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The Creme de la Creme of Cool

Gartner is a company specializing in IT research and advisory services, boasting more than 1,100 expert analysts coming from 26 countries, speaking 50 languages and covering 1,304 IT topics. Annually analysts nominate and select vendors from five different categories and publish what is called Cool...

Gartner is a company specializing in IT research and advisory services, boasting more than 1,100 expert analysts coming from 26 countries, speaking 50 languages and covering 1,304 IT topics.

Annually analysts nominate and select vendors from five different categories and publish what is called Cool Vendor Reports.

As of May 19, 2016, 88 Premium Reports were published; this means around 400 chosen vendors from various and varied segments within the IT Industry. This number is in an estimate culled from the Gartner website: each report has a maximum of five vendors per report. In fact many reports have four, and some have only three vendors.

The report itself is 7-8 pages long and costs, to an independent online viewer, $495 to download.

So what qualifies as being Cool?

VP at Gartner and Gartner Fellow Daryl Plummer says a Cool Vendor is “a vendor who is being highlighted for doing something unique and compelling in its space”. The Cool Vendor doesn’t have to be the “best” but they are the “most interesting to look at” and usually “influence the direction of things that they affect”.

Becoming a Cool Vendor.

“Vendors do not apply to become Cool Vendors. Instead, nominations come directly from Gartner analysts who are familiar with the topic area or market space and the vendor landscape. ”

This is according to Jim Hare, Research Director at Gartner and a member of the Gartner Blog Network.

And although Gartner keeps the criteria for nominating and selecting vendors strictly confidential, Hare, in the blog, gives some insight into process.

“Technology, use of technology, business model, transformative nature and newness”.

These are the five “areas” that the Cool Vendor Reports cover.

The challenge for the potential nominee-vendor is pitching for the appropriate research report. “The worse thing (almost) that could happen is that you are written up in the “wrong” Cool Vendor research.”

During the year long process, there are numerous interactions between the analyst/s during and a vendor, and it is up to the potential Cool Vendor to accurately access if its “coolness factor [is] relevant for that Cool Vendor report”.

Advantages of being a Cool Vendor – Gartner’s Emphasis on Partnering and Acquisition

Analyzing data from past Cool Vendor Reports Plummer states that a significant amount of past Cool Vendors are actually “acquired by larger player” over time. As important for some companies are strategic alliances. Here too decision makers might be influenced by reading a report regarding a potential partner.

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So for those companies who are looking for strategic alliances or acquiring a company to improve their own performance, these reports offer focused view on a small number of valid possibilities.

Five Cool Vendors to keep your eye on:

CellMining – Behavior Based Subscriber Network Analytics Technology

CellMining has developed “field-proven” ”subscriber-centric” technology to give 2G/3G/4G network providers valuable insight into their network as well as into their customers’ usage.

In February 2016, CellMining was selected by Bosnian mobile network operator M:tel. Miodrag Vojinovic, CTO of M:tel explains that “Mobile communications is a highly competitive business, and operators like ourselves are constantly striving to maintain subscriber loyalty by offering them the best possible user experience.”

CellMining was instrumental in “significant KPI improvements, enabling the operator to maximize network performance, reduce network operational costs and deliver an overall improved experience for its subscribers”.

The potential for a company that focuses on Mobile in emerging markets in limitless, as Eric Schmidt explains in “Why Smartphones Are So Important In Developing Countries”

For more information see how Google’s Eric Schmidt explains “how smartphones are dramatically changing the lives of those in developing countries.” (WorldPost’s Future of Work Conference)

Idomoo – Personalized Video, a new world of digital communication.

Idomoo are ahead of the curve. An established company already offering B2C and B2B solutions; allowing individuals as well as companies to use this ‘benchmark medium’ in a future where, Video will be the click-bait of choice for.

Added to this growing use of Video is Idomoo’s unique ability to Personalize Videos and to allow companies to scale with this capability.

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An example of the companies personal video capabilities can be found here.

LeadSpace – Predictive Anayltics

On Gartner’s Blog Network Todd Berkowitz writes about LeadSpace a vendor that was selected in the Tech Go To Market Report, 2016.

Leadspace was selected, among others, because they assist “SDRs, sales reps and marketers generate demand, enrich and prioritize accounts/leads from companies with a higher propensity to buy. They have a very cool virtual data management platform that drives their models and recommendations.”

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This agile company is interesting because they offer solutions to customers in a world where demand for quick responses and actionable information is paramount. Using external, continuously updated databases they offer individuals and companies critical real-time information.

Chirpify – True end to end social media marketing automation

While many B2C companies try leveraging the power of social media, Chirpify this year’s Cool Vendor in Social Marketing, 2016 developed a platform that allows these companies to move beyond brand awareness and growing their audience.

Chirpify’s ‘social loyalty’ platform is what they believe drives deeper customer relations which lead to maximized customer lifetime value.

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The platform is scalable and allows for “end to end social media marketing automation — from defining and listening for social triggers to rules based replies, and from frictionless conversion to data export. We give consumers an omni-channel remote control to seamlessly interact with brands, converting campaigns from across marketing channels into social action. “

Chirpify has made an impact in the hospitality sector helping the hotels like the Marriott enhance customer satisfaction by using this platform.

EdgeCase – Digital Merchandising

Another company dealing with customer satisfaction is Edgecase.

EdgeCase was selected in the Cool Vendors in Digital Commerce Marketing, 2016 as one of the companies that understand consumer expectation during their shopping experience.

This understanding comes from analyzing product data and this analysis leads them to offer actionable insights gained from “Enriched product data that connects your shopper with the products they’re actually looking for.” As they sum it up “Product Data Intelligence you can actually use”

By combining product data and consumer data they come up with a winning combination for making the shopping experience more relevant and efficient; thereby enhancing customer loyalty.

One Important Take-away – “Bypass, or be Bypassed”

Analyzing why a vendor is the cool can help any company, of any size, at any stage in development. Any company will gain insight and strategize how to ‘bypass competitors, and ignoring the reported facts might lead the company to be bypassed.”

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