The only friend open-source vendors have is the customer.
That's what a wise friend at Red Hat once told me. If it's any consolation to him, he's got lots of friends, because CIO Insight's ranking of IT vendors just came out, and Red Hat tops the list for the fourth consecutive year. 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. Customers have voted Red Hat the #1 vendor for value over Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Novell, etc.
Wondering who consistently was given the worst ratings by CIOs? CA, Oracle, Microsoft, Cognos, and a range of consulting companies. If you dig into the numbers, the reasons often stem from overpriced and unreliable software.
Red Hat can't rest on its laurels, however. Why? Ask the numbers.
Because it got the top ranking by being consistently ranked "Excellent" or "Good," with more of the balance on "Good" than "Excellent" as compared to Google, which was most consistently rated "Excellent." To me, that shows that Google's performance is spotty, but when it's "on," it's really on.
Still, Red Hat earned the top Customer Loyalty rating of 97%, and it dominates even if you constrain the rankings to enterprise software companies. As for those who have to compete with it, CIO Insight's perspective is interesting:
The upshot is that enterprise software vendors, under threat from the open source movement and SaaS vendors, improved this year.
Nothing like extinction to prod you to do better.
Congratulations to Red Hat, Google, and others for topping the various lists. It's small surprise that open source plays a critical role in the top-two vendors.