Too Many Market Leaders

I admit it. I let Subex down. You see, I saw the press release saying…

Analysys Mason ranks Subex Global Market Leader in Business Optimization for fourth year in a row

Belated congratulations to Subex. I saw the story, and avoided writing about it. The problem is, I have a memory. Also, I can check my memory using the internet. I procrastinated because I cannot tell how much to congratulate Subex, in comparison to the congratulations deserved by their rivals. It appears that Subex’s main rivals are also market leaders. On cVidya’s website it says a…

Leading Industry Analyst Firm Ranks cVidya as the Global Market Leader for Revenue Assurance and Fraud Management Solutions

whilst over at WeDo I read that the…

New Stratecast Report Positions WeDo Technologies as Global Market Leader in Fast Growing Telecoms Revenue Assurance Market

Now, let us not quibble about the differences between the scope of each report. “Business optimization” sounds like similar territory to “revenue assurance” which certainly has some overlap with “revenue assurance and fraud management”. We all know that Subex, WeDo and cVidya are pretty much direct competitors with each other, with a similar suite of offerings. This truth was reinforced when Subex finally gave up on its ex-Syndesis business, and refocused on its core strengths. The problem is not with the vendors, though collectively it looks a bit silly that they are all market leaders. Somebody has to be in third place, though I suppose it suits the company coming third to maximize the confusion over who is first and second. But there is no point blaming the vendors, as they are just getting the maximum leverage out of the PR opportunity. Instead, it is time to point fingers at the research firms who write these reports. Stratecast, Gartner and Analysys Mason may well have differing opinions on who is the market leader. But, for pity’s sake, they should at least try to agree what the ‘market’ is. I prefer to call it RA+. Some like to talk about business assurance. Subex prefers the name ‘business optimization’. But whatever people call it, comparing like with like is more useful than fiddling with the margins of how the market is defined.

When everybody is a market leader, the safest option is just to look at sales announcements. Vendors like to announce as many sales as they can. So rather than relying on three contrasting conclusions from three research firms, just look to which firm sold what to which telco. In a field where the goal is good data about revenues, sales announcements are the best source of data we have on which vendors are defeating their rivals when competing for business.

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is a recognized expert on communications risk and assurance. He was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and others.

Eric was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He was a founding member of Qatar's National Committee for Internet Safety and the first leader of the TM Forum's Enterprise Risk Management team. Eric currently sits on the committee of the Risk & Assurance Group, and is an editorial advisor to Black Swan. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.

Commsrisk is edited by Eric. Look here for more about Eric's history as editor.
  • Moinak Banerjee

    Eric Hi;

    Could not agree more with You. Everyone would definitely make use of PR relations and claim to be market relations. You are right- the only sane way of getting a practical evaluation of ‘who is the market leader?’ may be based on sales figures. Unfortunately, not all vendors are Public Limited Companies with financials open for direct scrutiny. This provides the ground for unequal war/competitive reviews between true, perceived and ‘some’ ‘self-proclaimed’ “market leaders”. Not sure if there is a direct solution, but mandating review of financial statuses during sales cycles may provide a strong ground; but again- I am not sure of the practicality of the same.