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Publication Date: 20 July 2011 ID Number: G00213700

Magic Quadrant for Data Center Outsourcing and Infrastructure Utility Services, North America
William Maurer, David Edward Ackerman, Bryan Britz, Helen Huntley

This Magic Quadrant examines 17 providers' abilities to deliver data center outsourcing and infrastructure utility services, as well as their vision for these services in North America. Use this Magic Quadrant to help you choose a data center service provider.

2011 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gartner is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. or its affiliates. This publication may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without Gartner's prior written permission. The information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information and shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in such information. This publication consists of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice. Although Gartner research may include a discussion of related legal issues, Gartner does not provide legal advice or services and its research should not be construed or used as such. Gartner is a public company, and its shareholders may include firms and funds that have financial interests in entities covered in Gartner research. Gartner's Board of Directors may include senior managers of these firms or funds. Gartner research is produced independently by its research organization without input or influence from these firms, funds or their managers. For further information on the independence and integrity of Gartner research, see "Guiding Principles on Independence and Objectivity" on its website,


Organizations' unavoidable need to consolidate and refresh their data center estate, or even create next-generation data centers, requires a significant capital investment. Budgetary constraints, however, almost always lead client organizations to evaluate alternative options, ranging from colocation/hosting, data center outsourcing (DCO) or cloud computing approaches. Providers that are investing in their physical and management capabilities to create and deliver new, low-cost, industrialized infrastructure utility services (IUS) are taking advantage of this opportunity. Organizations can use this Magic Quadrant to better understand the vision and ability to execute of 17 DCO and infrastructure utility service providers in this changing North American market (see Figure 1). This will help them select a provider for long-term DCO and IUS contracts that supports critical functions and business objectives.

Figure 1. Magic Quadrant for Data Center Outsourcing and Infrastructure Utility Services, North America

Source: Gartner (July 2011)

Market Overview
Major forces are shaping the worldwide IT outsourcing market and affecting North American organizations' data center requirements and the way external service providers are designing,

Publication Date: 20 July 2011/ID Number: G00213700 2011 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

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offering and delivering data center solutions and services. In North America, increasing volumes of storage, high-density computing technologies versus rising energy costs and green concerns, and the need to consolidate for efficiency and security often show the physical limitations of existing data centers. At the same time, higher service requirements such as 24/7, continuous data replication, fast delivery of new capabilities, high flexibility and low-cost delivery challenge the internal IT management capabilities of many organizations. As a result, increasing industrialization, consolidation and global delivery, and utility and cloud approaches characterize the global and North American data center infrastructure outsourcing market. Below we take a brief look at each of the key trends shaping how customers and service providers deliver data center managed services to fulfill the new service requirements of globally competing businesses. Technology Trends Virtualization: Forty-five percent of client references have outsourcing deals with virtualization implemented. Providers declare a ratio of 27% virtual servers across their entire estates in North America. Virtualization, such as virtualized storage and shared computing, is also driving the evolution of the data center toward industrialized services, such as IUS. The providers in this Magic Quadrant offering IUS or infrastructure as a service (IaaS) account for an average 28% of the clients using this service. Automation: Users need to access a highly flexible, standard infrastructure, in which the interfaces provided to clients will reduce the amount of unproductive service management work, and this is driving the rise in automated services. In the past few years in North America, the number of servers managed by each data center service staff member has increased at a compound annual growth rate of more than 15%. This trend will increase due to IUS service standardization and further automation enabled by cloud IaaS technologies. Green IT and energy issues: The use of new and denser technologies is exacerbating power and cooling issues. As a result, 33% of clients surveyed in 2010 selected energy issues as one of their top challenges in data centers (after data growth, systems and network performances).1 In response, service providers are engineering and optimizing the energy and cooling efficiency of their new physical locations. The median power usage effectiveness (PUE) that the vendors reported was 1.4. Continuous optimization of data centers: Driven by the need to protect profitability, organizations continue to standardize, automate, virtualize and rationalize the consolidation of data center services. Providers are focusing their client services on new modular data centers that deliver greater flexibility, more effective power consumption, higher levels of usage, continuity and remote management. Market Trends Growth in economies of scale and business: Ongoing cost pressures continue to fuel interest in the industrialization of infrastructure services, including cloud computing, that deliver economies of scale. In fact, a global user survey showed an accelerated uptake of IUS and IaaS approaches to infrastructure delivery because they help CIOs meet 2 their major priorities in 2011. More integrated services: To guarantee end-to-end integration in infrastructure management, client organizations expect providers to use existing low-cost capabilities to deliver integrated services covering multiple technologies, including data center, desktop, network and communications and help desk services.

Publication Date: 20 July 2011/ID Number: G00213700 2011 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

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Industrialized services: In addition to virtualization and service automation, the need for low-cost IT services coupled with increasing standardization and acceptance of global delivery are driving the progressive industrialization of services. Industrialized services have become a de facto requirement to compete, and this is progressively challenging the investment capabilities of local and regional players. While IUS offerings, such as IU for SAP (see "Infrastructure Utility for SAP: Comparing Architectural Offerings") have proven the feasibility and success of industrialized services, cloud IaaS is accelerating the trend and forcing providers to combine their utility and cloud road maps, product names and terminology. This is creating further confusion and turbulence in the market. Evolving pricing models: For the most part, traditional data center outsourcing deals used to be fixed-price relationships, with a fixed baseline of about 80% to 90% of the total contract value. Currently, the average fixed baseline is decreasing to between 55% and 65%, which provides more flexibility to clients in terms of variability of volumes and pay per use. Often providers manage this variability through a per unit or per user, per month (PUPM) billing mechanism. Although the North American DCO market is mature, these trends particularly consolidation, virtualization, green IT requirements, bundling of services, automation and industrialization of new service offerings in the areas of IUS and cloud IaaS continue to drive rapid change. In the infrastructure managed services market, the lines between different approaches colocation, hosting, DCO, infrastructure utility and cloud computing are blurring as new infrastructure utility and cloud computing service offerings emerge. As these offerings (see the Market Definition/Description section) compete for the same clients' business and wallet share, they gain prominence in the market. The more than 85 client references that Gartner interviewed as part of the research process for this Magic Quadrant, and information gained from other interactions with Gartner clients in North America and countries outside the region, have provided meaningful insight into the "pulse" of this market. Despite a changing market, most of these clients are satisfied with the service they receive in this area and the relationship they have with their providers. Although a number of dissatisfied clients always exists, overall DCO is a viable, satisfactory and mature sourcing option in North America. This, coupled with the growing trust between clients and their providers, indicates that vendors are bundling additional services in existing client and vendor relationships. The North American market, which started and continues to lead the evolution toward cloud computing and IaaS, differs in key ways to the European market (see "Competitive Landscape: Data Center Outsourcing Service Providers, North America, 2010," "Competitive Landscape: Data Center Outsourcing and Infrastructure Utility Services, Europe" and "Stay Ahead of Data Center Outsourcing and Infrastructure Utility Market Trends in Europe"). Hosting represents 40% of the total managed data center service market in North America, but less than 20% of the managed data center service market in Europe (for example, DCO plus hosting; see "Forecast: Infrastructure Utility Services, Worldwide, 2009-2013"). Unlike in North America, the various countries and languages across Europe have inhibited the growth of hosting companies and Internet providers (see "Data Center Managed Services: Regional Differences in the Move Toward the Cloud"). The 17 providers represented in this Magic Quadrant have a combined revenue of about $19.6 billion in DCO services, and manage more than 288 data centers in North America. Most of these data centers are provider sites; others are client sites, or are leased from third parties. These providers combined manage more than 2 million mainframe MIPS (million instructions per second) and more than 1.6 million servers, of which an average of 37% are virtual. Each service provider varies significantly in size, the number of staff and clients it has, the number of data centers it manages, and its geographical coverage. Their approaches to this service area also

Publication Date: 20 July 2011/ID Number: G00213700 2011 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

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differ. Some of the providers view DCO as a strategic business; others consider data centers as a necessary base capability to deliver end-to-end services that extend to network services and unified communications and collaboration (telecom companies), or to application and business process services (outsourcers and system integrators). The rise of "asset-light" service models, such as remote infrastructure management (RIM) from Indian and other offshore providers and database administration (DBA) services, and "assetintense" IUS and cloud IaaS services has further complicated the data center services market over the past few years. This market now includes several types of service provider, including traditional vendors, outsourcers, system integrators, offshore players, telecom companies that also provide DCO and hosting providers. The levels of choice and competition, which is often based on the right balance of low cost, good quality and enough flexibility, are growing in the North American data center outsourcing market.

Market Definition/Description
Data Center Gartner defines "data center" as an environment that provides the centralized support of computer equipment in a secure facility, the underlying network infrastructure, and the processes and organization that support this environment. This generally includes the following items: System operations. Tape operations. Print operations. Second-level data center support. Production control. Backup and recovery processes. Technical support (operating systems, subsystems). Performance analysis/capacity planning. Storage management. System security/contingency planning. Asset procurement and third-party management. Data Center Outsourcing DCO is a segment of IT outsourcing (ITO), which always includes an IT management service and is segmented into data center, desktop, network and enterprise application outsourcing. ITO can include a portfolio of product support and professional services that external service providers bring together to provide IT infrastructure, enterprise application services, or both to ensure the success of the service recipient's mission. Infrastructure Utility Services Gartner defines IUS as outsourced, industrialized, asset-based IT infrastructure managed services (below the functional business application layer). Service outcomes, technical options and interfaces define IUS, which organizations pay for based on resource usage, allocation or the number of users served.
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Remote-Infrastructure-Management-Based Service Delivery RIM is a delivery model that providers often embed in DCO. This is an acceptable approach in DCO relationships that are based on a client or third-party-owned data center, and when a single service provider delivers RIM. In this case, the client signs a single service contract with one service provider for the whole set of DCO services. In this type of contract, the main provider is responsible for end-to-end service delivery, including the management and control of the hosting subprovider.

Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria

This Magic Quadrant focuses on management services for mainframe and centralized server environments including IUS to evaluate each service provider's capability to deliver DCO services in North America. As in previous years, this Magic Quadrant excludes simple, dedicated Web hosting and colocation services. Gartner included service providers that: Demonstrate that they provide DCO services as a sole-source direct provider (we excluded data center services delivered entirely by partners or subcontractors). Show that they have nonmarginal data center delivery capabilities. Generate at least $50 million in DCO and IUS revenue from North America-based clients. Gartner excluded service providers that: Deliver data center services entirely through partners or subcontractors. Exclusively focus on and deliver pure hosting services, such as colocation or simple/dedicated hosting, or that take a pure rental approach to data center capabilities. Engage in DCO service relationships that are not bundled for example, when the client owns one contract with the hosting provider and one contract with the RIM provider. We required each service provider included in this Magic Quadrant to brief the authors and present its vision of the market and ability to execute. We also asked providers to detail their: Service line financials, investments and other main indexes. New-generation data centers, green IT and physical consolidation plans. Global delivery, RIM and low-cost locations. IUS offerings, clients, servers, samples of SLAs and pricing. Deal pipeline, deal structure and sales performance. Value proposition, key differentiators and win/loss elements. We also asked each service provider to supply us with five references.

Details of added vendors isn't relevant given it was some time since the last update of this Magic Quadrant.

Publication Date: 20 July 2011/ID Number: G00213700 2011 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

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Details of dropped vendors isn't relevant given it was some time since the last update of this Magic Quadrant.

Evaluation Criteria
Ability to Execute
Gartner evaluated the providers on the quality and efficacy of their processes, systems, methods and procedures, which enable each provider's performance to be competitive and effective, while positively affecting revenue, retention and reputation. We judged providers on their ability and success in capitalizing on their vision, as well as on their North American footholds in terms of resources, coverage, seamless delivery within different countries, and their ability to meet client requirements. Product/Service This category, which we weighted "high," involved evaluating each provider's capabilities and the services it offers. We gave special consideration to practice area profile and service capabilities in North America, service definitions, effective "resourcing" and transition management. The categories of services for our study are: Practice area profile and service capabilities, which focuses on: Overall North American DCO revenue, client numbers and staff allocated. Data and control center locations, ownership (provider or client) and size. Management team and position in the corporate structure. Amount of MIPS and servers managed. Core services and SLAs, which focuses on: The management of SLAs, which includes the provision of core and ancillary data center services, such as full facilities management, remote management, customer on-site support, capacity/configuration planning and consulting on consolidation. Resource and transition management, which measures each service provider's ability to: Effectively provide relevant resources to the customer. Efficiently transition assets, workloads and facilities. Integrate staff coming from the client organization. Complete transition projects to implement a global delivery model, and to ensure business continuity in day-to-day service delivery. Overall Viability This category, which we weighted as "high," includes an assessment of the financial health of the organization's data center operations, and the likelihood that the individual data center business unit will continue investing to support state-of-the-art delivery within the organization's portfolio of services.

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In particular, we considered growth in the volume per unit (MIPS and servers) as well as revenue in the outsourcing data center segment during the past three years. We asked each service provider about the future outlook for this outsourcing segment of its business, as well as whether it expects revenue and margins to grow, decline or remain stable. Sales Execution/Pricing This category, which we weighted as "standard," assessed each provider's capabilities in all presales activities and the structure that supports them. We gave specific consideration to teams in charge of deal management, pricing and clarity of scope. We also interviewed clients to gather feedback about their experiences with the service provider in terms of negotiation and pricing. Market Responsiveness and Track Record This category, which we weighted as "standard," assessed each service provider's ability to respond, change direction, be flexible, and achieve competitive success as opportunities develop, competitors act, customers' needs evolve and market dynamics change. We also asked clients for feedback on their providers' flexibility, continuous improvement and innovation. Marketing Execution This category, which we weighted as "low," assessed the clarity, quality, creativity and efficacy of programs designed to deliver an organization's message to influence the market, promote the brand and business, increase awareness of the services, and establish a positive association between the service/brand and the service providers in the minds of buyers. Customer Experience This category, which we weighted as "high," evaluated the reference customers' overall satisfaction with the service and the relationship, taking into account other Gartner client interactions. We obtained reference customers by asking each provider for five North American references for DCO services. We required that these references follow the geographic distribution needed to participate in the study and the different vertical industries addressed. We also asked for samples of global reports on SLAs, customer satisfaction and other relevant measures during the past 12 months. In particular, we considered important elements of a successful DCO customer experience. Such elements include client satisfaction as part of the evaluation criteria and incentive plans for the account teams, and continuous improvement processes in place centrally and within the account management team. Operations This category, which we weighted as "standard," assessed each provider's ability to meet its goals and commitments, while satisfying contractual obligations for service delivery to clients. Factors include the quality of the organizational structure, skills, experiences, programs, systems, and other vehicles that enable the service provider to operate effectively and efficiently on an ongoing basis. In particular, we considered communication processes, quality control and assurance processes, relationships, contract and service delivery management, continuous improvement plans, methodologies especially related to ITIL processes and other certifications available for all sites or specific data centers or clients.

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We spoke to the service providers about their main procedures (operational, transitional, program management, relationship management and change management) and asked reference customers for their feedback about these procedures. We asked providers to supply information about the facilities/services they provide, the principal system platform they manage, locations, capabilities and resources, disaster recovery plans, physical and IT security, and backup procedures. Table 1. Ability to Execute Evaluation Criteria
Evaluation Criteria Product/Service Overall Viability (Business Unit, Financial, Strategy, Organization) Sales Execution/Pricing Market Responsiveness and Track Record Marketing Execution Customer Experience Operations
Source: Gartner (July 2011)

Weighting high low high high standard high standard

Completeness of Vision
Gartner evaluates service providers on their ability to convincingly articulate logical statements about current and future market directions, innovations, customer needs and competitive forces, and on how well these map to Gartner's position. Ultimately, we rate providers on their understanding of how they can exploit market forces to create opportunities for their organizations. Market Understanding This category, which we weighted as "standard," assessed each provider's corporate view of the data center services and outsourcing market in North America. We evaluated how each provider is trying to address the main requirements of North American clients. We also looked at the main effect that new technologies, delivery models and services would most likely have on each provider's business and delivery models in the short term and medium term. In particular, we considered each provider's: Vision for DCO services. Plans to differentiate itself from major competitors. System for segmenting and analyzing the target market to drive marketing and sales. Plans to position these services within the broader offering. Marketing Strategy This category, which we weighted as "low," looked at each provider's main marketing messages related to DCO services in North America. In particular, we considered: Current and future value propositions for DCO in North America.

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The importance of DCO services within the broader IT service portfolio. Channels for internal and external communications. The differentiation of a provider's message from its competitors' messages. Sales Strategy This category, which we weighted as "standard," required each provider to illustrate its overall sales strategy for DCO (for example, direct vs. indirect selling via partners, allies and channels), its reactive answer to RFPs as compared with its proactive answer, its stand-alone offering vs. offerings bundled within other services, and its dedicated vs. shared sales force. In particular, we considered: A high-level sales organization chart to illustrate the provider's go-to-market strategy. The number of dedicated personnel in North America. The number of offers issued during the past 12 months, as well as the number of offers in the pipeline. Countries covered by direct, local teams, as opposed to centralized teams. Client retention rate (driven by the ease of doing business with the provider and its focus on relationship management). Offering (Product) Strategy This category, which we weighted as "high," required each provider to specify the most important aspects of the service offering that differentiates it in the market and delivers value to its clients. In particular, we considered each provider's: Ability to integrate client assets, including data centers in North America. Ability to transfer data center staff from client to provider in North America. Approach to combining standard service elements into customized service delivery to provide flexibility and low-cost services. Business Model This category, which we weighted as "high," asked each provider for a high-level description of its business model for DCO services, and how it fits within the provider's overall business model. In particular, we considered the ability to address and satisfy two competing requirements: client specific requirements (driving client satisfaction) and the industrialized, centralized delivery of DCO services (driving low costs and protecting margins). To evaluate how well the provider's business model addresses account management, we asked for information about: The structure of the management teams used to support and manage customers. The average experience, knowledge and skill level of executive management and the key customer-facing managers.

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Processes to address customer issues locally as compared to centrally, including customer access to the appropriate level of management within the service provider and the escalation procedures. To evaluate how well the provider's business model addresses delivery, we asked each provider to describe the strategy for centralized delivery of standardized data center services. We focused on how much of the service the provider bases on virtualized and automated platforms. We also asked for information about the approach to the global delivery model for DCO services, as well as the established or planned remote premises. We asked each provider's client references for their judgment of the provider's business model, including account management and service delivery, and factored the answers into our evaluation. Vertical/Industry Strategy This category, which we weighted as "low," assessed each provider's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of individual market segments, including vertical industries. In particular, we considered each service provider's: Penetration of different industries for DCO services. Ability to demonstrate expertise in the vertical markets and business processes underpinned by DCO services. Innovation This category, which we weighted as "high," evaluated each provider's position in the market as a thought leader and an innovator. It also evaluated each provider on its leadership and investment to achieve its vision, and to develop innovative strategies in the DCO market. In particular, we considered the answers to the following questions: What investments is your company making to sustain and enhance its vision for innovative DCO services? How do you offer innovation to your established and new customers? What innovative solutions have you provided to customers in the past 12 months? What global alliances do you have with other leading suppliers (and what investments support these alliances)? We also asked whether each service provider's utility-based offerings included: Highly standardized services, processes and SLAs. Virtualized and automated computing platforms. Utility pricing units. Reduced baselines and increased flexibility. We asked client references for their judgment of their providers' ability to innovate, including the technical aspects of innovation, their ability to lower costs and improve the service, and their "proactivity," adaptability and service flexibility.

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Geographic Strategy This category, which we weighted as "standard," looked at regional capabilities, global consolidation processes, local alliances and partnerships, including: Each provider's strategy to target markets in North America with the appropriate resources, skills and offerings to meet specific client needs. How infrastructure consolidation processes are affecting the practice area landscape. Relationships with product and service providers to add value, provide full-service solutions or bring innovation closer to clients. How each provider takes responsibility for managing the service delivered, even when using subcontractors or partners. We also asked reference clients for their feedback on local capabilities, and the current or potential effects of consolidation and global delivery processes. Table 2. Completeness of Vision Evaluation Criteria
Evaluation Criteria Market Understanding Marketing Strategy Sales Strategy Offering (Product) Strategy Business Model Vertical/Industry Strategy Innovation Geographic Strategy
Source: Gartner (July 2011)

Weighting high standard standard high high low standard low

Leaders perform skillfully. They have a clear vision of the market's direction and develop competencies to maintain their leadership. They shape the market rather than follow it. The Leaders quadrant contains CSC, Dell, HCL Technologies, HP and IBM.

Challengers execute well today, but they have a less defined view of the market's direction. They need to be more aggressive in outlining and communicating their strategy for the future. The Challengers quadrant contains, ACS, A Xerox Company, Acxiom, CompuCom, CGI, Siemens IT Solutions and Services, Unisys and Wipro.

Visionaries have a clear vision of the market's direction and are focused on providing services to meet future market needs. They need to improve their ability to deliver and penetrate the North American market. There are no providers in the Visionaries quadrant.

Publication Date: 20 July 2011/ID Number: G00213700 2011 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

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Niche Players
Niche Players focus successfully on a particular service, a limited number of North American markets or both. This narrow focus may affect their ability to outperform or innovate. The Niche Players quadrant contains, Capgemini, Fujitsu, Maintech, Northrop Grumman and Tech Mahindra. Northrop Grumman focuses solely on U.S. federal government work, particularly with the United States Armed Forces. However, if Northrop Grumman competed in other markets, it would have earned a position in the Challengers quadrant, very close to the Leaders quadrant.

Vendor Strengths and Cautions

Acxiom is a well established provider of data center services in North America. It has a solid base of midtier deals that make Acxiom a solid choice for many organizations seeking a straightforward data center outsourcing services provider with a proven ability to execute. Acxiom provides these services under its Acxiom Infrastructure Management (AIM) division. Acxiom's scale in managing mainframe environments enables the company to provide competitive pricing and a bench of skilled resources and tools for managing mainframes. Clients expressed satisfaction with Acxiom's approach to relationship management and the ease with which they can gain access to upper management.

Acxiom is tightly focused on serving midtier clients in the U.S. and their related growth in Europe. Client organizations that have large and disbursed global data center processing needs and expect a vendor to take over assets to become their global provider over time would need to perform due diligence when evaluating Acxiom's ability to meet their needs. Some of Acxiom's IUS target deal parameters are not as aggressive at driving client adoption as the large multinational providers because Acxiom specializes in midtier customers. As the market shifts to cloud delivery methods, clients should understand that Acxiom will need to catch up by changing its sales focus. Clients indicated that Acxiom does not spend enough time on its strategy, which they perceive to be a weakness. Acxiom does not develop and deliver leading technology solutions until many other vendors have already done so. Acxiom then follows their lead. Client organizations that need to adopt emerging technologies early should carefully evaluate Acxiom's ability to meet their requirements in a timely fashion.

ACS, A Xerox Company

ACS, A Xerox Company has accelerated its adoption of standards and processes through the ACS Management Platform (AMP) tool, which provides a strong foundation for providing quality service delivery.

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ACS has expanded its account and staffing model to leverage an ACS CTO with selected clients. This will enable ACS to compete more effectively for larger deals in the near future. Clients indicated that ACS is highly flexible to work with when they require the provider to make changes in the delivery of the solution. This flexibility increases customer satisfaction even when ACS may not be following its own processes.

ACS is looking to remain competitive with other providers by refreshing its portfolio and investing in industrialized/cloud-based offerings. However, these investments are late and depart from the traditional ACS delivery model, which could hamper its success in the market. Clients should carefully evaluate ACS's overall road map for these services and the market's readiness for these offerings relative to offerings from ACS's competitors. ACS has expanded its ability to address clients with requirements outside the U.S., but the company is still not yet of the scale to meet the needs of multinational organizations. As ACS has a smaller global presence than Xerox, clients with complex multinational requirements should carefully evaluate ACS's ability to serve as a single provider (given that it is going to provide services for Xerox clients where there is currently no capability). Although ACS is implementing a plan to improve its innovation processes, clients indicated that they are concerned about ACS's ability to drive innovation due to the availability of sufficiently qualified project resources. Clients should ensure that they attach innovation plans, including measurement for innovation, in their outsourcing contracts with ACS.

Capgemini is a suitable option for small to midsize clients seeking a DCO provider that can utilize a stronger vision of global capabilities. Capgemini, which mostly sells DCO to the midtier and/or selective sourcing market, has virtualized more than half of its account base, which demonstrates its sound ability to drive the benefits of virtualization for clients. Clients noted Capgemini's ability to leverage other capabilities, such as development/integration and process consulting skills, within Capgemini when delivering SAP-hosted solutions.

Capgemini tends to operate locally rather than globally when managing DCO. Clients seeking global delivery, including North America, need to exercise appropriate due diligence to ensure that Capgemini's North American DCO business possesses the scale and resources required. Capgemini's cloud and IU services, while mature in Europe, are not yet mature in North America. Organizations seeking an experienced infrastructure utility provider should carry out customer reference checks in North America focusing on the cloud and IUS offerings.
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Clients indicated that Capgemini could improve its capacity planning. Clients should include performance metrics in the contract to drive capacity planning, especially as Capgemini's operations (facilities, staffing and account base) in North America are smaller than in Europe.

CGI's years of experience and variety of deals have given it the ability to address a broad range of deal sizes. As a result, CGI participates in RFPs from small, midsize and large businesses, which gives it more flexibility, particularly in the Canadian market where flexibility is needed. CGI is a solid provider in both the U.S. and Canada and has a high percentage of virtualized servers. This indicates that CGI would be a good choice for many organizations seeking a provider that understands how the IUS market works and that delivers services built on the underlying technologies of the cloud. Clients indicated that CGI consistently delivered deal requirements, which resulted in the company frequently meeting its SLAs. Clients also stated that CGI had a strong ability to consistently deliver its service and remained flexible when client organizations needed to change requirements.

CGI does not have a presence or a plan for DCO or IUS services in Latin America. Its relatively light data center capacity in the U.S. has also limited its efforts to penetrate the North American market. Clients in the U.S. that want a provider to deliver economies of scale through multitenancy data centers offering offshore, low-cost remote capabilities should evaluate and determine if CGI's capabilities and pricing are competitive. CGI prefers not to include benchmarking in its contracts. This limits its ability to win deals in the U.S., where organizations generally embrace benchmarking to drive performance. Clients should ensure that their contracts include the right to benchmark and specify the provider's responsibilities during any future transition to a new provider. Clients indicated that CGI has not been proactive enough in ongoing efforts to reduce cost, and that it tends to focus more on reactive activities instead of striving to continuously improve and deliver innovation. This has led to reduced customer satisfaction. Clients should always include in their contract a continuous improvement measurement with incentives and penalties where appropriate.

CompuCom supports and embraces best-practice approaches, such as benchmarking in contracts, which is one of the reasons why it has a reliable track record in the renewal of sole source deals. This indicates that organizations find it easy to do business with CompuCom. CompuCom's workforce, including offshore resources, is frequently noted for its technical expertise in multiple technologies and for its understanding of client environments, which enables the provider to effectively resolve data center problems.

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Clients reported that CompuCom is willing to take on work that is not necessarily related to the contract. They also praised CompuCom for prioritizing the resolution of the client's problem. Clients felt that this highlighted CompuCom's focus on customer satisfaction over and above financial outcomes.

CompuCom relies on partners to develop and execute utility service offerings. Clients should ensure the contract enables the appropriate level of transparency and accountability for the management of add-on services. CompuCom primarily focuses on providing managed services to client-owned facilities and assets. Clients considering multiple data center outsourcing solution options should be aware that CompuCom's model will only deliver a managed services solution. It does not provide options, such as a hosted solution. Therefore, CompuCom would engage hosting partners as part of the overall service for clients desiring a hosted solution. Clients indicated that the standard CompuCom service offering is not oriented toward creating state-of-the-art data centers. Clients trying to build such a data center should ensure that CompuCom has the proof of concept to deliver their required solution.

CSC has a comprehensive DCO and IUS strategy including a well thought out cloudbased delivery model in the form of BizCloud. CSC's heritage serving U.S. federal government clients with complex data security requirements provides the company with a strong information security layer. Clients praised CSC for its robust and reliable data center services, the global reach of its bench, and its ability to manage transitions and deliver outsourcing services with skilled resources and proven processes.

Clients who are excited by CSC's early mover status in IUS and cloud services should carefully monitor CSC's commitment to sustaining this momentum given that it is not accustomed to establishing and maintaining this position. CSC relies more on growing through sales to existing clients than on winning new clients. This limits CSC's ability to address new sales opportunities in the market. Prospective CSC clients should expect it to focus intently on qualifying early sales decisions, as the company needs to selectively apply its relatively thin sales force. CSC has a reputation among its clients of being risk averse, and this creates some agility concerns for clients. Clients should include a request in their contract that the provider present the latest market solution information in the contract structure to enable them to evaluate and adopt the latest solutions at the client's pace and not CSC's.

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Dell has earned a reputation as a solid provider in the midtier market, which includes organizations that employ between 1,000 and 10,000 personnel. Dell's announcement of plans to invest $1 billion in DCO and cloud capabilities further supports its road map for product development that is required to succeed in this market. Dell's solutions are built on a flexible foundation to accommodate all levels of client. These solutions include services that range from globalized RIM staffed with competitive offshore resources, to solutions that reduce downtime through predictive outage and successfully consolidate data centers to reduce costs. Clients were impressed that Dell's sales force does not continue to push hardware sales as part of a services solution.

Dell's IUS vision and strategy are a bit behind the competition. For example, Dell has a lower percentage of virtualized servers compared to the other vendors participating in this Magic Quadrant. This indicates that Dell started rolling out its virtualization strategy late (or did so slowly) and still needs to catch up with some of the larger providers in the market. In addition, Dell remains focused on the product side of its business, which could get in the way of the services business if Dell does not carefully manage this issue. Clients should anticipate new offerings from Dell during 2011 and are encouraged to closely compare the overall market readiness of these offerings against those of the competition. While Dell sells products globally, it still needs to demonstrate its ability to deliver a truly global service for North American clients. Although Dell has put together consortiums of high-quality providers and is building data center capabilities in Western Europe, its international sales and delivery capabilities noticeably trail behind the global capabilities that many of its competitors in the data center outsourcing market have achieved. Gartner encourages clients with complex multinational requirements to weight their ability to manage a multiprovider model, because they may need this capability should they choose Dell as their North American DCO/IUS service provider. Clients expressed a need for more seamless, end-to-end integration of towers within Dell's services portfolio to drive more innovation and deliver leading-edge capabilities. Prospective clients should try to drive innovation by including Gartner's best practice innovation article in their outsourcing contracts with Dell.

Although relatively small in North America, Fujitsu has started to demonstrate evidence of leveraging its DCO innovations. Such innovations include data center power efficiency and IUS with a focus on passing on cost savings to clients in Fujitsu's "low cost producer" approach. Fujitsu has developed and is able to implement a consistent user experience that includes a client interface with a single look and feel, using standardized tools.

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Clients praised Fujitsu for building strong account relationships and attentively solving client business needs, such as accelerating transitions when requested.

Fujitsu has yet to produce sufficient evidence in North America that it can effectively deliver results from leveraging its vision and capabilities. Clients should closely examine the capabilities that Fujitsu has in their geographical area and determine how ready they are for delivery. Fujitsu has failed to demonstrate a strong commitment to the North American market. With limited investments and visibility in North America, Fujitsu's organic growth may not be enough to quickly reach critical mass. Clients should seek to understand the provider's North American investment plans and growth objectives to ensure a delivery fit. Clients expressed dissatisfaction with Fujitsu not being proactive and its apparent tendency to avoid taking ownership of continuous improvement processes. Clients should ensure that the contract documents a formal continuous improvement process with penalties and/or incentives at the right level to drive Fujitsu's operational decision making.

HCL Technologies
HCL's transition results, including difficult transitions from incumbent providers, have proven to be very effective and reflect a solid transition methodology, which is one of the key capabilities that a leading DCO or IUS service provider requires. Albeit from a smaller base than other Leaders, HCL is growing in the data center outsourcing space, while many of its competitors are holding ground or even shrinking. For HCL, this includes strategically acquiring data center assets and transitioning staff from selected clients. In contrast, many other providers are more focused on consolidating centers and are often encumbered by a diverse installed base of accounts that may be averse to adopting newer industrialized service models. While this may not be an issue for HCL today, it is certainly likely to face this in future if it sustains current growth. Clients expressed their satisfaction with HCL's pricing and contracting approaches. Along with evolving its SLA approach to use business-based KPI metrics, HCL also embraces and uses benchmarking, by including a benchmarking clause in all contracts. This indicates HCL's confidence in its solutions' ability to stand up to the competition from a technical functionality and price perspective. As a result, 80% of HCL's renewals are sole sourcing arrangements, though this is of a small base. Therefore, continuing this pace will be excellent for HCL, but it will face many challenges in future to maintain this pace.

Although HCL has conveyed an IUS vision and some utility-based offerings, these offerings are still relatively immature in the IUS and cloud solution space compared with the offerings from other market leaders. Clients are encouraged to press HCL for details about its product road map for IUS and cloud services.

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As HCL has often relied on acquiring client resources to support its growth, it has not yet been substantially challenged to prove its strength. Gartner recommends that organizations carefully check and confirm that HCL has the necessary strength in the DCO/IUS services space to support their needs. Clients expressed concern about communications between the account team and operational-level staff, especially those operating offshore. Clients contemplating using HCL should use appropriate due diligence to ensure that HCL communicates effectively between all layers involved in the delivery of contracted services.

HP is investing $1 billion into its services business, which includes consolidating and standardizing its offerings within DCO and IUS in order to build solutions to serve its current and future customers. HP has restructured, aligning its resources to provide its North American client base with low-cost offshore resources. This has enabled HP to compete against offshore-centric service providers offering low-cost services. Multinational clients in North America praised HP for the depth and breadth of its global data center delivery capabilities.

HP has been driving clients to adopt lower-cost IUS offerings supported by automation that reduces staffing requirements. Depending on the adoption rate this could also constrain HP's revenue growth, both in North America and globally. HP will need to carefully manage this transition to new delivery models to ensure that it achieves highquality performance and meets its service-level commitments. HP's leadership changes and assimilation of EDS has challenged HP's execution in the market. Although HP has worked to rebuild customer loyalty in the past year, the improvements that Gartner has noted have not been uniform across clients. Gartner encourages existing and prospective HP clients alike to work with HP to ensure their needs and concerns are not overlooked due to internal organizational changes that could consume some of HP's executive attention in the near term. Clients indicated that HP's focus on product pull-through has hampered it from getting the most from the EDS acquisition to focus the company on delivering complete solutions that include products and services. Clients should, therefore, ensure that HP's sales team focuses on a total "services led" solution before engaging the provider.

IBM continues to be a market leader with considerable global scale, reach, breadth and depth of its data center services portfolio. It can also support the largest and most complex clients. IBM's transformation approach draws on the broader IBM portfolio of services which helps the company, like no other global services organization, to provide the required resources with access to its broader services portfolio. That, in turn, helps to drive
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successful transformational outsourcing deals. IBM can apply its data center outsourcing services, enterprise cloud solutions, business and consulting resources, hosted virtual desktop services solution, and help desk solution to deliver a bundled solution for the client. Clients praised IBM for rigorously deploying standardized methodologies and processes. When this rigor leads to cost control, clients consider it even more relevant.

IBM's ability to execute its vision could be affected by inconsistent service delivery. Clients should, therefore, actively solicit responses from IBM references, ideally including a sample of both satisfied and dissatisfied accounts, as to its ability to properly deliver solutions around standardization, automation and cloud. A key pillar of IBM's industrialization and cloud services strategy involves building customized solutions and services on industrialized components. IBM does not appear to be actively promoting these industrialized offerings to existing clients. This makes it difficult for clients to unbundle services, take advantage of multisourcing, and access utility services from other providers. Clients should develop contracts that allow integration of cloud and industrialized services over the life of the engagement. Clients indicated that IBM's escalation process inhibits the responsiveness of its account management. In addition, some clients indicated that IBM's ability to meet transition plans was sub-optimal. This could be due to many reasons, including the engagement scope and complexity or a lack of required resources at the appropriate time. Clients should have contracts with clearly defined scope, timeliness, and penalties as well as an appropriate contract governance model which drives their senior management to meet regularly with IBM. This can build a relationship with IBM's executive management to resolve problems in a timely manner and foster a constructive dialogue.

Maintech is a small player with limited DCO offerings, ideally suited for small deals looking for a domestic supplier with access to broad coverage of on-site service delivery capabilities with remote infrastructure services and monitoring as part of those capabilities. Maintech continues to demonstrate operational excellence, satisfy its customers and score highly on internal customer satisfaction surveys. For organizations that need a provider to come in and take over the running of their data centers, Maintech is a candidate worth investigating. Clients expressed satisfaction with Maintech's flexibility in contracting approaches and depth of talent for such a small service provider.

Maintech does not offer a complete global delivery model. Instead, it offers delivery capabilities in select markets in Asia/Pacific and Europe, including primary financial centers such as London and Sydney. While Maintech meets on-site timeliness commitments, this selective market approach cannot leverage pooled resources across clients and geographies to the same extent as the complete global delivery approaches

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of leading providers. Clients requiring a global delivery provider with reach into secondary global markets are, therefore, likely to look elsewhere. Maintech focuses exclusively on managing client data centers; it does not provide cloudbased solutions, is asset light, has little to no investment strategy, and doesn't want to manage mainframes. Maintech also does not offer vendor-provided data centers. Although the provider is rock solid in what it does do, its narrow focus will limit the scope of services that it can provide and the number of customers that are ideally suited to its strategy. This is a caution for clients looking for a vendor to supply a number of services, including hosting. Clients indicated concern over Maintech's ability to provide data center services beyond standard, core operations, such as hardware set up, removal and break-fix support. Maintech is unlikely to expand its service offerings in the near future.

Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman has substantial expertise in supporting the contracting requirements of all segments of state and federal government. Such requirements include unique qualifications to address government security and clearance requirements. Northrop Grumman's knowledge about operating technology is strong. In addition, the provider's connectivity to broader data center strategies, including portable, dispersed capabilities for clients, are indispensable when providing services to the federal government and, in particular, to the armed forces. Clients report that Northrop Grumman provides great service when delivering IT infrastructure. The provider's effective and predictable approach works well in the government market, which typically has overly detailed contract requirements.

Due to Northrop Grumman's sole focus on the government market, its data center outsourcing capabilities are largely private cloud integration tailored to the unique needs of each client. The provider leverages certain underlying capabilities such as R&D across government clients but has only very limited presence in commercial verticals. Clients outside the government sector should confirm if Northrop Grumman is planning to focus on other verticals or if they have unique needs in cybersecurity before they engage the provider for commercial data center outsourcing. Northrop Grumman favors a managed services model and is not expecting significant growth from DCO delivery through partners. It seeks to act primarily as a system integrator particularly for infrastructure utility and private cloud capabilities. Clients should evaluate the value that Northrop Grumman can add as a system integrator and how this fits in with their IUS strategies in contrast to contracting IUS providers directly. Northrop Grumman's clients are generally unable to discuss the details of their relationship with the vendor due to the nature of government contracting. Clients should expect a certain degree of secrecy when reference checking Northrop Grumman's clients, but must understand that this is not a reflection on Northrop Grumman's ability to deliver.

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Siemens IT Solutions and Services

Siemens IT Solutions and Services has significantly picked up the pace in incorporating virtualization into its solutions in North America. Such solutions include cloud-based solutions and IUS services, among others. Siemens IT Solutions and Services has a focused deal strategy for North America and is, therefore, selective in its business pursuits, including investments in support of new business that complements Siemens IT Solutions and Services' vision, scale, scope of services and business units such as Healthcare. Clients expressed satisfaction with Siemens IT Solutions and Services' agility and flexibility in contracting and relationship models.

Siemens IT Solutions and Services has a limited market share in North America compared to its strong European base and pursues smaller deal sizes in North America. Clients should ensure that Siemens IT Solutions and Services' capabilities, especially its newer offerings, in North America meet their requirements and ask the company to provide North American-centric references. As with all large-scale M&A activity, clients should exercise additional due diligence when evaluating Siemens IT Solutions and Services' capabilities and long-term vision until the company has been fully integrated into Atos Origin (which is currently acquiring Siemens IT Solutions and Services). Additionally, clients choosing Siemens IT Solutions and Services should include appropriate change of control terms and conditions in their master service agreements. Clients indicated that Siemens IT Solutions and Services may oversell its vision for its service offerings. For this reason, clients should scrutinize the company's ability to deliver these new offerings.

Tech Mahindra
Mahindra IT and Business Services is the go-to-market name for the combined entities of Tech Mahindra and Mahindra Satyam. Full legal integration has not been completed at this time, though the organization is reflecting the planned integration in its marketing. For simplicity, we refer to the organization simply as Mahindra in the strengths and caution bullets below.

Mahindra's maturing offerings support facets of data center technology, including mainframe, Unix, Windows and Linux, for small, midsize and large organizations. Mahindra invests a significant percentage of revenue in key unified service platforms, such as customer service portals and service automation, to enhance the client experience. Clients noted Mahindra's consistent quality of staffing for remote monitoring services.

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Mahindra's ongoing acquisition and integration activities related to Satyam remain a distraction for the provider. In May 2011, Mahindra indicated possible delays in its plans to complete the integration before March 2012. Clients expecting to receive the benefits associated with the combined entity should include a statement in the contract that grants them the right to terminate the agreement if Mahindra does not complete the integration within their expected and agreed time frame. Adoption of Mahindra's cloud services in North America is low. The provider also depends on third-party suppliers to help deliver hybrid cloud services, which is a significant disadvantage. Mahindra is investing significantly in cloud solutions, though, as it recognizes the potential for growth in this area. However, the question over whether Mahindra can make adequate and appropriate investments to become a significant cloud services player in the North American market remains. In addition, Mahindra's low level of virtualization achieved across its installed base means that clients seeking a provider to help them navigate through a hybrid cloud model over time should critically evaluate Mahindra's overall ability to perform this role. Clients noted attrition-related challenges. Clients considering Mahindra should require that a Mahindra-funded bench of capable resources is available to reduce the disruption of turnover.

Unisys has significantly grown its RIM capabilities for North America, and its use of global resources has enhanced its approach to its DCO/IUS solution overall. In addition, Unisys has demonstrated its global capabilities in deals worth more than $50 million. Unisys depends on supporting distributed systems, which is a high-risk, low-margin business that demonstrates commodity attributes and minimal growth. As it stands, Unisys' service levels for distributed systems focus on non-mission-critical areas with resolution set for the next business day or beyond. Clients stated that in the past 18 months Unisys has made progress in regaining its strength in the day-to-day delivery of solutions in a timely fashion. Clients indicated that Unisys had exhibited vigor, attitude and customer focus that the company was known for in the past.

Although Unisys has shown overall year-over-year growth and its stock price continues to improve, its DCO revenue in North America declined in 2010. It is likely that Unisys' focus on addressing its financial challenges through 2009 has hindered its ability to deliver its IUS models to the market. As Unisys appears to have turned the corner toward a sound financial position, clients (particularly prospective clients) should pay close attention to Unisys' actual ability and willingness to invest in new technologies and services that they will need at some point in the relationship. Clients identified lingering weaknesses in Unisys's staffing (especially at the project management level) and its process for communicating issues as they arise. Clients

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should perform due diligence to ensure that Unisys' ability to deliver is a good fit for their required workload.

Wipro has demonstrated a strong retention rate of 94% for DCO and IUS clients. This indicates that Wipro is delivering on its commitments to clients, which is a good sign for organizations seeking a long-term provider of DCO and IUS services. Along with several other participants, Wipro has demonstrated its capabilities to deliver RIM-based solutions that often drive down costs for clients. Clients noted Wipro's flexibility in addressing client issues and challenges, such as implementing programs to deliver quality services through standard methodologies and processes, such as ISO, ITIL and Six Sigma.

Wipro's cloud and IU strategy is maturing. This is a reflection of the provider's evolving corporate strategy and a need for an enhanced marketing message. Wipro is working to move away from its image as a low-cost provider and become a value-added market leader, but the behavioral and consultative skills-based changes needed to realize this goal have not filtered throughout the organization. Clients should ensure that Wipro is not overreaching or committing to work it is not yet ready to deliver. Clients noted some challenges with managing changing resources and related training. Clients should ensure that they identify critical roles and language in their contracts to drive Wipro to minimize potential disruption associated with turnover.

Some documents may not be available as part of your current Gartner subscription. "Magic Quadrants and MarketScopes: How Gartner Evaluates Vendors Within a Market" "Magic Quadrant for Data Center Outsourcing and Utility Services, Europe" "Stay Ahead of Data Center Outsourcing and Infrastructure Utility Market Trends in Europe" "Data Center Managed Services: Regional Differences in the Move Toward the Cloud" "BT's Restructuring and Finances Are a Manageable Risk" "Atos Origin's Plan to Buy SIS is Timely, Necessary but Challenging" "CSC Introduces the First Hybrid Cloud IaaS for Security and Simplicity" "2010 Outlook for HP in Europe After the EDS Integration" "T-Systems Accelerates Move Into Infrastructure Utilities and Cloud Computing" "Infrastructure Utility for SAP: Comparing Five Leading Offerings" "Infrastructure Utility for SAP: Comparing Contract Terms and Service Levels"

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"Infrastructure Utility for SAP: Comparing Architectural Offerings" "Case Study: Areva Gains IT Flexibility Through an Infrastructure Utility" "Keiper: Adopting an Infrastructure Utility for Flexibility and Efficiency" "Oxea Shows How Infrastructure Utility Can Deliver Speed and Efficiency" "Case Study: Nampac Adopts the IBM Infrastructure Utility for SAP Applications" "SWOT: HCL Technologies, Infrastructure Services Outsourcing, North America"


"User Survey Analysis: Key Trends Shaping the Future of Data Center Infrastructure Through 2011" and "Comparing Cloud Computing and Infrastructure Utility"

"Survey Analysis: End-User Trends in Infrastructure Utility Services and Infrastructure as a Service"

Note 1 IUS and IaaS Definitions

Gartner defines IUS as the provision of outsourced, industrialized, asset-based IT infrastructure managed services (below the business application functional layer). IUS are defined by service outcomes, technical options and interfaces, and are paid for based on resource usage, allocation or the number of users served (see "Infrastructure Utility Services: The Business Between Outsourcing and the Cloud" and "Forecast: Infrastructure Utility Services, Worldwide, 20092013"). Gartner defines cloud IaaS as cloud system infrastructure services that include system-level capabilities, such as server/computing, server OS, client OS, storage or networking, on which the consumer can run a variety of applications. Although virtualization is a key enabling technology, not all such platforms depend on a virtualized architecture. Gartner's cloud computing definitions are more specific than those of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); cloud system infrastructure services correspond to NIST's definition of cloud IaaS. We now use the Gartner and NIST terms interchangeably (see "NIST and Gartner Cloud Approaches Are More Similar Than Different"). We also use this terminology interchangeably with the definition of hardware IaaS in "Cloud Infrastructure as a Service: An Essential Overview."

Vendors Added or Dropped

We review and adjust our inclusion criteria for Magic Quadrants and MarketScopes as markets change. As a result of these adjustments, the mix of vendors in any Magic Quadrant or MarketScope may change over time. A vendor appearing in a Magic Quadrant or MarketScope one year and not the next does not necessarily indicate that we have changed our opinion of that vendor. This may be a reflection of a change in the market and, therefore, changed evaluation criteria, or a change of focus by a vendor.

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Evaluation Criteria Definitions

Ability to Execute Product/Service: Core goods and services offered by the vendor that compete in/serve the defined market. This includes current product/service capabilities, quality, feature sets, skills and so on, whether offered natively or through OEM agreements/partnerships as defined in the market definition and detailed in the subcriteria. Overall Viability (Business Unit, Financial, Strategy, Organization): Viability includes an assessment of the overall organization's financial health, the financial and practical success of the business unit, and the likelihood that the individual business unit will continue investing in the product, will continue offering the product and will advance the state of the art within the organization's portfolio of products. Sales Execution/Pricing: The vendor's capabilities in all presales activities and the structure that supports them. This includes deal management, pricing and negotiation, presales support, and the overall effectiveness of the sales channel. Market Responsiveness and Track Record: Ability to respond, change direction, be flexible and achieve competitive success as opportunities develop, competitors act, customer needs evolve and market dynamics change. This criterion also considers the vendor's history of responsiveness. Marketing Execution: The clarity, quality, creativity and efficacy of programs designed to deliver the organization's message to influence the market, promote the brand and business, increase awareness of the products, and establish a positive identification with the product/brand and organization in the minds of buyers. This "mind share" can be driven by a combination of publicity, promotional initiatives, thought leadership, word-of-mouth and sales activities. Customer Experience: Relationships, products and services/programs that enable clients to be successful with the products evaluated. Specifically, this includes the ways customers receive technical support or account support. This can also include ancillary tools, customer support programs (and the quality thereof), availability of user groups, service-level agreements and so on. Operations: The ability of the organization to meet its goals and commitments. Factors include the quality of the organizational structure, including skills, experiences, programs, systems and other vehicles that enable the organization to operate effectively and efficiently on an ongoing basis. Completeness of Vision Market Understanding: Ability of the vendor to understand buyers' wants and needs and to translate those into products and services. Vendors that show the highest degree of vision listen and understand buyers' wants and needs, and can shape or enhance those with their added vision. Marketing Strategy: A clear, differentiated set of messages consistently communicated throughout the organization and externalized through the website, advertising, customer programs and positioning statements. Sales Strategy: The strategy for selling products that uses the appropriate network of direct and indirect sales, marketing, service, and communication affiliates that extend the scope and depth of market reach, skills, expertise, technologies, services and the customer base.

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Offering (Product) Strategy: The vendor's approach to product development and delivery that emphasizes differentiation, functionality, methodology and feature sets as they map to current and future requirements. Business Model: The soundness and logic of the vendor's underlying business proposition. Vertical/Industry Strategy: The vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of individual market segments, including vertical markets. Innovation: Direct, related, complementary and synergistic layouts of resources, expertise or capital for investment, consolidation, defensive or pre-emptive purposes. Geographic Strategy: The vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of geographies outside the "home" or native geography, either directly or through partners, channels and subsidiaries as appropriate for that geography and market.

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