Developer Support Is a Driving Force Behind Vendors’ Business Strategies and Success, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – APRIL 9, 2001 – The developer support market is very important to IT vendors’ business strategies. Because of that, vendors have a vested interest in providing developer support programs that are effective and developer friendly. This is a key message of a new IDC report titled Developing Developers: Developer Support Program Dynamics and the Strategic Role of Developer Support.


"Developers are important to vendors because they help create demand for their technologies, as well as increase customer satisfaction for their products, market penetration, and revenue," said Ana Volpi, manager for IDC’s Software Support and Integration Services program. "As a result, vendors that do not already have a separate support portal for developers should create one. Also, the support organization should be actively involved in the development and maintenance of the developer portal. Portals should include not only product information but also detailed technical assistance."

IDC believes the developer support market is very heterogeneous. Vendors differ significantly in the type of support offerings they provide and whether they have multiple levels of support. However, there are several areas of similarities. "Almost all of the vendors we interviewed have Web support portals and offer that support for free," Volpi said. "In addition to free Web portals, all vendors offer free tools to developers. Most of these tools are specific development tools; others are free versions of the same products that customers receive."

According to IDC, no one clear leader exists in the developer support arena, but various vendors excel in specific areas and in their overall developer programs. "One vendor might have a reputation for high-quality developer events while another might be known to respond to questions really well," Volpi said. "Whichever the case, the key for developers and vendors is to establish trusted relationships."

IDC’s recently published report, Developing Developers: Developer Support Program Dynamics and the Strategic Role of Developer Support (IDC #B23966), examines the developer support market. Twelve key vendors are profiled regarding their technical support offerings for developers, the strategic role of developer support, and the importance of developers to their business. The vendors are Ericsson, IBM, Informix, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Oracle, Palm, Openwave Systems, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, and Sybase. This report also discusses market dynamics, trends, and corresponding recommendations.

To purchase this report, contact Jim Nagle at 1-800-343-4952, extension 4549, or email

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world’s leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.


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