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In the enterprise software space, a spot in the “leaders” sector of the Gartner Magic Quadrant is akin to getting a lunch table at New York City’s legendary movie star hangout, Elaine’s (at least before the namesake owner’s passing and subsequent closing of the restaurant). It could be likened to the enterprise software equivalent of being among the final four contestants on “The Voice.” For me personally, it would be the equivalent to gaining membership in the Manhattan-based Angler’s Club, which often requires a private invitation and years on a waiting list. Suffice to say, a spot in the leader’s quadrant is one of those symbols that an enterprise software vendor has “arrived.”

Culturally, IFS has always been more about satisfying end user needs, delivering value and focusing on the needs of challenging niche industries than seeking out such attention for itself. But nobody is about to suggest that we are not delighted at being listed as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Single-Instance ERP for Product-Centric Midmarket Companies (link to the report here).

So what does this distinction mean for IFS, and for those using or considering IFS Applications? IFS Vice President for Global Alliances David Eager shares some thoughts in this podcast. According to Eager, the ascension to the leader’s quadrant may be a nod to IFS’ growing partner network, which would make a third party observer more confident in our ability to deliver multiple, large global implementations simultaneously.

The official statement from Gartner on the import of the magic quadrant is, understandably, somewhat rigid and includes almost as many caveats as a modern advertisement for a new pharmaceutical product:

“Midmarket ERP leaders’ products have deep and robust functionality that address a range of core user requirements. Not necessarily the largest vendors in terms of revenue, these vendors have proven products, a track record of customer success and demonstrated momentum in growing their market presence, as well as a clearly communicated strategy to develop their current products into a next-generation application without causing too much disruption when adopted by their customer bases … Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.”

By this description, IFS may have been a good fit for the leader’s quadrant for a number of years. What is IFS doing differently that merits this enhanced placement now? Is it simply the fact that Dave Eager is doing a great job communicating the IFS value proposition? He is, but that has been the case for a number of years as well.

So here is a philosophical question for you … what does this placement in the Magic Quadrant mean to you? What is your understanding or impression of companies included in the leader’s quadrant? Follow the link to the report on this handy analyst report page, and let us know what you think.

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