Archive | March, 2012

Improvements Are In the Works!

One of the IIAR Board’s goals for 2012 and beyond has been to improve both the depth and frequency of its engagement with IIAR members and the AR community at large. The new Board of Directors has been planning for this, and we’re now moving into “execution mode” to put those plans into action.

We’ll be adding some new upgrades and capabilities to the IIAR web presence, which you should find useful.  To begin to make these operational, we’ll be taking the IIAR web site off-line this coming weekend, from Friday afternoon March 30 through Sunday night April 1.  Don’t panic — everything should be back up and running seamlessly by Monday morning, April 2 if not before.

Stay tuned and watch this space for some exciting news from the IIAR about our new capabilities!

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[Job Posting] AR/PR Specialist for Cynergy – Houston, TX

We’re Cynergy, a premier experience agency in search of a creative, organized, and energetic Analyst Relations/Public Relations Specialist to join our Marketing team. You will play a key role in educating and informing industry analysts, press and the public about Cynergy and our services. The main task here is to support Sales and Marketing efforts by driving awareness of the company and services through the analyst, social and press routes and to foster relations within the market. We’re looking for an experienced AR/PR professional with a knowledge and background in technology who is passionate, strategic and organized. Continue Reading →

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Has time come for a disruptive analyst firm?

Wine connoisseurs take as much pleasure talking about drink than savouring it…. so let me indulge you into an analogy between research firms and some of my favourites.

As with fine wines and corporate buying trends, so goes analyst firms.  The shift of power from IT to Business signifies a move from Wine to Champagne….

Ray (@rwang0, LinkedIn, blog) writes here about the latest IIAR Forum London and he’s got a few interesting points.

  1. Client base and research approach
    • There’s a wine analogy there: Gartner is like a Bordeaux (predictable blends) and Forrester is more like a Burgundy (more variable but sometimes great).
    • Gartner tends to sell to a mature IT audience, which is where most of the IT budget is. Its research output thus tends to be more conservative, after all most people don’t really want to experiment the at bleeding edge. As a result, it’s unlikely you’ll be surprised by a genial piece of research.
    • Forrester does this as well, but because (or thanks to) its marketing research, also cater for that role and its research style tends to be more adventurous (the Giga legacy probably) even if its coverage quality and quality is less constant.
    • And IDC sells to IT vendors mostly, a little to industry leaders (has to be a Côtes du Rhône, with elements of both depending on the individual analyst for opinion whilst the trackers are more constant –Shiraz is a bit like Marmite, it’s “love it or hate it”).
    • The point there is that your client base is your legacy, and unless you’re Steve Jobs or Henry Ford, most fail to break away from ‘building a faster horse’. In IT research aspects, it translates into “IT must align with business” (yawn). Analysts have been preaching this for the last 15 years, and it seems the issue hasn’t gone away.  Some part of the IT will be run as a utility (a better word than cloud, and in the same bucket than facilities and real estate) whilst the innovative stuff will be done by the business. IT is the business, the rest is a commodity (this doesn’t mean that everyone knows how to provision a commodity efficiently).
    • Another interesting aspect is that because they sell to a mature audience, they will confronted to a bit of an issue when baby-boomers will (finally) retire in the coming 5 years and be replaced by Gen-X and Gen-Y who have no appetite for academic style research. [Note: there’s a discussion here with some fellow IIAR members on whether the Gartner client base is that, er, experienced. What do you think?]
      Indeed Gartner is trying (again) to grow its SMB user base, but unless they radically change the way research is written, they will probably fail again. Constellation has probably a good card to play there by targeting smaller, innovative companies –even though up to 2/3 won’t make it into adult age.
  2. On “design point”, Constellation is pitching itself right in the “future of work” trend.
    • For analysts, time will tell if it’s ensuring, but trying to retain them by force (check this letter from Forrester’s CEO George Colony on non-compete) isn’t going to build a star-stable. Indeed, whilst Gartner seems to be doing a good job at keeping its best analyst, but it’d be curious to see how the average experience of Forrester analysts has evolved over time. There seem to be more researchers who graduated as analysts than analysts who came from a previous career. That in itself isn’t a sole predictor for insight, though it helps, but one would think that there’s a cost aspect (it’s the Forrester vs. the Giga models).
    • For users, I’d venture out to say it’s again like Marmite.  For establish companies, dealing with established brands having real offices offices is probably deemed ‘safer’. For Constellation’s target customers, meeting in a Stabucks probably isn’t a problem. James Governor (@monkchips, blog) seems to have found out that being unconventional actually helps with his specific audience: developpers.
  3. On analyst access
    • In terms of business model, Ray is indeed accessible which is quite refreshing compared to other analysts who for instance reduce briefing slots to 30mn. Whether that can be scaled without administering Modafinil to the rest remains to be seen.
    • For end users, it would be a net-gain if the processes to ensure a constant user experience as Constellation grows in size work effectively.
  4. On research approach
    • Legacy firms underplay the community aspect indeed but let’s not forget that Gartner is quite a large community in itself.
    • From an end-user aspect, one could expect more innovative research.
  5. On sales
    • IMHO it’s where I’ll be watching Constellation as converting from a consulting model to a RAS one isn’t that straightforward. So far they seem to be on the right track though.

Bottom line:

  • Gaining enough scale to gain a sufficient end-user base is challenging for mid-sized firms but Constellation seem to be making all the right noises.
  • Establish firms need to break away from their traditional user base to reinvent themselves before baby-boomers retire.

Ludovic Leforestier (LinkedIn, @lludovic)

See also Duncan’s post on the IIAR Forum with Constellation:

And Ray Wang’s own post:

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IIAR Exam version 2.0 Launched Today

We are pleased to announce that work has been completed on the IIAR Certified Professional Exam and version 2.0 is now available online.

All current Board members and Secretary have completed the test successfully and are proud members of the IIAR Certified Professional LinkedIn club. We thought it was important to practice what we preached and so having sat the original test, the Board got together to look at questions which needed clarifying, updating or taking out altogether. Criticisms of the old test had included complicated wording, confusion over double negatives and some of the multiple choice options. We’ve gone through each question with a fine tooth-comb and are now happy that the test offers straight forward questions, with questions relating to today’s challenges and demands of the AR professional.

There are a few less questions, now 117 in total rather than 120 but the time limit of 90 minutes remains the same, which should give candidates plenty of time to double-check answers where necessary. It is an open-book exam and can be taken at any time but it must be taken in one sitting.

Candidates who would like to take the test should email the IIAR Secretary who will send through unique login details and password so you can access the test. Continue Reading →

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More stars move into the Constellation

The Constellation Research team at the IIAR London Forum, March 2012The IIAR’s UK chapter had a highly interactive discussion on March 14 thanks to the presence of Constellation Research‘s R “Ray” Wang (@rwang0)  and three star analysts who’ve joined his firm as vice-presidents and principal analysts: Alea Fairchild (@afairch), Charles Brett (@charlesbrett) and Paul Papadimitriou (@papadimitriou).

The meeting at the IIAR London Forum, organised by Simon Levin in the plush Bell Pottinger, HQ heard a pointed discussion on the development of new value propositions in the analyst industry, reflected by the successful growth of Constellation, which only launched in 2010. Continue Reading →

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Drinks with Constellation Research: London – Wednesday 14th March

In London tomorrow and want to meet R “Ray” Wang (@rwang0, LinkedIn) and other members of the Constellation Research team?

This is your chance.

Constellation Research and the IIAR are organising drinks at a bar in central London (Chancery Lane area) on Wednesday 14th March 2012, from 6.15pm.

As well as Ray, we’re delighted to have Paul Papadamitriou, Alea Fairchild and Charles Brett from Constellation Research join us.

If you’re in AR and would like to come along, then please email David Rossiter for details or DM @iiar.

(The drinks start after tomorrow’s IIAR Forum when Ray and his colleagues will be talking.  Do let David know if you’d also like to attend that as well as – or instead of – drinks!)

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IIAR Teleconference: Linking your AR outreach with sales

On Tuesday March 27th, 4-5pm GMT / 11-12pm ET / 8-9am PT the IIAR is holding a teleconference with a panel of experts  on linking AR with sales. During this session, we’ll be discussing:

  • Why linking AR with sales is key to AR’s success
  • Educating the sales force on analyst influence and the role of AR
  • Customer references – improving their quality and quantity and how working with analysts can multiply their value
  • Is there a place for sales in AR metrics?

Panelists:

  • Fionnula Fitzsimons, Associate Director and Head of AR – Bite Communications
  • Rob Petrucelli, Senior Manager, Global Director, Technology AR – Accenture
  • Stephen England, President & Partner – KCG / IIAR Board member
  • Moderator: Hannah Kirkman, AR Consultant – Richmond Green

This call is open to all IIAR members.

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IIAR Sydney Forum: The Who, What, Why, Where & How of Analyst Social Media Use in APJ

Drawing on Intelligen’s recent Understanding the Influencers survey of more than 130 analysts across APJ, Dave Noble (MD – Intelligen AR / IIAR Board member) will discuss use of various social media platforms by regional and country analysts and address some key questions for AR professionals in this region:
  • Which analysts are using social media, and what are they using it for?
  • What social media platforms do analysts prefer, and how does this differ by location and activity?
  • Why AREN’T some analysts using social media?
  • What do AR professionals need to think about when developing a social media strategy?
Date / Time: Wednesday April 11 2012 from 4-7pm NSW 
Location: North Sydney, Australia
If you would like to attend please email Dave Noble who will provide further details. For those not able to make it in person a Webex and bridge line will be available.
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