By Matthew Miller – Solutions Marketing

The market for enterprise information technology is fiercely competitive, especially in areas of disruptive innovation, such as flash storage. An organization’s IT executives typically evaluate hundreds of offerings every year from a range of vendors in order to make the best decisions for their business.

To help them understand rapidly evolving technologies, many IT organizations rely on the informed analysis provided by independent research firms such as Gartner, IDC, Forrester and others. These companies – which do their own detailed research and strive to provide unbiased objective guidance – provide an invaluable service, like Consumer Reports for the IT industry.

For example, Gartner publishes a Magic Quadrant for various segments of the IT market, including storage. The reports are designed to demonstrate the relative strength of key vendors within each segment. The MQ is an exhaustive process, with each vendor providing in-depth information for Gartner to parse and utilize in their reporting. The MQs are widely regarded as an accurate reflection of where vendors fall relative to their competitors in one of four quadrants based on completeness of vision and ability to execute.

Unfortunately, not all independent analyst firms operate on the basis of providing impartial and objective research and reporting. I’m reluctant to call out any one firm, but Nimble and a number of other enterprise storage vendors have recently called into question the objectivity and credibility of results published by DCIG.

DCIG’s business model is to publish a series of “Buyer’s Guides” across various categories and segments of the IT market, including storage. These published guides include errors and questionable data, and in the past DCIG has published inaccurate information about Nimble and other enterprise storage providers. It seems the DCIG buyers guides represent little more that lists of checkbox items, with little to no explanation or analysis of how the various architectures operate.

DCIG also contracts with individual vendors for sponsored “Competitive Advantage” reports, with the results engineered to show the exact outcome the vendor is paying for. Some of these recent matchups included mentions of Nimble’s products and services, with no effort made by DCIG to validate the accuracy of the Nimble-related information. DCIG did not contact any of Nimble’s customers to validate their findings.

DCIG sells its Buyer’s Guides and packages of Competitive Advantage Reports as lead generation tools to sponsoring vendors, who are often secondary players in the market, so it’s no surprise that their products tend to win the top spots in their reports. Furthermore, the reports are often hosted exclusively on the sponsoring vendor’s website. We don’t believe that this represents an independent or objective analysis.

In fact, DCIG published a blog post in which they boast that generating leads this way is “skinning the griz” – the griz in this case being the customer. Here’s the link. Our perspective and concerns regarding DCIG’s business practices and sponsored reports are shared by other industry-leading vendors, including Veeam and Symantec.

Nimble Storage strives to partner with independent and objective research firms to ensure customers have access to credible data and analysis to better understand today’s technologies and tomorrow’s emergent trends.

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