In-Depth

Redmond Third-Party Reader's Choice Awards: The Big Grow Bigger

Vendor consolidation is leading IT pros to favor fewer players, according to this year's annual Redmond Third-Party Reader's Choice Awards.

Some of the largest third-party IT vendors in the Microsoft ecosystem appear to be taking a bigger piece of the pie. Though large suppliers supporting key Microsoft software, services and now even hardware, have always owned the largest portion of enterprise customers' wallets, this year IT pros are showing a preference toward a concentrated number of players, according to the annual Redmond magazine 2014 Third-Party Reader's Choice Awards.

Dell Inc. stood out by far as the most favored vendor, according to this year's survey, placing in 43 of 70 categories. While that's nearly double last year's 22, it bears noting that we introduced a fourth award. In the past there was a winner and two runners up; this year there's an additional medalist, so to speak. Nevertheless, Dell dominated this year, with No. 2 Symantec Corp. showing 25 times. Dell also took top honors in 14 categories, double last year's seven.

Bolstering Dell, of course, comes on the heels of dozens of acquisitions in recent years, including its $2.4 billion buyout of Quest Software in 2012. Deal-making also has helped other big winners in this year's survey, including Cisco Systems Inc., EMC Corp., IBM Corp, SolarWinds, Cisco Systems Inc. and VMware Inc. But several players not on the acquisition bandwagon also performed consistently strong this year, including Hewlett Packard Co., Symantec and Veeam Software. Yet it appears Dell's surge this year could be the company's strong overlay in a wide variety of areas including its growing software business surrounding Windows, SharePoint, System Center, SQL Server and virtual server and cloud management, combined with its foray into new areas such as security and networking. In published reports, Dell has said it has seen healthy growth nearly one year after the company's $25 billion deal to go private.

Just like last year, we e-mailed Redmond magazine's circulation database of 100,000 readers, covering all known vendors in each category except for Microsoft to gauge what "third-party" software, hardware and services were most favored for working with and in support of Microsoft's flagship offerings. The two exceptions were in the browser and tablet categories, where we wanted to see how Internet Explorer and Surface stacked up these days.

Irrespective of who won or showed up in this year's Third-Party Reader's Choice Awards, 82 percent of the 673 respondents said they're generally satisfied with their suppliers. Only 10 percent say they're going to ditch their vendor, while 8 percent say their suppliers are difficult to do business with. Readers cited richer offerings that require less manual intervention, more responsive customer service and competitive pricing and licensing terms. When asked their biggest frustrations, respondents pointed to high maintenance fees, fine print in licensing terms, turnover and lack of customization, while several said they'd like to see improved and more consistent service levels.

Select Category:



Category

Platinum

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Network and Infrastructure Management

Network and Systems Management

Cisco Prime LAN Management Solution

SolarWinds Network Management Software

Oracle Enterprise Manager

IBM Tivoli NetView

Applications Performance Management

Server & Application Manager
SolarWinds Inc.

TIE:
Foglight
Dell Inc.

IBM Tivoli Monitoring/Tivoli Composite

 

HP Applications Management Services

Systems Performance Management

Server & Application Monitor
SolarWinds Inc.

Operations Manager
Hewlett-Packard Co.

OpenManage Systems Management Tools
Dell Inc.

IBM Tivoli Business
Service Manager

General Network Monitoring Tool

Syslog Analyzer Collector
Cisco Systems Inc.

Network Topology Mapper
SolarWinds Inc.

OpenManage Network Manager
Dell Inc.

ipMonitor
SolarWinds Inc.

Remote Monitoring Management/IT Control Management

PacketTrap
Dell Software

N-central
N-able by SolarWinds Inc.

Kaseya Platform

GFI MAX RemoteManagement

Mobile Device Management Provider

VMware Inc. (AirWatch)

Citrix Systems Inc.

BlackBerry Ltd.

IBM Corp.

Bandwidth/Traffic Monitoring

NetFlow Traffic Analyzer
SolarWinds Inc.

WhatsUpGold
Ipswitch Inc.

Observer
Network Instruments

ScriptLogic
Dell Inc.

Web Usage Monitor

Barracuda Web Filter

WebWatcher
Awareness Technologies

GFI WebMonitor

SurfControl Web Filter
Websense Inc.

Asset Management

HP Asset Manager

Desktop Authority Management Suite
Dell Software

Kaseya Discovery & Inventory

TIE:
CA IT Asset Manager

Symantec Asset
Management Suite

License Management

Dell KACE Software Asset Management Solution

Symantec Asset Management Suite

Tivoli License Compliance Manager
IBM Corp.

TIE:
CA IT Asset Manager

Remedy IT Asset Management
BMC Software Inc.

Compliance Tool

Change Auditor
Dell Inc.

Log & Event Manager
SolarWinds Inc.

vCenter Configuration Manager
VMware Inc.

Compliance Management Platform
NetIQ Corp.

SQL Tool

Toad DBA Suite for SQL Server
Dell Software

LiteSpeed for SQL Server
Dell Software

SQL Admin Toolset
Idera Inc.

Zero Impact SQL Monitor
SQL Power Tools Inc.

SharePoint Tools/Services

Webtrends Analytics for SharePoint

Site Administrator for SharePoint
Dell Inc.

Syncplicity Connector for SharePoint
EMC Corp.

Change Auditor/Quick Apps
Dell Inc.

Software Distribution

Symantec Deployment Solution

Tivoli NetView Distribution Manager
IBM Corp.

Desktop Authority Management Suite
Dell Inc.

Acronis Snap Deploy

Installation and Deployment

Software Packaging

ChangeBASE
Dell Inc.

WinINSTALL
Scalable Software Inc.

InstallShield/ AdminStudio
Flexera Software LLC

Smart Pacakager
Scalable Software Inc.

Imaging Software

Symantec Ghost Solution Suite

Acronis True Image

Hard Disk Manager Suite

Symantec Client Management Suite

Migration Tool

Migration Manager
Dell Software

Symantec Deployment Solution

Symantec Client Management Suite

Acronis Snap Deploy

Administration Tools

Server Migration Tool

vSphere vMotion
VMware Inc.

vCenter Converter
VMware Inc.

Symantec Server Management Suite

Migration Manager
Dell Software

Group Policy Manager

Symantec Control Compliance Suite

Group Policy Administrator
NetIQ Corp.

Active Administrator
Dell Software

Netwrix Auditor

Disk Defragmentation and Drive Monitoring Tool

Acronis Disk Director Suite

Netwrix Disk Space Monitor
Netwrix Corp.

Diskeeper
Condusiv Technologies Corp.

Acronis Disk Director Server

Remote Client Management and Troubleshooting Solution

LogMeIn Pro

Symantec Client Management Suite

Desktop Authority
Dell Software

Veeam ONE Monitor

Network Automation/Batch Processing Tool

Network Automation
Hewlett-Packard Co.

N-central
N-able, a Solarwinds Company

Kaseya Virtual System Administrator

AutoMate
Help Systems LLC (Formerly Network Automation Inc.)

Scripting Tool

VI Toolkit for Windows
VMware Inc.

PowerGUI
Dell Software

Desktop Authority
Dell Software

PowerShell Plus
Idera Inc.

Patch Management

Dell KACE K1000 Management Appliance

Tivoli Endpoint Manager for Patch Management
IBM Corp.

Desktop Authority
Dell Software

Patch Manager
LANDesk

Application-Conflict Testing Tool

Desktop Authority Dell Software

Application Conflict Management
Raynet GmbH

WinINSTALL
Scalable Software Corp.

InstallShield/AdminStudio
Flexera Software LLC

Hardware-Based Firewall

Cisco ASA 5500 Series

Dell SonicWALL Next Generation Firewall

Barracuda Spam Firewall

Cisco PIX Series

Security

Software-Based Firewall

Symantec Endpoint Protection

Kaspersky Internet Security

Endpoint Security
Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.

Deep Discovery
Trend Micro Inc.

Security Auditor

Symantec Control Compliance

Enterprise Reporter
Dell Software

McAfee Policy Auditor
Intel Corp.

Security Explorer
Dell Software

Intrusion Detection System

Cisco Catalyst Intrusion Detection System

Symantec Sygate Enterprise Protection

BIG-IP Application Security Manager
F5 Networks Inc.

McAfee Network Security Manager
Intel Corp.

Intrusion Protection System

Sourcefire Next-Generation IPS
Cisco Systems Inc.

Baracuda Web Application Firewall

Unified Threat Management
Sophos Ltd.

McAfee Host Intrusion Prevention
Intel Corp.

Smart Card/Biometric/Two-Factor Authentication

RSA SecureID
EMC Corp.

Defender
Dell Software

DigitalPersona Pro

DigitalPersona Online

Spam/Content Filters

Barracuda Spam Firewall

Dell SonicWALL Email Security

Symantec Messaging Gateway

Symantec Mail Security

Anti-Virus Tool

Symantec Endpoint Protection

McAfee Total Protection
McAfee Inc.
Intel Corp.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus

AVG AntiVirus Business Edition
AVG Technologies

Anti-Spyware Tool

Symantec Endpoint Protection

AVG Antivirus
AVG Technologies

Kaspersky Anti-Virus

McAfee Total Protection
Intel Corp.

Activity Monitoring

GFI WebMonitor

Proofpoint Enterprise Governance

ObserveIT Enterprise

Spectator 360
SpectorSoft Corp.

Active Directory Provisioning/Administration

Spotlight on Active Directory
Dell Software

NetIQ Directory and Resource Administrator

ADManager Plus
ManageENgine, a division of Zoho Corp.

LDAP Admin
Tool Professional LDAPSoft Corp.

Identity Access/SSO Software

Enterprise Single Sign-On
Dell Software

CA IdentityMinder

IBM Security Identity and Access Manager

RSA Identity and Access Management
EMC Corp.

Storage and Backup

Backup Software

Symantec Backup Exec

Veeam Backup & Replication

Symantec NetBackup

Acronis True Image

Storage Management Software

OnCommand Data Management Software
NetApp

Foglite for Storage Management
Dell Software

Storage Essentials
Hewlett-Packard Co.

Symantec CommandCentral Storage

Clustering/Failover

vSphere Fault Tolerance
VMware Inc.

Symantec Cluster Server

EMC AutoStart

Symantec Storage Foundation High Availability

ADC/Load Balancers

NetScaler VPX
Citrix Systems Inc.

Barracuda Load Balancer ADC

BIG-IP
F5 Networks Inc.

Brocade ADX Series

Training and Certification

Exam Prep Vendor

Cisco Press

Kaplan IT Learning

CBT Nuggets

PrepLogic

Online, Disk or Instructor-Led Training

Global Knowledge Training LLC

CBT Nuggets

Cisco Press

Kaplan IT Learning

Microsoft Certification-Based Boot Camp

Global Knowledge Training LLC

TIE:
CBT Planet
Real MCSE Bootcamps
ATG Learning

 

Certification Camps

Application Virtualization

ThinApp
VMware Inc.

XenApp
Citrix Systems Inc.

vWorkspace
Dell Software

ZENworks Application Virtualization
Novell Inc.

Virtualization

Virtual Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Veeam Backup & Replication

Symantec Disaster Recovery Advisor

Symantec System Recovery Server Edition

Dell AppAssure Replay VRA

Virtual Management/Optimization

eG VM Monitor for VMware
eG Innovations

Veeam Management Pack for System Center

Virtualization Manager
SolarWinds Inc.

IBM Systems Director

Storage Virtualization and Management

NetApp Data ONTAP 8/V-Series Systems

Network Storage Server
FalconStor Software Inc.

Emulex HBAs

SANsymphony-V
DataCore Software

Virtualization Training Vendor

Global Knowledge Training LLC

NetCom Learning

Intense School and InfoSec Institute

LiveAmmo

Virtual Server

vSphere
VMware Inc.

ESXi
VMware Inc.

XenServer
Citrix Systems Inc.

VMware Server

Virtual Server Add-Ons

Veeam Backup & Replication

Dell AppAssure Replay Hyper-V

Acronis Backup Advanced

Veeam ONE Monitor

Virtual PC

VMware Workstation

Parallels Virtuozzo Containers

Pano System
Pano Logic

 

VDI Solution

VMware View

XenDesktop
Citrix Systems Inc.

Parallels Virtuozzo Containers

vWorkspace
Dell Software

SaaS-Based APM provider

Compuware Corp.

CA Technologies

BMC Software Inc.

AppDynamics

Service, Hosting Cloud Providers

Identity and Access Management as a Service Provider

McAfee Cloud Identity Manager
Intel Corp.

VMware (TriCipher) MyOneLogin
VMware Inc.

Symantec O3
Symantec Corp.

Okta

Cloud Management Tool

vCloud Automation Center
VMware Inc.

Cisco Intercloud

CloudPortal Business Manager
Citrix Systems Inc.

Cloud Manager (formerly enStratus)
Dell Software

E-Mail Hosting Provider

Rackspace U.S. Inc.

Hewlett Packard Co.

AT&T Inc.

AppRiver

Universal Communications Hosting Provider

Verizon Communications Inc.

AT&T Inc.

CenturyLink Inc.

Dimension Data plc

SaaS-Based Application Provider (Non-Microsoft)

Google Inc.

Salesforce.com Inc.

LogMeIn Inc.

Oracle Corp.

PaaS Provider (Non-Microsoft)

Google Inc.

IBM Corp.

Dell Boomi

Oracle Corp.

IaaS Provider

Amazon Web Services Inc.

Google Inc.

Dell Inc.

IBM Corp.

Managed Services/Hosting Provider

GoDaddy Operating Co. LLC

Rackspace U.S. Inc.

CenturyLink Inc.

FiberCloud Inc.

SharePoint Cloud/Hosting Provider

Amazon Web Services Inc.

SharePoint 360 Inc.

Rackspace U.S. Inc.

Network Solutions LLC

Infrastructure Hardware

Server Manufacturer Provider

Dell Inc.

Hewlett-Packard Co.

IBM Corp.

Cisco Systems Inc.

Storage Hardware

Dell Inc.

EMC Corp.

Hewlett-Packard Co.

IBM Corp.

Clients

Thin-Client Device Provider

Dell Inc.

Hewlett-Packard Co.

Google Inc.

Igel Technology

Windows PC Vendor

Dell Inc.

Hewlett-Packard Co.

Lenovo

Asus

Windows Tablet Provider

Microsoft

Samsung Electronics

Dell Inc.

Lenovo

Web Browser

Chrome
Google Inc.

Firefox
Mozilla

Internet Explorer
Microsoft

Safari
Apple Inc.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.