In the past two months, Salesforce Commerce Cloud has been named a global Leader in digital commerce in the Gartner Magic Quadrant and the Forrester Wave.

What’s the big deal about these reports? As the Manager of Analyst Relations at Commerce Cloud, I can say this – a lot.

Major analyst firms painstakingly produce vendor evaluation reports that are months and months in the making and include voluminous input from our executives, product managers, engineers, and many customers. These reports garner a lot of attention, both from the vendors included in them, and the end-user communities who often base major technology investment decisions on the research.

But what’s behind the hype? How important are they really, and why do we care so much about them?

Despite what some may tell you, it’s not as simple as lining up the products, comparing features, crunching some numbers, and seeing which vendor comes out on top. And although the product roadmap is critical, the analysts want to go deeper – much deeper. What they really want to understand is how technology providers partner with customers to help them be successful.

That said, these reports are as much about our business strategy as they are about our products. When plotting vendors on one of their signature graphics, analysts are measuring both the current product offering and capability as well as the company’s long-term strategy and vision.

And that, really, is one of the main things that sets Salesforce Commerce Cloud apart.

When a company becomes a Salesforce customer, they become part of our Ohana, or family; an ecosystem of customers and partners dedicated to one purpose – making the customer successful. I don’t need to tell you that we’re living in an age of unprecedented retail disruption, where technology has empowered customers to dictate the terms of engagement. Every day brings new stories of stores closing, legacy retailers struggling to adapt in a world of digital transformation, and of Amazon’s sprint towards retail domination. More than ever, retailers and brands need to differentiate themselves by putting their customers at the center of everything they do. It’s a matter of survival.

That’s where Commerce Cloud — and our vision — comes into play. We believe in partnering with retailers and brands to deliver an intelligent shopper journey across channels and devices.

We are also focused on delivering continuous innovation. It’s at the heart of our cloud model.  With Salesforce Einstein, we are providing deeper AI-based insights that will continue to redefine the customer experience by delivering smart, highly personalized interactions.

Salesforce is a strategic partner and trusted advisor to our customers in their quest to meet the challenge of a customer-empowered world. We are Trailblazers, going forward into the path of the future, as one, with a critical purpose to make our customers successful. Salesforce is blazing new trails with our customers and all of our Ohana, working with them to connect to their customers in new ways.

And that’s why we are so proud of the recognitions we’ve received in these analyst evaluations. When we are recognized as a leader or when we receive among the highest scores for strategy by independent analyst firms, we consider it a validation of the Commerce Cloud product and vision, and especially our culture of putting the customer at the center of everything we do.