Gartner has a new graph to measure how well your vendor is serving you - but has it thought through the full implications?

Analyst firm Gartner loves its graphs. It has Magic Quadrants to tell vendors how cool they are, and the Hype Curve which charts each technology's progress from new hope to has-been. now it has a new one - the vendor influence curve.

Gartner vendor curve

Customers have a choice on how to deal with vendors, on a scale from buying commodity products (point 1), to handing over your network strategy to a single vendor (point 5). Gartner makes the point that you get best value somewhere between those two extremes. Network World has more detail, and a more readable copy of the diagram here.

This analysis is clearly a threat to Cisco. It operates solidly at point 5 of the diagram – and other vendors like Nortel have seized on the Curve as evidence that Gartner is turning in their favour.

Despite this, analyst Ian Keene begins his exposition of the Curve with an assurance that there's nothing anti-Cisco about this. He's describing it now, to a group of network industry people right now, gathered in Barcelonat before Mobile World Congress, for the NetEvents summit. He clearly doesn't want to alienate Cisco.

But the Curve is really just common sense. You don't get what you pay for, you get what you understand, specify and buy. And I wonder if Gartner has applied the analysis to itself?

Let's see, level 5 is the one where customers get an over-engineered solution that doesn't understand their needs, that's more about selling what the vendor has.

Where would we put Gartner's own offering? .Somewhere off to the right, perhaps?