Gartner has tweaked its approach to its e-commerce Magic Quadrants to reflect the consolidation taking place between B2B and B2C e-commerce solutions providers, and customer interest in selecting one solution equipped with B2B and B2C e-commerce functionality. The research firm has combined its Magic Quadrants for B2B e-commerce and partner management with its Magic Quadrant for B2C e-commerce, and unveiled "Magic Quadrant for E-Commerce, 4Q06," slotting ATG and IBM WebSphere Commerce as leaders of the evolving space.
Some of the characteristics needed to place in this leaders quadrant are the ability to demonstrate the greatest degree of support for B2B and B2C Internet sales, and demonstrate customer satisfaction, strong support, and professional services leading to the implementation of a successful e-commerce site, according to Gartner.
While ATG surpassed IBM in terms of completeness of vision, IBM trumps ATG in ability to execute. ATG, which acquired eStara (a provider of VoIP-enabled click to call, click to chat, and call tracking offerings) in 2006, is known primarily for its strengths in e-commerce and e-service. "Because many B2B sites have shifted to enabling consumer shopping capabilities, ATG's core e-commerce functions have positioned ATG to support B2C and B2B sites," writes Gene Alvarez, Gartner research vice president and report author. "ATG's scenario server is appealing in B2B and B2C models because it enables the ability to navigate customers through the buying process." While the report also notes that ATG continues to close new deals and is often on the clients' short lists, it "lacks some unique B2B capabilities and may require other best-of-breed components."
IBM placed in the leaders quadrant thanks to its proven ability in B2C and B2B implementation and because of its support for operational e-commerce environments, according to Alvarez. "However, IBM's main strength is its B2C capabilities and it can require additional components, such as lead management capabilities, to complete a B2B implementation," the report states.
Comergent Technologies, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP, were classified as challengers, while BroadVision, ClickCommerce, Digital River, Intershop, and Macrovision, were positioned in the niche players quadrant. Seven vendors were removed from this evaluation: Azerity, Blue Martini, Commerce 5, NetSuite, Onyx Software, Pivotal Software, and Siebel Systems. Azerity, Blue Martini, Onyx Software, and Pivotal Software lost their position because they were acquired and no longer meet the inclusion criteria, according to the report. Commerce 5 and Siebel were removed because they were acquired and combined with the solution of another technology provider that is mentioned in the report (Commerce 5 was acquired by Digital River and Siebel by Oracle). NetSuite was removed because it's a SaaS provider that will be covered in future e-commerce SaaS research.
"Gone are the days when organizations could compare their Web site with only those within their given industry." The report states. "Instead, customers--whether B2B, B2B2C or B2C--compare user experiences from consumer sites with business sites, and these customers seek the same capabilities from all the sites they visit. This is driving many B2B sites to offer B2C capabilities, and the same applies to B2C sites requiring B2B capabilities. Gartner no longer sees merit in buying only a B2C or B2B solution for Internet sales alone, because many functions have become able to support B2B and B2C sales processes. Moreover, the technology providers now provide, in essence, the best of both worlds for functions, such as creation and management of Web storefronts, shopping cart management, taxation, personalization, transaction management, settlement, product visualization, and can support key operational components to all e-commerce endeavors."
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