Okta and Coupa were named as clear Leaders in Gartner’s latest Magic Quadrant report. This is considered a huge milestone because IT leaders consistently look to these reports to profile companies. Just as a refresher, Gartner is the leading research and advisory firm, mostly for enterprise software. They publish reports on various software solutions, outlining strengths and weaknesses. I use it to better understand the industry, competitive landscape and the company.
“Okta received the highest score for the customer experience category. Customer comments widely complement the product’s ease of deployment and use.”
This is the most important point because product deployment is often a huge obstacle. And speaks volumes that customers are having a very positive overall experience during implementation and post-implementation.
Sounds like Gartner couldn’t find any substantial weaknesses in Okta. They mention that IoT functionality is limited, some new products are not widely available, few minor product gaps and premium price point. However, a software company will rarely lose a deal to price alone. Nothing of concern.
Closest competitor Microsoft and from what I understood, they have some concerning product gaps and partner with third parties to fill those gaps. This is concerning because it increases Total Cost of Ownership and complicates implementation. Now you’re dealing with two to four different companies to implement a single MS product. Gartner also notes that the complicated licensing model has led to shelfware (software purchased but not used), which is never a good thing. This is consistent with any major enterprise software company (Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, IBM, etc.)
Overall, I’m a big fan of Microsoft. Over the past 5 years, they have reinvented certain parts of their business and are on the right track. But Okta is in kicking their ass in this space.
Coupa’s been a Leader in the Procure-to-Pay / Source-to-Pay space for several years, but this is the first time that they have displaced SAP as THE leader. The spend management space is still evolving and there’s a lot of room for growth. Over the past year, Coupa has made some excellent strategic acquisitions to fill product gaps. This was not so much to catch up with SAP, but to become an overall leader in this space. Think of contingent labour management (DCR Workforce), third party risk management (Hiperos) and contract lifecycle management (Exari). Coupa has a history of quickly integrating acquired solutions, whereas SAP is on the other side of the spectrum. SAP acquired Ariba in 2012, Concur and Fieldglass in 2014. However, these products are still not integrated into their ERP offering. Looking at the magic quadrant, I find it interesting that Gartner mentioned Ariba and Fieldglass separately.
Coupa’s mentioned weaknesses aren’t anything to worry about. SAP however, has some work to do to achieve a decent ROI. Paid $4.3bn for Ariba and >$1bn for Fieldglass. Again, SAP has a strong overall product portfolio, but has lost out and will continue to lose out to best-of-breed solutions such as Salesforce, Workday and Coupa.