Thanks to the incredible investment and innovation in marketing and IT technologies in recent years, today’s executives have more options than ever to get advice on investing in software to run their business. With so many choices in the marketplace, independent analysts have become more important than ever for identifying key vendors to engage with.

Since its founding in 1983, Forrester Research has become one of the most respected voices in the analyst community. As one of the first research reports to use an objective, transparent analysis to score groups of industry competitors, The Forrester WaveTM has earned the trust of thousands of enterprises.

What is The Forrester WaveTM, and how have businesses been able to use it to more successfully navigate vendor selection?

History of The Forrester WaveTM

Forrester first started publishing Wave reports 16 years ago. After Forrester’s 2001 launch of TechRankings (its most successful product launch at the time, with 300 clients signing up for its first year), the Wave was created as a way for enterprises to better understand the state of the market in emerging areas of technology.

The Forrester WaveTM represented a unique way of comparing vendors, using fully-accessible, transparent criteria to score each industry’s top vendors, then displaying them according to strength of current product offerings, strategy, and market size. In 2003, one year after the Wave launched in 2002, 30 Wave reports were generated — but the number of enterprise technologies has swelled, and so has the number of Wave reports

Forrester publishes the Wave evaluation to help its clients make technology purchasing decisions. Unlike many similar evaluations, every Wave has a downloadable spreadsheet which shows the evaluation details, and which Forrester encourages clients to use as they make their own decisions.

How To Read The Forrester WaveTM Graphic

While each Forrester WaveTM report consists of several components, including analysis summaries as well as scoring rubrics and individual competitor scorecards, perhaps the most iconic part of the report is the Wave graphic itself.

Forrester WaveTM diagrams are divided into different shades of blue that represent relative market positions: Challengers, Contenders, Strong Performers, and Leaders. Based on their strategy and product scores, providers are positioned to give an easy, visual way to understand where they stand in relation to one another.

All companies in the Wave are recognized by Forrester as top performers in the marketplace, something that is referenced in the report sub-title (“the providers that matter most…and how they stack up”). “Leaders” are companies that have a generally robust and differentiated product offering and strategy. We believe it’s important, however, for businesses to look beyond the “Leaders” category to find which vendor has the best capabilities for their use cases. “Strong Performers” are are also important market options with a strong competitive foothold.

Nuxeo sees “Contenders” and “Challengers” as businesses that score less strongly across the
broad range of criteria Forrester evaluates (or, in some cases, former “Leaders” or “Strong Performers” who’ve fallen behind). Nuxeo believes that companies in these bands may have gaps in their strategic vision or product offering, but may also be more suited for specific use cases.

Each dot on the graph represents one product in the evaluated technology area. Each axis represents a different aspect of Forrester’s analysis. Companies positioned higher on the graphic have higher scores (that typically correspond to a more robust features list) for their current product offerings than those positioned below. Dots that are further to the right represent companies with higher scores for strategic and product vision for the direction of the market and their product.

The size of dots on the graphic reflect the market presence – often the revenue and number of customers for the product. A small dot can appear anywhere on the graphic, sometimes even scoring higher than larger vendors on both current offerings and future strategy.

Forrester Wave Methodology

By making its scoring criteria objective and asking the same questions of each vendor, The Forrester WaveTM ensures that vendors are compared on an apples-to-apples basis. Forrester analysts start each Wave by researching and identifying vendors in the technology category.

After deciding that the technology category is mature enough and generates sufficient buyer interest to make a Wave report useful, the research analyst creates objective vendor inclusion criteria, as well as scoring rubrics that will help customers to differentiate between competing products.

After finalizing the evaluation criteria, Forrester distributes questionnaires to all vendors who qualify for inclusion. In addition to completing these questionnaires, competitors give product demonstrations and strategy briefings to Forrester researchers, helping them to better understand the present state and strategic roadmap for each product offering evaluated. To verify the capabilities of each vendor, Forrester also conducts interviews with reference customers.

After reviewing the information gathered during the research phase, the Forrester analyst gauges what “best-in-class” looks like for each evaluation criterion. Vendors are then scored against best-in-class capabilities for every evaluated area. Subscores are weighted according to importance to create overall scores for current offering and strategy, and the products are then positioned accordingly.

Nuxeo in Forrester’s Research

This year, for the first time, Nuxeo is part of The Forrester WaveTM: Digital Asset Management (DAM) For Customer Experience, Q2 2018. According to the objective Wave evaluation criteria, Nuxeo ranks as a “Strong Performer,” a position we’re especially proud of because it’s our first year being evaluated.

In the days and weeks to come, we’ll be taking a deep dive into some of the product features evaluated by the Forrester WaveTM, including scalability, workflows, analytics, and localization. It’s exciting for the Nuxeo Platform to be included in the group of select products evaluated by Forrester Research for the Wave — but it’s not the first time Nuxeo has appeared on Forrester’s radar.

Nuxeo’s inclusion in Forrester’s DAM Vendor Landscape in 2016 and 2017 made us proud: we believed that Forrester has perceived Nuxeo’s digital asset management product offering to be gaining traction with customers in multiple industries.

Nuxeo’s position in the Vendor Landscape may have been bolstered by a shift that Forrester perceived in how companies view DAM products: while digital asset management was once relegated to a sidelined position, the 2017 Vendor Landscape report notes that today’s content demands put DAM in the center of the enterprise marketing ecosystem.

Forrester noted several trends, including cloud technologies and analytics capabilities, in its DAM Vendor Landscape 2017. As a platform built completely on cloud-native technologies, with an API-first architecture, Nuxeo has created a solution that anticipates vendor needs for a rapid-deployment solution that empowers analytics while hyperscaling to accommodate the exploding amount of content being created in most enterprises today.

As Nuxeo continues to grow into a leader in empowering companies to manage their digital assets, we’ll be keeping an eye on Forrester — and we hope you will, too.