Once a year everyone has to dress like a grown up.
It's a lonely job, but someone's gotta do it.
A quiet moment. Good thing the lab floors are FDA clean!
Project Managers and Technicians communicate daily.
Collaboration in the Bull Pen.
Regular Project Meetings synchronize all departments.
On-site testing and repair facilities.
It's either the Lab Rats, or the Wait Staff from the Olive Garden.
Cherokee Group
Should Our Clients Be Buying From You?

Welcome to a web site of The Cherokee Group.

This web page is intended for use by visitors meeting the definition of "Vendor" as shown below. If you are a supplier ("Vendor") of goods or services to Cherokee or one of it's affiliates (i.e. where we buy our printing, office supplies, or computer equipment for our own use), you should not be using this web page. Please go to our Contact Us Page and send an email to General Information (General@Cherokee.to) or send a fax to (732) 741-2009, attention Carol Green.

If Cherokee Contacted You...
If you received a communication from someone at Cherokee asking for information about your organization's products or services, or if we invited you to participate in an Evaluation, it represents a sales opportunityThere is no fee to you.

Are You A "Vendor"? In the context of one of Cherokee's Evaluations, a "Vendor" is a person, firm or organization that produces or exclusively markets a product or service that we seek to evaluate as a component of an acquisition evaluation or other acquisition support project.

This does not mean your product or service will be purchased. It only means they are being considered, usually as a component of a larger acquisition.

Here's how to proceed.

What is Cherokee?
Cherokee Group is a private company that provides consulting services to government agencies. Specifically, we provide independent advise to decision-makers who specify or purchase information technology.

Cherokee is not a competitor to you. Neither are we a distribution channel. We never accept compensation or consideration of any kind from any Vendor (or anyone associated with them) involved in an Evaluation. We are paid by our Clients to study their requirements and determine appropriate solutions, and/or to provide testing and other Evaluation services. 

Since 1992 government agencies have trusted Cherokee to conduct unbiased comparisons of competitive products. 

We encourage you to review the Cherokee "No Influence Policy" and our "Ethics Policy".  These govern our conduct, and describe the Code of Ethics you can expect from us, and which we ask of you.

Our evaluation processes  are based on scientific methodologies, and are independently verified. Our scoring protocols are based on a wide variety of criteria, including: Performance, Compatibility and Interoperability, Functionality, Usability, Stress, Scalability, Certifications, Value, and reputation in the marketplace.

While we cannot assure you of sales resulting from your participation, we can guarantee that the analytical process will be fair and balanced, and will accurately reflect the requirements of our Client.

A more detailed description of the services we provide government agencies is shown here.

No Charge to Vendors
There is never a fee or charge to a Vendor participating in a Cherokee Evaluation, for any reason, in any form. Cherokee never accepts consideration of any kind from a Vendor.

Our only compensation is that which we are paid directly by our client who engaged us to conduct the Evaluation. We are a T&M (Time & Material) provider, and our clients compensate us on that basis.

Since Cherokee is paid for our time, there is a cost to our Client (not to a Vendor) for every addition to an Evaluation Matrix. Consequently, Cherokee is not authorized to modify the scale or scope of an Evaluation without the written consent of our Client. Therefore if Cherokee contacts a Vendor with an invitation to participate in an Evaluation, it is not a casual overture, but the result of previous analysis that indicates a reasonable probability that the product or service is a candidate for inclusion in a future acquisition by our Client, directly or as a component of a larger acquisition or program.

Cherokee and it's employees, contractors and subcontractors will not accept anything of value. We will not accept invitations to attend conferences, seminars, or conventions, which could be misinterpreted as paid "junkets" or "stealth vacations." We will not accept discounted products or services. We will not accept paid transportation, nor accommodations, nor meals. If we dine with Vendors, the Cherokee individual is required to pay the bill, or receive a separate bill, and pay it with a Cherokee credit card.

The only costs to a Vendor participating in any Evaluation being conducted by Cherokee are those same costs associated with having a columnist review the product. This normally includes the cost of shipping the product to the Cherokee (we pay for the return), providing distance-based training and support (if applicable, and entirely at the Vendor's discretion), and then whatever the accounting charge is associated with receiving the demo product back. Cherokee returns products or services in "as new" condition, normal wear and tear excepted. However these are no longer "new" and are usually then sold as refurbished, sold to employees, re-used for reviewer purposes, used for demonstration models at trade shows or retail locations, or otherwise.

Cherokee Does Not Make Purchases
Cherokee is an advisor to our Clients, but we do not make the final decisions. Cherokee does not authorize purchases. We do not negotiate prices.

We simply provide the results of our analysis and testing to our Clients. They make the final decision what to buy, when to buy, and if to buy at all. We're like a consumer testing lab (i.e. Consumer Reports® or PC Labs®) in that we conduct unbiased evaluations, and present the results to our "readers." However the ultimate decision is not ours. Cherokee is not affiliated with Consumers Union® or with PC Magazine®.

Please remember that we rarely conduct an Evaluation until hired by a Client to do so. These are not idle curiosity, a government agency is paying us to answer specific questions. Therefore the likelihood is high that our Client will use the results of our report to make acquisitions.

Virtually every invitation to a Vendor to participate in a Cherokee Evaluation represents a sales opportunity. We hope you will avail yourself of the opportunity.

Evaluations: Open vs. Stealth 
Cherokee conducts two basic types of Evaluations: Open and Stealth.

An Open Evaluation is one where we openly contact the Vendor candidates seeking information, and possibly samples of the products or services. The Vendor is fully aware of the process. and is invited to help our evaluation. Occasionally we can disclose the Client's identity and/or the Project, but typically we can not.

A Stealth Evaluation is one where we do not contact the Vendor candidates, and they usually are not aware that their products are being considered for an acquisition. We gather information indirectly. We acquire samples of their products via traditional marketplace channels. We analyze the product support anonymously.

Historically over 80% of our acquisition studies have been Stealth Evaluations. We believe this process results in a more reliable result, because the samples we test are truly random and representative of the Vendor's offerings. 

Conversely, when we receive samples directly from a Vendor, there is always the chance that it's been more carefully checked, or is specially configured or prepared. The support we receive is obviously more responsive and higher quality. While this reduces the cost of the Evaluation, but may not accurately reflect the product or service that the Client will receive over the course of an acquisition.

We do more "Open" Evaluations today purely for economic reasons. Government budgets are under pressure at all levels, and our Clients can not afford the luxury of having Cherokee acquire many dozens of test samples for each Evaluation.

We therefore ask the Vendors to provide test samples that are truly representative of their actual market offerings, and do our best to verify the legitimacy of these representations.

For reasons of security, privacy, and competition, we do not disclose, or publish links to, most of our Evaluations or other Projects. Those involved, with a need to know, have secure access to the appropriate information. We do provide this partial list of current, non-classified Projects.

Everyone associated with Cherokee adheres to a strict Code of Ethics. These are described in our "No Influence Policy", and in our "Ethics Policies".

No Advertising of Results
It is not uncommon that Cherokee is unable to share the results of an Evaluation with the participating Vendors. This is no reflection on the individual Vendors, or the services or products they represented. Some Evaluation Assignments contain specific restrictions as to what information Cherokee share, often because it could affect subsequent negotiations between our Clients purchasing department, or because the results are preliminary and subject to interpretation in the context of additional analysis.

If Cherokee is not contractually prohibited from discussing general results, this disclose is at the discretion of Cherokee's Projects Director and the individual Project Manager. In no event can Cherokee release any detailed results, nor copies of the final Evaluation Report. Cherokee never discusses the results of any product or service analysis with anyone other than the Vendor representing that particular Evaluation Candidate.

Further, the Vendors involved in Cherokee Evaluations may not advertise, promote or publicize the results of Cherokee Evaluations. For example, if a particular service or product is designated “Superior” or “Best Overall In Context” (our equivalent of an “Editors Choice”) the Vendor is not permitted to use this information in it's marketing. If asked, Cherokee (and probably the Client) will have "no comment." The reasons are many, but include the fact that these Evaluations and the criteria and scoring categories used are focused on a specific audience and in the context of a specific use, often in conjunction with a specific group of other hardware, software or systems. These very specific criteria may not be applicable to a more general audience. This is often the reason that a custom Acquisition Evaluation was conducted, as opposed to making purchase decisions based on industry reviews and more general purpose information.  It is therefore inaccurate, unreliable, and unfair to advertise a product or service being “the best”, or "picked by XYZ Government" when in fact a decision, if disclosed to the Vendor, may have been based on many factors not even disclosed to the Vendors.

The Next Step:
If you are a Vendor interested in having your products or services considered as part of an Evaluation being conducted by Cherokee, we thank you for your interest.

Please respond to the person who contacted you, preferably by email or fax. This will be received by the person coordinating Samples/Data Acquisition for that particular project. Please do not send samples without an invitation, or without receiving a Project Number which allows us to route your packages correctly.

If you are interested in participating in an Evaluation, but you are unsure to whom you should speak, please send an email to our general "Evaluations" mail box at Evaluations@cherokee.to  This mailbox is monitored by a rotating team of associates. 

We will be able to properly route your message to the correct person if you include in your email information about how you came to our web site, and information about your product or service.

Before participating in an Evaluation, every Vendor must understand, and agree to honor, our standard Evaluation Agreement.

We are rarely able to add a product or service to an Evaluation in progress.

By using this web site you are agreeing to abide by our "Terms of Use." 

Cherokee helps government make better IT decisions.

kee Group, Inc.
Administrative Offices:
133 Maple Avenue
Red Bank, NJ 07701

(732) 741-2000

Fax (732) 741-2009
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