Riding the Crest of the Wave... the Forrester Wave

Riding the Crest of the Wave... the Forrester Wave

Posted on August 09, 2009 0 Comments

In just a few short days of its announcement news of the Forrester CEP Wave has spread to all corners of the globe. From trade magazines, online journals and blogs to Facebook and Twitter, the headlines are everywhere. A Google search yields thousands of hits.  "Independent Research names Progress® Apama® as a Standout Leader in CEP ..."

The Forrester team of Mike Gualtieri and John Rymer state 'The Fledgling CEP Platform Market Is Vibrant, Competitive, And Dynamic'. Of course those of us that have been immersed in event processing for the past few years already knew that. It was our job to convince Mike and John. On behalf of Progress Apama and the CEP community, I would like to extend a word of thanks and appreciation to both of them for their efforts, diligence and patience in putting this Wave together. An enormous task given they reviewed 9 CEP products and vendor strategies in depth. Considering this was the first CEP Wave they also had to define an initial blueprint on CEP by which to evaluate vendors, they did a commendable job. Well done. You can get a complimentary copy of the pdf version from us here.  

It was quite a few months ago when I and a few of my esteemed colleagues began the CEP Wave process. In the abstract it was not too much different from responding to the questions in a prospect's RFP/RFI, for which I and my colleagues have much practice. However, a difference that I found unique was the format. A client proposal is generally a Word document where one can provide plenty of written detail, and diagrams to depict product architecture and function. Forrester Waves are MS Excel spreadsheets. Vendor's responses to the Wave's questions are to fit into an Excel cell. Being a long-winded person, it was a challenge to have the necessary succinctness dictated by the confines of a cell.  My colleagues were quite helpful to this end. 

In short order, it became clear as to the benefits of the spreadsheet format. While many documents - proposals, reviews, evaluations or other become static paper the moment they're published that is not the case with Forrester's Wave. There is a clear intent behind Forrester's use of the spreadsheet format; it creates a living/dynamic document for their clients.  Spreadsheet's by their very nature can be interactive. Spreadsheet formula's can accept user input and recalculate. This capability is exactly what Forrester leverages in the CEP Wave.

The Forrester CEP Wave is divided into three categories:

  • Current Offering: A platform feature breakdown, development and deployment tools and performance characteristics.
  • Strategy: The vendors investment for the future.
  • Market Presence: Customer base.

Within each of these categories is an entire litany of subcategories containing features and criteria by which the product and vendor are measured. Each is assigned a weight as deemed appropriate by Forrester in reviewing the CEP industry at large.  Each vendor is then judged by their merits and scored. The most important aspect of this is the weighting. This is the key that gives the Wave that dynamic nature. From a client perspective, the weighting can be adjusted to suit your specific requirements. If for example, your shop is Windows-only you don't need to have a high weight on multi-platform support, you can lower that value. Likewise, if you have strong need for high availability/disaster recovery you can increase that weighting. Making these adjustments will tune the Wave for your specific requirements. You will then see how vendors stack up against each other with your customized weights. By doing so, what you will find is that the Apama platform pops to the top of the list all too often.

Once again thanks for reading, you can follow me at twitter, here.


The Progress Team

View all posts from The Progress Team on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.


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