Around Mark McGregor from MWD Advisors in 10 Questions

Mark McGregor is Principal Analyst for MWD Advisor’s BPM programme with a Six Sigma Black Belt and certified PRINCE2 practitioner. He recently joined the company having previously worked for Bloor Research as Research Director. You can find out more about Mark via his twitter feed and on LinkedIn or alternatively read the latest from the MWD blog.

1.  What are your coverage areas?

Given my 17 + years in the modeling tool market, it will come as no surprise that analysis & design will be a particular area of focus. I will also be looking more at some of the soft issues surrounding change and BPM in particular. As we say at MWD it is all about getting the best value from your IT investment, and that needs more than just technology skills.

2.  What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?

As with any other industry, it has to change or die. There are still many old school firms out there doing the same old thing. Of course this means they are getting the same old results. Today more and more needs to be done to help vendors get the right messages out and to help them connect to their buyers. More value is going to be placed on analysis that helps people understand people – their motivations, their frustrations and their challenges. At least I hope it will as that will be what we are doing.

3.  What’s your typical day like?

I’m not sure I’ve had a typical day yet, but at a big picture level, my time will be split between the vendors who want to promote technology, and helping end-user companies who need to work out how best to apply technology for the maximum business return. One of the things that sets MWD apart is our really strong focus on end-user organisations, both with the publication of independent product analysis and research, but more importantly the publication of in-depth end-user case studies designed to learn from the work that others have already done. As one of my big focuses is “the people side of change”, I’m particularly excited about this emphasis. It’s not (just) about the technology…

4.  Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?

Well… without naming names. I recall once being on the East Coast for some R&R and reaching out to a vendor I knew to offer them the chance to brief. I explained I was in on my time and my dime, and so I did not want the PR pitch, but instead a quick update on what was new and the chance to ask some questions. My host then informed me that I would sit through his standard pitch as he knew best how to brief analysts! You can imagine that even after he took me out for a nice dinner, I still did not feel inclined to publish anything!

5.  Any favourite AR professional you’d like to mention? Any why?

I don’t have any particular person in mind, but the ones who listen and do their best to service the needs of the analyst are always appreciated. They can, at times, have a tough job and we recognise that. By the same token we very often have tight deadlines to meet, and tend to want to stay on track with the particular research project. These are the ones we like and thank for being there for us.

6.  Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve attended.

Funny but the good ones that come to mind always seem to have been in exotic locations with fantastic food! Only joking, no particular one springs to mind, but the best usually involve honest candid discussions, and recognition that not everything is ice-cream.

7.  What are your offerings and key deliverables? 

We provide research and advisory programs in three areas – Analytics and Information Management, BPM, and Collaboration (or you could also look at it as information, process and people!). Our written research is the core of what we do (although we also do a lot of presenting of course), and we provide advisory sessions to companies that want more personalised advice that really dives into their own particular situations. Our research programs are available as annual subscriptions, with packages for larger, distributed companies as well as smaller teams – and just before my arrival MWD launched a new Personal membership plan, making it a lot easier for individuals who can’t access budgets for big ticket analyst services to get personal access to our premium research. That’s proving very popular. We also do ad hoc advisory sessions for companies with specific short-terms needs, and you can also buy one-off reports in our web shop. We cater for all needs and budgets and aim to be as flexible as we can. The official tagline? Practical, independent industry insights that show how leaders create tangible business improvements from IT investments.

8.  Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?

I was not aware that analysts had much by way of spare time! When I can get some then my passion is cycling, both following at the world-tour level and participating where possible. Who knows maybe one day I will actually get to achieve my ambition of doing a London to Paris ride. My other passion is “people” and helping them be the best that they can be. For me this is achieved through energy healing, hypnosis and coaching. India is my other love, the places, the people and the culture.

9.  What are your biggest challenges for the upcoming six months? And for the next 30 minutes?

The biggest challenge I face over the next few months is “saying no’ to people nicely! Already the briefing requests are mounting and it is not even a week! Trying to turn down some of those requests while we get some reports written will be tough. As anyone that has been there will know the other thing that will take some getting used to is switching from the “I” as a sole operator to the “We” as a member of the team – but luckily there is a great bunch at MWD who have been through the pain before and are promising to help (and pick me up if there are any stumbles).

10. Is there another analyst whose work you rate highly?

Over the years in various roles I have interacted with many different analysts from different firms, as with all of us each has their strengths and weaknesses. In terms of people who stand out, other than my boss Neil Ward-Dutton!, there are two others who have helped me a great deal over the years and whose work I rate highly, they would be Henry Peyret of Forrester and Jim Sinur of Gartner. I am proud to think of them both as friends, I guess it is also a testament that one of the first emails of congratulations I got was from Jim!

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