Magic Quadrant for Intrusion Prevention Systems
The network intrusion prevention system market is undergoing a period of dynamic evolution. Next-generation IPSs are available for the best protection, and first-generation IPSs are increasingly being absorbed by new next-generation firewall placements.
The network intrusion prevention system (IPS) appliance market is composed of stand-alone appliances that inspect all network traffic that has passed through frontline security devices, such as firewalls, Web security gateways and email security gateways. IPS devices are deployed in line and perform full-stream reassembly of network traffic. They provide detection via several methods — signatures, protocol anomaly detection, behavioral or heuristics. By being in-line, IPSs can also use various techniques to block attacks that are identified with high confidence. The capabilities of IPS products need to adapt to changing threats, and next-generation IPSs (NGIPSs) have evolved in response to advanced targeted threats evading first-generation IPSs (see "Defining Next-Generation Network Intrusion Prevention").
This Magic Quadrant focuses on the market for stand-alone IPS products; however, IPS capabilities are also delivered as functionality in other network security products. Network IPSs are also provided within a next-generation firewall (NGFW), which is the evolution of enterprise-class network firewalls to include application awareness and policy control, as well as the integration of network IPS (see "Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Network Firewalls"). IPS capability is also available in unified threat management "all in one" products used by small businesses (see "Magic Quadrant for Unified Threat Management").
Source: Gartner (July 2012)
Cisco (www.cisco.com) is a very large network infrastructure vendor, with a broad network security product portfolio. Cisco has stand-alone IPS available in the 4300 (350 Mbps to 2 Gbps) and 4200 (up to 4 Gbps) Series appliances, as well as the IDS Services Module 2 switch blade when loaded with its IPS Sensor Software. Cisco also has IPS available for the Adaptive Security Appliances (ASAs) 5500-X Series firewalls (via an add-in hardware module for the 5500 Series), and software-based IPS within Internetwork Operating System (IOS)-based and Integrated Services Routers (ISRs). However, this analysis is focused on the stand-alone devices. Cisco has Web and email security gateway products as part of its security product line. The IPS Manager Express is for smaller deployments (up to 10 devices), and Cisco Security Manager (CSM) for larger or enterprise deployments.
- Enterprises already using Cisco network infrastructure or firewall products are familiar with the management and monitoring model, and can leverage a single console management for multiple Cisco products.
- Cisco has wide international support, an extremely strong channel and broad geographic coverage. Enterprises that already have a significant investment in Cisco security products or that use CSM are good shortlist candidates for Cisco IPS.
- Cisco IPS includes a Risk Rating feature that can be set to adjust alerts based on factors, such as the sensitivity of the asset being protected, providing context for detection and blocking. Reputation correlation services are provided by the Cisco Security Intelligence Operations (SIO).
- Cisco had the largest market share for specialized IPS appliance market share in 2011, according to Gartner (see "Market Share: Enterprise Network Security Equipment and Routers, Worldwide, 2011").
- Cisco was the vendor second-most-often listed as the product competing vendors claim to have replaced in 2011, according to our research. The most often cited reasons for Cisco IPS being replaced were signature quality and manageability.
- The current Cisco IPS management consoles do not score well in shortlist competitions against most leading IPS products, and Gartner observes consistently low scores on this aspect in customer evaluations. This is less of an issue where enterprises already use Cisco security products.
- Cisco IPS revenue declined 2.2% from 2010 to 2011 (again, see "Market Share: Enterprise Network Security Equipment and Routers, Worldwide, 2011"). In our assessment, this is attributable to factors including increased pressure from NGIPS competitors, lack of focus on network security by Cisco (later addressed by an internal reorganization of the security unit), and replacement by NGFW.
In 2010, Corero (www.corero.com) acquired Boston-based IPS vendor Top Layer Security. Its single multigigabit-capable IPS appliance is based on Tilera 64 core processors, and is soft-licensed in 10 model sizes. Corero also has a specialized network load balancer and distributed denial of service (DDoS) and DDoS defense system (DDS) products. Corero does not have its own firewall, secure Web gateway or secure email gateway products.
- Enterprises looking for good DDoS defense capabilities within their IPS can shortlist Corero.
- It has low-latency performance and focuses on protocol normalization, especially for advanced targeted threats.
- Corero has high client satisfaction with pre- and postsales relationships.
- Prior to the acquisition by Corero, Top Layer Security was limited in resources and fell behind the competition. While Corero brings more resources, it does not yet have a track record in the network security space.
- Virtual machine versions, content-aware data loss prevention (DLP) or reputation services were not yet available at the time of this report.
- No vendor identified Corero as a top three competitive threat, and Gartner rarely sees Corero on client IPS shortlists. Corero is not one of the top five vendors for specialized IPS appliance market share (see "Market Share: Enterprise Network Security Equipment and Routers, Worldwide, 2011").
Headquartered in the northeast U.S., Enterasys Networks (www.enterasys.com) is a networking infrastructure company that is an arm of Siemens Enterprise Communications, with security products that include IPS, security information and event management (SIEM), and network access control (NAC). The Enterasys Intrusion Prevention System (also known as Dragon IPS) has in-line sensors that range from 100 Mbps to 10 Gbps of throughput. Enterasys also has a virtual version of the network IPS, host sensors, an event flow manager used to consolidate event information from large numbers of Enterasys sensors, and its Distributed IPS. For large or complex deployments, the Enterasys Event Flow Processor (EFP) can be used to aggregate event information and report it up to the Enterprise Management Server (EMS). Enterasys does not have its own firewall, secure Web gateway, or secure email gateway products.
- The Enterasys IPS is well-suited for internal deployments or where other Enterasys networking products are in place.
- Its management features include log compression.
- Customers rate its technical and overall support highly.
- Gartner continues to see the Dragon product rarely used for in-line blocking, and mostly used in IDS detect-only mode.
- Gartner rarely sees Enterasys on IPS shortlists, and no vendor listed Enterasys as a competitive threat. Enterasys is not one of the top five vendors for specialized IPS appliance market share (see "Market Share: Enterprise Network Security Equipment and Routers, Worldwide, 2011").
HP (www.hp.com) is a large, global, broad-based IT and service vendor. HP has retained the TippingPoint brand name from the hardware IPS product line, also referred to as the S-series products, and has IPS blades that run in HP networking switches. The software version is the HP TippingPoint Secure Virtualization Framework. HP does not have its own secure Web gateway or secure email gateway products. HP has firewall products, but has a very small market share.
- HP has strong channel support. The TippingPoint IPS products have a broad model range of purpose-built appliances, and are known for low latency and high throughput. HP has a good strategy for IPS in virtualized environments.
- Customers often cite ease of installation as a positive in product evaluations, especially for deployments with many devices. The product line includes Core Controller, which load-balances multiple appliances.
- HP had the fourth-greatest market share for specialized IPS appliances in 2011, according to Gartner (see "Market Share: Enterprise Network Security Equipment and Routers, Worldwide, 2011").
- Gartner does not believe HP has expressed a clear strategy for network security beyond IPS — in particular, details of its NGFW strategy.
- Gartner believes that HP's placement of TippingPoint in its software security business unit (as opposed to in the HP Networking business unit) shows a lack of focus on the network security market.
- In the Magic Quadrant survey to vendors, HP and one other company were named most often as the company they claim to have most frequently replaced.
IBM (www.ibm.com) is one of the largest IT hardware, software and service vendors. The former Internet Security Systems (ISS) and Proventia brands are now known as IBM Security Network Intrusion Prevention System. IPS is available in nine models of appliance within the GX Series, with inspected throughput ranging from 200 Mbps to 20 Gbps. The virtual network security platform is available in a VMware software version. IBM does not have its own firewall or secure Web gateway. During 4Q11, IBM acquired Q1 Labs, a developer of SIEM and network behavior analysis technology. IBM has implemented a reorganization that consolidates most security products into a single business unit headed by the former Q1 Labs CEO.
- IBM is benefiting from the early ISS leadership with the Protocol Analysis Module (PAM) deep inspection engine, which has more easily enabled the addition of new protocol inspection capabilities and a strong foundation for protection against emerging threats for which no signatures have yet been developed.
- IBM has a wide sales and distribution network, and access to customers that already have a strong relationship with IBM. Gartner has seen increased IBM IPS buying for our clients in India.
- IBM had the third-largest market share for specialized IPS appliances in 2011, according to Gartner (see "Market Share: Enterprise Network Security Equipment and Routers, Worldwide, 2011").
- IBM ISS presence on IPS shortlists of Gartner customers has been low. Many Gartner clients do not see IBM as a strategic supplier of network security products.
- In the Magic Quadrant survey to vendors, IBM and one other company were named most often as the company they claim to have most frequently replaced.
Juniper (www.juniper.net) is a large network infrastructure vendor with a security product portfolio that includes firewall, IPS, IPsec and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) VPN, unified threat management (UTM), and NAC products. The Juniper Intrusion Detection and Prevention (IDP) IPS appliance line consists of four models that range from 150 Mbps to 10 Gbps throughput. The new Juniper Virtual Gateway (vGW) for VMware has IDS capabilities, but no IPS. Juniper does not have its own secure Web gateway or secure email gateway products. IPS functionality is available as part of the Juniper firewall product lines (see "Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Network Firewalls"). Security Design, as part of the new Junos Space management platform, is the new IPS management platform. The Juniper IDP IPS appliances are not based on the Junos Network OS.
- Juniper Networks' IDP supports a high number of virtual IPS instances and six third-party vulnerability assessment engines, has rate limiting, and integrates with Juniper SSL VPN products so that threat information can be linked to VPN sessions and user identity for action.
- In February 2012, Juniper acquired a small Web application security company, Mykonos Software, which brought Juniper a number of skilled security researchers to enhance its threat R&D.
- Juniper IPS is a good shortlist candidate for enterprises where other Juniper security or networking equipment is in place.
- Juniper IPS has low visibility with Gartner clients, which is likely due to Juniper having focused on advancing its SRX Series integrated IPS/firewall products versus stand-alone IPS products.
- During the Magic Quadrant evaluation period, Juniper appeared to focus more on broader security, as related to data center infrastructure and mobility competition, rather than on a specific network security field.
- Juniper is not one of the top five vendors for specialized IPS appliance market share (see "Market Share: Enterprise Network Security Equipment and Routers, Worldwide, 2011").
McAfee (www.mcafee.com) had been a pure-play security vendor with a large product portfolio across network and desktop security, but is now a subsidiary of Intel, following its acquisition in 2011. The McAfee Network Security Platform (NSP) is the stand-alone IPS model line, with models that range from 100 Mbps to over 80 Gbps (via load-balanced cluster) throughput. McAfee also has IPS within the McAfee Firewall Enterprise; however, this is primarily legacy IPS from Secure Computing, and not within the scope of this Magic Quadrant. McAfee does not have a virtualized soft appliance version of the NSP IPS product.
- Its strong NGIPS capabilities that go beyond first-generation IPS, along with NSP, can make a good shortlist contender for enterprises using other McAfee security products.
- It has the ability to leverage the larger threat research capabilities of its IPS threat research team.
- McAfee is highly visible on Gartner client IPS shortlists, especially in government markets. McAfee was the vendor listed most often in the survey to vendors regarding their greatest IPS competitor. McAfee had the second-greatest market share for specialized IPS appliances in 2011 (see "Market Share: Enterprise Network Security Equipment and Routers, Worldwide, 2011").
- Its hardware investments in purpose-built appliances are a strength. Its IPS console scores well in competitive selections and independent tests.
- Gartner perceives the Intel acquisition has been a significant distraction for McAfee. Intel does not have a track record in network security appliance markets.
- The McAfee brand is known more for desktop security offerings, and often isn't considered widely by enterprises and channel partners as a strong network security provider.
Headquartered in Beijing, China, NSFOCUS (www.nsfocus.com) also has wholly owned subsidiaries in the United States and Japan. It has been selling IPS in Asia/Pacific since 2005, and also has products in the Web application firewall, anti-DDoS, and vulnerability management categories. The company has seven models ranging from 200 Mbps to 10 Gbps. NSFOCUS does not have its own firewall, secure Web gateway, or secure email gateway products.
- It had an early and strong focus on Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) traffic handling, and vulnerabilities specific to Asia/Pacific applications and products.
- Enterprises based in China and other Asia/Pacific countries are good candidates to shortlist NSFOCUS IPS.
- Gartner observes NSFOCUS IPS often is selected when cost-effectiveness is weighted highly.
- NSFOCUS is not one of the top five vendors for specialized IPS appliance market share (see "Market Share: Enterprise Network Security Equipment and Routers, Worldwide, 2011"). Current sales are all within Asia/Pacific.
- Features seen in other IPSs, such as virtual versions, are on the NSFOCUS road map, but not currently in the product.
- Many countries outside Asia/Pacific are hesitant to buy security technology from Chinese vendors, fearing interference by the Chinese government. NSFOCUS has addressed this by committing to having a U.S. application testing vendor inspect each version of its code for vulnerabilities or backdoor capabilities.
Headquartered in Israel, Radware (www.radware.com) is a data center infrastructure vendor offering IPS, network behavior and anomaly detection (NBAD), anti-DoS and Web Application Firewall products. The DefensePro IPS supports throughput up to 12 Gbps. Radware does not have its own firewall, secure Web gateway or secure email gateway products.
- The company's focus on R&D is evidenced with innovative features including non-signature-based detection capabilities and integration with other Radware components.
- Enterprises that already have an investment in other Radware products are good shortlist candidates for Radware IPS.
- Gartner clients that selected DefensePro IPS did so when additional measures versus advanced threats were weighted highly.
- Radware is not one of the top five vendors for specialized IPS appliance market share (see "Market Share: Enterprise Network Security Equipment and Routers, Worldwide, 2011").
- Radware visibility with Gartner clients is low, and it has limited channel support compared to most competitors in the IPS market.
Headquartered in Maryland, pure-play security vendor Sourcefire (www.sourcefire.com) has IPS as its primary market, and is well-known for being the commercial manager for the Snort open-source security products. The Sourcefire IPS has appliance models that provide up to 40 Gbps of throughput. Virtual IPS is available for the VMware, Red Hat KVM and Xen platforms. The new FirePOWER hardware can be a transition to recently introduced NGFW capabilities for incumbent Sourcefire IPS customers.
- It has good NGIPS capabilities that go beyond first-generation IPSs.
- Its new FirePOWER hardware platform scores well in client shortlists. The Sourcefire firewall and IPS share a common hardware and software platform, providing an easier migration path and means to transform a placement from IPS to NGFW or the reverse.
- Its former RUA and RNA products are now included as part of the FireSIGHT management console. Its new console scores well in competitive selections and independent tests. Sourcefire is highly visible on Gartner client IPS shortlists, especially in the government market.
- Sourcefire had the fifth-greatest market share for specialized IPS appliances in 2011 (see "Market Share: Enterprise Network Security Equipment and Routers, Worldwide, 2011").
- Sourcefire may dilute its resources while trying to compete in the crowded endpoint protection market, and launch an NGFW product and compete in the IPS market at the same time.
- The multiple Sourcefire brands are confusing to customers.
Headquartered in Finland, Stonesoft (www.stonesoft.com) is a pure-play security company with NGFW, IPS and SSL VPN products. Stonesoft IPS appliances support throughput from 200 Mbps to 20 Gbps. Stonesoft IPS is available in software, a virtual edition to run on the VMware ESX Server and the appliance version. New features and updates are included as part of support and maintenance.
- Its good NGIPS capabilities go beyond first generation.
- The Stonesoft firewall and IPS share a common hardware and software platform, providing a means to transform a placement from IPS to NGFW or the reverse.
- Stonesoft's advanced evasion of threats research, as well as the capabilities to protect against these threats, has increased its presence on shortlists for enterprises where advanced targeted threats are of concern.
- Stonesoft is not one of the top five vendors for specialized IPS appliance market share (see "Market Share: Enterprise Network Security Equipment and Routers, Worldwide, 2011").
- Stonesoft's visibility with Gartner clients is currently low for some geographies.
We review and adjust our inclusion criteria for Magic Quadrants and MarketScopes as markets change. As a result of these adjustments, the mix of vendors in any Magic Quadrant or MarketScope may change over time. A vendor appearing in a Magic Quadrant or MarketScope one year and not the next does not necessarily indicate that we have changed our opinion of that vendor. This may be a reflection of a change in the market and, therefore, changed evaluation criteria, or a change of focus by a vendor.
- NSFOCUS Information Technology
- Check Point has focused on sales of IPS within the firewall platform.
- NitroSecurity was acquired by McAfee (see "McAfee Enters the SIEM Market With NitroSecurity Acquisition").
- StillSecure no longer actively markets stand-alone IPS products. It is focused on its other security products.
Only products that met these criteria were included:
- Meet Gartner's definition of network IPS:
- Operate as an in-line network device that runs at wire speeds
- Perform packet normalization, assembly and inspection
- Apply rules based on several methodologies to packet streams, including (at a minimum) protocol anomaly analysis, signature analysis and behavior analysis
- Drop malicious sessions — they don't simply reset connections. The drop must not be a block of all subsequent user traffic.
- Have achieved network IPS product sales during the past year of more than $9 million within a customer segment that is visible to Gartner, and have at least 400 devices deployed under paid support with customers.
- Sell the product primarily as a stand-alone IPS.
Products and vendors were excluded if:
- They are in other product classes or markets (such as network behavior assessment [NBA] products or NAC products), are not IPS, and are covered in other Gartner research.
- They host IPS software on servers and workstations, rather than an in-line device on the network.
The Ability to Execute criteria (see Table 1) are:
- Product service and customer satisfaction in deployments. Performance in competitive assessments and having best-in-class detection and signature quality are highly rated. Competing effectively to succeed in a variety of customer placements.
- Overall business viability, including overall financial health and prospects for continuing operations.
- Sales execution and pricing including dollars per Gbps, revenue, average deal size, installed base and use by managed security service providers (MSSPs).
- Market responsiveness and track record. Delivering on planned new features.
- Market execution, including delivering on features and performance, customer satisfaction with those features, and those features winning out over competitors in selections. Delivering products, which are low-latency and multi-Gbps, have solid internal security, behave well under attack, have high availability, and are available ports that meet demands, are rated highly. Speed of vulnerability-based signature production, signature quality and dedicating internal resources to vulnerability discovery are highly rated.
- Customer experience and operations, including management experience and track record, and depth of staff experience, specifically in the security marketplace. Also important is low latency, rapid signature updates, overall low false-positive and false-negative rates, and how the product fared in attack events. Postdeployment customer satisfaction, where the IPS is actively managed, is a key criterion.
- Winning in highly competitive shortlists versus other IPS vendors is highly weighted.
Source: Gartner (July 2012)
The Completeness of Vision criteria (see Table 2) are:
- Market understanding and strategy. This includes providing the correct blend of detection and blocking technologies that meet and are ahead of the requirements for IPS. Innovation, forecasting customer requirements, having a vulnerability rather than exploit product focus, being ahead of competitors on new features and integration with other security solutions are highly rated. Also included is understanding and commitment to the security market and, more specifically, the network security market. Vendors that rely on third-party sources for signatures or have weak or "shortcut" detection technologies score lower.
- Sales strategy includes pre- and postproduct support, value for pricing, and providing clear explanations and recommendations for detection events.
- Offering strategy, with emphasis on product road map, signature quality, NGFW integration and performance. Successfully completing third-party testing, such as the NSS Group IPS tests and Common Criteria evaluations, are important. Vendors that reissue signatures, are over-reliant on behavioral detection and are slow to issue quality signatures do not score well.
- The business model includes the process and success rate for developing new features and innovation, and R&D spending.
- Vertical, industry and geographic strategy includes the ability and commitment to service geographies and vertical markets (for example, MSSP and the financial sector).
- Innovation, including R&D, and quality differentiators, such as performance, management interface and clarity of reporting. Features that are aligned with the realities of network operators, such as those that reduce "gray lists" (for example, reputation and correlation) are rated important. The road map should include moving IPS into new placement points and better-performing devices. NGIPS features are highly weighted.
Source: Gartner (July 2012)
Leaders demonstrate balanced progress and effort in all execution and vision categories. Their actions raise the competitive bar for all products in the market, and they can change the course of the industry. To remain Leaders, vendors must demonstrate a track record of delivering successfully in enterprise IPS deployments and in winning competitive assessments. Leaders produce products that embody NGIPS capabilities, provide high signature quality and low latency, are innovating with or ahead of customer challenges (such as using endpoint intelligence to make more-efficient detections) and have a range of models. Leaders continually win selections and are consistently visible on enterprise shortlists. However, a leading vendor is not a default choice for every buyer, and clients should not assume that they must buy only from vendors in the Leaders quadrant.
Challengers have products that address the typical needs of the market, with strong sales, large market share, visibility and clout that add up to higher execution than Niche Players. Challengers often succeed in established customer bases, but do not yet fare well in competitive selections or do not have robust NGIPS capabilities.
Visionaries invest in leading-/"bleeding"-edge features that will be significant in next-generation products, and that give buyers early access to improved security and management. Visionaries can affect the course of technological developments in the market, especially new NGIPS or novel anti-threat capabilities, but they lack the execution skills to outmaneuver Challengers and Leaders.
Niche Players offer viable solutions that meet the needs of some buyers, such as those in a particular geography or vertical market. Niche Players are less likely to appear on shortlists, but they fare well when given the right opportunities. Although they generally lack the clout to change the course of the market, they should not be regarded as merely following the Leaders. Niche Players may address subsets of the overall market (for example, the small and midsize business [SMB] segment or a vertical market), and they often do so more efficiently than Leaders. Niche Players frequently are smaller enterprises, produce only software appliances and/or do not yet have the resources to meet all enterprise requirements.
- Current users of network IPSs highly prioritize next-generation network IPS capabilities at refresh time.
- Current users of NGFWs look at a next-generation network IPS as an additional defense layer.
- Enterprises evaluating network IPS and firewall offerings for deployment in 2012 or later should develop migration strategies to products that can identify and mitigate advanced threats.
According to Gartner market research, the worldwide IPS market in 2011 for stand-alone appliances grew approximately 4.7% to $1.19 billion, whereas, overall, the network security equipment market grew by 6.3% (see "Market Share: Enterprise Network Security Equipment and Routers, Worldwide, 2011"). Data collected from vendors for this Magic Quadrant (independently from the market report we have cited) validates this range. This is below our previous estimates. Factors driving those estimates:
- The threat landscape is currently aggressive, but major IPS vendors were slow to address botnet and advanced target threats. Some spending that would have gone to IPS products went to advanced threat detection and network forensics products (see "Network Security Monitoring for Lean Forward Organizations").
- NGFWs are starting to impact the stand-alone IPS market as less innovative first-generation IPSs are absorbed into firewall refreshes, becoming part of NGFWs.
- As market penetration advances, growth as a percentage will flatten.
Considering these factors, Gartner forecasts that the end-user total spending for the 2012 IPS market will grow by approximately 4% over 2011, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for 2011 through 2016 of 2.5%.
NGIPS Is Here
IPS has had two primary performance drivers — the handling of the network traffic at near wire speeds, and the deep inspection of the traffic based on the signatures, rules and policy. The first generation of IPS was effectively a binary operation of "threat or no threat" based on signatures of known vulnerabilities. Rate-shaping and quality of service (QoS) were some of the first aspects that brought context to otherwise single-event views. As inspection depth has increased, digging deeper into the same silo of the traffic yields fewer benefits. This next generation of IPS does apply fuller stack inspection, but also applies new sources of intelligence to existing techniques:
- Correlation — Relating events to one another, internal and external to the IPS
- Context — Bringing information to bear to better understand the observations
- Content — Classifying executables
These advances are discussed in detail in "Defining Next-Generation Network Intrusion Prevention." Best-of-breed NGIPS is still found in stand-alone appliances, rather than NGFW. However, the gap is closing as NGFW IPS quality increases rapidly, and IPS vendors move to introduce NGFW.
More IPS Gets Absorbed by NGFW; However, the Stand-Alone IPS Market Will Persist
With the improvement in availability and quality of the IPS within NGFW, NGFW adoption reduces the need for network IPS in many enterprises. However, the stand-alone IPS market will persist to serve several scenarios:
- The incumbent firewall does not offer a viable NGFW option.
- Separation of the firewall and IPS is desired for organizational or operational reasons.
- A best-of-breed IPS is desired, meaning a stand-alone NGIPS is required.
- Niche designs for a placement where IPS is desired, but without a firewall.
Strategic Planning Assumptions
- Less than 10% of Internet connections today are secured using NGFWs. By year-end 2014, this will rise to 35% of the installed base, with 60% of new purchases being NGFWs.
- Today, 60% of enterprises have some stand-alone network IPS deployed. By year-end 2016, this will decline to 45% due to increased adoption of NGFW.
- Results, observations and selections of IPSs, as reported via inquiries by multiple analysts with Gartner clients
- A formal survey of IPS vendors
- Formal surveys of end-user references
- Product demonstrations
- Product briefings
Ability to Execute
Product/Service: Core goods and services offered by the vendor that compete in/serve the defined market. This includes current product/service capabilities, quality, feature sets, skills and so on, whether offered natively or through OEM agreements/partnerships as defined in the market definition and detailed in the subcriteria.
Overall Viability (Business Unit, Financial, Strategy, Organization): Viability includes an assessment of the overall organization's financial health, the financial and practical success of the business unit, and the likelihood that the individual business unit will continue investing in the product, will continue offering the product and will advance the state of the art within the organization's portfolio of products.
Sales Execution/Pricing: The vendor's capabilities in all presales activities and the structure that supports them. This includes deal management, pricing and negotiation, presales support, and the overall effectiveness of the sales channel.
Market Responsiveness and Track Record: Ability to respond, change direction, be flexible and achieve competitive success as opportunities develop, competitors act, customer needs evolve and market dynamics change. This criterion also considers the vendor's history of responsiveness.
Marketing Execution: The clarity, quality, creativity and efficacy of programs designed to deliver the organization's message to influence the market, promote the brand and business, increase awareness of the products, and establish a positive identification with the product/brand and organization in the minds of buyers. This "mind share" can be driven by a combination of publicity, promotional initiatives, thought leadership, word-of-mouth and sales activities.
Customer Experience: Relationships, products and services/programs that enable clients to be successful with the products evaluated. Specifically, this includes the ways customers receive technical support or account support. This can also include ancillary tools, customer support programs (and the quality thereof), availability of user groups, service-level agreements and so on.
Operations: The ability of the organization to meet its goals and commitments. Factors include the quality of the organizational structure, including skills, experiences, programs, systems and other vehicles that enable the organization to operate effectively and efficiently on an ongoing basis.
Completeness of Vision
Market Understanding: Ability of the vendor to understand buyers' wants and needs and to translate those into products and services. Vendors that show the highest degree of vision listen and understand buyers' wants and needs, and can shape or enhance those with their added vision.
Marketing Strategy: A clear, differentiated set of messages consistently communicated throughout the organization and externalized through the website, advertising, customer programs and positioning statements.
Sales Strategy: The strategy for selling products that uses the appropriate network of direct and indirect sales, marketing, service, and communication affiliates that extend the scope and depth of market reach, skills, expertise, technologies, services and the customer base.
Offering (Product) Strategy: The vendor's approach to product development and delivery that emphasizes differentiation, functionality, methodology and feature sets as they map to current and future requirements.
Business Model: The soundness and logic of the vendor's underlying business proposition.
Vertical/Industry Strategy: The vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of individual market segments, including vertical markets.
Innovation: Direct, related, complementary and synergistic layouts of resources, expertise or capital for investment, consolidation, defensive or pre-emptive purposes.
Geographic Strategy: The vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of geographies outside the "home" or native geography, either directly or through partners, channels and subsidiaries as appropriate for that geography and market.