Which Vendors Have Gotten Smart (Computing, That Is)?

Thirteen months ago, I introduced the concept of “Smart Computing,” which I predicted would drive the next big wave of technology innovation and growth in the 2008 to 2016 period (see December 4, 2009, "Smart Computing Drives The New Era of IT Growth"). Smart Computing involves the addition of new awareness technologies like RFID, sensors, and image recognition and new real-time analysis technologies, along with adoption of foundation technologies like service-oriented architectures, unified communications, virtualization, and cloud computing. Since then, I have been tracking the tech market for evidence that this is in fact happening.  

One key indicator I am watching is how many vendors have started to incorporate “Smart Computing” terms and language into their marketing, sales, and brand material.  This matters, because tech vendors will be the ones that translate the concepts embedded in Smart Computing into actual sales of solutions and products to clients, thereby generating the revenue growth that will cause the tech market to grow twice as fast as the economy as we expect.  In fact, that kind of tech market growth has been occurring, at least in the US (December 14, 2010, “US Tech Industry Outlook For 2011 -- 2011 Likely To Replay 2010's 8% Overall Domestic Growth Rate”).  But we want to see whether that strong growth is due to adoption of Smart Computing solutions, or other factors.

To measure whether tech vendors are absorbing and articulating the key concepts of smart computing, I conducted Google searches this week of the Web sites of 51 large or prominent tech vendors.*  Forty-five of these are the vendors whose quarterly revenues we track to see how the tech market is growing, such as IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, HP, Dell, Oracle, SAP, Motorola, Accenture, Adobe, Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, and others.  But we also included vendors who don’t provide quarterly revenues like Huawei, ZTE, and SAS Institute, or that we have not historically tracked as business-oriented tech vendors, like Apple and GE.  Using Google searches of content within each vendor’s website (instead of the search tools provided at the vendor’s sites), I counted the number of citations of words like “smart,” “intelligent,” and “real-time” as crude indicators of whether or not the vendor was talking the talk of Smart Computing.  For comparison, I also did a count of the number of citations of "cloud" at each vendor's website.  For the 51 vendors, I found a total of 189 thousand references to "smart," 88 thousand to "intelligent," 202 thousand to real-time, and 318 thousand to cloud. 

Table 1 shows the results for the 20 vendors with most citations of "smart," "intelligent," or "real-time."  Cisco and IBM are the top two in their use of these words, at twice the level of third place Microsoft.  CA and Accenture are the next most frequent users of the word “smart,” with SAP and Oracle being the fourth and fifth most frequent users of “intelligent” and Symantec and Oracle having similar rankings in the use of “real-time.”  Dell, HP, Motorola, and Siemens used “smart” more frequently than “intelligent” or “real-time, ” while SAP, SAS Institute, and Symantec used “intelligent” and “real-time” more often than “smart.”  GE did not rank in the top 20 in its use of any of these words, but “imagination” – which is part of GE’s brand slogan, and is somewhat similar to smart in meaning – had over 8,000 citations at the GE site.  If one considers "imagination" to be an equivalent to “smart,”  that count would put GE in fourth place on the "smart" list after Microsoft. 

 

Table 1: Number of Google citations of “Smart,” “intelligent,” or “real-time” at tech vendor websites

Rank

Vendor

Number of Google citations of “smart”

Vendor

Number of Google citations for “intelligent”

Vendor

Number of Google citations for “real-time”

1

Cisco

60,300

IBM

20,400

Cisco

49,100

2

IBM

45,600

Cisco

18,900

IBM

42,600

3

Microsoft

25,900

Microsoft

9,050

Microsoft

23,700

4

CA

8,120

SAP

4,930

Symantec

13,900

5

Accenture

6,110

Oracle

4,060

Oracle

13,400

6

Oracle

5,630

Symantec

4,020

Adobe

7,980

7

Motorola

4,910

SAS Institute

2,830

Motorola

6,340

8

Dell

4,310

Adobe

2,540

SAS Institute

5,900

9

HP

3,510

Motorola

2,430

SAP

5,520

10

Adobe

3,060

Dell

1,920

Apple

5,230

11

Apple

2,430

Siemens

1,620

salesforce.com

3,160

12

Fujitsu

2,280

Fujitsu

1,570

Fujitsu

2,580

13

Symantec

2,140

Avaya

1,480

Accenture

2,560

14

Siemens

1,920

Apple

1,350

Dell

2,490

15

SAS Institute

1,912

Huawei

1,230

HP

2,250

16

SAP

1,690

HP

1,120

Infosys

2,000

17

Infosys

1,130

Alcatel

994

CA

1,620

18

Xerox

1,050

CA

920

Avaya

1,330

19

Ericsson

856

EMC

852

Informatica

1,320

20

Capgemini

727

Accenture

805

Siemens

1,230

 

Because of the equivalency in meaning (at least for these purposes) of the words “smart,” “intelligent,” and “real-time, ” I totaled the counts of these words for each of the vendor.  Using this total, Cisco, IBM, and Microsoft are the top three vendors who have embraced Smart Computing-related concepts, followed by Oracle, Symantec,  Motorola, Adobe, SAP, CA, and Accenture rounding out the top 10.  Apple, Dell, HP, Fujitsu, and SAS Institute make up the next set of five.  Only Fujitsu among the Japanese and Chinese vendors appears in the top 20, and only Infosys among the Indian services vendors (see Table 2).

 

Table 2: Combined total of Google citations of “Smart,” “intelligent,” and/or “real-time” at tech vendor websites

Rank

Vendor

Total number of Google citations of “smart,” “intelligent,” or “real-time”

1

Cisco

128,300

2

IBM

108,600

3

Microsoft

58,650

4

Oracle

23,090

5

Symantec

20,060

6

Motorola

13,680

7

Adobe

13,580

8

SAP

12,140

9

CA

10,660

10

Accenture

9,475

11

Apple

9,010

12

Dell

8,720

13

HP

6,880

14

Fujitsu

6,430

15

SAS Institute

5,547

16

Siemens

4,770

17

salesforce.com

3,647

18

Infosys

3,489

19

Avaya

3,355

20

Alcatel

2,804

                                       

Most of these are large vendors, with many lines of business and consequently large amounts of content on their websites for these various businesses.  To adjust for this factor, I then calculated the number of Google citations of the words “smart,” “intelligent”, and/or “real-time” for every $1 billion in vendor revenues.  That ranking shows several smaller vendors – including several SaaS vendors – in the top 10, including NetSuite, RightNow, Informatica, salesforce.com, and TIBCO.  Among the larger vendors, Adobe and Symantec are ahead of Cisco, and CA and SAS Institute are ahead of IBM, Microsoft, SAP, or Oracle (see Table 3).

 

Table 3: Adjusting the combined total of Google citations of “Smart,” “intelligent,” and/or “real-time” at tech vendor websites by vendor revenues                          

 

Rank

Vendor

Total number of Google citations of “smart”, “intelligent”, or “real-time”  per
$1 billion in 2010 revenues

1

NetSuite

2,088

2

Adobe

1,191

3

RightNow

1,145

4

Symantec

1,100

5

Cisco

1,014

6

Informatica

817

7

CA

800

8

SAS Institute

740

9

salesforce.com

739

10

TIBCO

434

11

IBM

365

12

Motorola

340

13

Ultimate Software

325

14

Microsoft

297

15

SAP

250

16

Oracle

234

17

Avaya

215

18

Infosys

204

19

Accenture

142

20

Unisys

95

 

The problem with simple word counts is that they include uses of these words in context different from smart computing – for example, “our product integrates with many smart phones;” or “we value the many intelligent clients who bought our products.”  Sifting through the references to “smart” or “intelligent” or “real-time” at the 51 vendors’ websites, we found only four vendors whose major or core marketing messages embraced these concepts – IBM, with Smarter Planet;  Cisco, with Smart+Connected Communities; CA with its sponsorshop of Smart Enterprise magazine for clients; and Capgemini, with its use of intelligent workplace and intelligent enterprise.  If one considers GE's use of the tag line "Imagination at Work" to be equivalent to smart or intelligent, GE would be a fifth.  Another dozen vendors incorporated smart or intelligent at the product level (for example, Motorola, Siemens, Avaya, Infosys, Xerox, Oracle, and TCS), or used the weaker term “real-time” instead of smart or intelligent in their main marketing messages (e.g., NetSuite, TIBCO, Pegasystems).  The rest of the 51 tech vendors that we analyzed have yet to bring the concepts of smart computing into their core marketing messages (Table 4).

Table 4:  The Vendors Who Have Gotten “Smart”

Vendor

Use Smart, Intelligent or Real-time in Main Marketing Messages

Language used

IBM

Yes

Smarter Planet

Cisco

Yes

Smart-Connected Building, Smart+Connected Communities, Smart Business Architecture

CA

Yes

Smart Enterprise magazine

Capgemini

Yes

Create your intelligent enterprise; "Intelligent Workplace"

Motorola Sort of Motorola Smart Branch, Intelligent Transportation System

Lenovo

Sort of

Whatever you do, Lenovo can help you do it better, smarter, faster

NetSuite

Sort of

Real-time management for global businesses, 'real-time dashboard'

TIBCO Software

Sort of

Enable rapid change and real-time analytics

Siemens

Sort of

Intelligent sensors, intelligent meters, intelligent traffic management

Avaya

Sort of

Avaya Smart Finder, Avaya Intelligent Customer Routing

Infosys

Sort of

Smart Integrator, Smart Merchandizing

Xerox Company

Sort of

Smart eSolutions, Smart documents

Pegasystems

Sort of

Visualize business improvement in real-time

GE

Sort of

Imagination at work

Oracle

Sort of

Oracle Smart Space, Hyperion Smart View

Tata Consulting Services

Sort of

Smart Store, Smart Grid, Smart Metering

SAS Institute

Sort of

Smart Business with SAS; Smart Growth: High Performance and Sustainability Through Analytics

I plan to repeat this exercise in six and twelve months, to see whether more vendors are getting smart

________________________________________________

*The full list of vendors that we searched are: Accenture, Adobe, Alcatel, Amdocs, Apple, Atos/Origin , Avaya, BMC, CA, Capgemini, CGI, Cisco, Cognizant, CSC, Dell, EMC, Ericsson, Fujitsu, GE, Getronics, HP, Hitachi, Huawei, IBM, Informatica, Infosys, Lenovo, Microsoft, Motorola , NEC , NetApp, NetSuite, Nokia, NTT Data, Oracle, Pegasystems, RightNow, salesforce.com, SAP, SAS Institute, Siemens, Symantec, Tata Consulting Services, TIBCO Software, T-Systems, Ultimate Software, Unisys, Wipro, Xerox Company, and ZTE.

Comments

Smarter, more Intelligent Analysis

Andrew,
To make us all smarter and more intelligent in real-time, it would be useful to do more with the direction that you started in Table 4. Simple word counts are probably not as meaningful as evaluating the actual value positioning presented by each company. With their focus on networking, Cisco talks about communicating information instantly. IBM focuses on transforming enterprises to be able to act quickly on vast amounts of information. Both companies provide "real-time" information, but in this example the meaning of time compression is vastly different.