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IBM Marketing Software Review


An Independent Analysis

IBM Cloud/Hosting Delivery

The IBM Marketing Cloud is hosted from a Savvis data center in Atlanta and backup Savvis data center in Virginia. Savvis is a strong Tier IV data center provider and offers solid safeguards in physical security and multiple layers of redundancy with regard to power and Internet connectivity.

IBM's information security program follows most of the traditional standards, such as SSL encryption for data in transit, SAN storage encryption for data at rest, optional two-factor authentication and several network protection layers (firewalls, edge routers, intrusion detection systems, log correlation/event management, etc.) The marketing software itself also includes application specific security measures such as user IP validation/restriction and enforcement of valid password retention methods (i.e. prohibits certain browser password recordings). The company offers an SLA (Service Level Agreement) upon request and guarantees 99.5 percent uptime availability. For the two year period preceding this Silverpop review, the company averaged cloud uptime of 99.96 percent.

IBM uses a third-party service provider to periodically scan the network externally and perform vulnerability assessments and/or select designation penetration testing. All in all, IBM information security is an impressive operation run by tenured professionals, however, there are certain best in class measures notably absent, starting with a formal Information Security Management System (ISMS) that may be important to larger customers. Another caution for security-sensitive organizations is the lack of independent audits and attestations—namely SAS70/SSAE16 for U.S. customers or ISO 27001 certification for global companies. While the data center provides its own SAS 70/SSAE 16, that certification has no relevance to the Silverpop application delivery, systems management or information security preparedness.

IBM Marketing Cloud Pricing

In an era where more and more marketing software publishers are appealing to buyers with pricing transparency—by keeping pricing models simple and publicly listing software pricing on their websites—the IBM Marketing Cloud holds on to a less than simple pricing model and selectively discloses pricing information as a sales technique.

IBM marketing software pricing is based on database size (measured in leads or contacts) or email distribution volume. Subscription pricing may be based on the cost per record within database tiers with additional fees for customer support and optional add-on products (such as Placepunch), API integration and implementation services.

IBM customers are charged 10 percent of their monthly fee (capped at $500/month) for customer support. For a sample price estimate, a full-featured marketing automation program, with a database size of 100,000 leads, would cost about $2,500 per month. Pricing is a mixed bag, and of course subject to software scope and negotiation, so interested buyers are advised to contact IBM directly for pricing specifics.

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IBM Marketing Software Review


IBM Marketing Software Review

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