Research firms play a vital role in the point of sale (POS) and auto ID industries. They study businesses and technologies to provide valuable insights that help buyers make informed decisions on their purchases and help vendors create POS and Auto ID systems that the buyers need.
This article will cover four of the top analyst firms for the POS and Auto ID industry (no specific order): VDC Research, Gartner, Inc., Juniper Research, and IHL Services. Be sure to catch both Part 1 and Part 2 of the article for full coverage of these companies.
VDC Research is based in Natick, Massachusetts and has been analyzing auto ID and POS transaction automation practice for 25 years now. Their clients include the leaders and innovators in the POS and auto ID field, as well as investors.
They specialize in syndicating research reports in the RFID, retail automation, barcode and self- service technology markets as well as providing marketing support and customized research and consulting services. Their reports are segmented and organized into multi-volume tracks, each of which concentrates on a different theme. Their insights are not just limited to the theoretical; they pride themselves in creating reports that are practical and actionable.
They provide vendor profiles, as well as detailed analyses on supply and demand, estimates and forecasts, market segmentations and definitions, end-user requirements, technological trends, value chains and distribution channels. They offer valuable data to help executives understand their target market, identify opportunities for growth, and strategize ways to increase revenue and market share. They also provide data for investors so they can make educated decisions regarding investments.
You can find out more about them at www.vdcresearch.com.
Gartner, Inc. was started in 1979 and is based in Stamford, Connecticut. Gartner helps to improve businesses with their consulting services using insights, problem-solving methods, data and experience. They are known for their innovative methods in analyzing the POS and auto ID industries, most notably their use of unique visualization of market analysis reports such as magic quadrants and hype cycles.
Magic quadrants rank vendors based on two criteria: completeness of vision and ability to execute. Vendors that score high on both are considered Leaders in their field and are bigger businesses that have vision and potential for expansion. Companies that rate high on the ability to execute but low on vision are called Challengers and are large businesses that are established but have few future plans for growth and innovation. Businesses that score high on vision but low on their ability to execute are called Visionaries and are up-and-coming smaller companies that have big potential in the future. Vendors that rank low on both are called Niche Players and are usually very new.
Hype cycle is a term they coined and is a graphical demonstration of the hype that a new technology experiences when it first comes to market. They theorize that when technologies first come out, the initial publicity creates overenthusiasm and unrealistic expectations, which leads to a subsequent disappointment when the technology fails to meet these expectations. As the press and the public’s interest in it die down, businesses continue to improve on the technology and eventually it becomes more stable and widely accepted.
Gartner has grown and acquired several related firms, such as Dataquest (now their marketing research department), Real Decisions (now called Gartner Measurement and part of their consulting department), NewScience, Meta Group, AMR Research and Burton Group. They have become a publicly-traded company that has 4,300 employees, 1,200 of which work in research and development.
You can learn more about them at www.gartner.com.