Analyst Jeremiah Owyang is Forrester's man at the bleeding edge of social media and web communities. He is building a dedicated 'Wave' (Forrester's vendor database and recommend-engine) for Social Web products and community platforms, aimed at helping organizations decide which solutions in the space are right for them. The Wave will also help CMS, ERP and other developers figure out which 'White Label' services are worth pursuing for partnerships or investment.
The primary goal of Forrester's Waves is to help potential customers in the selection process, offering a variety of interactive services to pick out the features you need. Products in a particular niche are sorted into 'Leaders', 'Strong Performers', 'Contenders', and 'Risky Bets' for at-a-glance analysis. Vendor Scorecards can also be accessed, and weightings’ of different features can be modified, so that you can view vendor scores according to your particular and unique needs.
In Forrester's own words, the Wave provides:
* A detailed analysis of vendors' products and services based on transparent, fully accessible criteria.
* A powerful Excel spreadsheet that allows you to easily compare products and get in-depth data and analysis about each one.
* Tools to develop a custom shortlist based on your company's unique requirements.
White Label Social/Communities Quantified
Jeremiah's own take on this: "My research agenda for this quarter is to complete a Forrester Wave, which is a market segmentation and prioritization report that will help clients (Fortune 5000, Interactive Marketers) determine which vendor is right for them. (I get asked daily in one medium or another who to buy). The primary purpose of this report is to aid my clients to efficiently come to a short list or decision on who to buy.
The lingering side effects could also signal to the VC space who to fund, as well as within the industry who will want to partner from a CMS, ERP, CRM, widget, services aspect." Quantifying the ever-changing landscape of the Social space is a daunting task, but efforts like this will help everyone to gain a clearer picture of what's happening in Social and Community platforms. Developers themselves will get the opportuntity to see what competitors are doing, and what innovative features and applications are hitting the scene, while initiatives like this help Enterprise and the Web community at large keep tabs on the who, how, and why of cutting-edge Social and Community development. Two thumbs up, then.
If you're interested in having your product listed and analyzed, we enclose the link to the Forrester Wave Roadmap (PDF) and Methodology (PDF), and to the Forrester Wave homepage where you can view a video demo and access more resources and details.