Our ranking methodology

Learn about the methodology applied by Vendorland in our evaluation of software engineering services vendors, along with the criteria that go into our 3x3 Matrix.

Overview

With the information technologies outsourcing market diversifying into ever-growing subsets of services, Vendorland’s mission is to help potential buyers navigate this complex landscape and make informed choices based on well-defined selection criteria.

Our research into these essential criteria and client expectations mapped against vendors’ offerings peaked in the formulation of the Vendorland 3x3 Matrix, where we dynamically aggregate and visualize vendors’ positioning across the groups of Aspirants, Contenders, and Leaders with respect to the scale of projects they are capable of undertaking.

There are 3x3 Matrices for each respective service segment, offering guidance as to which vendors might be potentially better equipped to deliver based on the maturity and scale of their expertise compared to other providers.

Our vendor ranking methodology

Segmenting by IT service markets

Vendorland offers rankings in 100+ identified service categories which are further divided by focus and verticals. These service categories are typically characterized with steady demand and supply and established use cases for the underlying technologies.

Identifying vendors

Vendorland looks at the vendors that have established their sizable presence in respective service categories as proven by their portfolio, specialized talent availability, and other criteria as described below. Vendors are included on the basis of the verified information submitted in the vendors’ Vendorland profiles as well as qualitative market research carried out by Vendorland’s analysts.

Applying the ranking criteria

Vendorland assesses vendors against a set of ten standard criteria divided in two macro groups: Capabilities and Ability to deliver. The results of this assessment are then aggregated and mapped on to 3x3 Matrices to visualize vendors’ current standing in their service category.

Criteria

Capabilities

This macro group of ranking criteria focuses on the vendors’ proven experience in the respective service category and includes:

Core services: the scale and depth of the vendor’s offering in the service category, as evidenced by the size of the respective department/team. The more professionals on the vendor’s team have required competencies to deliver the named service, the higher the vendor scores on the 3x3 Matrix.

Portfolio: the projects successfully completed in the service category, where the size of the project is a key metric affecting the weight of this criterion and the vendor’s positioning on the 3x3 Matrix.

Ability to deliver

Client experience: past clients’ reviews and verified references, where recent reviews (e.g. published within the last 30 days) are valued higher. The total number of reviews per vendor is also a key ranking factor — the more reviews, the higher the ranking.

Business maturity: the number of years present on the market and the overall stability as a business entity.

Sales and social media strategy: the sales resources availability and process maturity, pricing strategy, social media presence and activity level.

Geographic strategy: the vendor’s geographic presence, consisting in the number of offices located internationally, as well as the maturity of the company’s distributed/remote service delivery framework.

Brand visibility: the vendor’s brand recognition measured in the number and sentiment of online brand mentions.

Track record: the vendor’s achievements such as awards, high-value partnership statuses, and other.

Digital marketing strategy: the authoritativeness and maturity of the vendor’s digital brand assets, such as evidenced by the corporate website’s domain rating.

Talent expansion: the vendor’s recruitment strategy and talent growth measured in current open positions.

Positioning vendors on 3x3 Matrix

The assessment against the ten criteria described above culminates in generating a 3x3 Matrix with Capabilities plotted to the horizontal axis and Ability to deliver to the vertical one. The vendors’ aggregated scores are used to position them within the three categories of Aspirants, Contenders, and Leaders across the three segments of small, medium and large projects, hence the Matrix’s 3x3 dimensions.

How to read 3x3 Matrix

The division by small, medium and large projects is critical for meeting buyers’ diverse requirements in terms of their planned project scale and budget. We recognize this variability and map the identified vendors accordingly, choosing from the ones ready and committed to deliver within a given project size range:

  • Small projects: up to $50,000
  • Medium projects: from $50,000 to $249,000
  • Large projects: from $250,000

To further group vendors by their Ability to deliver criteria scores, we identify three categories to visualize the vendors’ current levels of maturity and viability: Aspirants, Contenders, and Leaders.

Aspirants: this group consists of emerging service niche players which however have earned a consistent customer base. While not necessarily new to the market, they might have difficulty establishing a strong foothold due to their limited talent pool or geographic presence. Aspirants demonstrate motivation for growth and are actively mobilizing their resources to compete with Contenders.

Contenders: this group is populated with vendors which have established themselves as proven service providers within their comfortable markets yet come up as restrained in terms of innovating and adapting to emerging trends. Contenders are likely to move from their Aspirants position on the strength of their client relationships and well-developed sales and digital marketing strategy; however, to become Leaders, they would need to consolidate their competitive value proposition that rests on thought leadership and operational scale.

Leaders: this group features vendors that possess both financial and reputational maturity coupled with talent availability and strategic vision necessary to stay at the forefront of the market. Leaders are recognized as prominent service providers with high brand visibility and a well-established global customer base.

How to use 3x3 Matrix for your vendor selection

Each of our rankings presents an aggregated snapshot of an IT market service category for guidance only, in no way being an exhaustive list of all potential vendors. The goal is to support your choice with carefully selected criteria and fact-based information, which you can then weigh against your own project needs and requirements.

Vendorland looks at the vendors that have established their sizable presence in respective service categories as proven by their portfolio, specialized talent availability, and other criteria as described below. Vendors are included on the basis of the verified information submitted in the vendors’ Vendorland profiles as well as qualitative market research carried out by Vendorland’s analysts.

How to get listed on Vendorland as a vendor

To get listed on Vendorland, please create and complete your vendor account by following this link. Upon registering, you can invite your clients to leave reviews to increase your chances of getting ranked on respective 3x3 Matrices

Please note that being listed on Vendorland doesn’t automatically qualify for inclusion in a 3x3 Matrix. To get featured in the ranking, your company needs to satisfy the requirements described in the ranking criteria above.

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