Vendor selection and management is a growing issue for many organizations, especially in areas in which suppliers have traditionally been taken for granted. When an organization procures PCs, the purchase decision should not be based on a single parameter, such as price. Instead, the decision should be made after evaluating a range of parameters as part of a comprehensive vendor selection process. Poor vendor selection brings unexpected consequences to an organization: poor service levels, additional costs and a potential requirement to change vendors (hence, starting the selection process again).
Gartner’s Magic Quadrants (MQs) help organizations select a desktop or notebook vendor using evaluations against a range of measures, including each vendor’s market position, service capabilities and commitment to future business. Each MQ ranks PC vendors against two main categories of criteria: ability to execute and completeness of vision.
The PC market is not homogeneous. Instead, it consists of many different vertical sectors and geographic regions — each of which imposes its own unique requirements and characteristics on purchase decisions. Small buyers need different types of services than those provided to high-volume multinational organizations; government users typically impose a higher burden of regulatory compliance than commercial customers. And, of course, notebooks differ from desktop PCs. Gartner’s PC MQs provide a frame of reference for vendor selection in a number of key market segments: global enterprise, the U.S. public sector and the Western European midsize business sector.
Comparing the results of the different MQs provides some surprising results. Although Dell, HP and IBM (the global leaders) are positioned in the top-right leaders quadrant in most of the MQs, we see that other vendors are viable contenders in different segments and geographical areas. These “others” are often where we perceive the most scope for change or improvement, which might mean the best deal for buyers. MPC is little known outside the United States, but within the United States it is one of the leading suppliers of PCs to federal government customers. Similarly, Acer is a bit player in the U.S. market, but it is one of the most viable vendors for supplying notebook PCs to small-business customers in Western Europe.
Taking your vendor for granted will probably result in substandard levels of service, but it is even more important to make sure the vendor makes no unfair assumptions regarding the permanence of its supply position. Our MQs will not provide complete guidance for every buyer’s PC requirement, but will offer a frame of reference for many PC vendor selection processes and decisions.
"Criteria for Desktop and Notebook PC Magic Quadrants, 2H04" — Magic Quadrants help assure that you find a PC supplier that provides comprehensive support and is financially stable. By Federica Troni, Mikako Kitagawa and Aleks Fromzel
"Magic Quadrant for Global Enterprise Desktop PCs, 2H04" and "Magic Quadrant for Global Enterprise Notebook PCs, 2H04" — Magic Quadrants assist large-business customers in finding high-volume vendors for global or regional PC purchases. By Federica Troni, Mikako Kitagawa, Brian Gammage, Leslie Fiering and Aleks Fromzel
"MQs for Government Desktop PCs, United States, 2H04" and "MQs for Government Notebook PCs, United States, 2H04" — Purchasers of desktop and notebook PCs for use by federal, state and municipal government agencies in the United States can use Magic Quadrants to evaluate vendors. By Mikako Kitagawa, Leslie Fiering and Aleks Fromzel
"Magic Quadrant: Notebook PCs for Midsize Businesses in Western Europe, 2H04" — Midsize businesses in Western Europe can use a Magic Quadrant to evaluate leading notebook PC vendors.
By Federica Troni, Brian Gammage and Aleks Fromzel
"MarketScope: Desktop PCs for Midsize Businesses in Europe, 2004" — Desktop PCs for the midsize-business segment in Western Europe have reached near-commodity status so nearly any machine may do, but it's important to evaluate service and support when selecting a vendor. By Federica Troni, Brian Gammage and Aleks Fromzel
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