IIAR APJ Forum: Forrester continues to expand its operations in Asia/Pacific

By: Dave Noble, IIAR Board Member & APJ Chapter Lead

Forrester VP Dane Anderson (left) and senior analyst Tim Sheedy at last week’s APJ Forum

Just over 12 months since acquiring Asia/Pacific firm Springboard Research, Forrester Research continues to invest in the region with a view to significantly increasing its market share, particularly in the end-user space.

Speaking at the IIAR’s APJ Forum in Sydney last week, Forrester vice president & AP region manager, Dane Anderson, said that based on Q2 sales technology vendors now represented less than 50 per cent of the firm’s revenues in the region and that end-users would continue to be a major focus.

“We want to aggressively build out our end-user business… we can serve our vendor clients better by understanding their (end-user) clients more completely,” he said.

To drive the increase in both vendor and end-user business, Forrester has recruited heavily in the past year, pushing the regional headcount from 46 at the time of the acquisition to more than 80 now, with further hires in the pipeline. Recruitment has been across the board – finance, sales, marketing and research – and the firm is also in the process of moving a couple of senior research leaders from the US into China and India.

“We’re motivated to increase our market share aggressively in Asia/Pacific. There’s a lot of difference between hiring people in India and Boston, so we can hire more aggressively in the region… We’re now able to invest a little ahead of the curve compared to our Springboard days,” Anderson said.

As it was in the Springboard days, India remains the largest research and client services centre, but Forrester has added several staff in Singapore and China, and to a lesser extent, in Australia. Anderson also stressed that only a handful of staff had left following the acquisition, nominating the low attrition rate as a key success metric.

While Forrester has taken the unusual approach (for Forrester) of establishing a regional management structure and adopting some Springboard business processes, it has focused strongly on training regional analysts in global methodologies and aligning analyst skillsets with their US and European colleagues.

That this is necessary is undoubted. Already, Forrester’s regional analysts are beginning to behave like many of their peers at Gartner in Asia/Pacific – supporting both vendor and user clients in local markets. And Forrester plans to develop many more Waves in the APJ region, which will challenge the capabilities of analysts and AR professionals alike!

A recording of this Forum and presentation slides are available to IIAR members on Huddle. A video interview with Dane Anderson is posted on Dave Noble’s IntelligenAR blog.

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