Statement of Objectivity & Methodology


Celent is a research and consulting firm that provides technology and business strategy advice to the global financial services industry. Celent provides unbiased insight into industry trends, competitors in the market, and market sizes. Celent’s research reports are written by in-house analysts with extensive experience at a variety of top global financial services firms, technology vendors, and consultancies.

Celent's research clients include financial institutions, vendors, and consulting firms. Occasionally, these solution providers will be evaluated in our reports, along with providers with whom Celent does not have a relationship. Celent evaluates all vendors using the same criteria, regardless of whether or not they use our research services.

Vendors and financial institutions profiled in our reports are given the opportunity to correct factual errors prior to publication, but cannot influence Celent’s analysis or opinions of the products, solutions, or strategies that we are evaluating. Firms may not purchase or influence positive exposure.

Who Is Included in a Celent ABCD Vendor View

Celent seeks to include vendors that have a large presence or new technology being used in the market. Celent does not give preference to its clients and will never request compensation for inclusion in an ABCD Vendor View. If a vendor chooses not to respond to a Celent RFI, the vendor may still be included in the report, especially a key market player. Should this happen, Celent will base its review on publicly available information and interviews with financial institutions.


The findings and analyses in Celent research reports reflect our analysts’ considered opinions and research of market trends, sizes, and participants. Celent analysts use the research methodology detailed below.

When citing third party data or opinions, Celent provides source information. When citing formal survey results, Celent provides as much information as possible about survey methodology and participants, within the limits of confidentiality. All other material appearing in Celent’s reports is created by the analyst and is derived from the sources listed above and Celent’s experience. Figures and charts based on this analysis are labeled with the source “Celent analysis.”

What Celent Measures for the ABCD Vendor View

The Celent ABCD Vendor View is how Celent compares and contrasts vendors in a given market. As the name indicates, we evaluate four major criteria:

A – Advanced Technology
B – Breadth of Functionality
C – Customer Base
D – Depth of Service

Each of these dimensions has various aspects that each research analyst considers when scoring. For Advanced Technology, we typically consider the platforms on which the solution runs, the databases supported, the architecture of the application, and the languages used to write it.

Breadth of Functionality is specific to the space covered. The score is designed to measure features and functionality of the application. Research analysts will typically measure leading edge functionality, since all vendors will respond positively to basic functionality questions. This section can also take into account customer experience and usability; e.g., does your Internet banking software provide a personal financial management tool? This score may also measure conformance to industry standards.

Customer Base is intended to measure not just the number of financial institutions using the product, but the size of the financial institutions, typically using asset tier.

Depth of Service measures vendor responsiveness to customers including roadmap input, customer references, support and training services, GUI and customization capabilities, and implementation skills.

This list is descriptive, not proscriptive. Analysts may consider other factors as the market space dictates. All scores are relative when plotted on the Celent ABCD Vendor Views.

The XCelent Awards

The top-scoring vendor in each of the four categories will receive an XCelent Award.
• A - XCelent Technology
• B - XCelent Functionality
• C - XCelent Customer Base
• D - XCelent Service

In the event of a tie or very closely bunched scores on a certain category, the analyst may grant multiple awards for that category. A single vendor may win multiple categories.

How Celent Gathers Information
Celent uses many sources for its reports, including:

• Vendor and financial institution briefings
• Vendor marketing material
• Software demonstrations and trials
• Celent request for information (RFI)
• Reference customer interviews
• Other customer interviews
• Client feedback
• Surveys
• Regulatory studies
• Academic studies
• Industry organizations
• Literature searches in public documents

Celent will give vendors a minimum of two weeks to respond to an RFI. Celent will also provide allow each vendor a minimum of one week to review its profile section and correct any factual errors, but vendors may not influence the analysis.

How Financial Institutions Can Use the ABCD Vendor View

There are four dimensions to the ABCD Vendor View. Different financial institutions have different priorities. For example, if a financial institution wished to implement a core banking solution using existing infrastructure without investing in new platforms, it would typically place less emphasis on the Advanced Technology dimension. If an insurer wanted to implement a leading-edge agent portal, a vendor that had few customers and therefore a low Customer Base score could still be an appropriate choice for the project.

A Customized ABCD Vendor View for Your Organization

Celent also offers customized research and consulting to assist individual financial institutions in selecting the best solution for their needs. Please contact us for further information.

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