Best Retail Software Vendors in 2007

Nothing beats a recommendation from a peer who has purchased and used something you want to buy. This viewpoint is at the heart of the 2007 RIS Software LeaderBoard ranking of the top 45 application firms in retail, which will be posted this week on the RIS News Web site and mailed to subscribers with the December 2007 hard copy issue.

SAP and Oracle finished in a virtual tie at the top of the overall LeaderBoard, which ranks application firms based on a satisfaction survey by retailers. The remaining firms in the top 10 are: Celerant, Micros Retail, ECRS, NCR, NSB, Microsoft, Epicor|CRS and Tomax.

New to the LeaderBoard this year are cross-tab breakouts that separate end-to-end providers from point solutions and billion-dollar giants from million-dollar specialists. It also separates voters by such segments as mid-tier, tier one, grocery, apparel/footwear and specialty retailing.

Heading the tier-one voter list are Oracle, SAP and Micros Retail. Among mid-tier voters, the top three are SAP, Oracle and Celerant.

In the broad-suite category, the top three are SAP, Oracle and Celerant, and in the targeted-solution category the top three are Reflexis, Cornell-Mayo and DemandTec.

Among specialty retail voters, Oracle and SAP are tied at the top, with Micros Retail coming in next. Grocery voters put SAP at the top followed by Oracle and Microsoft. Apparel/footwear voters selected SAP, Celerant and Oracle as the top three.

Since retailers seek application suites now more than ever, the Retail Concentration category is a breakout list of rising importance because it rewards broad-suite vendors by giving them one point for each module they offer in the retail vertical. Oracle and SAP topped this list in a tie. They were followed by Micros Retail and Tomax.

Customer Satisfaction accounts for more than half the potential total of points in the overall LeaderBoard ranking. It is achieved by adding together scores for 10 individual criteria worth a maximum of five points each for a potential total of 50 points. These 10 criteria include such important areas as technology innovation, return on investment, product reliability and others.

The top three finishers in Customer Satisfaction are Reflexis, ECRS and Cornell-Mayo, all of which are small companies. This demonstrates a statistical phenomenon found in many places in the LeaderBoard - that it is harder for vendors with large voting pools, such as Oracle, SAP, IBM and others, to get near-perfect scores than it is for smaller companies with fewer voters. This is the primary reason why the main LeaderBoard ranking is a balanced combination of points scored for both Retail Concentration and Customer Satisfaction.

The full RIS Software LeaderBoard for 2007 includes complete lists and comprehensive coverage of the survey findings.

Joe Skorupa

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