Non-disclosure is a non-starter

  • 15-Feb-2019

We've mentioned this before, but some confusion emerged in recent dealings with vendors that RSG evaluates, so it bears discussing one more time: vendor NDAs are not conducive to telling the real story to enterprise technology customers.

We have a policy at Real Story Group of not signing NDAs with the vendors we evaluate. Nondisclosure agreements are antithetical to what we do; fundamentally, we're in the disclosure business. We perform research and then reveal what we've learned to our research subscribers.

Embargoes Are Fine

We do, on the other hand, honor news embargoes. Commonly, a vendor will have a new-product announcement that carries a specific go-live date. The go-live date might be a week in the future, but the press release is written and the vendor wants to show it to us. As long as the embargo period is reasonable, that's fine.

NDAs Hide Things

NDAs are a different beast. It's a legal contract. NDAs typically carry all kinds of fine print that inhibit disclosure in various ways even after the information in question has entered the public domain. Vendors sometimes choose the NDA mechanism to share with analysts when the information in question involves business strategy or an acquisition. Public corporations in particular have to be very careful about how they disclose certain kinds of information.

Fine.  But we don't want to be a party to those kinds of disclosures. We want to be free to explain to you, our research customer, whatever needs to get said, based on the research findings we dig up.

Some Analyst Firms Will Sign Them

Vendors routinely send us NDAs because that's what they do with other analyst firms.  It establishes a kind of secret intimacy that of course vendors use to help influence analysts.  Of course analyst firms love it because it allows them to "get inside" the vendor — less for the purpose of informing enterprise customers like you, because they can't reveal what they learned — and more because they want to sell that vendor some advisory services.

We don't roll that way.

So if you're a vendor, please don't ask us to sign an NDA. We understand the need for secrecy on certain matters, but in that case, please keep it to yourself, and don't brief us on what you don't want made known.

From a buyer's perspective, a real demo is worth a thousand words anyway...


Our customers say...

"I wish I had found your Web CMS Research six months ago. The "Pitfalls to Avoid" section is worth its weight in gold!"

Georgeann Elliott Moss, Director of Internet Publishing, Dallas County Community College District Dallas County Community College District

Other Web Content & Experience Management posts

Webinar: The New Omnichannel Stack

  • March 18, 2019

Welcome to the new era of Omnichannel. Learn why your MarTech or DX Stack may not be delivering the Omnichannel promise....

What Is a Real Quadrant?

  • March 5, 2019

Customers have a love-hate relationship with marketplace "quadrant" diagrams. You suspect there's something not right in the arbitrary positioning...and you're correct!...

CDP Scenario 9: Advanced Customer Data Management

  • February 26, 2019

Some CDP vendors target more complex data environments. They differentiate less on marketing activation and more on creating advanced data stores that marketers can then leverage in arbitrary ways....

Updated WCM Marketplace Categories

  • February 25, 2019

After updating several major vendor evaluations, we tweaked RSG's Web Content & Experience Management (WCM) marketplace categorization...