ZapThink Code of Ethics
Many companies trust ZapThink not only for our focus, depth of coverage, accuracy, knowledge, and insight, but also because of our objectivity, fairness, and responsibility to our customers. In this document, we share with you our code of ethics and what sets us apart as an analyst group that you can trust as a close confidant of your company’s most important and strategic needs, and as a source of impartial, insightful comments on the IT industry.
1. A key part of ZapThink’s value proposition to our customers is that we offer frank, concise, practical, and honest feedback. This feedback might or might not be favorable to our customers, but in any case is based on fact, analysis, insight, and understanding of the market. We’re always honest in our opinions—the opinions we give to the press, to customers, and to non-customers alike are our actual opinions.
2. ZapThink doesn’t offer better or more favorable opinions of companies because they are our customers, or less favorable opinions because a company is not our customer. We don’t sugar coat what we say because a company is a customer. Likewise, if we have unfavorable opinions about a non-customer, those opinions have nothing to do with the fact they’re not a customer.
3. We have no significant financial interest in any of the companies we cover (either customers or non-customers). Our personal investments are either in mutual funds or other diversified investments, or are limited to less than $5000 invested in any one company.
1. One of the key value propositions we provide our subscribers is the press visibility we can generate for them, so in our conversations with the press, we frequently talk about our subscribers—but in no way does our business relationship with a company or lack thereof affect our opinion of that company.
2. ZapThink takes briefings from any company when they fall within the scope of existing or planned research, regardless of whether they are a customer or not. ZapThink always reserves the right to accept or refuse a briefing from a non-subscribing company based on the needs of our research.
3. ZapAccess research subscribers are invited to brief ZapThink whenever they have relevant news. This service is one of several advantages of being a ZapAccess subscriber. As a result, we are often better informed about subscribers than about other companies. However, the frequency of briefings does not determine the favorability of our opinion, just the level to which we are informed about those companies.
4. We consider the briefings we have with non-customers to be an opportunity for them to provide us with information about themselves we can use in our research, in exchange for insights and information we provide in the briefing as part of the conversation, as well as the visibility we provide them by including them in our research. We neither provide nor expect any other form of compensation or consideration for conducting briefings. Therefore, we do not provide complimentary research to report participants, nor do we expect companies to pay us for briefing ZapThink analysts. It is understood that a briefing in itself offers mutual value for the participants.
5. Briefings conducted via telephone are always free. We may encourage the companies who would like to brief us to purchase products and services from us, but our decision whether or not to take a briefing has nothing to do with whether the company purchases anything from us.
6. We normally do not conduct in-person briefings with non-subscribers. However, we do conduct Short Advisory Sessions, which are two- to three-hour, in-person paid engagements that typically contain a briefing portion. However, we charge less than our regular rate for these Short Advisory Sessions to reflect the fact that part of the time is slated for the briefing.
7. ZapThink sets a fair price for delivering our quality services. It would not be fair to you, our customer, if we offered another customer a better price for a service we gave you, simply because they were better at negotiating. And, it would not be fair to us if we dropped our price simply because you asked us to, since it would make it seem as if our pricing was arbitrarily set. As a result, we stand firm by our prices. However, we do offer a wide range of flexible payment and pricing terms based on different levels of service and total price, and we also can offer competitive pricing based on combinations of different service and product offerings. Finally, ZapThink reserves the sole right to offer non-negotiable special pricing for different special offers througout the year, and will make these special offers available to any customer that qualifies for the conditions of the offer.
Responsibility to Our Customers
1. ZapThink’s primary responsibility is to our customers. We treat our customers with the utmost respect – respecting their timing and budgetary needs, and their information requirements.
2. ZapThink signs Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) with subscribers, but does not typically do so with other companies. If we speak with a company with whom we do not have an NDA, the main purpose of our participation in the conversation is to gather research to benefit our customers. Therefore, we will not guarantee to keep any part of such conversations confidential, even if the information provided to us is designated as confidential, under embargo, or under NDA.
3. We price our products and services based upon the value we provide our customers. We don’t charge big companies more because they’re big, or small companies less because they’re small; instead, we charge everyone a fair price for the value we provide.
4. ZapThink is in the business of selling its advisory and insight. While ZapThink may from time to time distribute research free of charge for marketing or other value-building reasons, the bulk of our research, advisory, and insight is the sole product that we are in business to sell. Therefore, we make it a policy not to give away all or part of the research we have for sale.
5. Like all businesses, ZapThink seeks to hire and retain the best talent in the industry. ZapThink makes a concerted effort not to recruit employees directly from our customers or subscribers. We may, however, post job opportunities online or in other locations to solicit qualified candidates. In such cases, qualified candidates from ZapThink’s customer base might respond to such ads and desire to apply for available positions. To avoid conflict of interest, ZapThink will prefer candidates from non-subscribing customers over those from our existing customer base, but will hire any qualified candidate for available positions, regardless of their current company affiliation.