IT staffers and managers like to check annual lists of their enterprise software suppliers to see if their preferred vendors made it. And to see how the vendor ranks against the guy you didn't recommend. There's nothing like showing the boss that you're part of a large community that made the same good choices.
So many of you will find the recently released AMR "Top 50 Global Enterprise Application Vendors, 2008" a little disappointing. But it's OK to tell the boss this particular "Top 50" list is misleading if you are one of the millions of IT folks in small and medium businesses that chose Intuit or if you are in IT management almost anywhere except in a manufacturer... or if you prefer Synopsis or Bentley for your engineering automation, or (I asked AMR to comment on what I think to be missing companies but have not received a response; update to follow if I hear from them).
Actually, AMR released a couple of different "Top 50 enterprise application vendor" lists, one for total revenue and another titled "license/subscription" that appears to delete maintenance and professional services revenue. The research firm also seems to make a division of revenue streams between what it calls "standalone apps such as BI" and enterprise apps, which AMR defines as "ERP/SCM/supply-management/PLM/HCM/CRM." For this reason, for example, the lists segregate Oracle and Microsoft enterprise application revenues from their databases and operating system revenue streams. But no matter how you segregate out Quicken and TurboTax, Quickbooks does not fall off any "Top 50 enterprise applications" list I can conceive of. And Intuit sells other enterprise application products as well.
As for you guys in the biggest part of the economy, the services industry, the issue is surely AMR's background. Apparently like IBM and AiiM, AMR only likes to be referred to by its acronym these days, but the M in AMR stands for "manufacturing." So I guess historically the research firm doesn't track the major enterprise application suppliers that specialize in the services industries.
But if that's the case, why count all of SAP's revenue (I mean all of it including NetWeaver, which isn't even an enterprise application), but not count Fiserv, Cerner, Jack Henry, McKesson, Meditech, Micros Systems, Reynolds & Reynolds, and so forth that automate the enterprise-application needs of banking, health care delivery, hospitality, dealerships, etc. All of these enterprise software companies provide the same ERP/CRM/SCM support to you as SAP does to manufacturers. Furthermore, SAP proudly claims it gets 33 percent of its revenue from non-manufacturing enterprises. The percentage is even higher for Oracle, Lawson and all of the small guys -- that I would call suppliers of "standalone apps" -- that made AMR's list above the very large enterprise applications suppliers to the services industries that I listed above.
Don't worry: SAP, Oracle, etc. want to sell to you for the same reason that Willy Sutton robbed banks.
And why Cadence but not Synopsis?
And why Autocad but not Nemetshek and Bentley?
And why IBM's Telelogic product line and not about 100 other IT-department application companies?
Boy, do I like lists? This rant is not really about you! (But if your favorite enterprise application supplier didn't make AMR's list and you want me to guess why or where they should be ranked, send in an e-mail or comment.)