LeaderBoard Part 2: 2015 Winners Revealed

Joe Skorupa
Editor at Large
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By Joe Skorupa
The 15th annual RIS Software LeaderBoard measures the wisdom of the crowd to cut through the noise of marketing messages, buzz and hype. Find out where Oracle, SAP, JDA, Aptos, MicroStrategy, Manhattan Associates, IBM, NCR, Microsoft and others scored in head-to-head rankings determined by customer satisfaction – your satisfaction!
In this LeaderBoard Part 2 blog we announce the winners of the 2015 edition of the retail tech industry’s only head-to-head ranking of software vendors that focus on the retail vertical. To download a copy of the full report click here.
The signature component in the LeaderBoard is customer satisfaction and by this we mean your satisfaction. You are the customers and it is your aggregate opinions that count in the 51 head-to-head lists we publish – 50 top-10 lists and one top 20.
In this year’s report the retail tech vendors that achieved the highest scores in pure, unfiltered customer satisfaction are:
1.    Logile
2.    NGC Software
3.    RTC Group
4.    ECRS
5.    Reflexis Systems
6.    Logility
7.    360pi
8.    Celerant Technology
9.    Magstar
10. Cegid
Because these companies achieved such high customer satisfaction scores they frequently make appearances in many other charts in the LeaderBoard when the data is filed by such break outs as tier one retailers, grocery retailers, specialty retailers and so forth.
However, we also aggregate two other key datapoints in the LeaderBoard  – Retail Recognition (a metric that converts retail-specific applications or modules into a numeric value) and Revenue Factor, which gives a point value to revenue earned in the retail industry.
Congratulations go to all 22 vendors that made this year’s Top 20 Master list (there were two ties). Here is a look at the top 10 in this Master List:

1.    ECRS
2.    Celerant Technology
3.    SAP
4.    Cegid
5.    Manthan
6.    PCMS Datafit
7.    MicroStrategy
8.    Oracle
9.    Aptos
10. Mi9 Retail
The top vendor for Grocery retailers is ECRS. Celerant Technology is the top vendor for both Apparel retailers and Specialty retailers.
2015 LeaderBoard by the Numbers
This year’s RIS Software LeaderBoard report aggregates 747 evaluations made by 332 retailers. Analysis in the report included 50 retail technology vendors who received a minimum number of evaluations to be considered for ranking (there were 40 vendors who received votes but did not achieve the minimum requirement).
As noted, the end result is a data set that is filtered, sorted and cross-tabbed to create 50 top-10 charts and one top-20 chart. For a full explanation of methodology download the full report.
Why do we create the Software LeaderBoard? In part we were inspired by similar rankings done by J.D. Power and Consumer Reports, and their belief that there is a sound business model found in pursuing customer satisfaction, something that is not always the case in retail technology.
We were also inspired by belief in the principle that it is possible to cut through buzz and hype and ultimately tap into the wisdom of the crowd.
Filtering Out Idiosyncrasies
Eight hundred people at a county fair in England entered a contest to estimate the weight of an ox in 1906. Statistician Francis Galton was there and studied the entries. He discovered the median guess was 1207 pounds, a figure that was accurate within 1% of the true weight of 1198 pounds. This phenomenon, Galton observed, was repeatable and has since given rise to the theory that by taking the average of a large number of responses the median response tends to cancel idiosyncrasies of individual judgement.
The RIS Software LeaderBoard measures the wisdom of the crowd in a parallel manner. Customer Satisfaction is the signature element of the RIS Software LeaderBoard and the large number of voters who participate in the study validates it.

This is what makes the LeaderBoard unique among other vendor landscapes from highly regarded analyst or research firms. These types of vendor landscapes have value, but in order to cancel the idiosyncrasies of individual judgment it is advisable to augment their recommendations with the opinions of hundreds of retailers who use the software every day.
As Francis Galton demonstrated, the wisdom of the crowd produces highly accurate results by removing individual idiosyncrasies. We believe this is an excellent way to get accurate and valuable insight into your next software purchase.

To see the full report click here.
To read "LeaderBoard Part 1: Why Vendors Bomb" click here.

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