?
Raven Intel has compiled a data set of more than 1,000 customer reviews of major software vendors and their implementation partners. For this article, founder and CEO Bonnie Tinder pulled out and analyzed 400 reviews spanning 40 countries involving SaaS applications from SAP, Workday and Oracle.
Tinder, who’s a monthly guest on our Cloud Wars Live podcast, has become a world-renowned expert on software projects on the strength of her own professional experience plus the customer-written reviews, insights and data that Raven Intel compiles.
With businesses accelerating their moves to the cloud, Tinder and I discussed how we might share some of Raven Intel’s peer-review expertise, which covers not only some of the major software vendors but also the systems integrators and other partners involved in implementation projects.
That led Tinder to select 400 customer reviews involving SAP, Oracle and Workday, with each company and its partners being evaluated across a range of attributes. And the results are particularly credible because they’re based directly on customer-written reviews rather than some arm’s-length arcane methodology.
“The results show that while each vendor has its strengths in certain areas, highly successful implementations are a challenge,” Tinder said in a recent email exchange for this article. (You can check out Raven Intel’s findings in-depth perspectives on her findings in her most-recent episode on the Cloud Wars Live podcast.)
“Our data show that the range of performance across the three vendors is pretty close. So what customers need to know is that despite many advances with new project tools and rapid-rollout programs, implementation is not an easy flip of the switch.
“Picking the right partner for the project—which means independently vetting them—and taking the time to get every step right will increase the odds for long-term success.”
So, who’s #1: SAP, Oracle, or Workday?
Highest satisfaction for partner and project: SAP
“SAP’s partner/project satisfaction rated the highest among its peers at an average of 8.2 out of 10 overall,” Tinder said. “A big factor in this rating was the number of solid, independent systems integrators who were rated highly by customers.”
Highest satisfaction for software: Workday
Workday took the top spot for overall vendor/software satisfaction with a score of 8.4 out of 10. “While Workday’s implementation and partner satisfaction delivery wasn’t as high as their peers, customers rated Workday itself well,” Tinder said.
Teams voted most responsive during implementation: Oracle
“Particularly in the past year, where responsiveness and flexibility were of utmost importance to customers, Oracle came through and was rated highest among its peers, averaging 4.3 out of 5,” Tinder said.
The 400 customers whose reviews Tinder analyzed for this article are mostly mid-sized companies, with 77% having between 1,000 and 50,000 employees; 12% less than 1,000; and 11% more than 50,000. And again, the 400 customers whose reviews were involved in this analysis span 40 countries.
Raven Intel reviews software vendors and partners across many other attributes, including these two sets of “Sentiment Scores” (5 is the highest possible score) that I felt were particularly interesting:
- Responsiveness: Oracle 4.3, SAP 4.2, Workday 3.9; and
- Flexibility: SAP 4.28, Oracle 4.15, Workday 3.81.
“Implementation is the foundation for the lifetime experience of software, both good and bad,” Tinder said.
“There is no magic or quick fix—the average duration all-in is around 18 months, and as you can see from these scores, no single vendor that has it all figured out.
“I think all enterprise software vendors would do well to increase the level of transparency about their implementations as well as offer outside perspective, such as Raven Intel’s, on partners.
“Customers also need to be vigilant and thoughtful in choosing a solid partner rather than just going with the first one the software vendor suggests, or simply choosing the guys whose name you recognize.”
Disclosure: at the time of this writing, SAP and Oracle were among the many clients of Cloud Wars Media LLC and/or Evans Strategic Communications LLC.
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