SOURCE: ITSMA

October 30, 2007 09:15 ET

IBM Ranks Number One in ITSMA's Ninth Annual Brand Tracking Study for IT Professional Services

Accenture, EDS, Deloitte, and HP Round Out the Top Five; Infosys Emerges as the Leading Offshore Firm in the Study

LEXINGTON, MA--(Marketwire - October 30, 2007) - New research from ITSMA shows that buyers of IT professional services and solutions are more aware of, more familiar with, and more likely to call IBM than any other provider of IT professional services examined in the study. The research also reveals that, of the five offshore firms included in the study, Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) have the highest awareness and familiarity. However, Infosys and Cognizant tie for the offshore firm North American buyers would be most likely to call for IT professional services.

ITSMA Identifies the Leaders

ITSMA determines brand leadership by assigning each company a Brand Equity Index (BEI) score, which is calculated by weighting and summing individual firms' ratings for unaided awareness, aided awareness, first firm to call, familiarity, and favorability.

With a BEI score of 50.6, IBM emerges with the highest brand equity for the examined IT professional services firms. Other top achievers include Accenture, Deloitte, EDS, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, and SAP.

Of the five offshore firms included in the study -- Cognizant, Infosys, Satyam, TCS, and Wipro -- Infosys emerges with the highest BEI score. Cognizant comes in a close second.

Although these offshore providers still lag behind many of the incumbents in terms of brand awareness and preference, the message about the cost savings that can be achieved by selecting offshore providers continues to resonate with buyers, with only a slight leveling off of interest in purchasing offshore services this year.

To hear more about branding at Infosys, join us at ITSMA's 14th Annual Marketing Conference on November 14 and 15, 2007, where Srinivas Uppaluri, head of global corporate marketing at Infosys, will speak about Infosys' latest branding initiative. For more information on the program, see:

http://www.itsma.com/conference

Most Important Selection Criteria

When selecting IT professional services providers, the top selection criteria are:

--  Dependability
--  Responsiveness
--  Collaborative work style
    

Study author Lori Weiner identifies a critical observation for providers: "In a world where buyers have so many choices, relationship factors such as dependability, responsiveness, and collaboration are extremely important. Providers that demonstrate their ability to manage the total customer experience throughout the sales cycle, including the early phases, will gain an important edge over those that 'just' demonstrate a great technical solution."

Methodology

ITSMA interviewed 401 U.S.-based senior IT and business decision makers from companies reporting annual revenue or operating budget of $300 million or greater in eight industry segments:

--  Communications
--  Energy/utilities
--  Financial services
--  Healthcare providers
--  Manufacturing/consumer products
--  Manufacturing/industrial products
--  Public sector
--  Retail trade
    

Respondents qualified for inclusion based on their involvement in purchasing IT professional services, defined as technology and/or related business services, such as consulting, integration, or outsourcing.

The report examined the following 20 professional services and solutions firms: Accenture, AnswerThink, Bain, BearingPoint, Boston Consulting Group, Capgemini, Cognizant, CSC, Deloitte, EDS, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi Consulting, IBM, Infosys, McKinsey, Oracle, SAP, Satyam, TCS, and Wipro.

For more information on the study, please see: http://www.itsma.com/research/abstracts/bps008.htm

About ITSMA

ITSMA specializes in helping companies market and sell services and solutions more effectively. As a membership organization, we work with the world's leading technology, communications, and professional services providers to generate increased demand, strengthen customer relationships, and improve brand differentiation. ITSMA members include business leaders such as Accenture, BT, Cisco, Deloitte, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft, SAP, and Tata Consultancy Services, among others. Our comprehensive research, consulting, and training on topics including ITSMA Account-Based Marketing(SM), Brand Positioning, and Solutions Development provide the insight and experience companies need to improve business results. ITSMA is based near Boston, and has offices in London and Tokyo. Learn more at www.itsma.com.

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