Why only companies can be MACH certified, and not products
by Sonja Keerl, President MACH Alliance
We often receive the question: Why is MACH Alliance Certification only given to companies as a whole, and why do we not certify stand-alone products. One of the rules that helps us determine who gets certified and who doesn’t, is that vendors should not carry and promote their legacy products along with their modern API-first and Cloud native SaaS product. Actively selling a certifiable product in the same package as one that would not, keeps companies from getting the desired MACH stamp. Let me explain why.
There's just one simple reason: the buyer!
The intention is clarity for the buyer
All vendors, big and small, are making the shift towards more modern, flexible and open product architectures. Tech buyers can easily get confused because it is hard, even for industry experts, to look beyond marketing buzz and establish which products are the real MACH deal. Certifying portfolio vendors with partial MACH readiness only makes this confusion even greater. We would also be contributing to the MACH-washing in the market.
MACH architectures are very successful in accelerating digital experience delivery, because MACH products are geared for interoperability, speed and scale, in a new way. Customers buy MACH products because they know that their product portfolio siblings are MACH as well. There are no risks of introducing a weak link and getting stuck with it down the road.
So, yes, we encourage legacy vendors to move away from monoliths and closed systems altogether, and join the MACH trend. But it is not our mandate to reward investment with certification and confuse their customers into buying a legacy product.
Ensuring digital prosperity
This was not an easy decision for us to make. The MACH Alliance is funded by membership fees, and consequently, more vendors means more execution power to advocate for future fit technology, processes and skills. But we need to make sure that buyers can trust the MACH promise. We need to ensure digital. Tech leaders should encounter as few obstacles as possible in their journey to buying a composable and trusted tech stack.
Therefore, a company's entire active portfolio of products needs to be MACH to join the Alliance and avoid any doubt from buyers.
MACH certified means that it's a go
The MACH Alliance bears responsibility to future-proof tech stacks, to provide a seal of confidence and a guarantee that the systems are swappable and don’t create a lock-in. We, and I personally, don’t take that lightly.
This quote by Forrester’s Joe Cicman describes it as such:
“They (MACH Alliance) are the bouncers controlling the velvet rope at the entrance of the Coolest Tech in Town Club. They boldly proclaim to carry the flag of a new order in enterprise experience tech. And the wind is at their backs.”
How often do (young) industry initiatives get such a response from a reputable analyst and true knower of the DXP field like Joe Cicman? We're not getting the praise for being sloppy.
He continues with writing:
(...) The debate over the MACH Alliance’s policies is vigorous — especially the point that only companies can be MACH Alliance certified. Why? Because vendors’ products need to conform to the criteria. The MACH Alliance stamp simplifies things for tech buyers and complicates things for vendors. What else can everybody agree on? That taking friction out of a buyer’s journey is a good thing.”
We hold ourselves accountable to our claim that says we provide clarity for buyers, end confusion, and guarantee the future-proofness of tech stacks.
Think your company has what it takes to be MACH certified? Check out the requirements.