1. Who is Aspire?
Aspire is a boutique consulting firm specializing in the Customer Communications Management (CCM) and Customer Experience Management (CXM) industries. Through deep market expertise and global insights, we work with technology providers, service providers, enterprises and investors to help you achieve your CCM goals.
2. Why did Aspire launch the Aspire Leaderboard?
The CCM industry is evolving at a rapid pace, as it moves towards a focus on Customer Experience (CX). The Aspire Leaderboard aims to capture this evolution. Through in-depth analysis and industry expertise the team at Aspire has compared and contrasted the major players in the CCM space, mapping them across five different grids, taking into account their capabilities versus their strategic direction.
The Aspire Leaderboard has been engineered to take the complexity out of CCM decision-making. Delivering clear, insightful, interactive analysis and intelligence, which can be tailored to your job role and industry, it provides a platform that enables the sharing of best practice information, while helping end-users find the best software vendors for their business.
3. How does the Aspire Leaderboard work?
The Aspire Leaderboard is a dynamic, digital-first, vendor positioning grid that ranks vendors across the CCM industry.
It is composed of an Overall Leader grid and 4 sub-grids that capture the evolution of CCM. The sub-grids – Automated Document Factory, Customer Communications, Business Automation, and Omni-Channel Orchestration are then populated by vendors in those areas, who are then ranked according to their capabilities and vision.
Each grid consists of a rectangular shape, with the X-axis showing strength of Strategic Direction and the Y-axis showing strength of Capabilities.Those who rank highest are considered “leaders” of the grid, which would then reflect on the overarching Top CCM Vendors grid.
In addition to the static main grids, the Aspire Leaderboard comes with a wide variety of dynamic grids, which are presented as Use Cases. A use case is a set of capabilities to produce certain communications, and is linked to a job role. Free subscribers can access pre-defined use cases, while sponsored / paid users can modify and tailor use cases to their own needs.
4. Who is the Aspire Leaderboard for and how do I use it?
The Aspire Leaderboard currently helps end-users analyze CCM technology vendors based on their capabilities and vision. It provides a rich and relevant vendor evaluation experience for end-users, particularly new buyers within line-of-business functions and marketing roles.
Free registration ensures that you can keep up-to-date with the latest industry news, events, and relevant analyst insights. Premium content, tailored for companies going through an RFP process, is additional and requires a paid subscription.
5. What makes the Aspire Leaderboard unique?
The Aspire Leaderboard is a digital-first ranking grid that provides end-users the ability to search for vendors according to their preference. Unlike other ranking platforms offered by research firms, the Aspire Leaderboard provides a dynamic interface where users can use filter features to display the vendors based on the attributes they’re looking for.
6. Is the Aspire Leaderboard vendor-neutral?
Yes. The Aspire Leaderboard is based on fair and independent evaluation of the participating vendors. To preserve our independence, Aspire, or any Aspire employee/analyst will not:
Own stock or shares in any of the participating vendors
Have a reseller or distribution relationship in place with any of the participating vendors
Be commissioned, remunerated, or be benefitted in whatever form by participating vendors, with a goal to obtain higher ranking or positioning
Our integrity is extremely important to us, and we recognize that our reputation is the most important asset that we have in the industry.
7. How does the ranking process work?
Every vendor on the Aspire Leaderboard will have completed an in-depth questionnaire, supported by one or more briefings. We have contacted every customer or partner that was referred to us by the vendors to get honest opinions on how the software is being used in practice. Furthermore, we have liased with many of our own contacts to independently verify and validate what we have learned from vendors and contacts.
Aspire's ranking is based on two scores, a H-score (horizontal score) and V-score (vertical score), which are expressed by capability. The following mechanism determines the scores
Strength of strategic direction
Ability to present a vision that is credible and impactful
Future development direction, either on roadmap or as part of defined strategy; per capability
Utilizing modern development methodologies and concepts
Uniqueness of the taken approach; ability to shape own direction in market
Score expressed from 0 to 100, with 0 being extremely passive and 100 being extremely disruptive.
Strength of capability
Technical depth and breadth of features within capability in relation to other offerings in the market
Degree of innovation of the capability; ability to make a difference for the customer
Global impact; ability to sell in North America and Europe
Score expressed from 0 to 100, with 0 being extremely weak and 100 being extremely powerful. Vendors that do not (actively) sell in North America and Europe cannot have h-scores higher than 50.
8. Is the Aspire Leaderboard free to use?
The Aspire Leaderboard has three different levels of access:
Unregistered: Visitors to the Aspire Leaderboard homepage coming from search engines or users that are not logged in. They can access news and event information, as well as vendor profile pages
Registered: Users that have signed up to the Aspire Leaderboard and have an account with us. They can access the Aspire Leaderboard, see all grids, and can select use-cases. They can visit the vendor profile pages, and access all Aspire content and insights
Premium: Registered users that can also access premium content and create their own dynamic grid by either modifying use-cases or building it from scratch.
9. Is it possible to see my bills?
At the moment, we will send your bills via e-mail. We are currently working on a billing portal where you can access your bills in the website. We will keep you updated once we've launched this feature.
10. What credit cards do you accept?
U.S. businesses can accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Discover, and Diners Club.
Australian, Canadian, European, Hong Kongese, Japanese, and Singaporean businesses can accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
11. How do you deal with sales taxes and VAT?
We will invoice you for the net amount and specify taxes on your bill.
We charge 20% for UK. For the rest of Europe you will need to provide a VAT ID, which allows us to reserve charge.
11. How do you define and breakdown organization sizes?
With regard to organization size, Aspire defines businesses categories as follows:
- Micro SMB: up to 10 employees
- Small SMB: 10-99 employees
- Medium SMB: 100-249 employees
- Large SMB: 250-499 employees
- Small Enterprise
- 500-1999 employees
- 2,000-19,999 employees
- Large enterprise
- 20,000+ employees